A New Yorker Gardening in Costa Rica

By | July 14th, 2017|Categories: Mountain House, The Happier House|Tags: , , , |

Happier House Garden

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: A Thousand Bougainvillea Plants—Free when your husband is a lunatic

The weather has been beautiful in Costa Rica with the perfect mix of rain and sunshine. We have amazing lightning shows at night, with claps of thunder so loud it rattles the windows. Mornings begin with misty clouds drifting across the hilltops; temperatures so cool it feels like I’m still living in the mountains.

I think often about my time in Grecia, where this whole journey started. Rob and I didn’t know what to expect when we moved to Costa Rica. The idea was risky, ridiculous, and romantic. Little did I know, it was the beginning of something great

Below is a chapter from Happier Than A Billionaire: The Sequel. It chronicles the move to the beach and the beginning of our next adventure, one which included a truck full of plants.

Rob knew we would have a garden one day. He has a way of seeing into our future. Continue reading “A New Yorker Gardening in Costa Rica” »

Top 5 Unexpected Benefits of Costa Rica Weather

By | June 28th, 2016|Categories: Nature, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: New iPhone package with 140 minutes of phone calls, unlimited data, & 700 texts—$20

Top 5 Benefits of Costa Rica Weather

1. Creativity

75 Degree weather. Just writing that makes me feel good. When I lived on a mountaintop in Grecia, I was treated to wonderfully cool temperatures practically every day. Aside from saving money on air conditioning, the biggest benefit was a sense of outdoor/indoor living.  The temperatures were the same and  you had no sense of a barrier. And without that temperature barrier, the world feels bigger, better, and creates a swell of endorphins in your brain. You wake up smiling and go to bed happy. It’s the biggest gift Grecia gave me.

These temperatures had an effect on me while I was writing my first book Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, & Living the Zero Hour Work Week. I would even say they were conducive to the entire writing process. I felt great on that mountaintop, and in a way freer than I have ever been.

We lived so high up on the mountain that clouds actually rolled into our house. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. I’ve lived around so much pollution in my life, at first, I thought it was smog. Then this gigantic, puffy cotton ball smacked me square in the face and it was the most heavenly thing I ever experienced. Have you ever been hit by a cloud? I would suggest putting that on your bucket list. However, hanging your clothes out to dry in such high altitudes can be a challenge: This crazy thing happens.

These cooler temperatures come with a substantially longer and more intense rainy season, and the rainy season can bring a substantial amount of mold. It grows on everything and needs to be cleaned… a lot. And then there are weeks in October, the height of the rainy season when there is not one sliver of sunshine for days on end. These were the times I wished I lived at the beach.

Now that I’m living near Playa Flamingo, I’m are fully aware of the difference in temperatures once I step outside. There are times at the end of the dry season I feel like I’m living on the sun. This is reflected in our budget as well. Our allowance for dining out is non-existent, replaced with the additional cost of air conditioning. These are the days I wish I lived in the mountains. Continue reading “Top 5 Unexpected Benefits of Costa Rica Weather” »

Costa Rican Meal by the Sea

By | May 1st, 2015|Categories: Cost of Living, Tourism|Tags: , , , , , |

Costa Rica RecipesCosta Rica Cost of Living Update: Fried Chicken casado by the sea— $5

We are getting near the end of the dry season, but at the moment things are nearly as dry as they can get. For locals this means two things: It will be very hot— and things will be very dirty—until the true rainy season is upon us. It’s this time of the year when unpaved roads become elongated dust trails. If you ride a scooter or take your bike to work, you’ll be inhaling a healthy dose of grit by the end of your ride. Driving in a car or SUV will not protect your nasal passages from the formation of clumpy dust bunnies either.

“Is dirt coming out of the air-conditioning vent?” I ask Rob while we’re heading out for lunch.

“No, I think it’s coming from the dashboard. Or maybe from the doors. Is there a hole in the floor?”

It’s not the strangest question. There could be a hole in the floor since there are tons of problems with our car. I think something is leaking and our transmission keeps slipping. I actually don’t mind the latter since it makes our engine sound like a Tyco Aurora slot car every time Rob steps on the accelerator. Continue reading “Costa Rican Meal by the Sea” »

COSTA RICA VACATIONS : THE 5 BEST GUANACASTE BEACHES

By | December 12th, 2014|Categories: Tourism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

5 Best Guanacaste Beaches

Costa Rica Costa Of Living Update: Boogie Board—$80

Choosing your favorite beach in Costa Rica is like trying to pick which of your children you love the most. I’ve overheard heated debates on which sand is the softest, where the best snorkeling spot is located, or what surf is the easiest to boogie board without smacking your head into a rock.

Since many of you are visiting this area for the Christmas holiday—and are looking to get out of your resort and travel to different beaches—this list should help in planning your excursions. It’s best to fly into Liberia, Costa Rica since this international airport is the closest to these Guanacaste beaches. The San Jose airport is five to six hours away from this area.

I’ve compiled this “happier beach list” (my top 5 Guanacaste beaches) by using a thorough investigative team: my husband and I. We are authorities in how to waste a day away. I can sit on a beach (in the shade) for and entire day and feel like it was well spent. Give me a book and I might never come home. Rob will stare into every tide pool looking for new and interesting sea life… and he always finds something. These beach days clear my mind and help make me more appreciative of the little things. Gratitude comes easy when your toes are dipped into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading “COSTA RICA VACATIONS : THE 5 BEST GUANACASTE BEACHES” »

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

By | April 10th, 2011|Categories: Nature|Tags: , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living: A basil-berry martini at a restaurant with sweeping ocean views-$4

I often ask myself where would I be if I was back in the states at this very moment.  It usually places me in my office,  or stuck in traffic trying to get to the office, or wishing I could take a vacation and get out of the office.

It’s unfortunate that my working years were either obsessing about what happened yesterday or worrying about what will  happen tomorrow. I was never mindful of the actual moment. Possibly because the actual moment had me too aggravated to want to live in it.

So now I’m sitting on the beach and wondering where I’d be if I never took this chance. I think about my former self…that overworked person…and tell her it’s okay. 

She will soon end up here.