Since I was a child I wanted to live somewhere where there were no winters, someplace carefree, surrounded with nothing but nature and where people were happy. As I grew older I knew that there was only one place in the world where I could make my dreams a reality…and that’s where my life in Costa Rica begins. You’ve heard all the stories and read all the articles, but now you have the opportunity to read about life in this beautiful country from an expat who wants to share a personal point of view. So, this is my guide to Costa Rica for anyone interested to learn how to get by in the happiest country in the world:
Location and Climate
The first thing you should know about Costa Rica is that it has two seasons: the dry and the rainy season. Because of its geographical location, the climate is tropical all year round with heavy rainfall during winter (the rainy season.) Naturally, the humidity levels are also quite high, so in general – if you love hot weather, the smell of rain and sun keeping you warm all year, then Costa Rica is the perfect place for you. Another amazing thing about this Central American country is that it’s known to be the greenest country in the world with 5% of the world’s biodiversity being in Costa Rica. The natural appeal of Costa Rica is something you can ever get used to, even years after you’ve been living here, as it always manages to surprise you again.
People and Culture
Did you know that Costa Rica was pronounced the happiest country of the world according to the happy index? And once you step your foot on the Costa Rican soil you’ll grasp the meaning behind it. Costa Rica has a very rich cultural life, which is probably because it has The Department of Culture, Youth, and Sports is in charge of culture, Visual Arts, Scenic Arts, Music, Patrimony and the System of Libraries. Also, they dance. A lot. You don’t see many people dancing in other countries, which is shame. And don’t get me started on the food! The fine blend of Native American, Spanish and African cuisine creates a unique phenomenon called the Costa Rican cuisine, with a variety of different aromas and flavors that go so well together. The whole lifestyle of the people is so much different from what we’re used to and it’s a fine refreshment being a part of something so extraordinary.
Working and Studying
Although the fun never actually stops in Costa Rica, if you’re preparing to live here, you’ll need to provide for yourself. The prime industries in Costa Rica are of course agriculture, tourism (mainly ecotourism) pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing and from the last couple of years – software development. The country is known to protect its local workforce by giving them priority over foreign employees, but it still leaves a fair share of work for us expats who are willing to make an effort. Personally, I started with volunteering and exchange programs and since then I’ve switched a few jobs from language teaching, commerce up to tourism.
Living and Getting By
It’s important to note that living in Costa Roca is affordable. Although the salaries here are much lower than those in the U.S. or Europe, it’s good to take in consideration that the cost of living is also much lower. There are two amazing things about living in Costa Rica and those are real estate and healthcare. You can find amazing housing options for a goodrie and also, they offer affordable and top-quality health plans. The only downside is the transportation, which is unreliable and not quite organized.
Every new beginning is difficult, but I can truly say that moving to Costa Rica was the best decision I made in my life. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone; go out, explore and find your personal happiest place on Earth to settle in.