One Year Anniversary Living in Costa Rica | How My Life Has Changed

Cotton Candy Sunset @ Playa Prieta
A Postcard from Paradise:  Cotton Candy Sunset @ Playa Prieta

Dear Friends,

A year ago today, Scott and I packed our 9 bags and Jake, our 70 pound pointer mix, and flew from Austin, TX to Costa Rica.  We had a loose plan – get there, rent short term and see if we liked it.  We figured we would give it 3-6 months.  If we decided we wanted to live here, we would ship our household that we had put in storage and apply for residency.  If not, we would go back to Austin.

Well, we like it here.

 

It’s the first day of Fall, but for us, it will always be Summer and our Costa Rican anniversary!

 

As we spend a special week celebrating the feast of Sukkot at the beach with dear friends we met here shortly after arriving, I look back on our adventure so far and smile with gratitude that we have this opportunity to live a different life, a life that is truly recognized as a gift and not taken for granted.

Now you don’t have to move to another country to choose to live a different life or feel gratitude, but our time abroad in a different culture has taught us to appreciate all that God has given us, allowed us to slow down and really live in the moment.

My First Year In Costa Rica

What have we experienced?  How have our lives changed?  What have we learned?  What do we love?

There is so much, it floods my mind but I will do my best to list them here:

  • I love that geographically, Costa Rica has so much to offer:  Mountains, Volcanoes, Hot Springs,  Cloud Forest, Rainforest, Jungle, Mangroves, Beach.  Typically temperatures range from low 60’s to high 90’s, depending on where you are.
  • We have access to some of the best coffee in the world!
  • The people in Costa Rica are very friendly and gracious, from locals (nicknamed “tico” or “tica”) to expats.  We have met people from a variety of backgrounds and professions, from lawyers to restaurant owners to farmers to surfers, all living the Pura Vida.
  • I learned how to cook PIZZA – to be more accurate, I LEARNED HOW TO COOK.
  • I love how you will often see chickens or cows in the road, especially in the more rural areas.  They have as many dogs as we do in the U.S., except their dogs generally roam loose on the streets – they have an agenda and lots of personality.
  • I became a blogger!
  • I love that I have become very comfortable with the language and the culture.  New experiences and new things scare me less now – I am more courageous.
  • I drink raw milk and eat unpasteurized eggs (provided from our next door neighbors Rodolfo and Patricia), and I have been reacquianted with some fruits and veggies that I have not eaten since visiting Taiwan as a kid.  They bring back pleasant and vivid memories.
  • I know what hummingbirds and howler monkeys sound like.

 

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There’s a whole lot more I could share, but I wanted to make sure this posts today.  I could go on and on.

Goals for Next Year:

Even though we’ve lived here for a year, there is still sooooooo much to do and see in this beautiful country.

Here are some of my goals for the next year:

  • Meet more people and make more friends.
  • See a tortoise lay eggs on the beach.  See baby turtles hatch and crawl to the sea.
  • Go whale watching.
  • Visit the Caribbean Coast – Limon and Puerto Viejo.
  • Visit Dominical, Uvita and the Osa Peninsula.
  • Visit Northern Panama – Bocas del Toro, Boquete, etc.
  • Take Spanish Lessons.
  • Learn how to use my GoPro camera, especially underwater.
  • Be more brave about snorkeling.
  • Start to do and teach Yoga again.

It’s the first day of Fall, but for us, it will always be Summer and our Costa Rican anniversary!

Thank you for reading my posts and please let me know if you have any questions about visiting, moving to and/or living in Costa Rica, I’d be happy to share what I know or maybe direct you to someone who can help.

 

It's pretty windy at Playa Grande, but that's what the surfers like about it. There's great waves at this beach.
It’s pretty windy at Playa Grande, but that’s what the surfers like about it. There’s great waves at this beach.

 

If you like this blog and would like to get a fuller experience, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@puradonna)!

Hasta Lleugo y Pura Vida,

Donna

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