On our last night in Buffalo I found myself at 2am still packing suitcases, the sale of our house not closed yet, and nowhere to sit because all our furniture was in storage or had been sold. I was THRILLED. You know the old saying, “you can’t see the label of the jar you’re in,” right? Well we had busted open the jar and in 3 short hours we (me, my husband, and our kids aged 8 and 7) were getting on a flight to Costa Rica to live there.
People would say to us when they found out we were moving to Costa Rica, “wow, you must really like it there if you’re going to move there!” The truth? We had never been to Costa Rica. I had met Michael Simons from Tres Amigos REMAX and some other Costa Rica folks via email years before through mutual colleagues in my work coaching business owners internationally, and my father had been to Costa Rica many times, but us? Nope. We were fulfilling a 5 year plan that had suddenly become a 3 year plan just a few short months earlier.
We had owned our home in Buffalo-a good house in a great neighborhood-for 11 years when we decided it was time to sell. The market was decent, and we were tired of the upkeep and expense. Moving to Costa Rica had been a long term goal of ours, but we didn’t think that’s where we were going to move when we put our house on the market-we just thought we were moving to a different suburb that was closer to farmland! But just a few short weeks into getting the house ready for listing the last puzzle piece fell into place. My husband’s company changed a policy that allowed him to go from working at home to working anywhere in the world. Our reaction was instant. We were going to Costa Rica!
We wanted a lifestyle that would allow us to spend more time as a family, be closer to nature, and give our kids the opportunity to experience different cultures while they were still young. The way the world is changing, by the time our kids become adults it’s going to be essential to be able to work with people globally. I made one call to Michael, and within 20 minutes I was connected with amazing people to help me with everything from schools for the kids, to housing, to renting a car, to totally handling the legal process for applying to be residents. It was easier to set up our new life in Costa Rica than it was to get things handled in Buffalo!
Costa Rica has been the only place I’ve ever been where the reality has been as good as the fantasy. We have become closer as a family, and my husband and I have become closer as a couple too. After 15 years of marriage, I had no idea that was even possible! Our kids come home from the international school they’re attending, which we love, and jump into the pool outside our door. We get to eat fresh food all the time that isn’t overprocessed. Our health care is handled without crushing our budget. Best of all? My kids get to see and experience parts of the world that before they had only read about in books. Rain forests. Volcanoes. Coral reefs. Hot springs. My husband and I often take long lunches walking on the beach, or work at a beach café or by the pool. We’re not retired, we’re not millionaires, but our lifestyle is richer now than it’s ever been, and our cost of living is less.
In my speaking and coaching practice, professionals and entrepreneurs alike come to me initially feeling stuck, stressed, and maxed out. They have this belief that you have to make tons of money and work 60 hour workweeks to get to the point eventually where you can have a lifestyle that feels like your perfect day. We’re living proof that this isn’t the case at all. We live in a time of unlimited resources and unprecedented opportunity. You can find anything you want or need, anywhere in the world. Living our dream didn’t happen overnight for us, but we had a plan so we were ready when the opportunity came. I think life’s too short to spend it on anything less than the creating a life you love, don’t you? Moving to Costa Rica has been the best decision we’ve ever made for our family.