It all started with a dream of watching the sun set over the ocean every evening from our home. However, like many self-employed Americans, we found ourselves stuck in the rat race; running a business, paying a mortgage and raising two teenagers – sound familiar? Being passionate about our professions in the health and wellness fields as a chiropractor and a yoga instructor, we often discovered we were compromising what we knew was in the best interest of our family’s well-being due to lack of time and over-scheduling.Daily stress, eating on the run and spending less time together as the children matured became the norm. After visiting Costa Rica for two consecutive years, we decided we could create an exit strategy, make the leap of faith, and turn the dream into a reality.
In February 2012, we packed a 20-foot container, sold everything else and with kids, cat and dog in tow, relocated to Costa Ballena, in the town of Ojochal. Surprisingly, our teenagers were willing to move to another country as close as two years before graduation; we then realized the pressure they were under in their school, activities and social lives. Being our number one concern, we explored different schooling options and settled on homeschooling and using a private tutor in the area. Graduating with a US high school diploma was an important consideration and we are able to facilitate that by sending their yearly portfolios to the US for accreditation. Hearing our daughter tell us she can’t remember the last time she felt so relaxed was music to our ears. We immediately discovered we spent more time together as a family, participating in more outdoor activities and spending more time preparing our own meals with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Hearing our daughter tell us she can’t remember the last time she felt so relaxed was music to our ears. – Kim Faddah
As we began building our home in January 2013, it became obvious it was going to be a much more arduous experience than in the States. Although labor is relatively inexpensive in comparison, cost of materials fluctuated greatly, making it difficult to stay on budget. There was also the scarcity of building products we were accustomed to in the US, especially in the jungle. Shipping most of what we could not find from the States became a necessity both in time and money. We kept our focus on our objective of taking advantage of the beautiful views; letting go of the model of perfection we had become accustomed to; and the outcome is a house that feels like home.
Starting a business was an easier endeavour. Following our same formula from our previous business of providing exceptional service, exceeding patient/client expectations and positive word of mouth, we were pleased to find ourselves busy doing what we both love. The difference in Costa Rica is the ability to schedule our work around the tide charts so there is plenty of time for the beach and family. Along with that flexibility was the challenge of adapting to a less structured environment of work/school and play. There are many wonderful distractions living in a diverse and beautiful environment and wanting to experience it all was often tempting. However once we fell into a more relaxed pace of life, acting more as residents than tourists, we were able to find a balance.
We now have the time to focus our attention on building our ultimate dream, a healing retreat. Incorporating elements of chiropractic, detoxification, micronutrients, yoga, meditation, and adventure and relaxation, our goal is to help participants to renew their body and mind. By creating a hands-on, one on one experience, it will allow us to share what we love most about Costa Rica – a true PURA VIDA lifestyle.
About the Contributing Writers
Kais was born in Finland and lived all over the US. Kim was born and raised in Southern California. Kais and Kim Faddah have been married for over 30 years, and they lived in a suburb of Seattle, WA for 21 years before moving to Costa Rica. They have two children, Kraig (18) and Kasie (17), three dogs and one cat. Kais is a US licensed Chiropractor and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Kim is an Iyengar Yoga Instructor.