“One of my favorite things about Tamarindo is that I can walk everywhere,” says Sarah Kahi-Goitz. “I’ve completely eliminated car-related expenses. When I want to surf I can just throw my board under my arm and be in the water within ten minutes.”
Sarah says that while living in Tamarindo offers the experience of living within a completely different country and culture, there are still plenty of comforts. “I feel like within the first two months here, I met more people than I had in any of the other places I’ve lived combined,” she says. “And that’s really helped put me on the fast track to feeling at home here.”
Sarah’s condo costs her $1,000 per month with utilities included, and says it provides her with way more space than her San Diego apartment, which cost her a whopping $2,300 per month in rent alone.
Sarah has a comfortable lifestyle in Tamarindo, with the income she earns from her media consulting business, which she now runs remotely from her laptop. “I still do a lot of the typical nine-to-five stuff, but now I have the ability to plan my days around the tide schedule,” she says. “If high tide is in the middle of the afternoon, that’s when I’ll take my ‘lunch’ and go surf.”
On the way back from the beach, Sarah enjoys stopping off for a grilled chicken kabob. “They’re about $2,” says Sarah. “Which is great because they’re delicious. Always perfectly seasoned and cooked.”
Amongst other favorites, Sarah says her favorite place for a casado—a typical Costa Rican dish, usually made with your choice of meat, salad, plantains, rice and beans—is Wild Panda. “It’s almost always the same woman cooking, and it’s an amazing, clean, home-cooked meal for $5.50,” says Sarah. “During off time, I also love their two-for-one sandia (watermelon) & vodkas. It tastes like a smoothie, but, more fun.
“Everything just tastes different here—the produce is fresh and full of flavor. In addition to the weekly feria (market), I love to visit the guy who sets up his flatbed truck full of produce on Thursdays. I usually buy 12 or so pieces of produce from him—the watermelon, pineapple, avocados, and mangos are my staples—and it only costs about $10.”
For sunset, known as the social hour for those who live in Tamarindo, Sarah says her favorite spot is the El Be! beach club. “It’s a perfect place to sit amongst the palms with your toes in the sand—not to mention the spectacular sunset. I love listening to the saxophone player who is there pretty much every night except Sunday.”
Sarah loves that she has more freedom with her schedule and the opportunity to surf every day, but she says the time zone and ease of travel back to the U.S. have been vital to running her business. “With daily flights between Liberia and Houston it makes it really easy for me to get back quickly if I need to be with my staff, vendors, or clients. Nowadays I’m usually able to find that roundtrip flight for about $300.”
A lifestyle with more schedule control is one Sarah says she’s dreamed of for quite some time. “I’ve also carved out some time for weekly Spanish lessons with an awesome teacher named Sylvia—she gives lessons on Fridays at Cabana Blanca just beside the feria—she has really helped me get over the fear of making mistakes, and I’m really looking forward to being able to communicate better over the next year or so.”
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