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Living in Costa Rica
Silence…the morning air is fresh and pure. Sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, doing some morning reading, I hear a rustling in the mango trees nearby.
Then there’s a thud, a mango hitting the ground. But it didn’t fall coincidentally. It was intentionally dropped. Suddenly the silence is broken by the culprit—the deep bellow of a howler monkey.
It is mango season in Costa Rica, and the capuchins and howlers have set up camp in the mango grove on the property where we’re currently living on the Nicoya Peninsula.
The capuchins are curious and playful little creatures. They climb down to take a closer look at me, their adorable little faces wide-eyed and staring, full of wonder. They then take bites of mangoes before throwing them to the ground.
The howlers are more formidable, though just as interesting. They aren’t nearly as welcoming to our curious approach.
Later, I hear their cries while doing yoga with my mother and sister. In between the yelps it’s silent, except for the occasional call of a bird. Butterflies flutter by, and a giant ceiba tree towers above, its majestic branches illuminated by the morning sun.
After yoga I eat a breakfast of homemade granola with a mango, papaya, and pineapple fruit salad. Then it’s time for studies with the kids before heading to work.
The commute is short, along a path lined with bird-of-paradise flowers, past the swimming pool, to the house where my mother and sister are living. We’re all staying at a resort property where my mother and her husband are house-sitting. The owners have taken their yearly three-month trip back to their second home in New York. This property is one of their income sources in Costa Rica…a natural retreat and yoga center.
My mother and her husband are recently retired, having sold their tanning salon business in Alaska. They’ve flown south to warmer weather, and save on monthly expenses by housesitting. Their next assignment will be caring for a house on an organic coffee farm—also here in Costa Rica.
At the “office”, I sit next to my sister, recently arrived from Thailand. Like me, she works online. Web design and freelance writing are my main sources of income; hers are social media marketing and graphic design.
But you don’t have to be a “tech geek” to make a living online nowadays. My husband is a teacher, and instructs two to four classes a semester, with 30 students in each, at an online academy for middle and high school.
Some may think it would be difficult to focus on our work while living in paradise, but for me, the gratitude I feel for the privilege to live abroad, which my work provides, makes it easy to stay dedicated.
Of course, we take regular breaks to dip in the pool and work on our suntans. And our Monday mornings are often spent taking surfing lessons, picnics to explore hidden beaches, snorkeling at white-sandy islands, or just living the pura vida.
This definitely is the “pure life!”