A common fantasy is moving to a tropical country and living the “barefoot behind the bar on the beach” expat life, especially when you’re feeling caught up in the rat race or in need of a change of scenery. However, anyone who’s lived abroad knows that actually living in a different country isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the brochures, and Costa Rica is no exception.
If you’re considering relocation to the country of Pura Vida, think again. You need to know the facts to get the real story first.
1. The People
Living amongst the Ticos is going to make you absolutely miserable. First of all, the entire country is filled with a gorgeous, swarthy population that will make you feel like a walking turd by comparison.
Secondly, their happy and relaxed manner of dealing with life will only serve to increase the dosage on your hypertension medication once you realize you’ll probably never achieve this level of Zen.
2. The Lifestyle
As previously mentioned, Costa Rica is a little too laid back for many folks and getting used to the different pace of life can also be incredibly frustrating. Concepts like time For instance, no one cares if you’re a few minutes late. Don’t they realize time is money?
You’ll almost never see anyone sporting a suit; flip flops and board shorts are a much more common sight, so you should plan to invest in a new wardrobe in order to fit in.
You’ll probably also notice that commercialism takes a backseat compared to the Pura Vida lifestyle. The pressure to buy, buy, buy or ‘keep up with the Jones’ will be surprisingly low…without the pressure to work constantly, you’ll be forced to spend more time with family, friends, or God forbid, relaxing.
3. The Noise
If you’re looking to settle outside the city for some peace and quiet, you can forget about it in Costa Rica. You’ll basically be bombarded day and night with the chirps, buzzes, and sex squeals of thousands of different animals and insects.
The howler monkeys certainly didn’t get their name for their strong but silent nature.
4. The Military
Or lack of one, rather: Costa Rica abolished its military in 1949. Once here, you’ll have virtually zero worry about counter terrorist attacks, war, aggressive political tactics, or suicide bombers.
Believe it or not, you’ll miss it when it’s gone; wartime strife really keeps you on your toes and without it, you’re going to get relaxed and lose your focus on such things. What will you have to talk about around the bar table?
5. The Terrain
Costa Rica has hundreds of miles of untouched beaches lining both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. How the hell are you supposed to pay for a lounge chair or order a $15 daiquiri without all the staff and people around?
Plus, it’s so boring. There’s nothing to do besides tan, swim, kayak, surf, snorkel, read, grill, fish, or walk along the water with the lapping waves getting you all wet and sandy. You wouldn’t believe how warm the ocean is either. Like bathwater. It’s ridiculous.
Once you move inland, it doesn’t get any better. You’ll find every Technicolor shade of green and vivid flowers that defy the law of physics and natural color. It’s truly over stimulating to your senses – exhausting, in fact.
Here you’ll also find cloud forests and lush green mountainsides teeming with vegetation and wildlife. And with all of the fruits and vegetables you can grow here, you’ll hardly need to buy them at the supermarket. With all that extra time and money, you’ll have no choice but to invest in rum, which is a slippery, slippery slope.
6. The Weather
You’ll be forced to deal with year-around spring and summer-like conditions. No snow, ice storms, or months of dead trees and gray skies. With weather like that, you can pretty much kiss all that money you spent on things like winter clothes, blankets, and snow tires goodbye.
The one thing you can be thankful for is the rainy season, otherwise it’d be sunny every single day, which is melanoma just waiting to happen.
And the worst part of all is that once you’ve experienced this with your own eyes, nowhere else will ever live up to this level of beautiful and awesome again.
About the Writer Lindsey Vast
Lindsey is a travel writer and entrepreneur known for her humorous twist on life. Additionally, she is the Founder of Pura Events Costa Rica (www.PuraEventsCostaRica.com), the best online events calendar in Costa Rica.