Birds, Stunning Views, and a Grow-Your-Own Life in Costa Rica

Rita Lucas could not be happier with her life in Costa Rica.

“I love the climate…living outdoors most of the time…and my community,” she says. “Living rurally and having my office in my outdoor living room with the stunning view is the icing on my cake.”

And what a view it is. Rita’s property is nestled in the mountain range that runs through southern Costa Rica to the southern Pacific coast.

“Every day I work to the accompaniment of birdsong and howler monkeys, as well as the babbling creek and the soothing sound of the surf,” she says. Directly in her line of vision stands an ancient majestic Guanacaste tree constantly teeming with multi-hued birds of every variety.

When she and her husband, Bill Campbell, arrived there for the first time while on vacation, it was love at first sight. For the first seven years they divided their time between Costa Rica and Canada but finally took the plunge and made their adopted country their permanent home.

They purchased two acres in the mountains, near the village of Ojochal De Osa in Punteranas, and just recently completed their home. The village population is made up of locals, Canadians, Europeans, and people from the U.S. The nearest cities are San Isidro (pictured above) in the Central Valley and Palmar Sur to the south.

“Here I can grow things, becoming as self-sustainable as possible and sharing my produce with the local food bank. I find learning about jungle plants fascinating,” she says. “Painful health issues that I suffer with in Canada do not bother me here.”

Bill and some other expats set up a construction and real estate company in Costa Rica and Rita, a former pre-school teacher, looks after the marketing side of the business. She also has a coaching practice, liaising with clients via Skype to help them improve their lives.

Giving back to her community is a top priority. She is the founder and now a board member of the local food bank, is on a business improvement committee, and is president of the local road association.

“I am functional in Spanish and continue to take classes when time permits. It is a continuing work in progress. I also learn from my daily interactions with neighbors, workers, and friends,” says Rita.

Rita’s advice for people considering relocating to another country:

“Go and spend time there—more than three months, so that you are not ‘on vacation.’ Being on vacation and actually residing somewhere are two very different things. You need to love it, as we do Costa Rica. Read, learn, and ask a whole lot of questions.”

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