Moving to Costa Rica: Taking a Leap of Faith

Image by Antonio López from Pixabay

My wife and I have decided to sell our house, sell or give away most of the things we own, pack up the rest, and move to Costa Rica – and we’ve never even been there.

You might be thinking, “What? Are you nuts?” The practical mind has relentlessly asked us this same question. To address its concerns, we have several practical reasons for making Costa Rica our new home: a warmer climate, a lower cost of living, better health care, politically stable, very friendly people, and a high happiness and sustainability index.

Still, the mind argues, “But you’ve never been there!” Just because we’ve extensively researched, spoken to many people, and heard a lot of great things about Costa Rica doesn’t mean we’re going to like it there. True. We may not. But we feel we’re not going to figure that out from a vacation or two. We need to live there. Really experience the place. Become part of its culture and people. We need to risk a serious commitment, and we’ve learned enough about this country to feel it’s worth the risk.

To live life to the fullest, we must be willing to take risks, trusting in God. We’ve been somewhat happy living here in the United States. The same is true with our home here in PA. But we want to experience and embrace a different culture – a culture more laid-back and peace-loving, a culture more concerned about having good relationships with other human beings and with the Earth.

Now more than ever, we need to be willing to open ourselves up to experiencing other cultures. That’s the only way to begin to understand people who are different from us. By understanding their traditions and struggles, we can begin to view them as human beings just like us. This challenges the “us versus them” mentality plaguing humanity, keeping us in conflict with one another.

We also can begin to challenge the assumptions we live by. There are other choices around how we can choose to live our lives, but we might not see them because we have been so conditioned by our culture.

The small self keeps telling me, “This isn’t who you are. You’re a home-body. You’ve never even left the country except to go to Niagara Falls, and that doesn’t even count.” Indeed. Oftentimes, I look at our boxes ready to be shipped and hear the increased echoing of our house as it is emptied of all our stuff, and I think, “I can’t believe we’re doing this.”

While the small self is busy questioning and protesting, the True Self within me feels so peaceful and so excited for this grand adventure on which we are about to embark. That’s the part that has given us a sign encouraging us to go after this dream without fear.

The sign is the sloth. The sloth is the national symbol of Costa Rica, like the Eagle for America. In June, my wife picked a birthday card for me with a sloth on it. We didn’t learn that the sloth was Costa Rica’s national symbol until the following month when we were researching Costa Rica. Over the weekend, we were shopping in Boscov’s for a suitcase. We picked one that was perfect for us, and it was even on sale. We didn’t notice until we were in the checkout line that the suitcase had toucans on it and … guess what else? Yes, sloths!

Sometimes when we think we’re happy, we have no idea how much more happy we can be until God moves us out of our familiar places where our lives have become stale, and we’re no longer growing. We’re never stuck – except by our own fears. We have our fears, but we have more trust that God has something grand in store for us.

I invite you, my dear readers, to join us on this grand adventure. Stay tuned for future posts!