Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Why Costa Rica?
Long stretches of deserted beaches, jungles full of wildlife, majestic volcanoes, crystal clear waterfalls, breath taking sunsets and star filled evening skies...I have always felt as if the country of Costa Rica was calling my name.
When people had asked me why I was leaving, I had not really known what to say. I had just felt this need to leave, to do something different, to reconstruct my life. For years I had been able to see the road ahead of me and while it wasn't unpleasant, it had somehow become impossible for me to accept the life I was living as a vision of my future.
I longed for something more...
I have always loved change, the way it moves me, teaches me and forces me to grow and this move would be the biggest change, thus far, in my life. Although my reasons for moving were mostly personal - the more I read about Costa Rica, the more sure I became that this magical place just might be the perfect place for me.
Happiness - The Happy Planet Index says that Costa Rican's are the happiest people on the planet. I have found this to be true. "Tico's" are open and warm, their culture is centered around family and friendships.
Peace - Costa Rica has no army, it was abolished in 1948. It is one of the oldest democratic countries in the world. The former president won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts of bringing peaceful political solutions to surrounding countries in Central America.
Lifestyle - A very common misconception is that Costa Rica is a third world country. Costa Rica is a second world developing nation. It offers every modern convienence that the US has - internet, cable, cel phones, shopping malls, etc. My quality of life here didn't change at all in those ways, it just costs less.
In the US time equals money, but in Costa Rica, you need less money, which equals more time.
Education - Costa Rica has a 96% literacy rate. Even in the most remote corners of this country, public education is available. More US expats live in Costa then in any other country in the world, which means there are many options for high quality, low cost, US accredited private school education. Giving my children a good education as well as the opportunity to become bi-lingual and to experience a different culture was very appealing to me.
Pura Vida - "Pura Vida" is the law of the land in Costa Rica. The literal translation means pure life. It's an attitude, a mantra, encompassing a way of life. It can be used as an adjective to describe something "excellent" or someone who is "full of life" and is also used here as a greeting, a good-bye or even to mean thank you.
In December of 2010, after selling everything and quitting my job, I left everyone and everything I'd ever known behind - to begin a whole new chapter of life in Costa Rica.
I am so happy that I did. I wake up everyday, surrounded by beauty and full of anticipation and the joy of discovery. Costa Rica is everything I dreamed of and so much more.