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Friends are the Family You Choose

Don’t call it a come back…I've been here for years. Okay, okay I am back my friends for the next installment of the Murray Adventures, aka having a midlife crisis and selling all your stuff and moving to a country that you have never been to, know nobody and don’t speak the language. You know, the more I say that out loud, maybe we ARE crazy. Just kidding, not maybe…we are definitely crazy, but in a fun way! Never miss a blog by signing up to receive them via email here.

So few posts ago, we spoke about how our experience in Tamarindo was. To recap, the place has a whole vibe that we loved and is like Asheville, NC or Austin, TX mixed with late seventies Southern California surf culture. Mix it all up and you have Tamarindo. An international bustling surf town. While Tamarindo is a party destination town no doubt, there are elements associated with a party town that sometimes young parents such as ourselves may want to avoid or may not be interested in (not us, but some may). When we first arrived in Costa Rica, we were introduced to Playas del Coco. This is where we have called home for the last 2 months. We liked it so much we opened a business and recently bought a house here (we’ll talk more about the house later).

Playas del Coco was described initially by a few people as a calmer, more family friendly area than the party atmosphere we knew in Tamarindo. It has all the night life that you would want and is a busy tourist destination. Outside of the “downtown” area, it is mostly gorgeous condos and beautiful homes. The downtown area has several beach bars, as well as American/Canadian/Western style Tap Houses with your choice of many local craft beers. Coconutz is my personal favorite spot. I can go in there any day of the week and crush a hazy IPA and watch any sport I want. On weekends it is swarmed with college and NFL football fans. Go Penn State and Go Birds. I almost forgot that I am back on the Phillies bandwagon, so GO PHILS!!!!! The place is really cool, and if you go in have my man Jonathan (a kick ass server) or Eela (the kick ass manager) take care of you.

Andre & Fiona enjoying drinks at Coconutz

Playas del Coco is a few minutes away from other absolutely gorgeous beaches. Playa Ocotal, Playa Hermosa (where we just bought an adorable little casita) and the very prestigious Papagayo Peninsula. In addition to several luxury hotels, including the impressive Four Seasons Resort, there are plans for a PGA golf course, a Waldorf Astoria and even rumors of a super yacht marina coming in the next few years. And, at only a 20 minute drive to an international airport (Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia), a Walmart, Pricesmart (Central American Costco), and any American-style fast food you would want, it is definitely an ideal location for foreign vacationers and relocating expats. I would say this area is less “international” and consists of mainly 3 nationalities. Native Costa Ricans, Canadians and Americans. I, of course, mean cool Canadians and Americans, and not lame ones.

We arrived here in Coco on 9/2 and were ready to get cracking on the business. Rebecca’s role was the website and back end stuff (well done babe) and mine was getting our name out there through introductions to every property manager in the greater Coco area. We enlisted their assistance in marketing and set up a rewarding referral program called our “White Glove Service”. Check out our list of WGS partners on our FAQ page here. How did I do this you ask…. Well, I just used this amazing skill set I picked up along the way of being mildly likable, talking a lot, being a little pushy (in a friendly and fun way) and buying lunches/coffee/beers for people and in turn gaining their support of our venture. Turns out, I am awesome at this. Business is going smoothly and Rebecca and I are learning from our first time business owner mistakes and are excited to get through our first tourist season that starts here in a few weeks. Today the lesson is how to link your biz PayPal account with your newly created Costa Rican Business Bank Account...then we have link that with the CR Tax Authority, and these other couple systems and blah blah blah money happens. Manuel our amazing Accountant as been a huge help for us since clearly, based on that last sentence, I don’t know what I am doing lol.

So we arrived in Coco ready to rock and roll with the business. What we didn’t expect was to live directly next door to a young family who have quickly become forever friends. We were lucky to meet this amazing Canadian couple, Heidi and Carlo, and their son Andre. Andre and our kids have become fast friends and the parents have also hit it off famously. We even took a joint trip to Tamarindo together that was super fun (maybe too much fun, as it required a decent amount of recovery).

They have quickly became “family” to us, in the absence of our real family here in CR. Heidi is a retired teacher and Carlo is an International House DJ who travels (it’s so cool listening to him on Spotify…. Dude is way cooler then me). They moved to CR for many of the same reasons we moved. They wanted to be away from the noise and wanted to be together in Paradise. It sounded really familiar. We trust them with our children and they trust us with their son (and cats). They have made this transition to our new life much easier. It is amazing meeting and clicking with people all over the world.

We are 2 for 2 on the last neighbors we have had being awesome. Gregg (3G), Nicole and family were our first awesome neighbors in Charlotte. Come visit bros!!!

Rebecca just got back from the US with Rocco (our youngest). She had to travel for a few doctors appointments for her and the boy. She was able to catch up with friends and family for a few days, but she is back home now in Paradise. Back home in paradise with more of our stuff from our storage unit in Charlotte, and additional strollers and car seats for our business (importing into CR is NUTS, so every trip home we bring stuff back). There are so many opportunities here to start a new life or start a new business. Any successful business in the US or Canada, very well may not exist here. It’s waiting for you to come start it. You must visit here in order to understand…I assure you that if you visit, you will not want to leave…if you leave, you will only be thinking about returning. If you return, you will be living here within the next 5 years. It’s just science folks.

Pura Vida is what they say here and it simply means Pure Life. It is more than a saying in Costa Rica, it is a way of life. Life is for living folks and that is what we are doing. It’s not easy, it’s stressful, we work hard, but we are lucky enough to live in this paradise and see the ocean every day. We live healthy with fulfilled hearts. If MBB doesn’t work, then we will figure something else out. All I know is that we love Costa Rica!

Pura Vida Amigos!

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1 Comment

Jonathan Lach
Jonathan Lach
Oct 28, 2022

More Canadian friends? I will take credit for introducing you to the great people of Canada 😉 Go Montreal Alouettes!

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