This week, I have great pleasure in introducing you Liisa who blogs over at The Family Freedom Project. She, her husband and two sons up sticks from Canada and moved to Central America, and are now living the dream in Costa Rica. She shares what she loves most about the country.
What do you look for in a holiday?
I am definitely into combined beach and city vacations. My perfect vacation has a few days in a great city sandwiched between two restful, warm and relaxing periods at the beach. Our Barcelona / Northern Spain trip was a great example of this.
Where are you now?
Right now I live in a beach town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, so every day has a few moments that feel like a holiday. When I take a break from working, I stroll across the street and dip my toes in the ocean.
Why did you choose Costa Rica?
My husband and I came to Costa Rica on our honeymoon in 2004 and fell in love with the country. We envisioned life here. Seven years later we made it happen.
Who are you there with?
I live here with my two sons, ages 7 and 9, and my husband. My brother-in-law is here now, too…
Where do you live and where do you like to travel within the country?
We live in a condo across the street from the beach. We have travelled to see volcanos, rainforests and cloudforests, farms and other beaches. This country is an amazing natural playground.
Any sights, activities you want to shout about?
Yes! We all love the night hikes through the rainforest. We have done this twice. You set out in the dark with flashlights and a knowledgeable guide. Just that in itself feels like an adventure for the kids. Your guide then points out all kinds of life in the jungle, from busy leafcutter ants, to tree frogs, to sleeping sloths and toucans, to venomous snakes. It’s just spooky enough to keep you on your toes and so fascinating that the whole family is riveted.
Is it good value for money?
Yes! People complain that Costa Rica is expensive. Relative to its neighbouring Central American countries it is. However, relative to the United States or Canada, it is so affordable. We spend much less in our every day life than we did in Canada. Friends who vacation here always comment on the excellent value.
My favourite photo is of our family amidst thousands of sea turtles laying their eggs at Playa Ostional about an hour and a half south of our home. It was the most awesome experience I have ever been part of in nature.
Sometimes I wonder if my kids are going to be ‘ruined’ by having these experiences so young. Will they still appreciate the smaller, more everyday joys of life?
What are the five holiday essentials you couldn’t live without?
In Costa Rica, I cannot live without:
• An assortment of bikinis
• Bug spray
• My iPhone for taking pics
• $1.50 for a coconut on the beach
Costa Rica is still my most favourite place in the whole world, even though we live here. It has sun, surf, culture, and my family. My favourite city in the world is Barcelona. I could wander those streets for weeks without getting bored.
I would recommend life abroad to any family, even for a short period of time. It changes your outlook and strengthens your family bonds. If anyone is interested in learning how we do it and how you can too, check out The Family Freedom Project: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living Abroad with Kids. From Dream to Plan to Reality or my website at familyfreedomproject.com.
If you would like to be featured on Holiday Snapshots, please email me at [email protected] and I look forward to including your travel stories.