How crazy was it to move our family with two young daughters from a comfortable home in Colorado Springs to the unknowns of Costa Rica?
Well, I thought it was nuts when my husband suggested we do just that for his five-month sabbatical. Now that we’ve been in Monteverde for six weeks, the only crazy part is that we hesitated at all.
The more we looked at Costa Rica, the more appealing it became—drinkable water, no military, Spanish and English, lots of amazing plants and animals in the rainforest…
When my husband was searching online and stumbled upon the CEC School in Monteverde with its focus on bilingual education and environmental science, we decided to go for it.
We found a comfortable house to rent for $500 a month, and relished the thought of a home without a TV, car, or Internet. We really like making a conscious effort to connect to the world via a walk to one of many nearby Internet cafes (Café Cabure is one of our favorites with its amazing Argentine cuisine and high-speed wireless Internet).
Our fears of the unknown were quickly vanquished by the pleasant realities. We do have hot water; our girls are befriending Tico children; it doesn’t rain all the time. Without the static of modern-day life, we can hear the croaking toucans in the mornings and the chirping crickets at night. We haven’t tired of the howler monkeys bellowing their dominance even when it is at 5.30 in the morning.
With our purposeful pace of life, we take the time to focus on what matters the most to us, and we are laughing and enjoying life more as a family. Instead of turning on “60 Minutes” we talk with our daughters about the capuchin monkeys that swung across their campus or watch our girls proudly twirl their hand-made batons for the upcoming parade.
To see a blue morpho butterfly float drunkenly across your path…or to taste fresh cow’s milk from a spigot on the wall rather than a plastic carton is indescribable. We relish walking two miles to the feria every Saturday morning to purchase our week’s supply of fresh cilantro, tomatoes, mangoes and watermelon.
Our daughters no longer ask when we’re going to get there but rather eagerly pace us with hopes the homemade donuts won’t sell out.
Removing ourselves from the noise of routine is extremely satisfying. How can another gymnastics class compare to spotting a resplendent quetzal with your children in the rainforest? It’s hard to believe it took leaving the familiar to find our family’s pulse.
Americans often pity those living in small houses with tin roofs, but the Costa Ricans and ex-pats we’ve met are some of the happiest and most genuine people we know. In less than two months we’ve met people we plan to connect with for the rest of our lives.
Our concern now is: How will we return to the frenetic pace in America and preserve the simple calm and happiness we discovered here in the green mountains of the cloud forest?
Editor’s note: The Live & Invest in Costa Rica Seminar is our only Costa Rica event of 2010 (and the first one in years). That’s why we’re cramming it full of everything you need to know about this country—whether you’re interested in moving, starting a business, or investing in Costa Rica, you don’t want to miss this seminar.