Enjoying an Adventure-Filled Travel Income in Costa Rica

Samantha Wei lives on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, just inland from the surfer hotspot of Tamarindo, with her boyfriend, Yeison Kim. But you never know where the couple might be on any given day.

Samantha’s work as a travel blogger (she writes, he is involved behind the scenes) takes them all over Costa Rica—exploring funky beach towns, cloud forests high in the mountains, wildlife-filled jungles, and more.

Over the past five years, Samantha has offered up travel tips, reviews of places to stay and restaurants, guides of national parks and other attractions, and more through her blog.

“One of my favorite activities was going canyoning in Arenal,” says Samantha. “I was with my brother, his wife, and friends. They were the first people to visit me in Costa Rica and we’d never done an adventure like this before. To be surrounded by friends and rappelling down waterfalls was amazing. It led to my addiction to outdoor adventure. And Costa Rica is a great place for it. I’ve done things I’ve never thought I would.”

But exploring the natural beauty of Costa Rica is only part what she enjoys about her work. It’s also about the people she meets on the journey.

“The thing I love the most is hearing other people’s stories, the path they’re on, and their aspirations in life.” says Samantha. “Growing up in U.S. I was certainly in a bubble. I hadn’t experienced much. But now I experience different cultures and learn about other people’s lives every day.”

“We’ve been doing the blog for four years…it went by so fast. I feel very lucky it’s worked out. We still have so much to learn but it’s been supporting us for so long,” says Samantha. “We both work on it full time. We do offer paid consultations. But we make most of our money through affiliate marketing for hotels and travel companies. And travel gear.”

When the couple is at home they try to set a regular work schedule for answering emails and writing blog posts. But they stay flexible. If there are good waves, they’ll go surfing. If they want to go hiking, they’ll shut down the laptops and head out. And they travel often.

“Our travel schedule really depends,” explains Samantha. “Last year we were working on a campaign with the Costa Rica tourism board as ambassadors. Each week they sent us a new itinerary. It was a week at home, and on the road for a week to 10 days.”

When traveling, they keep up with the business, answering emails and such, although they’ll often schedule blog posts ahead of time to be published when they’re traveling to reduce the workload. And they’re sure to set aside at least 10 days a month for their own travels.

The couple has ventured beyond Costa Rica too. With so many cool countries nearby and low-cost travel options, it’s easy to get around the region.

“Everywhere we’ve been has been pretty great,” says Samantha. “My favorite place is the San Blas islands in Panama. One of the first off-the-beaten-path places I’ve been. It’s stunning. People were so nice, and the local culture was so unique. Nothing like it in the world. I would go back any day.”

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