Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: 9 ounce bag of Sun Chips— $4.60 ( Should have bought the mangos)
A couple weeks ago I met an incredible woman who was traveling with her daughter. After retiring from her job, Karen was looking for adventure and found it by jumping from hostel to hostel throughout Central America.
One of the best things about my journey is I get to meet people like this. Regardless of their age, they still have wanderlust in their blood and a desire to explore this planet with only a backpack and journal. This style of travel is not only for twenty-somethings folks. I’m running into more and more intrepid explorers that are trading in their Sam’s Club membership for a one-way plane ticket.
Karen interviewed my husband and I for her website Living Without Permission. We sat on Tamarindo beach and watched the sun set while we compared our travel experiences. One of the things we both had in common was how much more sense the world becomes when you strip off the excesses in your life. Without that filter, it’s as if your life is viewed through a very expensive camera lens… everything is in focus.
This all brings me to what my New Year’s resolution should be. Maybe it’s to meet more people like Karen. It could also be to stop buying Sun Chips. Other than that, I can’t imagine changing a thing.
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: 6 oz can of OFF— $5.65
It’s out…Happier Than A Billionaire: The Sequel is up for sale on Amazon in Kindle and as a Paperback. It is also available at Barnes & Noble and Kobo online. iBooks is still pending, but for now you can read it on your Apple device with the Kindle App.
The Sequel covers my move to the beach, and all the funny misadventures that happen along the way. I also write about my parents and mother-in-law when they came to visit. It should make for a very interesting Christmas dinner this year…
Being a writer, and writing about myself is an intense process. But you guys make it fun for me and I appreciate all the kind words and support. Now I just have to explain to my husband that I sort of left in some things in the book that he might find embarrassing….
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Thanksgiving Day Turkey—$80
Thanksgiving always brings to mind a great home cooked meal: turkey with stuffing, yams and cranberries, pumpkin pie and razzleberry dressing.
But Rob can’t find the ingredients for his mother’s Italian stuffing and yams are as elusive as a reliable internet connection in Costa Rica. The turkey? Well, let’s just say $80 is a little steep when you are trying to live on $1200/month.
So it looks like we might be eating something closer to this. Like they say… when in Rome, eat soup out of a coconut.
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Master cylinder for the brakes—$150 parts & labor included (my car is dying a slow death guys)
There is not another picture that accurately portrays my marriage as well as this one. My husband: laughing and joyful. Me: serious and methodical.
This is the same expression I had on my face when Rob told me he wanted to sell everything and move to Costa Rica. I needed to plan things, make lists, and ensure that I would have a solution to all the uncertainties that were bound to occur.
But here’s the thing… you can’t plan for everything. It wasn’t a week into this Costa Rica adventure that I finally realized I had to let go. And letting go also meant welcoming in all the wonderful surprises that sneak up on you when you’re not looking.
In this picture, Rob is holding on while teaching me how to boogie board. I listen carefully, judging the three-inch wave accordingly, before Rob finally lets me go. I take it into the shore and look behind to see him cheering me on.
I love that he held onto the board, but it’s even better when you let it ride.
Since the 6.6 earthquake (the second big one in two months), I’ve had the craving for Froot Loops. It’s a happy cereal that reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons and feety pajamas. It’s the perfect comfort food for when the ground just won’t stop shaking.
Of course, my budget prohibits me from actually buying Froot Loops. I purchase what looks like the cereal, only instead of a jolly Toucan Sam on the cover this one had a juggling raccoon. Of course, I think to myself. Whenever anyone imagines an early morning meal, festive garbage-rummaging raccoons always come to mind.
My husband is the first one to try it and says, “It tastes like a mouth full of air freshener.” I can’t tell you how delighted I am about this. As a proud New Jerseyan, our state has the highest concentrations of artificial flavoring factories in the world. Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps.
I pour myself a bowl and turn on some cartoons. When I’m done eating, my breath—and the entire room— smells like a can of Febreeze. You have to hand it to that juggling raccoon, he definitely knows how to impress on a budget.
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Brand New Catalytic Converter, Tail Pipe, & Rear Brake Repaired—$250
Yesterday we saw dozens of turtle heads sticking out of the ocean like submarine periscopes. Rob wanted to get a picture so like Ferdinand Magellan, he braved the turbulent seas and marched straight out in his tube socks.
This is was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while…
Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 10 Chayotes (type of squash)—$1.20…that’s a lot of squash guys
A lot is happening in Guanacaste as a result of our recent earthquake. We’ve had over a thousand aftershocks and although they are mild in comparison to the 7.6 whopper, it’s uneasy knowing the ground continues to shift under our feet. But even as the earth rumbles, people have already begun repairing their homes and businesses.
Although there were few injuries, there has been considerable damage to many buildings. Yesterday I went to the Santa Cruz municipality to pay my taxes only to find they were closed due to earthquake damage. It appears that everyone is struggling with finding a new sense of normalcy. Continue reading “A TEACHER’S LIFE IN BRASILITO” »
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Planters Cocktail Peanuts (12 ounces)—$4.50
I was wondering if I should write this post. It’s always anti-climactic when you hear about someone’s near death experience when you know that they are alive since they’re telling you the story in the first place. And talking about earthquakes could make any Californian yawn and possibly become catatonic right before your eyes. But I will share a little bit of what it felt like when the big 7.6 hit.
It’s common to have the earth rumble under your feet if you live in the Ring of Fire. A magnitude 4.0? Eating that funny smelling hot dog in the back of the freezer is more dangerous. But a magnitude 7.6?…this was different. I knew it the moment it started. I was absolutely certain the earth was opening up beneath my feet. Continue reading “7.6 EARTHQUAKE IN COSTA RICA” »
Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: 10.9 ounces of cottage cheese— $5
When people visit Costa Rica, they immediately plan on zip-lining. My sister and her family are here for a couple weeks and this excursion is first on their list. My nieces can’t stop talking about it.
Zip-lining should be the country’s designated excursion. I’ll go as far as to say it should be printed on all Costa Rican flags and possibly their currency as well. When I sit and have coffee in Tamarindo, inevitably someone at a neighboring table is discussing all the fun they had while flying through the air on a cable. Continue reading “UPSIDE DOWN VIEW” »
Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: A Quart of Motor Oil— $15.18
As I look over the children’s’ assignments that are taped to the wall, one stands out. A ship drawn on the ocean with a bright orange sun shining in the corner. “I want to get a job in tourism,” it reads, signed by a boy named Justin. At such a young age, Justin already knows there are more opportunities available to him if he can learn computer skills and conversational English. He will raise himself out of poverty by going to his weekly classes at Opening Minds (Abriendo Mentes). Justin’s future will look different than his parents.
Drew Ragland had an idea three years ago. He noticed that many people in Potrero, Costa Rica were not getting the better paying jobs at nearby hotels and resorts. Since the local work force here was lacking in computer and English skills, hotels were hiring people from outside the area to fill the positions. Knowing that he had the ability to teach English, Drew set up a simple whiteboard in a small open air restaurant. He started writing English words on the board and people came to learn. Soon, he was teaching not only the adults but the children as well. Continue reading “I WANT A JOB IN TOURISM” »