Costa Rica Here We Come

“Why Costa Rica and why for 2 months?” 

“How are you making this possible?”

“You don’t have to work?”

“What’s the cost of living down there?”

These are the questions I have been getting from many of my friends who are curious as to why we decided as a family to move away for 2 months this summer.

The summer of 2009 we found ourselves in the same situation we are now.  We were in between housing and so we took advantage of the opportunity and stored our belongings and packed our car with what we needed for 3 months and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. to be by my family for a period of time. 

We had lived in California since 2001, when we got married. This was a great window of opportunity so we acted on it.  It was such a fun, spontaneous adventure that we wanted to make sure it happened again.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when we finally decided again that the timing was right to now take the family abroad and leave the U.S. to give our children the experience of living in another culture and lifestyle for more than just a few days.

We are finally out of the baby stage and diapers!  Its an exciting, new time period for our family.  Our oldest, Reeghan, will be 12 and our youngest, Stratton, will be 4.  Our children are old enough to have an experience like this that they will always remember. For some of you, I’m sure you can think of a time in your childhood that had an impact on you.  I want to create an experience for them that they will look back and easily identify this experience as one that shaped their lives.

Trust me, this will not be their only experience, but the first of many.  We have plans for each summer to do a similar “family adventure”.  Maybe one day we will settle down somewhere, but for now we are enjoying the journey.  Why not?

I have no fears about this. Last year when we set the goal to do this, Trent had originally suggested we go to Mexico because that is where he lived for 2 years as he served as a missionary for our church (long story, but because of his mission, we met, married and have our beautiful little family). 

When we would tell others, often their first reaction was, “Aren’t you scared and nervous to take your family down there?”

Ask me a few years ago and I would have had second thoughts, but now I don’t think twice about it because I’ve decided I don’t want to live in FEAR. 

Just like the trip I just got home from in Uganda, Africa.  I got the same question.  Sure bad things are out there and yes we need to be aware and take precautions to ensure we aren’t intentionally putting ourselves at risk, but if I think only about the fear and the bad things, then I will likely not do anything out of fear of what “could” happen.

What if we all looked at life through LOVE?  Love for others, love to serve and to lend a helping hand, love to share who we are and our families.  That’s what I want.  I want to live out of LOVE and not fear.  So to answer that question, “No I am not scared!” 

I have finally come to a point in my life where I’ve decided I don’t want to sit back and watch from the sideline.  I want to participate and I want to create experiences for my family that will change them as well as me.

Our plan is to be out of our current home May 20th and then head up to Park City to a rental home for a month to play there.  Then, on June 19th we get on a plane and head to San Jose, Costa Rica until August 20th.

The first week is all we have mapped out right now.  We are planning on getting some dental work done down there the first week in San Jose.  Trust me I have looked and researched about “dental tourism” and it’s always interested me to just get everything done within a few days instead of stretching it out.  So I look forward to that experience.

Then after that I’ve had a few connections and asked questions about locations, activities, summer camps, Spanish lessons, service opportunities, etc.  So the plan is to have a “home base” to keep our carry on luggage that each of us will be packing and then use our backpacks to go for a weekend here and there to other parts of the country and surrounding countries. 

I have a passion to serve and have done a few humanitarian trips (last one to Africa was with a group of ladies and a couple years ago, just Trent and I helped with Hurricane Sandy clean up). I’m always looking for opportunities to travel and serve, but this will be the first time that we will be doing a humanitarian trip as a family.  There will be many more to come!

Last but not least… work and money. Many people have asked how we can afford to just up and leave and how we will work. Luckily, the cost of living is pretty inexpensive down in Costa Rica and because we are between homes, we only have to pay for storage, not a home in the States and a home in Costa Rica at the same time. Trent and his brother own a business that provides Software as a Services (SaaS) and he can work from anywhere. In fact, Trent’s brother/business partner lives in another state. Their office is in Utah and most of the team works from there, but they also have a couple employees who work from home in California. Another thing that made Costa Rica an easy choice is that during the summer months Costa Rica is on the same time as Utah. As long as Trent has internet he can work. Being on the same time zone makes it even easier to collaborate with his team in Utah.

Essentially, our flights to and from Costa Rica will be the only increase to our normal budget for the 2 months we are away. The cost of housing is less, but the difference in what we save we will be spending on family activities and bus fare for traveling around Costa Rica.