Before you move to Costa Rica, you must search within yourself to gain insight as to your motivations. If you move for the right reasons, your chances of successful cultural integration will increase. Below are 4 good reasons to move to Costa Rica.
Enrich Your Life
Moving to enrich your life and that of your family is one of the best motivations to move to Costa Rica to transform your life into a more positive experience. You will be able to learn Spanish, a language so relevant in both hemispheres. You will experience a beautiful new culture. Going through the process of moving abroad will give you the opportunity to foster a better understanding of yourself and what you are capable of doing. You will satisfy your wanderlust. You will meet new people, both locals and expats, who will contribute to enriching your life.
Simplify Your Life
Many of my expat friends have expressed that one of the reasons they left their developed passport country (usually the USA and Canada), was to escape the rampant consumerism that plagued their lives. Before moving, working took center stage over family. They had so much stuff that their house was busting at the seams. Their children were becoming entitled and ungrateful as their pile of toys and gadgets increased. Sadly, I would love to say that this was not the case with us, but that would be a lie. There were times I would buy stuff only to realize later that I already had three of whatever it is that I had bought. Moving to Costa Rica is a wonderful way to simplify your life because you will not have as much opportunity to shop for useless stuff; your house will be much smaller so you cannot store as much stuff; and you will not likely have as much money if you are living on your savings or other fixed income sources. You will also find that purging and decluttering is a necessary part of the process of moving abroad, which in the end will help you realize that you did not need a lot of your stuff to begin with. Furthermore, the culture of consumerism is not prevalent here, mostly because most people don’t have the money to indulge in it. So you will feel pretty awkward buying a bunch of toys for your kids if no one else in your community is doing it.
Enrich the Life of Others
If you have a skill set that you would like to share with the developing world, Costa Rica is a great place to be charitable. Perhaps you want to teach, provide medical care, or promote awareness on child trafficking. While there are many countries out there that are needier than Costa Rica, they may not be as safe, beautiful, or accessible. This was not the driving force for my move, but I have been so fortunate to meet other expats who came here specifically to serve, and their lives are full of joy and happiness. For example, Canadian expat Bryna, who owns the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, is starting a science tools library project in order to promote science education in Costa Rica. Sometimes, you will figure out how you can use your skills to meet a certain need in the community after you move. I am currently looking into obtaining a medical license in Costa Rica so I can provide pediatric care in Monteverde, as the community needs a pediatrician and has never had one.
Align With Tico Values
In the early 1950’s, a group of American Quakers trekked from Alabama to Monteverde as conscientious objectors against the draft. One of them, Wolf Guindon, has been immortalized in the book “Walking with Wolf” by Kay Chornook. The Quakers came to Costa Rica because this country does not have a military, as it was disbanded many years earlier in order to use the money on health care, education, and conservation. If you would like to live in a country where public education and socialized health care is available to its citizens Costa Rica is right for you. If you are interested in living in a peaceful country with an anti-war culture, this is the place. Costa Rica also places great value in conservation, making it a haven for tree-huggers, biologists, and other “green” types. The Quakers from Alabama and their families are still here because their value system was well aligned with Tico culture.
While these are not the only reasons to move abroad, as a general rule, you will have better success if your motivations to moved are aligned with these values. You must also seriously consider whether or not you want to move to Costa Rica for all the wrong reasons, which I will blog about on my next post.
What are some other good reasons to move to Costa Rica? Let me know in the comments below.
- Costa Rica celebrates 65th year without a military (insidecostarica.com)
- Costa Rica – The Haven For Tourists[Infographic] (business2community.com)