Travel & Destinations

Living “La Pura Vida” in Costa Rica

Last summer, I wrote an article for this publication describing “My Second Act” of reinventing myself, becoming a minimalist, selling/giving away everything, and moving to Costa Rica. This is the sequel to the journey.

After my article was published, my mom, who had been challenged with dementia, died peacefully in July. She transitioned on a weekend I was caring for her; this was a beautiful opportunity to lie next to her, pray for her, and grant her permission to let go. It was a special time between mother and daughter.

Mom’s death accelerated my plans to retire and move to Costa Rica, to a much simpler way of life. I ended up in Playas de Coco, a small fishing village near Tamarindo due to its proximity to the airport in Liberia and affordable rent.

Costa Rica Sunset2 scaled
Sunset in Costa Rica

Moving to a foreign country IS NOT for everyone. Adjusting to a new lifestyle, infrastructure, language, culture, and more can be overwhelming.

But — it is the slice of heaven I dreamed about.

To prepare for my lifestyle change, I downsized and moved into a garage apartment in the Lakewood area for a year. It helped me live in smaller spaces like the studio apartment I’m living in now.

And, since I’m fluent in Spanish, there is no language barrier, for me. That, along with my Zen-like spirit, allows me to let go.

These days, you can find me doing yoga on the beach, snorkeling, meeting new friends, bicycling from beach to neighboring beach, going on picnics, reading, watching the sun set while the local Tico boys catch a wave, and freelancing for profit and nonprofit organizations.

Life is much better in flip-flops.


Alma O. Garcia

Alma O. Garcia is a retired nonprofit bilingual professional and an entrepreneur. She believes in looking back on life with an “I can’t believe I did that!” attitude than to look back and say, “I wish I did that!” She is the mother of two young adults (Cuatro and Julienne) and is enjoying “la pura vida” in sunny Costa Rica.

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