Welcome to Pura Vida!
Hi, I’m Noemi Gamel. I’m a wife and mother of two children, currently living in beautiful Monteverde, Costa Rica! I love to write and share moments in my family’s life and my journey as a physician-workaholic-turned-expat-SAHM/writer.
I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley in south TX, one of the poorest areas in the country, as the first-born daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. I have 3 feisty sisters, which explains why I talk fast and loud and tend to have strong opinions. Though my childhood was far from privileged, I managed to go to medical school and receive my M.D. from University of Texas Medical Branch. After completing my residency in Pediatrics, I moved to San Antonio, TX in 2005 to be closer to my extended family.
While practicing as a pediatric hospitalist in San Antonio, I came to a series of personal and professional epiphanies that led me to quit my job, sell my house and most of my possessions, and move to Costa Rica during the summer of 2013. I made this drastic transformation in order to reconnect with my children who were slipping away from me as I pursued a high-powered career; to simplify my life that had become plagued by consumerism; and to satisfy my family’s wanderlust and desire to learn Spanish and immerse into a new culture. Since moving to Costa Rica, I became enamored with the Tico phrase, “Pura Vida”, which embodies the laid-back spirit of happiness, positivity, and simplicity that characterizes Tico culture. I’m hoping that by sharing my thoughts, experiences, knowledge, and skills on this website, I will have an opportunity to inspire families to live by the “Pura Vida” principles that I have adopted while living in Costa Rica.
Since you found my blog, you likely fit into one of the following 5 categories:
1. You are one of my family/friends and you thought it would be nice to stop by and support my new venture. Or maybe a friend of yours sent you a link to my blog or website. Grab a cup of coffee, read through my posts, relax and join the conversation! If you’re already following me on Twitter or Google Plus you know that I love sparking conversation on a variety of topics related to living the “Pure Life” and that I welcome comments.
2. You are a considering moving to Costa Rica and have a lot of questions. You are looking for a reliable and interactive community online where you can find both inspiration and practical information on moving abroad, easing the cultural adjustment transition, and maintaining your sanity during this overwhelming process.
3. You are a Costa Rica expat and are looking for encouragement, positivity and inspiration in your life! You know how to navigate day-to-day life in Costa Rica, but now you are focused on your higher-order needs such as how to maintain physical, emotional, and intellectual health while living abroad. Perhaps you want tips on parenting third culture children. Expat life can be difficult, and you want to project it into a positive experience.
4. You are a seasoned expat who is living “Pura Vida”! You are an expert on moving abroad, healthy living, simplifying, and managing cultural adjustment in Costa Rica. You are eager to share what’s worked in YOUR life and are looking for a platform to share your own tips and advice! Sharing is encouraged! I do not propose to have all the answers. I would love to hear how other expats living in Costa Rica have transformed their lives by adopting the “Pura Vida” healthy lifestyle.
5. You are not a an expat living in Costa Rica (and you may not want to ever move here) but you have been following me on Twitter or Google Plus and you’ve enjoyed reading my posts on moving to Costa Rica, simplifying, transforming your life, weight-loss, living healthy, gratitude, career/life balance, parenting, living an authentic and empowered life, and embracing the “Pura Vida” culture. You would like to learn more about applying the Pura Vida lifestyle in your own home, no matter where in the world it may be.
No matter what brought you to my website, Welcome and Enjoy!