Why I Keep a Surfboard in My Office

“We could be at the office,” my friend shouts from across the water. It’s 8.30 a.m. on a Tuesday and here we are out surfing on a glorious Costa Rican morning. The sun is shining and the turquoise blue water sparkles as it catches the rays of the morning sun. This is my paradise and also my home. In fact, I only have a 220-yard walk back to the house after my morning session.

A little over six years ago, I walked out of my old office feeling truly free for the first time in my life. I had quit the rat race and the only thing that pushed me through the fear and into action was knowing that if others could do it, I could too.

Now here I am in Costa Rica, with my own travel consulting business. I finally have the freedom and flexibility in my schedule to live life to the fullest.

Sure, I work…but now I have the work-life balance that I’ve always dreamed of.

I can get up early in the morning to surf. I enjoy the walk to the waves along the coastal dirt road to the roar of howler monkeys up in the trees. I’ll surf for a couple of hours, then come home and get online and work on the travel itinerary of a client of mine for a few hours.

Having worked in the hospitality industry in the U.S. I thought, why not open up my own business?

I set up custom itineraries so all my clients have to do is arrive at the airport; I’ll take care of the rest.

It’s a win-win for everyone. I get to live in this beautiful country, using the internet to keep in contact with my clients and arrange their reservations. They come down on vacation, trusting they are in good hands with a local expert.

So, when it’s close to 5 p.m. and my phone rings, I don’t have to worry that it’s my boss asking me to stay late.

Instead, I’m delighted to hear from a friend, also an expat, who teaches at the local international school, to see if I want to head down to the beach for sunset.

Of course! Since I’m the boss, and with nothing left pending for the day, I take off flying on my beach cruiser.

I feel just like a kid again, winding my way down the jungle path, scent of ylang-ylang in the air as I head off to meet my friend for a classic Costa Rican sunset and perhaps a Pilsen or two.


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