Returning to Old American Values in Costa Rica

Having lived in Costa Rica’s Orosi Valley for a year now, leaving our lives behind in Dallas was the best thing my partner and I could have done.

I knew it would be years before I could afford to retire in the States but I was ready for an adventure. I didn’t want to wait. So I started searching…

We visited Costa Rica numerous times in the three years before we moved here to find what we called our “Goldilocks Place.”

The beaches were gorgeous, but too warm for our taste. The jungles were amazing, but too humid for us. The Central Valley was cooler and popular with expats, but just not quite what we were looking for. Then we found our place in the mountains of the Orosi Valley, about 20 miles south of the capital San Jose. It was “just right.”

Living here feels very much like a return to the lifestyle and values of the America of my childhood. We bought a three-acre farm in the mountains with a river running through the middle. We have land to spread out on and are able to garden and raise animals and be surrounded by wildlife…those were the things I grew up doing.

When I was a kid, the milkman came to my house twice weekly and brought us glass jugs of cold, creamy goodness. Every Monday and Thursday here in the Orosi Valley, the milkman honks at our gate with the milk that goes into steaming cups of shade-grown, organic, Costa Rican coffee.

It’s not just the sense of nostalgia that we love about Costa Rica though…it’s also the values. If I’m busy planting new fruit trees in the orchard and my hands are dirty, the milkman just says, “Pay me next time.”

And our tico (native Costa Rican) friends have helped us tremendously in getting settled. There’s a real sense of family here, where everyone looks out for everyone else.

We live extremely well, for between $1,600 and $2,000 a month. That includes our full-time gardener who keeps our grounds in botanic splendor.

Our days are filled with keeping busy on the farm. We’ve built a goat barn and have two of the sweetest dairy goats you’ll ever meet, Sofia and Rosita. Chicks, ducklings, and goslings are also part of our animal family. The plans for remodeling the house to our specific tastes are coming along nicely and we’ve built a wood-fired oven for outdoor pizza parties and homemade breads.

We love it here in Costa Rica. We have time to actually enjoy life. We travel…relax over morning coffee…cook with friends and I love to make gourmet ice creams (today’s flavor was pineapple habanero with macadamia nut brittle). These are all things we never had time to do when we lived at a more hectic pace in the States.

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