Living the Un-plugged Lifesyle in Costa Rica


Life of a Digital Nomad “Photo credit: seeknewtravel”

Costa Rican’s are warm caring people

People are what make living in another country a positive experience, or a bad one. Here in Costa Rica, it’s made up of small communities all over the country and they’re never short of smiles and waves as you make your way through them.

It has a warm ‘hometown’ feeling and its filled with peolpe who don’t have a care in the world.

I’ve heard so many stories from Expats when they were broken down in the middle of nowhere, only to be picked up by a Tico family, taken in, fed and assisted until they could make arrangements to get back on the road again.

There are many countries you can visit that simply look away like you don’t exist; especially if you happen to be an American. That just doesn’t sound inviting to me…

Ticos make Costa Rica the exceptional country and experience that it is.

Your surroundings makes all the difference

There’s nothing quite like waking up in morning to the sound of monkeys, toucans and thousands of other creatures that began singing come daylight. It really is magical and satisfying to wake up in a beautiful country and experience things you just don’t see in your home country; other than on your favorite TV show, or the zoo.

There’s something to be said for living a simple life surrounded by a tropical paradise. Peace, tranquillity, beauty, peace of mind and a place where creativity seems to thrive. Most of all its a region of the world that ooze’s freedom and opportunity and it’s a good distance away from divisiveness, anguish and fear that seem to have most of our North American neighbors in their grip.

Doing business in Costa Rica

The experience you have living and doing business in Costa Rica will ultimately be determined by your attitude and your actions.

Let’s face it, business does not drive the Costa Rica mindset. Things don’t happen quite as quickly as they do in the U.S. or Canada. If you can adapt and accept the culture, you can have your cake and eat it too!

If you do most of your work over the internet, you won’t notice most of the incoveniences, such as getting a corporation established or opening a bank account. These two things alone can take a week or more; something that takes less than a day in the U.S.

As far as doing business in Costa Rica, it can be challenging. Some (most) employees can have that ‘pura vida’ mindset, which seemingly gives them the choice of coming into work, or not. If something comes up that seems more important, you’ll certainly know about it; but only after they don’t show up :o

There are established laws and regulations that govern how business is done the country, so I recommend following them. Many Expats don’t have patience, so they pay ‘tips’ to connected people (so they say) to get stuff done at various levels in government.

You will be blown away at how many Tico’s you meet who are related to the President!

The only problem with this is, when election time comes around and your connections are replaced, the new folks coming notice irregualarities and that can cost you dearly.

Avoid people doing business in manner like the plague. Do things properly if your going to do any kind of business or investing in Costa Rica. Most Expats who get caught in a lurch are usually the ones who tried to take shortcuts.

Living a life of adventure

There’s something about traveling to a new country and setting up shop to get business done that is just plain cool. There’s a sense of adventure everyday that inspires and unlocks your creativity like nothing else can.

There’s a sense of freedom that comes along with it too, something Costa Rica provides very well. With North America becoming a police state to protect all its citizens (what a crock), there’s something to be said for not seeing a police car for days or never hearing any sirens.

Everyday is an adventure in Costa Rica. There’s something here for the whole family to enjoy. You have thousands of miles of the most beautiful beaches in the world here and the most majestic mountain communities you’ve ever seen.

Safety comes first

I’ve lived in some of the biggest cities in the U.S.; New York, Los Angeles, Miami, etc. and Costa Rica feels safer than any of them. Sure there area’s at night you don’t go in; but there are area’s in the U.S. you don’t go in broad daylight, or you’ll get your butt shot off.

I’ve always felt safe here, whereas some places in the U.S., I feel anything but safe!

I’ve never been robbed here, but I did have my car broken into at my home, which had a 9′ security wall around it. That didn’t feel very good, but overall, I think I’ve been pretty lucky.

The biggest crime that plagues Costa Rica is petty theft. If its left unattended, whatever that may be, it will be gone. If you use your head, lock things up and keep your stuff secure, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Any country you decide to call home that is not your home country will have challenges. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, or as they say, “everbody would be doing it.”

In the grand scheme of things most will never experience a world outside of the one they live in now, so if you’re thinking of living the unplugged lifestyle, Costa Rica might be a good option to explore; it’s sure to be the experience of a lifetime!

As they say in Costa Rica – “Pura Vida!” (Pure Life)

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Category : Blog &Entrepreneur

  • Lori Gosselin

    It sounds like you’re living the life Mark, enjoying the best of both worlds! It’s not in my blood to uproot in this way – my hometown roots go too deep. Maybe it’s because I do live on a peaceful piece of property with a running brook and lots of trees and quiet. We call our property “Serenity” – is that close enough? ;-)

    • Mark Harai

      It sounds like a dream, Lori… It spills over into the work you do online… It’s positive, it’s awesomeness, miss! : )

  • Ari Herzog

    Huh? What’s the unplugged lifestyle, Mark?

    • Mark Harai

      Hi, Ari… Good question; it sounded good when I was writing this blog post at the time – lol!

      I meant it as a ‘location independent’, or work from anywhere on the planet you desire to explore and learn about.

      Probably the wrong word to use as I’m completely “plugged in” to the digital world :o

      Lips or Digital Nomad would have been better words to use…

      I can do better : )

      Good to see you, Ari – thanks for stopping in!

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hey Mark,

    Costa Rica sounds like paradise. Norway is very peaceful too, but the weather is very different, and I also believe that the mindset of people is different. We’re always in a hurry, trying to become wealthier or getting more power or to accomplish something. I’d love to visit Costa Rica, I am sure that I would have a fantastic time :)

    • Mark Harai

      Hey, that sounds a lot like the American mindset..!

      I’ve always been a work-a-holic and thought a different environment would help me focus on more important things, like family…

      It has has been a great move. There’s something to be said for simple.

      Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go when it comes to shutting down the business that runs through my mind constantly…

      But I am learning (slowly) to balance my business aspirations and providing my family the attention they deserve :o

      I’m looking forward to our Skype call on Wednesday, Jens : )

  • Tim Bonner

    I’ve lived in a few of the big cities in the UK and for a great part of my life in a rural English farming community.

    Costa Rica sounds like a place you can really relax but still get on with the things you need to get on with.

    That said, I love living close to Edinburgh. It feels like home, although who knows what may happen if Scotland becomes independent.

    • Mark Harai

      Hey Tim, I’ve never been to that side of the pond, but it my intention to visit there in the next year or two…

      The countryside where you live is absolutely beautiful! : )

      There are a couple of other locations I would like to visit in South America first; Uruguay, then Chile, Columbia and Brazil :P

      I will get those done this year, hopefully : )

      Talk soon!

  • Jacob Yount

    Was great talking with you this morning, Mark. The expat-entrepreneurial mindset… I’m a firm believer this can even be adhered to while one lives in their own hometown. It includes prioritizing your time differently, stopping to smell the roses, not working during “conventional” hours and working when others say you should be doing something different, it’s knowing that your skills are valuable and you shouldn’t sell yourself for cheap. It’s working hard for the sake of building something; not just so you can buy another trinket to throw on the pile.

    …but of course it does help when you live in a place like Costa Rica :)

    • Mark Harai

      Hi, Jacob – businesses with a purpose bigger than money usually end up thriving monetarily… If you create something that fills a need and serves up tremendous value to folks, you will have something worthwhile to build on for the long term.

      It was great catching up with you too, Jacob..! Love the positive energy and skill sets you bring to the table.

      I look forward to sharing 2013 at a much greater level, sir!

      Cheers : )

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