Browsing CategoryExpat Living

Blogging Course Scams and Cons

Dreaming of living abroad as a blogging digital nomad, people are blindly handing over their money to a growing numbers of online experts. One Woman’s Cautionary Tale Staring into the stark light of my Mac in disbelief that September morning, I reread the email. I’d flown cross-country to San Francisco for a workshop I signed up for months ago. Now, hours before it was to begin, my online guru is cancelling it. 9 Months earlier  The Initial Sales Pitch I dabbled with blogging years ago, as a way to escape my isolation as a newly-minted expat in Costa Rica. So, I listened with interest to the video I’d come across on Facebook. Chatting like a girlfriend, the disheveled-looking blonde says, Anyone can become a successful blogger with…

The Dark Side Of Digital Nomad Life

  A cautionary tale for those who are dreaming of an untethered life. Katey sits alone and pours another glass of wine. The price she paid for a really lousy bottle of California wine was obscene, but this is not a time to consider the budget. This is a time cling to the familiar, and enjoy another glass of chardonnay. One digital nomad’s tale She closes her eyes and remembers how she and her husband aimlessly walked through the neighborhood  market with their young daughter, and bravely tasted local fare from food carts and ‘hole-in-the-wall” restaurants. All those magical moments of the past few years, captured in dreamy Instagram shots, magazine articles, and blog posts, for their many followers to jealously enjoy. But now that she…

Camping With Your Kids in Northern Thailand · DAY 2 · 2 Day Itinerary

While camping with your kids in Doi Suthep National Park, visit a remote Hmong village and enjoy a cup of coffee in a tiny mountainside cafe · Read about DAY 1 here! · DAY 2  I awoke before sunrise and headed out in search of coffee, only to find other early risers also seeking hot beverages. The concession’s posted hours let us know that we’d all have to wait more than an hour before any coffee hot water + instant coffee/tea would be available, so I headed down to the nearby pavilions to enjoy the quiet and read by headlamp. Shortly before sunrise, I nudged the children out of their sleeping bags, bribing them with sweet breakfast treats I’d brought along in my pack. I helped bundle…

Camping With Your Kids in Northern Thailand · DAY 1 · 2 Day Itinerary

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, 16km northwest of Chiang Mai, has it all! Waterfalls, Hmong Villages, Temples, mountain biking, hiking, and camping! *Read DAY 2 here* Our mountain-born kids started camping long before their first birthdays, and love to sleep under the stars. Our two children (8 and 11) and I were visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2012 and heard about an amazing nearby campground in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, so we decided to check it out! DAY 1 – Depart from Chiang Mai Doi Suthep campground is located in the mountains, 24km outside of the city, in Doi Suthep National Park. I made a reservation online and packed our day packs. What to bring Clothes (layers best) and socks, hats and gloves, the nights are cool/cold year round.…

Become A Digital Nomad and Escape Your Stressful Life · We’ll Tell You How

This is the first in a new series of interviews and guest posts about living as a “digital nomad.” My friend Shay has kindly agreed to talk with us and share a bit about her experiences as a single millennial, living in Costa Rica.   ¡Buen día Shay! Thank you for your willingness to share about what it’s like to live in Costa Rica. Many of my readers are seriously considering moving abroad, so I’d like them to have as much information as possible as they consider this significant life change. let’s get started! Where are you from, originally?  Southern California, USA How long have you lived in Costa Rica? 10.5 years…Wow!! What are you looking at right now? Right now I am on a work…

Expat Moms Tell All! Guest Post Series- Moms With “Flip Flops On The Ground.”

The ONLY way to find out what raising children in Costa Rica is really like, is to go to the source. This the first in a series of upcoming guest posts by moms who are living the dream! Pura Vida, Penny Tina has lived in Atenas, Costa Rica for 18 years. She had both of her children in Costa Rica, and is raising them in this idyllic town. She owned and operated a community center and now runs her own real estate company. Today, she has kindly agreed to share her experiences with us! These guest posts will help you find out the pros and the cons, from people who are doing it and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.  After living 18 years…

Give your kids every advantage you can, by raising them abroad.

Raise Happy, Confident Global Citizens. Move Abroad With Your Kids.

We both considered the white button-down shirt as I held it up for inspection. It (like almost everything else in the trendy clothing store) is made out of an inexpensive grade of cotton, required daily ironing, and would undoubtedly shrink the first time it we washed it. All this for only $29.99. “I know it’s kind of expensive, but can we get it Mom?” my sweet 17 year-old daughter pleaded. We raised our now bilingual daughter abroad, which helped her land a great job at a nearby hospital. This was the type of shirt she needed for her position, so even though she and I usually hunt for bargains, I bought the shirt. Our children spent their formative years in Costa Rica and have both grown into…

7 Great Family Games To Bring Along When You Travel

Everyone’s fingers pointed toward me, Mom’s the werewolf!” They were correct as usual, I was the werewolf. The game we were playing, One Night · Werewolf, required skills I did not possess namely; lying, strategizing on the fly, and then more lying. I was terrible at it, but it wasn’t about how well I could play the game, it was about the laughter it induced and the lifelong memories we were creating with our kids. Like many families, we try to sit down together for meals as often as we can. It gives us a chance to catch up and connect, but that brief time can sometimes feel forced and that type of environment doesn’t always inspire openness. When we want to really connect with our kids,…

5 TRUTHS ABOUT EXPAT LIVING · Free ebook!

Watching too many episodes of House Hunters International lately? Can you see yourself waking up to unscheduled days, ready for whatever adventure comes your way? Are you thinking, “I’ve got to get out of here!” more and more these days? Well maybe you can do just that. Moving abroad is not terribly difficult. Once you’ve made the decision, you research different countries’ annual rainfall, crime rates, and cost of living. You voraciously read books about different expats’ madcap experiences as they got to know their new home country, and before long you feel ready to “pull the trigger.” Thousands of people, just like you, have traded in the rat race for a completely different life, but research has shown that the average length of stay for expats…

“I’ll Have The Love Tacos Please!” – How We Successfully Operated Our Restaurant in Costa Rica

The old restaurant refrigerator hummed and rumbled sporadically, a sign that for at least this moment, all of its’ contents weren’t “going south.” This would be the last time I’d heave up the rolling steel garage doors of our tiny Mexican restaurant, that opened up to the bustling street in front. I surveyed the dining room, shaking my head as I looked down at the bulky Guanacaste wood tables and chairs that took up way too much room. They’d been made by a local artist, so we’d tolerated the inconvenience and bruised shins for years. The bright-colored Mexican blankets and papel picado, hanging on the walls, were covered with a thin layer of street dust, a relentless foe, I constantly battled. I’d painstakingly rag painted…