We have some big news: We quit our jobs and are moving to Costa Rica!

After more than two years in the works, we’re making our dream happen and relocating this July. No more Two Weeks in Costa Rica, hello months, maybe even years, in Costa Rica. The decision to quit our jobs and leave our lives in the States behind is definitely scary. But when we think of everything we love about Costa Rica—its vibrant culture, beautiful environment, and laid back approach to life—we feel assured in our decision.


Matt and Jenn Costa Rica Picture

How did this crazy idea come about?

Ever since our first visit in 2007, we’ve been dreaming of having our own piece of paradise in the land of pura vida. With our current jobs we have limited vacation time and knew that if we bought a home there, we’d only be able to visit for a few weeks a year. That just didn’t make sense so we explored whether we could afford to make the move more permanent. What was a dream slowly turned into reality. We started saving like crazy and tested the waters to see if writing could be a source of income to fund our adventure. Neither of us are writers by trade; Matt is a landscape project manager and I am an attorney. But we channeled our creative sides and collaborated to pen Two Weeks in Costa Rica, a travelogue that shares one of our most memorable trips to Costa Rica. We’re happy to say that Two Weeks in Costa Rica has been a success, far exceeding our expectations. We’re hoping that our readers will want to continue to follow our adventures and plan to write more books once we’re in Costa Rica; one about our experiences moving abroad and others about travel in Central America.

What’s next?

We still have a million things to do before we leave in just a few months but have checked some major tasks off of our list. A couple of weeks ago we took care of a big one: we gave our notice to work. My work knew it was coming because I attempted (unsuccessfully) to negotiate a telecommuting arrangement where I would continue to work from Costa Rica, but for Matt, his news was a total surprise. Telling his boss went a lot better than expected, and I can tell that he is extremely relieved. With that off of our plates, we still need to figure out everything from residency and health insurance to arranging our finances and selling our condo (and most of our belongings!).


Manuel Antonio Costa Rica Picture

Is this really the right thing to do?

Who knows. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say but we’ve given it a lot of thought and believe that we’re making the right choice. Sure it won’t be easy; acclimating to a new culture where we don’t speak the native language, missing out on the life-changing events of our family and friends, dealing with feelings of isolation, and questioning whether we made the wrong choice will be among the many challenges we’ll face. But then again, usually the easiest thing to do isn’t the best thing to do in terms of long-term success and happiness. With risk comes reward. If we stay on our current path, our next steps would be to continue advancing our careers, sell our condo, move to the suburbs, and start a family. There is nothing wrong with that path but we want to try something a little different, at least for a short time while we are young. We’ve learned that no one knows how much time they have so you have to make the best out of every moment. Yes it’s risky to leave behind perfectly good jobs and the financial security that comes with a steady paycheck. But we cannot let the fear of failure be in control. We’ve made it to where we are today because of our creativity, drive, and motivation. Hopefully these same attributes will guide us in our future endeavors in Costa Rica.

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So What Happened Next . . . ?

In July 2013, we boarded a plane for a new life in Costa Rica. Want to follow our story as it happened? Check out the posts below to see how our dream became a reality and what it has been like so far.

First Impressions on Living in Costa Rica
Living in Costa Rica: One Month Update
Buying a Car in Costa Rica
Fun Facts From Our First Six Months in Costa Rica
Our First Year in Costa Rica
House Sitting: How to Live in Costa Rica for $2,000 a Year
Where We’ve Lived in Costa Rica
Two Years in Costa Rica: How Life Has Changed
Three-Year Update


Post by: Jennifer Turnbull-Houde & Matthew Houde


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