Eleven days ago, we moved down from the eco-cabin in the cool hills near Turrialba to a studio apartment in Sámara on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya peninsula. It’s an awesome place to be for many reasons — we’re a short walk from the beach, there are great spots to chill and have beers while watching the ocean, and it’s really mellow here. Costa Rica is the land of pura vida and that spirit feels magnified on the beach.
We embraced that spirit when we arrived and found ourselves behaving as if we were on vacation, which manifested as going out to eat a lot, meaning we blew the amount of money eating out we’d typically spend in a month in Austin in the first four days of being here. Whoops! That inspired some conversations about how to avoid “vacation mode” while living in such an idyllic setting. To start, we moved the stove outside and purchased some utensils that made cooking, which we enjoy, more fun and comfortable in our previously sparsely equipped, indoor kitchen. Next, we made a list of meals so we didn’t need to think too hard what to make for lunch or dinner. Before, those conversations would lead to our throwing up our hands and walking to a nearby restaurant. Those two things have helped us rein in our spending a bit.
That’s a good thing, because the next part of our adventure is a little expensive — we get to navigate the process of importing our car to Costa Rica. This is a required step if you’re keeping your car in the country for more than 90 days. Luckily, we’ve had help with the process, so we know who we need to talk to to get this done. I won’t go into detail here, but it’s enough to say that it’s gonna take a few weeks, during which we won’t have the car, and it’ll be fairly costly. I’ll write a separate post for those who are interested as we navigate the process.
Back to the beach, specifically the ocean, which the dogs LOVE pooping in! They save it up, then when we go to the beach every morning and evening to let them run around, they wander out into the waves and feed the fish. All of that beach walking is great for the dogs, since they are then pretty wiped out for most of the day while Emily is at work and I focus on practicing, booking, teaching lessons online, and other tasks.
I want to give a big shout-out to the Samara Info Center located right by Lo Que Hay, a super-chill bar and restaurant. They offer all the information one could possibly want about the area and will book tours and Ticabus tickets for free. This is a fantastic service that I really appreciate, especially since my visa expires soon and I need take a trip to renew it. The folks at the info center helped me book a trip to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where I’m going to take a week-long intensive Spanish class (4 hours per day) and stay with a Nica family. I’m excited to report back about that trip and I’m glad it was so easy to book!
Our next move is to Atenas tomorrow, where we’ll sign a lease and move into our home for the next year. We were planning to stay in Sámara longer, but we need to be closer to where we’ll be taking our car to be imported. We’ll miss the beach, but we’ll get back out here soon!