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” »

HAPPIER ROAD TRIP 2014

By | July 23rd, 2014|Categories: Cost of Living, Nature, Tourism|Tags: , , , |

Poas Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 1 Medium to Large Zucchini— $1.00

Rob and I just got back from a ridiculously fun road trip. We traveled the country taking pictures, and meeting interesting people. Every year we try to rent a house for a month and explore a different part of the country. But this trip was different. So many of you have reached out offering to share your homes, farms, or resorts with us. It made this journey even more special.

Traveling with Rob is always an adventure, even if it’s just to the grocery store. One of the things that make me crazy is that he will bring a cup of hot coffee with him into the car. Not a travel mug, but a Winnie-the-Pooh cup. Folks, if you’ve never had the luxury of driving on a Costa Rican dirt road, imagine your brain as a maraca. Then take that maraca and toss it off a cliff. It’s not the type of thoroughfare you want when your driver is balancing a hot cup of coffee on his lap.

Inevitably, we hit the first bump and Rob’s coffee flies out of his mug, ricochets off the dashboard, and into my lap. This leaves me in a superb mood and I can’t wait for my “I’m not talking to you” silence to begin. Giving long periods of quiet resentment is a superpower I have perfected over the years. Remarkably, this power has no effect on my husband.

Continue reading “HAPPIER ROAD TRIP 2014” »

WORLD CUP PRIDE IN COSTA RICA

By | July 1st, 2014|Categories: Nature, Neighbors, Uncategorized|Tags: , |

World Cup Costa Rica

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: One gallon of Super Gasoline— $5.90

The roar came over the mountainside, up from the town of Grecia, catapulting  over the surrounding ridges. Costa Rica advances to the World Cup quarter-finals, the first time in history! I have never, ever seen anything like this. Everyone ran into the streets, cars began honking their horns, and we all collectively celebrated this joyous occasion.

My husband and I drove down the hillside, into the traffic, and waved our little Costa Rican flag that we keep hanging over our rear-view mirror. I didn’t feel like an expat, or a foreigner, just another Tica singing into the streets.

I have experienced a million quiet moments in Costa Rica that have made my life sweeter than I ever thought was possible. Then there was this eruption of energy that all but carried me away. My gosh, how I love Costa Rica and its people,  embracing me during their proudest moment, and reminding me that I too am part of it all.

Most of the time happy moments come in whispers, but on a rare occasion, it will roar toward you like a clap of thunder. It was a day I’ll never forget.