Big News

Hi everyone!  I have some exciting news to share that will change how I post on this blog.  We moved to Costa Rica!

Yup, you read that right, we decided to leave the US to spend time in Costa Rica and see how we like it.  Nope – nothing to do with the election results – no comment on that craziness!

We decided to take the plunge to become digital nomads and live the expat life by traveling a bit.  We have no solid plans for how long we will stay here and no immediate plans to return to the states.

We are starting our new adventure in the Southern zone on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.  We live in a small town less than 10 minutes from San Isidro de El General (or as the locals call it Perez Zeledón).

Costa Rica city-view-from-our-balcony. We moved to Costa Rica!
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View of San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica

Decisions Decisions

So why did we decide to sell and give away almost everything we own to cram our lives into just 12 suitcases, 2 boxes, and 4 backpacks?  There are so many reasons that I could elaborate on, but it came down to a few basics.

  • We yearn for more family time together to build deeper relationships with each other.
  • We want to start collecting experiences instead of collecting things.
  • We want to educate our younger kids in a different way and try homeschooling/worldschooling.
  • We NEED to make time to finally toilet train our 11 year old daughter who has special needs.
  • We want to save money and build up our retirement funds faster. (retire early anyone!!)

Luggage for move to Costa Rica
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suitecases-to-costa-rica
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Like other digital nomad stories, we grew tired of working hard each day to build up only 2 weeks of vacation.  We would finally get to go on a once a year trip to that beautiful place we dreamed about all year long.  Then, the fun ends, and you go back to living inside of the box, dreaming of the next big escape.

Instead of living inside of a box, a box created by 4 walls of work, school, and home, we wanted to live outside of the box.  We want to create our own box, and maybe it is not a box at all!  Maybe we want a sphere, something with no edges or walls.  Ok, ok, don’t get me all philosophical and shit, I can go on and on AND ON!

The cost of living in Costa Rica is generally lower than it is in the states.  Moving to Costa Rica would teach us to learn to live with less, build up our retirement up at a quicker rate, and we could gain the experiences we were craving.

Through a ton of research we discovered we could live a healthier, more exciting life while saving money and living in our dream location.  So, away we went to beautiful Costa Rica!

Flight-to-costa-rica
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Flight over-guanacaste-costa-rica
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Flight over Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Working

So how is it that we can live in a beautiful tropical country that does not allow non-residents to work here?  My husband works 100% remote as a Software Engineer.  I recently quit my job as a Technical Writer so that I can homeschool the kids and blog full time about our new adventures.  As I learn how to monetize this blog I will share that info with you so you can stop daydreaming about your dream vacation and live it instead.

The Future

I will continue to occasionally post my plant-based vegan recipes, but now they will have ingredients that I find here in the tropics.  I create whole-food plant-based meals from scratch with ingredients that I buy at the local Feria (farmers market).  I buy as much organic produce as I can and all the food is locally grown, freshly picked, and cheap!

Farmers Market in Costa Rica
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Farmers Market (Feria) in Costa Rica

Besides sharing our adventures on this blog, I will (soon) add videos to our new YouTube channel.  So far we have recorded videos of the wonderful Feria, roughing it at a cabin in the jungle, tours through the city, and of course the beautiful beaches.  Did you know that the tiny country of Costa Rica has almost 300 beaches?  We want to visit as many of them as we can!

Playin at Playa Ventanas beach in Costa Rica
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Playin at Playa Ventanas beach in Costa Rica

Quepos near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We moved to Costa Rica!
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Sea wall in Quepos near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Challenges

Don’t get me wrong, living in Costa Rica has its challenges and everything is not sunshine and beaches all the time.  So far we are dealing with not knowing Spanish (we are trying), getting our clothes to dry without a dryer and a ton of rain, and mold growing all over the place! Oh, and did I mention bugs?  (“Hey, you can’t complain about bugs when living in the jungle!”)

For us, these challenges are an expectable price to pay to live in a place that we dreamed about visiting for a week or two each year.

Mini Vacations

In addition to Costa Rica, we will experience Panama, Nicaragua and possibly other Central and South American countries.  The reason is because we are living in Costa Rica as tourists on a tourist visa.  Tourist visas are typically given for a 90 day period and then you must leave the country.  You usually need to leave for a few hours before re-entering for hopefully, another 90 days.  We do not look at these 90 day visa runs as inconvenient.  Instead  we are excited that we get to take mini vacations to other tropical countries.  Panama and Nicaragua are even less expensive than this country and worth exploring.

We Moved to Costa Rica!
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HELP, our parents drug us to a tropical paradise.  Now we have to go to the beach every weekend and have fun.

Crackin Some Nuts

So there it is in a nutshell. I will break open these nuts in future posts to go deeper into why and how we made this decision.  We wanted something different, we wanted to live instead of exist and we are doing just that!

Pura Vida

Pura Vida is a Costa Rican saying meaning “pure life”.   Locals use Pura Vida as a greeting to say “hello” and”goodbye”.  They also use it as a way to express living a happy and pure life or to wish others well.

Love, The VeggieGal (and family)

Have you moved to another country, are you living the expat or digital nomad life?  Have questions or just want to share, I would love to hear from you.