A surf trip…that’s what brought me and my husband, Chuck, to Costa Rica. After landing in the capital of San Jose with my sister and her husband, we drove first to the beach town of Tamarindo, and then a couple of hours farther south to Nosara. There we found surf, beautiful beaches, and great restaurants…and the place that would become our retirement home.
In our mid-50s, we were already starting to think about retirement. At the time, I was working at a Montessori school and Chuck had been working in construction for 30 years. As he used to say, “I am beat up from the feet up.” It was a natural time in our lives to retire and make some more memories.
To live at the beach in California was very expensive, so we thought we could live close to the beach, without it costing a fortune, in Costa Rica. And we did just that. Today we live about a seven-minute walk to the ocean, a walk that takes us past beautiful green jungle.
Nosara is a small town on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, surrounded by green hills with two beautiful beaches just outside the town itself. We have everything we need here. There’s a great market, a hardware store, a post office, and a small airport from which we can take a 45-minute flight to the capital San Jose. The town also has a nice community of expats from Europe, the U.S., and Canada.
Using my husband’s construction skills, we decided to build our own home. The house itself has three bedrooms, one of which is accessed by an outside spiral staircase. We call this “the monkey room” as it’s next to papaya trees that the monkeys love to eat from. We have a large patio where we put our dining table and I have an outside kitchen where I do most of my cooking. We are surrounded by lots of trees and plants…we have to constantly rearrange the plants because they grow so large.
We love our life in Nosara…it’s vibrant and healthy. My husband surfs and I have started to blog about my cooking and our life here.
We eat out once or twice a week mostly because Nosara is a fun place to socialize…everyone knows one another. We usually spend between $8 to $12 on a meal. My favorite dish when we eat out is what’s called a casado—a plate of rice, red or black beans, a choice of fish, beef, pork, or chicken, and a colorful salad of lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumber, hearts of palm, and avocado.
We are on a pension and as residents in Costa Rica, we’re entitled to healthcare for which we pay $65 a month for both of us. We use the local doctors for simple medical needs but for anything more serious we head to San Jose where there’s a state-of-the-art hospital.
I never tire of the beauty of this place. I love my morning walks on our beach which is a small cove that leads to a larger surf beach. It really is a great life in Nosara…one we’re very much enjoying.
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