When Meghan and Brett Chistopher had their first child, they quickly realized that life as they knew it was over.
Brett’s demanding job as a hospitality manager in the hotel business and Meghan’s role as a social media manager left little time for watching their son Jack grow up. The couple had always enjoyed traveling and decided to try something different.
That something different turned out to be starting a travel blog and moving to Costa Rica.
As Brett says, “It’s a little scary selling all your stuff.” But they packed up two backpacks and one suitcase and headed to Costa Rica last winter.
“It’s a refreshing change to be able to dictate your day. Before, my days were very reactive. Now we wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the beach. In the afternoon, we work on our blog.”
They don’t miss the cold, dark winters of Edmonton, Canada nor do they miss the long hours and the 45-minute commutes to work. “It’s nice to know there’s a different way of living,” says Brett. “Something exists outside of getting up on Monday morning and feeling stressed.”
Now, instead of a long commute on winter mornings, it’s not unusual to find Brett catching a wave off Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. The couple chose Tamarindo, a town of about 10,000 people on the Nicoya Peninsula, through online research. They felt comfortable that it had adequate medical facilities for their new baby and decent internet that would allow them to devote time to their growing travel blog.
The family rents a one-bedroom, one-bathroom villa with a large patio, spacious kitchen, and swimming pool. It’s in a gated complex down a gravel road with jungle on three sides and it’s not unusual for them to see monkeys swing through the palm trees.
They don’t have a car but get along just fine. “There’s a little restaurant nearby and a small supermarket. About once a week we go to the bigger supermarket about 15 minutes away. We walk down to the bar and ask the bartender to call a relative who acts as a taxi driver for us.” When they want to go further afield, they rent a car.
As a means of supporting themselves, the Christophers have launched a travel blog called the Thechristophercollective.com in which they document their adventures, such as driving from the Pacific Coast to the Caribbean Coast in the same day.
Currently, they’re enjoying their flexibility and taking life one day at a time. Their current budget is approximately $2,500 per month, including rent, food, internet, and excursions. They’ve found it easy to meet other expats, both in their community and at weekly brunches at a nearby restaurant.
When asked if he has any advice for those considering such a move, Brett says, “I’m a meticulous, organized person and we’ve traveled a fair amount, but it’s different when you’re living in a destination full-time. You need to take life as it comes and always have a backup plan. Have patience.”
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