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A family chronicle of the year we uprooted ourselves from everything we knew (and really loved) to move to rural Costa Rica in order to just try something different.

 
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HI, I'M SARA....

...and this is Johel, Ollie, Leo (getting his head nibbled on by me...) and Yori in one of our typical, goofy-faced family photos.  We are (formerly) residents of Madison, Wisconsin, but in September 2020, we packed up and shipped out to rural Costa Rica. As in 300-person-town, dirt-roads-and-3-room, 3-hour-per-day-school-rural:  Johel's hometown that he left 20 years ago. Partly to get out of the repetitive rat-race that was our lives, part to work on our two Costa-Rica tourism businesses (Go Tico! Costa Rica and Casitas Joys & Leo), and part because I knew if we never tried it, we'd always wonder "what if we'd done that...." and we'd always regret that we didn't try.

This is our journal into that adventure year (or now, two years...tourism businesses during a pandemic don't grow quite as fast as you hope....)  As a reader, I'm hopeful this blog excites and empowers any average family (like us! like you?) who dreams of something different to take that first step into that unknown place or adventure.  I'm hopeful this gets you...maybe...thinking that that adventure might be within reach, that it gives you some baby steps to follow, pitfalls to avoid (or at least prepare for), and many reassurances that it can be done if you want it badly enough.  And if you don't have grandiose ideas to abandon your friends, family, current lifestyle, jobs, home, and wonderful community (like we are doing....yikes!), may this blog, at the very least, provide you some entertainment at our expense.

Take some time to explore and find something interesting; feel free to reach out if you feel inspired.

¡Hasta la próxima!

 
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WTF with School around Here?!?

So education here in small-town Costa Rica was something I knew would be a challenge from day 1, but it’s shaping up to be waaaay...

Our kids are epic

Before moving down here, my #1 (and really only) concern was our kids. Not money, not work, not the pandemic, not our house (either in...

Maybe just a teeny bit homesick....

Well, we just crossed over the nine month mark and now I can probably say we officially have our life “organized” here: Homeschooling...

Driving here not for the faint of heart

In 2006, I lived in a small town in Costa Rica called Buena Vista de Rivas. This little mountain town of about 250 people was so remote...

Here we are, six months in....

A good time, indeed, to take a (very brief) pause and see how we're doing. What we've been doing. Are we "on track"? No, actually, in...

Please, Give Me Patience....

For those who don't know, "Pura Vida"-pure life- is the term every Costa Rican uses to answer many common questions or conclude everyday...

A look back on the first three months...

This entry I write from my parents' heated kitchen back in wintery Madison, Wisconsin. We are one of the few families who opted to fly...

We survived quarantine.

Two days ago as of 1:17 p.m. (not that any of us were keeping that much track really...), our family became quarantine-free in Costa...

Well, we're here....

One week ago today, three cancelled flights later, we made it to Costa Rica. The trip here was highly stressful thanks to a ridiculously...

Ode to supportive family and friends

Before writing this piece, I googled "ode" and clarified that is is poetic in nature, which this post is surely not to be. But I have...

Adios 17 Harding Street

Two months shy of our 11-year mark, we walked out of our home today for the last time. Tonight, as I now sit in the kitchen of my...

Our haphazard approach to moving abroad

As I think back to when we officially decided to make this move happen (and I can't even really recall when that was exactly, but I'm...

Here's the backstory...

When Johel and I met 17 years ago, he had been living in the US for about four years (he's originally from Costa Rica) and I was here in...