Sometimes there’s a calling you just can’t ignore. The type of deep-down calling that keeps you restless until you fulfill it.
It’s the kind of thing that keeps nagging at you day in and day out and doesn’t allow you to give up.
If you’ve had this type of
nagging calling, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And you’ll understand exactly why our little family gave everything up to move to this crazy little place called Costa Rica.
I know I haven’t shared much of my personal life with you here on the blog and I guess that’s because I wasn’t really sure how to relate my life to blog design tutorials. But what happened for us this summer is a result of all the time and dedication I’ve put towards DYOB.
I FINALLY QUIT MY JOB!!!!
Wow, you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to say that. Years. I mean years!
Now that the move is done and we’ve been here three weeks already, I’m finally ready to share the story! Let’s start at the beginning…
Note: this post contains affiliate links which means that at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission should you purchase after clicking a link. These links are denoted by a *. Read my full disclosure here.
That Dang Book, The 4-Hour Workweek!
Have you read this book yet, The 4-Hour Workweek*? This book changed my life. Sometimes I wanted to kiss it and other times to curse it. Why?
Because it’s what started this whole restlessness, this whole calling for a life that could be…. different.
Sometimes it’s a blessing to be ignorant to the way things could be. You don’t know how many times I wished I had just never opened this book. Because if I hadn’t, I would have just been “content” with the hum-drum of my well-paying job in our fun and funky city of Denver.
Unfortunately I had already bitten into the proverbial apple. I had read the dang book and I knew what was possible. And I couldn’t let it rest.
Then I Became a Mother
About two years after I read the book, I became a mother. I suddenly felt desperate to get out!
Going back to work full time when my son was barely two months old killed me. Not only did I hate being away from him and pumping at work three times a day, he wasn’t a good sleeper at first. I was waking up four times a night to feed him until he was almost seven months old.
The lack of sleep is no joke! My brain shut down and I almost lost my job (though in hindsight it might have been a blessing) 😉
After we finally got him to sleep through the night (hire a sleep consultant if you’re desperate like I was, they really work!!), I was able to start thinking again about alternatives to working out of the home full time.
I knew that there was more to life than slowly dying in a job that really didn’t do that much for me and took me away from my baby. I knew there was more.
DYOB Becomes a Thing
It took a while to come up with the idea for my exit strategy. I had so many ideas (nursery design blogs anyone?) but none that really struck a chord. All this research though made me realize just how much opportunity the blogging world had for women.
Women were starting blogs in droves and many of them were just not very pretty. I knew I could help them, having designed websites myself professionally for over 12 years. And that’s how DYOB came to be.
I finally launched it when my son was a year and a half old. It felt far too late in my opinion, but then again it’s never really too late is it? (By the way, if you’re in the same boat and haven’t yet started a blog, what are you waiting for? I can help you start a blog today) with this free guide.
Blogging and Working Full Time
It ain’t easy. Every weekday for four years, I got up at 5:30 to work a full day, fight traffic on the way home, spend a little time with my family when I got there, eat dinner, put my son to bed, work on the blog for a few hours, put myself to bed around midnight and start over again the next day.
It. Was. Utterly. Exhausting.
I hated every minute of it. I began to resent my job so much, but I was also trapped. My husband Eric was working, but his job didn’t pay as well as mine did and didn’t offer benefits. There was no way I could quit and continue to afford to live in our city and have health insurance coverage for our family.
So we made a plan to get out of the rat race.
In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris talks about something called Geoarbitrage. It’s basically when you earn income in a location with higher pay but live in a location with a lower cost of living. This increases your spending power and you can either live richer or live on less and thus work less. The key to geoarbitrage is working remotely.
When my husband and I got married in Costa Rica in 2011, we knew we would live there someday. Using geoarbitrage, we knew we could lower our cost of living (and save more money) if I could continue to earn the same salary from my job.
The problem was, I really didn’t want to keep working at my job.
But I knew that if I could grow DYOB big enough by the time we were ready to leave (my step-son was graduating high school in 2016 which is why we chose this date), we could live off the earnings of the blog.
Fast Forward to 2016
Unfortunately, as I said earlier, it’s a lot of work managing a full time job, a family, and a business. I know some people can do it, but to kill myself to get DYOB fully-functioning during this time was just not feasible for me. Working late into almost every night nearly killed my marriage, so I had to scale back… and keep my job.
In early 2016 I had been at my job for 7 and a half years. During that time, I saw several people move away from the Denver area for some reason or other and still keep their jobs remotely. I had worked as the sole designer most of my tenure there. I had no backup, so I felt pretty sure they would allow me to work from Costa Rica. We were pretty much banking on this.
In January, once we learned of my step-son’s graduation date in late May, we concluded that we would leave soon after. We decided that giving my job plenty of notice (to plan) was the best option, so in February I let them know that we’d be moving and I requested to work remotely.
Not As Planned
I was told they’d have to think about it and a week later was told that they wouldn’t be supporting my role remotely because they felt that my position was too collaborative. Honestly I am not sure how my role is any more collaborative than any other, but ok.
I told my husband and we were devastated. I always thought in the back of my mind that there was a small possibility they would say no, but honestly? We weren’t prepared for that answer.
So, we did what we thought was our only option: we canceled our dreams. I mean, sure I had DYOB which was making a little bit of money, but with a small child, we just couldn’t take the risk of not having the steady income.
I went back to work the next day and informed them that I would be staying put indefinitely. Eric and I were both very angry and depressed. For several weeks we moped about and fought with each other a lot. We were sure this was the end of our dreams. It was a really dark time for us.
A Glimmer of Hope
About three or four weeks later something changed. I told Eric that I still really wanted to make this happen and that I was sure we could make it work. I think that my glimmer of hope sparked a glimmer in himself.
Next thing I knew, we were throwing out all sorts of ideas on how we could make it work. We started getting excited again and I just knew we would make it happen!
I should note here that at this point, I no longer hated my job. During my almost 8 year tenure, a lot of things changed and when I left, it was at a high point in my job. I loved my team and I loved my bosses, heck I still do! I had a lot of autonomy in my job and schedule as well.
Given these circumstances, some people would probably think I was crazy to leave such a great job. Unfortunately, when you have that calling inside of you to live a different life, it’s not that easy to let that dream go. I’d done my time there and it was time for another adventure. Life is too short to stay comfortable.
The Plan Comes Together
Here’s how we are making it work:
I gave my job less notice this time (three weeks instead of three months), which kind of forced them to contract me out until they find my replacement. I got a three month contract with the option to extend if necessary. This will buy us a few months to get settled before worrying about replacing that income.
Without the commute and traffic every day and less to do, I will have more time to focus on DYOB and finally grow it to another level.
Now that we’re finally here, my husband can focus on building up his own business.
Also, all of a sudden, all sorts of remote and part time job opportunities have been offered to us! It’s funny when you finally start to set plans in motion how opportunities just seem to present themselves.
Now some of you are probably wondering… Why Costa Rica? Well let me tell you.
First of all, where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a friendly, beautiful, biologically diverse country in Central America nestled between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. It has 2 coasts: The Pacific and the Caribbean. Contrary to what many believe, it is not an island.
Ok so why Costa Rica?
Soooo sooo many reasons, the first being: THE BEACH! As you may know by now the beach is my happy place and as much as I loved Colorado, the lack of water was a huge void for me.
The next biggest reason: Quality of life. We were tired of the rat race, TRAFFIC, never having enough, having too much, running around, barely having time to enjoy life!
Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world. Though it’s in Central America, it is quite safe. The economy and government is stable and it takes care of their people. They have not had a military since the 1940’s and have no conflict with other countries.
What Costa Rica does not have:
- The majority of crime is theft, not violent crime.
- No school shootings.
- No gang or drug wars (outside of the capital city, San Jose).
- No terrorists.
- No political ads!
- No weird diseases other than Dengue fever or Zika, both of which you get from mosquitos. You don’t need special vaccinations to go to CR.
What Costa Rica does have:
Sloths, toucans and scarlet macaws! Monkeys, whales and sea turtles! And so many more amazing animals and wildlife.
Waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches, mountains, rain forests!
A few more reasons:
- It is fairly quick and inexpensive to travel back and forth from the US.
- Life is slower and simpler.
- Surf- and paddle- boarding YEAR ROUND!
- Healthier and more active lifestyle.
- Cost of living is less for the most part. For example:
- Our Costa Rican rental home is newer than our rental home in Denver was. It has one additional bathroom (hooray) and we are less than a mile from the beach. Although our rent was well under market in Denver, our rent here is still $400 less per month.
- Our son is going 5 full days per week to a private bi-lingual international school that costs $400 less per month than his 4 full days in Denver.
- Fruits and vegetables are ridiculously cheap here and promote a healthier diet! A kilo of Roma tomatoes for less than $1? How about 3 pineapples for $2?
- Our cell phone bill for two phones went from $175 per month to about $12. That’s not a typo. We’re on prepaid here but so far I’ve barely used any of my minutes or data and I’ve had no issues with connectivity.
- There are other ways we’ll be saving money as well: we’re driving less (no commute!!) and buying less all around. Life is just simpler here.
Follow me on Instagram to see more of our life in Costa Rica.
What About Healthcare?
Healthcare is AFFORDABLE here, as it should be. CR has high quality care available in world-class hospitals with many American and American-trained doctors. In fact, CR is a medical-tourism destination for Americans. Many American retirees even move to Costa Rica for it’s access to quality and affordable healthcare.
I couldn’t possibly have quit my job and stayed in the US simply because of healthcare and insurance costs. How sad is that?
Where in Costa Rica?
We’re living in the southern Pacific zone not far from the Osa Peninsula, named by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth.”
The southern zone is known for it’s beautiful, quiet beaches, whale migration, and extensive mountainous rain forests. It’s not uncommon to have beaches all to yourselves here. Seriously, not a single soul, it’s magical.
How Long Will We Be Here and Will We Return to Colorado?
We have rented our home for one year. After that, who knows?! We want to make sure we love it here before we apply for residency. This means that we will be living on 90 day tourist visas that require us to border hop in order to renew our passport stamps.
As for returning to Colorado, we’re not sure. Currently, we’re thinking “no” mainly because we’re tired of winter, the increasing population, traffic, and cost of living.
But we left a lot of wonderful friends and family behind and we may tire of the slow Pura Vida lifestyle. Who knows? Our future is open-ended. Scary but exciting!
What Did We Do with All Our Stuff?
We sold or gave away almost everything we had in Denver. The rest we brought down with us in eight boxes and suitcases and three carry-ons.
We have a lot less here and I won’t lie, I miss some of the stuff I gave away, but I do feel lighter having less. Less to worry about, less to clean, less to clutter.
So What Does this All Mean for DYOB?
It means that after more than a month hiatus, I am ready to put more into it! You’ve all been so patient with me during this time! I’ve continued to gain followers and subscribers and you’ve all been so supportive so thank you so much!
DYOB isn’t paying all my bills yet and I’ve still got this three month contract to fulfill. But I’ve figured out that if I can continue to work part time, I can pay our bills and that will give me way more time for DYOB!
Remember the CSS course I had hoped to launch last spring? That’s still coming! My goal is to get it out to you guys as soon as possible. Again, thanks for your undeniable patience with me during this time!
Is there anything else you’d like to see from me in the near future? What am I missing here on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!
Oh yeah and don’t forget to check out the bundle* too as it expires TONIGHT!
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This. Sounds. Amazing.
Good for you Marianne! What an exciting adventure 🙂
Thanks so much Mel, I appreciate you reading my story! Hope to see you down here someday 😉
Wow thank you so much for sharing this story! It’s very inspiring and I feel like you understand a lot of my vision! I share this article ? keep it up
I’m so glad you found it helpful Stephanie! I hope it helps you to fulfill your own dreams <3
This was soooo inspiring. I am in the same predicament with despising my job. I’ve taken 1 full month off to try and jumpstart my exit. But I was surely disappointed. I realized 1 month wasn’t long enoug. Plus, after a few weeks I put myself in a bad mental space because all I thought about was the dread of returning to work. I’ve been considering taking a sabiticle to Costa Rica the last few years mainly to immerse myself in the culture and learn the language. But until this year I had never been out of the country and was afraid. I don’t think my husband would want to make the move, but we only have 2 children left at home who will be transitioning to college life in the next 2/3yrs. I am stuck in a spot right now with the question do I wait for them to move on or do I do it now. Maybe I’ll read the 4hr work week. Anyway, thank you for your story.
It’s difficult to get the whole family on board with an international move but you know, we had a 5 year plan and it was way before that that I started planting the seed to my husband about moving near a beach. Before that, he was convinced he’d stay where he could snowboard for the rest of his life!
Definitely read the book, it’s a great read about what’s possible and best of luck! But don’t rush it. It will happen soon enough. 🙂
CONGRATS, Marianne! Thank you for sharing your story + all of its honesty. I’m so glad this finally came true for you, your family, and your business 🙂
Thank you Sara! That means a lot from you.
What an honest and insightful post Marianne! I feel like I took the journey with you when reading this.
Whatever has happened and whatever will happen, one things for sure: it’ll be an eventful 12 months 🙂
Aww thanks Raz! I’m so happy it made you feel that way. And you are definitely right about that: this will be an eventful 12 months for sure! Can’t wait til you embark on your own!
Way to go girl. Having the courage to follow your heart and intuition will pay off. I hear it’s a delight there, indeed. You’re an inspiration and a go-to website for me. All the best, and keep us up on CR!
Thank you so much Marylou, I am so happy to hear those words from you! I’ll try my best to update everyone. IG is the best for that at the moment. 🙂
Congratulations, Marianne! Your story is inspiring, mostly because it’s so REAL! I hope to get to a place where my blog can give me the courage to get out of the rat race, and I really appreciate you sharing your inspiring journey. Best of luck to you and your family, and I can’t wait to read more! 🙂
Wow Heather, I love this comment, thank you so much for saying so. I am happy to be your inspiration on a similar journey and feel free to hit me up with questions at any time.
I’m SO happy for you, and I SO want to join you. I really mean it. Not just a “wish I were there,” but I’m actively working to get to somewhere – Costa Rica? maybe, love that place, though I’ve only been once. My heart longs for palm trees, white sand, blue oceans and sunshine!
Oh Jessica, that would be so awesome!! At least come down and visit me won’t you?
Marianne – best wishes on growing your business your way. In your case, trauma (unhappiness) led to new treasures. Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s bound to inspire others to live more for today rather than continually putting off. Moving out-of-country obviously isn’t necessary to make small changes which grow into bigger ones (although your descriptions are certainly tempting). Have fun !
Thank you Virginia and you’re right, it’s not necessary for everyone to move out of the country to make small changes in their lives. Everyone has their own path and dreams and even if I can inspire ONE person to make a positive change towards their own personal freedom, I can die happy 🙂
I absolutely loved reading this post! We too live in Denver and the cost of living is almost enough to drive us out, but we do have a lot of family and friends here as well as my daughter’s dad’s career. I love the mountains (I am from East Texas), but do miss the water so badly. We just vacationed to Hawaii and the island of Kaua’i was a nice change. Everyone lived on “Island Time?” and it was pretty magical at times. Anyway, I love your blog, your advice, and now love watching for updates on your move. Sounds exhilarating! (Btw even though this was a long post, I loved how it was separated into paragraphs that made sense and you kept it so interesting with the wording!)
Hey Candace! I’m sorry we never got to meet while I was still in Denver. Perhaps on a visit. Did you see the monthly meetups Kristie Keever and I were hosting? She’s still carrying them on and I will try to pop in in Oct. PM me on FB if you want more info.
Yes Island Time… sounds the same as Tico Time here… much slower. Frustrating at times, but I hope to eventually slow my own clock/pace here 🙂
Glad you liked the separation and wording, I know I’m not a great writer so that makes me happy to hear.
How exciting for you and your family!! Good luck to you as you continue to grow your business…I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things coming your way!
Thank you so much Daphne. Means a lot to read your message.
Marianne, how exciting! You’ve sold me on Costa Rica! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you with this adventure 🙂
Yes! That means you must come down and at least visit Allyssa!
First of all HIGH FIVE for chasing your dreams. These large leaps of faith can be very scary but also very rewarding. We went into business for ourselves a couple years ago and even though I lost a lot of sleep in the beginning I am now so thankfully that we took the leap! I’m hoping my blog will eventually give us the freedom to travel more with our three kids.
I actually visited the Osa Peninsula this past January. I had the most amazing time, I know exactly why you moved near there. The quiet and peaceful environment is such a refreshing change from what we know here in the States. I loved Corcovado National Park. I can’t wait to follow your new adventure in Costa Rica!
You know exactly what I am feeling right now. Definitely feeling stressed about what happens in 3 months but also just so so happy that my days of trudging into the office are over. It’s just such a lighter feeling.
Funny, we are going to the Osa this weekend to finally check it out ourselves. I hear it’s the most amazing place.
This makes my heart sing! I am so happy for you – you inspire me to no end! Best of luck with, and I cannot wait until the next DYOB email shows up in my inbox ?❤️
Aww Kristi, that is so sweet! Thank you for your absolute kindness!
I know exactly what you mean by ‘stuck’… best wishes with the move. Hope that it is all you dreamed of. Would love to hear more of your story as it unfolds.
Thanks Niquie, that’s good to know. I’ll definitely keep sharing bits of my story as time goes on. Especially when it comes to the end of my contract! I hope you get unstuck soon, please reach out if you need an ear.
THIS IS AMAZING. You are so brave and inspiring- makes me ready to start exploring the world with my kids while working remotely! Can’t wait to follow you on your journey and see how it goes!
Rosemary! So honored to have you here, I absolutely ADORE your photography! Please do it, life is short and it’s a great experience for the kids 🙂
Wow, what an inspiring and brave story! Now I totally want to check out Costa Rica too! I moved from Los Angeles to a rural town in the mountains years ago and my quality of life changed tremendously. And I still get to go back and visit if I miss the city life (which I admit I do). Congratulations!!
That sounds amazing. I wish we could have moved to a remote mountain town for the same effect, unfortunately one of my requirements was a beach! And yes do come down, you will not be disappointed.
You’re so inspiring Marianne, and congratulations for following your heart and your dreams! We have wanted to visit Costa Rica for a while, and this was just what I needed to read to get my butt in gear and make it happen.
All the best to you and your family!
Oh that is so amazing Doreen, do it!! And thank you so much for your comment 🙂
I’m so happy and excited for you! I’d love to hear more about your plans to increase the income on DYOB, as I’m in a similar boat and would love to compare notes 🙂 Costa Rica looks amazing and how awesome that you can stay there on a 90-day visa and keep renewing it!
Our move to NZ is still taking shape, we’re here, but staying with friends until we secure an apartment… which is a little crazy in Auckland where the market is in high demand for furnished rentals in the CBD.
You sound so happy Marianne, so happy for you!
Oh my goodness Lise, what an exciting adventure you’re on yourself! I am so very happy and excited for you as well! As far as increasing income, my main plan of action is more products and finally creating some courses.
I’m so happy for you! What an exciting time. When we moved 400 miles from our home our marriage became better than ever because it was just it. Now, it’s like we’ve been through something special together and it brought us even closer. Can’t wait to hear more about life in Costa Rica!
I’d like to talk to you about getting together and trying to do something with some courses if you’re interested. This is my regular email me, but if you’re interested email me at Rena@theblogging911.com
That’s so wonderful to hear how it improved your marriage Rena. It’s a little soon for us to tell but I have a feeling ours will as well. 🙂
As far as courses, let me know what you have in mind. I’ll hit you up soon!
Congratulations! I’ve wanted to pick up That Dang Book for a while and I’m so glad you were able to make its message work for you (even if you’re working more than four hours). I’m so excited to hear about what’s to come!
Haha definitely pick it up Victoria, but you’ve been warned! Your life will never be the same.
I’m so happy you found a way to make it happen! We haven’t regretted our move to SE Asia. Have fun settling in and exploring your new surroundings.
Thanks Jenni! Every time I wonder if we’ve made a mistake, I remember what we left behind and I have no regrets either. 🙂
Maybe some day we’ll see you in SE Asia and that’s definitely on the radar.
Your story is so inspirational Marianne! Thank you so much for sharing. ? I would love to live your life one day!
Oh Lauren, you totally can, just start on a plan today. Ours was 5 years in the making!
Wow that is so inspiring to hear of someone actually putting that book into action! The rest of us (well maybe I am speaking for myself lol) tend to dream only and feel too scared to do anything about it. Please keep us up to date – with the good and the bad.
Hi Rachel, well I don’t know that I’ve put a lot of the book itself into action, but it’s definitely the thing that lit the spark! As for 4 hour workweeks, I know that won’t be happening (probably ever) but as long as I get to dictate how I use my working time, that makes all the difference.
And thanks for asking me to update you guys on the good and the bad. Sometimes we forget to include the bad stuff. In wanting to be fully transparent and honest about our experience, I’ll be sure to share that too.
Congratulations on the move. I am so envious!
Thanks Dee! You don’t have to be. Start your 5 year plan today 🙂
Way to Go! Stepping out of our comfort zone is so hard- kudos to you!!
thanks Shelly! It’s so true, I’ve been challenged time and again in just the 3 weeks we’ve been here. Sometimes it’s a little exhausting 😉
You are an inspiration Marianne!! Good for you and I will be following your steps one day soon! You got this and you will do wonderful things out there. Super jealous of those pictures might I add.
Aww Lauren, I hope you’ll be following those footsteps soon! Day jobs are no bueno!
This is so exciting and inspiring. Costa Rica is on my shortlist of places to move/live, so hearing someone who “just did it” speaks volumes to me. I’m so excited for you and your next steps and if there’s ever any way that I can help spread the word about you, your courses, or anything business-wise I’d love to help!
Kaitlyn | http://www.TheCrownFox.com
You’re too sweet Kaitlyn, thank you! And same here 🙂
Btw, definitely come visit CR, it’s an amazing place and it’s not that expensive to get here!
So happy you found a way to make it happen, so inspired (and a bit jealous 😉 )!
Aww Sara, don’t be jealous 🙂 You absolutely have the ability to follow your dreams too. I tell everyone to start a 5 year plan today!
Congratulations. You took the leap of faith. All the very best in your new home and life and growing DYOB. I’ve done something similar (minus the move), so have more time to now look through and use all the stuff you’ve been producing! 🙂 Barbara
Oh I love that Barbara! Yeah you definitely don’t need a move to make positive changes towards your life and business, just a leap of faith and knowing that things can be so much better if you just trust your heart. Cheers to you and thanks for following along. I’m so happy to hear you’ll be diving into the site too 🙂 Feel free to let me know if you’re looking for something in particular.
Wow! Congratulations Marianne ^_^ You’re amazing and inspiring.
how sweet of you to say Aira, thank you!
So happy for you. This is such wonderful news. Sometimes when we feel like something is just impossible doors open with opportunity. It’s amazing that you and your hubby didn’t give up. LOVE that your son is in a bilingual school! I had no idea how wonderful Costa Rica is. I’d love to vacation there. I always wonder if I can live in Puerto Rico with my parents but the healthcare there is not that great. Also the note you mentioned about the cost of healthcare in the US, I totally feel you on that. It’s very sad how it has become the main reason why people, especially women can’t leave their jobs to live a dream because they can’t afford healthcare on their own. Leaving children in daycare isn’t fun either. I remember I would leave my baby in daycare from 6AM – 6PM! That is not a life for me. I need my babies with me! Again, I’m so happy for you.
Thanks Lillian and totally agreed. It’s such a shame that for such a forward-thinking country, we are so behind when it comes to healthcare, maternity leave and work/life balance. I hope you can make it down here sometime, let me know if you do. Cheers!
Huge Congrats!! I’m sharing this with my hubby! I would love to go live in the South of France 🙂
Ah Suzi, I’m with you on the south of France! I’d love to end up there someday. Maybe when DYOB is making millions! muahhahaha 😉
SO AMAZING. I am so inspired after reading this. I felt like you were writing my own story except I had never realized how awesome Costa Rica was until you talked about it. Thank you for sharing how you made it work! I’ll be sharing this with my husband, too. He’s always so afraid we won’t find a way!
Aw you don’t know how happy that makes me to hear that Kristyn! I hope you and your husband can find a way to make it work!
Congrats Marianne!!! This is so exciting! I remember our Skype chat about blogging and I’m so happy that you are pursuing what you love and living in such a beautiful place. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Thanks Toyin, so great to see you here again! I hope school is going well for you too!
Congratulations Marianne!! It looks so beautiful. I’m so pleased for you that you found a way to make it work. I’m looking forward to keeping up with how you get on. xo
Thank you Laura, I appreciate you saying so! <3
Congratulations! I know that feeling of working in a job that you hate and keeping it just for the health insurance.
I just started my blog and LOVE your site…so many tips and useful tools.
Can’t wait to follow your adventures and see what this new step holds for you.
I think too many people understand that pain Cyd and it’s a sad thing. This has been a dream of mine for a while now and it’s my dream for other moms as well which is why I want to share what I know and help them get there too.
Best of luck with your new blog and thanks for checking out my posts!
This sounds amazing would love to live in Costa Rica! So happy for you! I hope you love it there even after a year 🙂
Thank you Krist, I’m sure we will 🙂 If you want to do it too, you totally can. We didn’t save that much money, but just kept the goal in sight with a set date.
Wow! Amazing! I’ve had this resent post in my que to read since you sent it. So incredible. Can’t wait to see all the great things you do with DYOB. Such an inspiration
Thank you Meghan and thanks for saving it! If I inspire just one woman (hopefully many more!) to follow her dreams, I will have done my job!
Congratulations, what a wonderfully inspiring story thanks for sharing Marianne. I’m also an expat – so I wish you all the best with your family (and business) adventure – and it will be an adventure :0)
Hey Fiona, I did know you were an expat but I’m not sure I know where are you living these days. I appreciate the best wishes, it certainly is an adventure, both challenging but exciting at once! By the way, I really think your site is beautiful!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! Very inspiring and gives me hope that there are ways for my dreams to come true to. Love your blog! You can do it!
Aw thanks so much Erika! I have always appreciated your support. I hope I can support you in your dreams as well!
Awesome move Marianne. Jealous. Was in Costa a few years ago Amazing place. Working my way towards location independence, so inspiring!
That’s awesome Ashley! I am behind you 100% in achieving location independence!
Ugh this sounds so amazing! I’m jealous! I went to Costa Rica once many years ago and ADORED it. Congratulations!!!
Oh thanks Ashley! Let me know if you ever come back, we’ll have to meet up!
Wanted to read this for a long time 🙂
I’m so glad for you, that sounds simply amazing. Inspiring example indeed!
Good luck and have fun.
I loved to read this story! I recently moved to the States from Hungary to my boyfriend and I needed to give away a LOT of stuff! So I can relate on that one:) I love to follow your blog and you help a lot which I thank you for!:) I kinda want to move there too now, haha you made me with this post!:) All the best for you there! Keep up blogging, we count on you;)
Thanks so much Judit that means a lot to me! Wow you can definitely relate, it’s tough to give away all your stuff isn’t it? At the same time, I’m kind of glad to be free of it.
Marianne, my husband and I are moving to Costa Rica this fall, but don’t know where to begin. What’s the safest, family friendly city/town? Is crime an issue? Kidnapping? How do you find friends?
Hi Chelsea, that’s great! Crime is really not an issue unless you’re in San Jose. There really isn’t any kidnapping here like you might find in say, Mexico. For the most part, most of the crime around all of CR is theft. The only area I’m really all that familiar with is the area where we live which is the Southern Pacific zone. It’s very quiet and safe here (aside from theft), very friendly and slow-paced and also very hot! Costa Rica is actually not all that cheap in many aspects, but in some aspects you’ll definitely save money. We cut our monthly budget from the US only by 25% but hey at least it’s still 25% less.
You won’t be able to get a job here, so make sure you either have savings to live off of or an online means of income. Or start a business, but I would do a ton of research before you do that. Doing business here is very different from in the states.
I started making friends online through a local FB group. You can start in this group: Expatriates in Costa Rica, as it’s a group for the whole country. Once you’re on the ground though, you start to meet a lot of expats right away which helps to assimilate into the community. We’ve made a lot of friends through my son’s school too. Just get out there and get involved in community activities.
Again, I would definitely do a LOT of research before you come down though. It’s a huge change and if you’re not prepared for the hassles and downsides, you’ll find yourself packing up and heading back home sooner than later. Not trying to dissuade you by any means, but the more prepared you are for what’s to come, the better your chances of success here are!
Best of luck to you and let me know if you have more questions!
This inspired me. So much of hard work and struggle does a woman goes through to save her family. Thank you so much for being you. Even though I have of idea of costa rica , Im impressed with your level of insight towards the comparison of both the cities andhow much this cold help you save you. Amazing.
Thank you so much Marjan, your words are too kind. I hope that someday you are also able to achieve the same type of goal! And I really appreciate you sharing as well. Best of luck on your journey!
Totally amazing And i m really gona share this .
Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us. I know I am late in coming to it and wondering: do you still like living in Costa Rica?
My husband and I are heavily contemplating moving to Costa Rica, for just about the same reasons you have.
Would you say it is still a good option for Americans to move there?
Thanks SO much!
Hey Ruth, I do still really like it and it’s grown on us more and more. It definitely has its drawbacks, but not enough to send me packing back to the states yet! Feel free to chat with me about it via email. You can reply to any of the emails I send out 🙂
I’ve been wanting to move to Costa Rica for a year now. Same reasons: low living costs and beach. I’m going to visit for the first time in December 2019. You are living my dream. Any advice??
Hi Brooke, that’s awesome! Although I will tell you that CR has ended up being more expensive than we initially thought. It’s much cheaper if you don’t live by the beach like we do. But that said, we still have been able to lower our cost of living by about 25%, mostly because we have only one car and we live more simply. THAT is much easier to do down here than it is in the US!
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have specific questions!
A few more things that came to mind: be sure to save a lot of money. You will need cash to buy a car here and you will most likely need one depending on where you live. We thought we could do without one here but learned very quickly that it would not be possible in the area that we live. Too spread out. I would spend at least $15k on one or you will end up with junk that needs a lot of repairs. We have been very happy and lucky with ours!
You will also need to have a way to make decent money, either online, or by opening a business here locally. Do a lot of research on what is needed in the area you plan to live if you go the latter route. Way too many restaurants, real estate agents and yoga teachers here so the competition is fierce.
I am heading to South America in a couple of months and am planning to work from there for a while, travelling around the countries. What are places I must surely visit and what is the internet connection like (still have to keep working ;))?
Hi Tom, sounds like an awesome adventure! I haven’t been to South America yet so I can’t really answer your questions unfortunately. There are tons of travel bloggers and vloggers out there though that I’m sure you’ll be able to find what you need. Have a great time!
Thanks! Too bad the trip got cut really short because of the whole COVID-19 crisis, hope I get a new chance in the future 🙁
I’m sorry to hear about that Tom. Hopefully this ends soon and you get resume your plans!