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After visiting Costa Rica in July, Chris and I knew we wanted to return with our girls. We had fallen in love with Nosara and decided to come up with a plan to return to the little surfing town.

A Second Home

We found an Airbnb that seemed perfect for our family. The Sea Shack had two bedrooms, a kitchen, an outdoor living space, and a pool. We booked this home for four nights over the week of Thanksgiving. As our departure date arrived we were bursting with excitement. When our flight landed it felt surreal to be back. As our shuttle dropped us off in Nosara my heart filled with joy. And as we walked up to the Sea Shack, I felt a comfort that I can only explain as home.

A in the ocean with a HUGE smile

This home, our home for the next 4 days, was tucked back in the jungle off the main road. We could easily walk to shops, restaurants, a small organic grocery store, and a fruit stand selling the tastiest mangoes the girls have ever eaten. A little further down the road the beach welcomed us with soft sand and waves the girls loved jumping in. Hearing their giggles as a wave almost knocked them down was music to my ears. There is nothing better when you see pure joy in your children’s faces.

While we loved the beach, we spent the majority of our time at the house. We didn’t go zip lining, take surfing lessons, or go horseback riding. Instead, we just lived and loved.

One of our main goals with this trip was for Chris to work while in Costa Rica. We had talked last winter about someday living in Costa Rica for an extended period of time, but if Chris couldn’t get a good internet connection for remote work, that wouldn’t be an option. So for three days Chris planned to be working 8 hours on his computer while the girls and I figured out our days. Our outdoor living room became Chris’ office space while the girls jumped in the pool and I read a book with my legs dangling in the water.

When the girls were taking a break from the pool, I was usually walking to the grocery store, to the farmer’s market, or the fruit stand. This was a dream come true for me - grabbing fresh fruit down the street on a daily basis is the best!

Chris working at his "desk"

When Chris finished work for the day we would go to a restaurant or make a simple dinner. We ate at our outdoor kitchen table as the sun set and we waited to be greeted by howler monkeys. The monkeys never stopped by, but we did hear them a few times.

After we cleared the table, we pulled out a game for the five of us to play. Our favorite ended up being a card game called Fab Fiction. The goal was to weave a story out of the words on the card. As we passed the card around the table we added crazy plot lines, funny characters, and filled the air with laughter.

Our time in Costa Rica was short and we were sad when it was time to pack up. Chris had successfully worked while in Costa Rica. I had learned how to navigate the town. I wasn’t ready to go. I wanted to learn more Spanish. I wanted to walk back down to the beach. I wanted to see the monkeys that hadn’t stopped by yet. I wanted to buy my girls more fresh mangoes. I wanted to experience more life here.

As we boarded the plane to come back home we were excited to see our family and friends, but we were also leaving a part of our hearts in Costa Rica. Chris turned to me at one point and said, “I feel like we have two different lives. One in Wisconsin and one in Costa Rica. When we are in Wisconsin our life in Costa Rica is on pause. And when we return we pick right back up where we left.” I couldn’t have agreed more! We are hoping that the next time we return to Costa Rica, the space we like to think of as our second home, we’ll be able to stay for an entire month! There will be more to navigate, and more to learn, but I’m excited to take on it all on!

Jaime and the girls cuddling in a hammock

Our Budget

Since this is a personal finance blog, I’ll also share our budget for this trip. We planned a $6,000 budget for a one week vacation in Costa Rica. This included all of our transportation, food, shelter, and any other expenses during this one week.

A brief review of our trip:

  • Saturday November 17: Flew into San Jose, Stayed the night,
  • Sunday November 18: Took a shuttle to Nosara, Stayed in Nosara for 4 nights
  • Thursday November 22: Took a shuttle to Monteverde, Stayed the night
  • Friday November 23: Took a shuttle to San Jose, Stayed the night
  • Saturday November 24: Flew home

We ended up spending a total of $5426.00:

Category Amount
Round-trip Flights (for 5) $2,784.00
Shuttle Transports $737.00
All Food $678.79
Airbnb $654.82
Hotels $425.00
Trains $69.00
Souvenirs $42.00
Miscellaneous $23.04
Parking $12.35