Our Moving-to-Costa Rica Bucket List

With our move just two months away, the focus is shifting to what we’re leaving behind. Visits with friends and family are ending with sad looks and us saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll see you again before we leave.” Work is moving on too, already planning who will fill our shoes. Reality really set in when we signed on the dotted line to sell our condo. We’ve loved living in Boston for the past seven years: the plethora of restaurants, the convenience of walking or taking the subway to shop or grab food, not to mention the people. Bostonians, with their hard outer shell, are good-natured and, deep down, very kind. In these final months before our departure, we are trying to appreciate everything about life here. After all, life in Costa Rica will be very different. Foremost it will be slower and simpler. Sure, part of the reason we’re moving is to slow down and appreciate life. But before we do, we want to take the opportunity to enjoy everything about Boston. Take in every last drop. That leads to the bucket list.


Boston Skyline

Since living in Boston, Matt and I have had certain things we’ve wanted to do, quintessential Boston activities like walking the public garden on a spring day or touring Fenway Park. Turns out there is still a lot to accomplish so we’ve decided to make a list and see how far we can get before July. There are also a few items that relate to our time here, which will allow us to reflect on the past. Here goes:


Cocktails at Top of the Hub

This one has been on my list for a long time. Drinks high atop the Prudential Center with a panoramic view of our city, Boston, and a martini in hand. Perfection.


Hike Mount Washington

The ultimate hiking challenge in the Northeast. It’s the area’s highest peak and takes an entire day to summit. This will definitely get us ready for trekking the rainforests of Costa Rica.


Duck Boat Tour

Sounds cheesy but I’ve always wanted to take a spin around Boston on this trolley-turned boat and learn more about Beantown’s rich history.


Hike the Blue Hills, then Blue Hills Brewery

A taste of the great outdoors followed by great beer. Costa Rica has microbrews but nothing like in the U.S. We need to get our hop fix on while we can.


After-work drinks on the water

Saying goodbye to coworkers on the cushiony outdoor furniture of the InterContinental hotel overlooking Boston Harbor.


Time on the Boat in Maine

Cruising along the river where Matt grew up, where the day consists of lunching at Frankfort Island, Matt trying to catch that trophy striper, and me relaxing in the sun. It’s one of our favorite summer pastimes, the perfect retreat from the city. I’m already sad thinking about how we’ll miss it.


Boston Whaler Pic


Visiting Our Old Neighborhood

When we first moved to Boston from Vermont, we didn’t know much about the culture of the different neighborhoods. We really lucked out landing an apartment in Brighton near the vibrant Washington Square area. It took some time to get used to the rickety trolley passing right outside our windows, but we loved it. Sure it had its quirks—one tiny closet and a bathroom where the toilet practically touched the wall—but it was our first place in the city. I can remember many nights on the fourth floor porch spent just relaxing and looking out at the cityscape. After living in quiet Vermont for three years, the speed of city life took some getting used to, but it didn’t take long for Boston to pull at our heartstrings.


Brighton MA pic


No doubt, getting through this list is going to be fun. But our last couple of months here is going to be about a lot more than that. As we spend time with friends and family, we’ll be reflecting on the last seven years, the highs and lows and everything in between. We might think we won’t miss the imperfections of everyday life in New England, the unpredictable weather, traffic, subway headaches, but you can bet we’ll miss even these things once they’re out of reach. Boston, come August, you won’t be our home anymore, but you’ll always be in our hearts.


Matthew Houde and Jennifer Turnbull picture

We’ve got lots to do between now and July. It’s hard work, but somebody’s got to do it! Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it?


Post by: Jennifer Turnbull-Houde & Matthew Houde



  1. Hope your move goes smoothly. And great idea to check off all the items on your bucket list before you move. That can be a great way to make a clean break before you get to your new home. But remember, you’re not leaving forever. And Costa Rica is just a few hours from the U.S. by plane.

    1. The move went great. There were a few glitches of course but nothing big. We are really enjoying living in CR so far. Funny about the bucket list- we were just saying yesterday how happy we are that we did it to get everything “American” out of our system. The one thing we find ourselves missing though is certain food. We really miss good pizza! Of course fresh fish, delicious coffee, and tropical fruit are a good substitute 😉

  2. I’m sure you have done your research…and then some. By now you know that: CR is a renter’s paradise, and a long-term lease on a property, once you’re really settled in and very sure of your decision, is arguably a better way to go than buying. *The willingness to simply ride public buses can sometimes make the difference between making the budget work…or not. *Probably nothing is more important to a successful than fluency in Spanish.
    –Best Wishes and good luck!
    –John Holmes in Houston (frequent visitor)

    1. Good tips, John. We are definitely starting to think that renting is the way to go and don’t plan to even consider buying for a while. We like the flexibility of not being tied down to one place, one property, plus with rental prices so low, it’s hard to justify buying. So true about the importance of learning Spanish. We’re working on it every day, trying not to get too frustrated and accepting that we’re going to sound silly at times. Practice makes perfect, right? Thanks for reading.
      Jenn & Matt

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