Costa Rica
Lifestyle | Travel

Costa Rica, would you move there? 

September 12, 2015

I have often wondered what it would be like, and honestly dreamed about moving to another country.  Don’t get me wrong… I love Canada. But the opportunity to explore, experience and enjoy a country slowly, instead of trying to take in as much as I can within a week really appeals to me.

I am in awe … and slightly a little envious of my brother and sister in law.  You see, they are packing up and moving to Costa Rica within days.  Their intention is to move permanently, but they will give it a year trial either way. They are lucky that they have careers and businesses where they can afford to do this and where the businesses can keep going with just an occasional check in from them.  They will also be running a small resort, something they have dreamed of doing since they visited Costa Rica for the first time years ago.

Costa Rica
Image credit: ICT Costa Rica Tourism Board
I have never been to Costa Rica, but I will be heading there in the near future :).  I can’t wait to experience all the wonderful things about Costa Rica that my brother has raved about for nearly a decade.  It is the one place that he has gone back to visit,  time after time and the place that really seems to call out to him.

Costa Rica is known for its amazing beaches, volcanoes and immense biodiversity. A great portion of it is lush, green tropical forests filled with spider monkeys and macaws.

Costa Rica
Image credit: ICT Costa Rica Tourism Board
My brother keeps referring to Pura Vida – something the Ticos ( as the locals call themselves) have embraced as their way of life. It literally means “pure life”;  but also means “full of life”. It is a relaxed and enjoyable way of living day to day, admiring the little things in life. But it is also used as a greeting, or to demonstrate affirmation, wellness, and even to say goodbye.

Ecotourism

Pura Vida, also forms the connection with nature and the environment in Costa Rica. Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks and protected areas, the largest percentage of protected areas in the world with an abundance of wildlife and over 840 species of birds identified in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica
Image credit: ICT Costa Rica Tourism Board
Ecotourism has become a prime industry in Costa Rica’s economy,  It was awarded as the predecessor of this type of tourism and has been recognized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).  In the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. It ranks third of sixty countries covered and in the sustainable tourism category, Costa Rica is ranked first. Costa Rica is a cornerstone of sustainable tourism – an economic activity where the environment is given the utmost respect, so as to cause the least environmental impact possible while maintaining a positive social and cultural environment in the country.

Costa Rica offers a broad variety of activities and accommodations, ranging from small beachside bed & breakfasts,  authentic intimate boutique mountain lodges,  major international business hotel brands and everything in between; maybe you will even get to stay in the resort my brother is managing. 🙂

Interesting facts about Costa Rica

  • Happy Planet Index and Forbes magazine designated Costa Rica as one of the world’s happiest countries 2012, due to its life expectancy, natural resources, the Costa Rican spirit, job opportunities, among other attributes the country offers its citizens.
  • Most Popular Eco Friendly Destination by TripAdvisor
  • Top 5 Best Vacation Spots in the World -Travel and Leisure Mag
  • Poás Volcano, located in Alajuela, is the volcano with the largest crater in all Central America, which makes it one of the most important tourist destinations in Costa Rica.
  • The country has 62 Protected Wildlife Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Biological Reserves), all of which are highly regarded ecological destinations. 
  • Costa Rica has very diverse microclimates, which means that  –in short distances and periods of time, you get to experience different types of environments that can make your travel experience truly amazing and pretty much all encompassing. 
  • Tourism in Costa Rica generates from 140,000 to 145,000 jobs within its population.

Costa Rica
Image credit: ICT Costa Rica Tourism Board
This is a country I have to visit and I have one very important reason why. I will miss my brother and his wife. We don’t see each other as regularly as I would like, but I won’t be able to drop in on him whenever I visit my hometown any more.  I am excited for his new journey and all that lies ahead for him, but I am also sad; my little brother is moving far, far away. So I will have to make plans to visit as soon as I can and discover all the wonderful things that have enamoured my brother with this amazing country myself! PURA VIDA!