Living in Costa Rica is thirsty work. Because of this, after a couple of cups of strong Costa Rican coffee, water is my main, all-day beverage. Still, after a long day of walking around the hilly city of Grecia under the hot sun, and stressing my tongue out over Spanish phrases with confused but patient Ticos, a glass of wine for this tired mama is not out of the question. In fact, I’m tipping one back as I post this very entry. 🙂

A 750ML bottle of merlot from Spain costs 2,500 colones in the local tienda, or the equivalent of $4.65. Not a bad price, but then I have to dispose of the glass bottle, and from what I hear from a friend, drop off for a local recycling program is only once every two weeks. So I will have to save up my boIMG_4514.JPGttles, then carry them to whatever drop-off point there is to recycle. It seems like a lot of work for a little buzz.

Today Kevin found a small 1L box of Spanish red wine that was only 1,500 colones, or the equivalent of $2.79. More for less! Plus, there’s less packaging to dispose of, to carry to the recycling drop-off, and to store in the meantime. Having a lot of trash doesn’t seem to be the norm here as it is in the United States.

This wine hack is a metaphor for other benefits we’ve seen living here in our travel lifestyle. Everyone says Costa Rica is expensive and, to a certain extent, compared to other places, I suppose that’s true.

But it’s not necessarily Costa Rica—it’s the way we live when traveling that can be simple. We don’t have a lot of clothes or other personal belongings here. I only have what fit into a 70L backpack. We don’t own the house we live in. We don’t have a car. We don’t have tons of books and use library ebooks to fill in with what we do have. I packed the lightest as I ever have for this three-month trip.

And I feel free.

I have less of my belongings to look at and less to take care of here. I have less choices so my brain doesn’t get muddled when I am deciding what to do, what to eat, what to read, or what to wear. The choices are simple in a life stripped of stuff. Moreover, the things that are important shine all the more brightly when they are the only character on the stage.

Here so far we have more time and less busyness…

IMG_4536-0.JPGmore walking and less driving…

more fresh air and less furnaced air…

more simplicity and less stress…

more sunshine and less gray clouds…

more deep breaths and less shallow ones…

more realness and less trying…

more learning and less buying…

more fresh air and less tossing and turning at night…

and more living for less money.IMG_4517.JPG

Yesterday we visited with a fellow American family who have been living in Costa Rica for two years. They, too, came for a 3-month trip. Now, two years later, they realize that Costa Rica is their true home. It was so nice getting to know them and hearing their story. I hope we will spend some more time together in the near future.

We also have visits planned with three other people in the next couple of weeks, not to mention the times we will no doubt spend with our neighbors. It’s expected that people will get together here. People are not too busy. And it just seems like the thing to do here in this old-fashioned place.