When I moved from the U.S. to Costa Rica in 2013, it was easy to walk away from my stressful corporate sales job. To fund my new life, I turned my focus instead to my writing career.
I love having the type of job I can do at any age, from anywhere in the world. However, there are elements of office life that I miss. For instance, there is no proverbial water cooler to interact with co-workers, no manager down the hall to bounce ideas off, and no work-related social events.
Therefore, as a 2019 goal, to make up for the social deficit of working for myself, I decided to form a writers’ group. Writers often need to brainstorm, share a little support, and have a second set of eyes to help with edits. Fortunately, there are several writers in the expat community on the Gold Coast of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. And, once I’d gathered them together, what I discovered was a group of incredibly talented women from different backgrounds who have found a way to earn money in a foreign country by using their writing talents.
For example, Nicole Rangel, now 43, moved to Costa Rica in September 2017 from Dallas, Texas along with her husband and their two young children. “It was important to find a country that was safe for our family, had quality drinking water, and bilingual education that was close to our home country’s education system,” says Nicole.
“When we moved to Costa Rica, I was a freelance writer, editor, and PR consultant. Mostly ghostwriting for bloggers and delivering business-to-consumer messaging. Once here, I was able to secure a position at a Costa Rican travel and lifestyle magazine, The Howler, as managing editor. I literally found my dream job.”
“I also discovered that living and working on my own time allows me to be the mom I want to be, focus on my wellness and connection to nature, as well as share the experiences with others in my writing and magazine work.”
CC Sullivan is a 55-year-old graphic artist and indie author from Toronto, Canada. Six years ago, she and her husband, Michael, came to Tamarindo for a vacation and bought a townhome. “Michael’s dream was to eventually move to a warm climate. He’d been here before and loved it. We rented our townhouse to visitors during high season and came often.” A year ago, they moved full-time, but still travel to Canada to see their children and grandchildren.
CC writes in the young adult, paranormal/urban fantasy, and romance genres. “During my first year here, I designed and published the first book of a series and a personal tarot card journal.” She is currently writing her second book. Her first two published books are available on Amazon and she is working with a partner, marketing other Amazon projects. “I am now focusing on a passion. Anything is possible with the internet.”
Rachel White is a 43-year-old mother of four, who for the last 10 years was a stay-at-home-mom and a part-time freelance writer. “We took a vacation to Costa Rica six years ago, and it was love at first sight. We spent the next four years figuring out how to make the move from Michigan and transitioning my husband’s business to a self-sustaining model, so he could work remotely,” she says.
“We chose Tamarindo because it’s on the ocean—my husband loves to surf and I love the water—and has a huge variety of nearby schools.
“When we moved, it was the first time all my kids were in school, so I began to look for more writing work and started a blog about my adventures. I love writing because I can do it on my schedule and wherever I am.” Rachel is currently writing for print magazines in both Michigan and Costa Rica, as well as a number of websites. “It’s definitely a hustle to try to make money as a writer,” she admits, “but it is worth it when I look at my life: living on the beach, traveling, and doing something I’m proud of and that I love.”
CC sums it up: “It’s a different life down in Costa Rica. It’s so much fun meeting people from all walks of life and building upon these experiences to create a new path. The expat community and this writing group are extremely supportive.”