In 1998, I visited Costa Rica for the first time, and I just knew that one day I would move to the sunny country where surf’s up, year round. Surfing for me, is the source. I grew up surfing on Folly Beach (United States) and used to chase hurricanes up and down the coast with a few other crazy kids. The decision to move and stop chasing waves, and to really enjoy the surf in my own, new backyard, came rather easy.
While surfing and the friendly vibe of Costa Rica put the country on my map, having kids and wanting to spend time with them, to be the type of father that reads books with them at night and take them surfing on weekends was the main reason Mercedes and I decided to make the move. Prior to moving, I was working 60 hours a week, so the change of pace and the increase in the amount, as well as the quality of time, that I got to spend with my family were the biggest motivating factors.
Another top reason we chose Costa Ballena in particular was the sense of community. There is a common thread between most expats that binds us together, and the small town feel is something our family enjoys. The people that have moved here, are not just looking to relax and take it easy, they are also working towards making the community a better place for future generations, by creating schools, and supporting infrastructures for families wanting to relocate. The people who are taking the leap, realize that it is by helping members of the community come together, that we grow together.
We are definitely looking forward to seeing the next generation of kids that are growing up. From surfing big waves and speaking Spanish like natives, to embracing the ‘Pura Vida’ and enjoying all life has to offer, the hard work put forth and the risks we took, not just my wife and I, but peers as well, in the end, will be all the satisfaction we need in knowing we made the right decision.
Our Top Family Friendly Adventure Activities in Costa Rica
Although obvious, the beaches! Sitting in the shade of an almond tree while watching your kids surf is something you do not get back home. Swimming in rivers and jumping off waterfalls are two other family favorites. We have a beautiful river that runs down the side of our property, we spend a lot of time there, it has been a great investment to say the least.
A perfect day is surfing with the kids, drinking a few beers on the beach with friends, then a going to the waterfall near the house to wash the sand off and cool down. It’s the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle you hear and read about for sure!
About the Contributing Writers
Chuck Chastain, a seven year resident, grew up on the east coast, in Charleston, South Carolina. Having met his wife, Mercedes, in their senior year in college and having been together ever since, they just celebrated their ten year wedding anniversary. Blessed with two kids, Kai (9), and Clara Linn (7), the family is complete with their latest edition, and perhaps most famous creature in their family, Louie, their rescued dog! Having loved the experience of being their own bosses, prior to their Costa Rican adventure, his wife Mercedes, who now has the hardest job in the world (a stay at home super-mom), and Chuck, who is a man of many talents, they have continued to work on entrepreneurial endeavours. Chuck now works at an outdoor music and event venue, Electric Garden, located at Rancho DiAndrew, and most recently founded www.AerialMediaCostaRica.com, a media company that works towards producing high quality video and photography.