During a vacation to Costa Rica with friends in 2009, we traveled through the usual tourist spots, visiting Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and down to the Rafiki Lodge on the Savegre River. When we reached further South, we immediately fell in love with the feeling of being disconnected from the “noise” and being reconnected with nature. It was something that we deeply missed once we returned home to the States. Post our first trip, moving to Costa Rica became somewhat of a fantasy, that one day we would make our escape – together.
In 2012, Steve received a promotion at work and we were relocated to South Florida, where Tatum became a full time stay at home Mom. Steve, working 13 hour days, having to drive a long commute, and constantly having to be “on call”, was becoming frustrated with work. Our family craved togetherness, and we wanted to make a change that would allow our family to spend more quality time with one another, reduce our overall stress, and bring us more daily happiness. Steve began researching Costa Rica during his breaks at work and his daily commute. After coming up with a good understanding of how we could make our life work, with the kids and family, and also build our own business, Steve put his notice in at work and we began taking steps towards relocating to Costa Rica and embarked on a serious property search.
We took three trips down, of one to two weeks at a time, to search for the right property, seek legal counsel and accounting assistance. What we really loved about Costa Rica was the culture and people, we found this is in Costa Ballena. We’ve met so many kind and caring people, who focus on their families and enjoying life. Finally, we have been able to invest in more than just a property. On the weekends, the family gatherings on the beach and in the swimming pools of the river are a nice reminder that time with your family is so important to your happiness. We are looking forward to continuing to build our business, into a well-loved retreat. We want Manoas to become a place people remember where they were able to rest, relax and be inspired by the nature around them.
“We love the beach, the river, the jungle – all the natural elements of Costa Rica make it amazing to live here. Multiple times per day you will come across something breathtaking that allows you to remember how beautiful life is. It also helps you to feel more connected to nature and understand the importance that the natural world has on our lives.”
Pieces of Advice
- Assimilating to a new country and culture, along with raising two toddlers, can be challenging in itself. We worked hard (and are still working hard) to learn Spanish and make local friends to overcome some of the newness and cultural differences.
- When considering moving here and buying property, make sure you have done your homework and do not expect to, or try, to cut any corners. Embrace the new things you encounter and make the most out of your experiences.
About Tatum & Steve
Tatum is an elementary school teacher who taught kindergarten & first grade before arriving, she now teaches kids at their Yoga Camp. And Steve worked in hospitality and most recently commercial property management before moving to Costa Rica. Together, they have two children: Foster, who loves swimming, playing at the beach, animals, building things and is full of laughter, and Sienna who also loves swimming, playing at the beach, dancing and music.
Visit them online at www.manoas.com.