A Life of Peace and Adventure in Costa Rica’s “Blue Zone”

It’s funny how one thing leads you to another. The thought of living in Costa Rica never occurred to me until I landed here for the first time.

It all started with a photography assignment, documenting a 40th birthday bash on St. John Island. There, I met a couple who were living full-time in Costa Rica who offered me a place to stay if I ever visited.

A few weeks after returning home and working through the images and footage, I received a nice message from my new acquaintance living in Costa Rica. It included an offer to fly down and spend some time documenting the lifestyle in his community to help achieve marketing goals for his real estate business.

We agreed to make a trade. They would take care of the airfare, lodging, several meals, and provide a 4×4 vehicle. In return, I would explore this oceanside community and its surroundings with my camera, capturing still images and video clips they could use to help promote their business.

The assignment was for a full month. But, after getting a taste for Costa Rica, I decided I wanted to live here permanently. I’ve now been here for seven months.

Costa Rica is perfect for someone like me, who likes to spend time outside. A few of my personal interests include outdoor adventures like surfing, stand-up paddling, hiking, backroad travel, and camping.

As a road-trip junkie, Costa Rica is a dream. While family was visiting we took a fun little road trip south along the central coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula. We discovered empty beaches with palms swaying and fun surf breaks, delicious food, and friendly faces at quiet, tucked away tico sodas, and we watched stars twinkle as the Milky Way glowed late into the night.

My home is in Playa Garza, a quiet fishing village. Here, you can enjoy fresh local food at a handful of sodas, which sit along the crescent-shaped beach. Charters leave the beach daily for world-class fishing, catching marlin, mahi-mahi, and snapper, to name a few. There are many more food and beverage options a 15-minute drive north in the more touristy Playa Guiones. As part of Costa Rica’s “Blue Zone,” one of only five regions of the world where people commonly live to over 100 years old, adopting a healthy lifestyle is easy here.

The apartment I rent is only about 600 feet from the sand, and costs me just $380 a month, including air conditioning, an open-air kitchen, covered patio, and all utilities. It even includes shared internet with a neighbor.

My work includes photography, videography, and writing. As a freelancer, I try to base my assignments around my lifestyle and personal interests. The tico culture is inviting to those of us with a camera. As relationships flourish with my tico neighbors, I’m often invited to photograph them. This leads to more invitations or access to other fun and creative opportunities.

Living in a remote and more rural part of Costa Rica has many benefits. Playa Garza is accessed by boat or dirt road only and keeps many distractions away. Today, relaxation is easier than ever. In my hammock with cocktail in hand, I can watch palms swaying, waves crashing, and perfect pastel sunsets.

Pura Vida mae!

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