In my 30s, I dreamt of living on a romantic Caribbean island, surrounded by the aquamarine Caribbean Sea… I wanted to swim to my heart’s content in clear, lukewarm water, surrounded by vibrantly colored tropical fish, corals, and sponges.
There are so many things to love about Costa Rica. One of the most appealing is the farmers’ markets, or ferias. Vendors come from surrounding farms and villages, offering fruit and vegetables, prepared food, and wares at prices lower than the neighborhood stores or supermarkets.
Before I started traveling a lot, I used to pack everything but the kitchen sink when I took a vacation for a week or two. I filled both a carry-on bag and a checked bag with too many shoes, a library worth of books, and outfits that would never see the light of day...
“What a morning,” exclaims my friend Beth as we sit on outdoor swings, sipping smoothies at our favorite little café in Dominical. We’ve just finished a beach cleanup in collaboration with a reggae event that will be taking place here over the weekend.
My husband, Gary, and I spend the summer months on beautiful Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada, where we live on an alpaca farm. Then, as soon as the dreary cold rains begin, we head to tropical Panama where our favorite pastime is reclining...
Having traveled in Costa Rica fairly extensively in the past, Ron Milewski—a photographer at the time—finally decided to make his move from Chicago 12 years ago. “I wasn’t exactly planning to retire, but I was definitely planning to take some time off, and afterward work less,” he says.
My husband, Alex, and I recently sold everything (house, cars, furniture), quit our jobs, and set out from Seattle to travel the world full time. We saved up a bit of money and didn’t plan on working abroad so we had to learn how to travel smart and not overpay.
The country mountain town of Atenas in Spanish-speaking Costa Rica seems an unlikely place to find a free library of not just hundreds but thousands of books in English, French, German, and Italian. It gives you a little glimpse into the international mix of the thriving expat community here.
For the average vacationer, the hardest part of the adventure is the logistics. The destination is a no brainer, but the right carrier, transportation, and accommodations can be a real headache. Hassles at the airport, excess baggage charges, and crummy seat assignments, can dull your senses.
When my wife and I decided to retire in our mid-50s, the cost of living was a big factor in choosing our perfect destination. We didn’t have buckets of cash stashed away—just our meagre savings and proceeds from the sale of our home and other assets.