Pura Vida Living: Here a Year Without Illusions and Why I’m Celebrating.  Happy anniversary to me! I have been living in Costa Rica for one year, so I am celebrating pura vida.

What that phrase means to me is more than I can explain easily. And what that might imply is that everyone else who moves to Costa Rica feels the same way. You just have to join us here to know what we’re talking about.

But that isn’t why I find it hard to describe pura vida. It’s because I would never recommend that you come to Costa Rica with high expectations based on what you’ve heard about pura vida from someone else, including myself. Leave your expectations behind. Come to live a life filled with whatever you are looking for and desire.

I am Venezuelan, and Costa Rica is the third country I have lived in other than my homeland. My first move was to the Dominican Republic and the second, Peru. As you might imagine, I have gained experience in adapting to different people, languages, climates and food, as well as adjusting to new cultures.

Leave your expectations behind.
Come to live a life filled with whatever
you are looking for and desire.


Close to nature

But enough about me; let’s talk about this magnificent country, Costa Rica. As most of you know, it is a green country where people care a lot about the environment and nature.

How incredible is it that many of us have howler monkeys living as close neighbors near our home? I can tell people find this amazing no matter how familiar it becomes. And monkeys are not the only animal species living around people in Costa Rica. It’s not uncommon to encounter many kinds of birds, coati, lizards, iguanas and felines, among others, without traveling very far, if at all.

I am a person who believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference. That’s why I signed up with a recycling program that is contributing in a significant way to improve Costa Rica’s waste management capability. It’s gratifying that so many people are glad to support this important cause.

Beach life

Now, let’s talk about something I consider extraordinary about Costa Rica: being able to experience life around the beaches. Yes, I know many countries have beaches, but I’m referring to something truly remarkable about the beach life here. The beaches themselves are a blessing, but when you add the perpetual beach weather, plus the vibe, plus the people … that adds up to a complete combo.

One of my favorite Sunday family activities is to visit a beach for the first time, or one we couldn’t wait to visit again. I live on the Pacific coast, where the list of recognized beaches is extensive. We have lots more to cover, so I look forward to continuing these beach trips and visiting more of them over the next year.

Dining delights

Food is another significant part of my celebration of life in this bountiful land. Costa Rica produces a wide variety of high-quality fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, honey and more. You can also find free-range options for meat and eggs. So if one of your goals in coming to Costa Rica is to create healthier eating habits, you are on the correct path. The local cuisine is very flavorful, and restaurants go to great lengths in offering an excellent culinary experience. Many are in a location where breathtaking views are a bonus.

Love the people

Last but not least, I must mention that I visited Costa Rica on vacation 14 years ago. I came away from that trip feeling a love of the people. They are welcoming, respectful, helpful, and pura vida — full of pure life. They live for their country, and they are proud that it is one of the most beautiful in the world.

If you come to Costa Rica to stay a while, your own reasons to celebrate pura vida will make themselves known. Remember not to have high expectations or preconceived ideas. Focus on trying to live a different life than you left behind, perhaps more relaxing but also full of adventure. You are certain to meet many people in a similar situation, so you will very soon feel at home.

Good vibes to all, wherever you are!