February 4, 2014 @ 2:27 PM


 Insights of Living in Costa Rica

In 2007 myself and my daughter Casey, who was 9 at the time, decided to sell everything, packed up four suit cases and moved to Costa Rica, sight unseen.  Neither of us spoke a word of Spanish as we boarded the plane headed for the healing adventure of our lives. Casey and I spent almost 6 years living, going to school and working in Costa Rica.


Together with my young daughter I started two different profitable guesthouses which are still both running with new owners. These two guesthouses were both started on a shoe string budget with very little monetary investment.  Using only our imaginations and knowledge of what we had learned while living in Costa Rica we started these two fun and successful businesses.

While my daughter became fluent in Spanish in what seemed like record time without even the slightest gringo accent. (Even the locals find it hard to tell she is a native English speaker) I still struggle trying to communicate confidently in Spanish.  My repertoire of Spanish words has grown exponentially but still working on putting them together to make conversation in the way I would like. I love the Spanish language and will keep practicing until I get it. I realize that perhaps I leaned too much on others to translate for me because of my shyness of my mispronunciation. I certainly understand and speak much more than I did when we first moved to Costa Rica and I am still learning Spanish poco a poco. I laugh because some newcomers even ask me to translate for them and are impressed as they think I speak the language so well. Unfortunately that is because they  are at where I was when I first moved and did not understand or speak Spanish at all. :) They too will be picking up words and sentences before they know it.

During those 6 years I had the honor of working with two of the most wonderfully amazing, eco-sustainable, organic lodges. I worked with Finca Luna Nueva Lodge as online marketing director, volunteer coordinator and spa manager. I also worked with Rancho Margot managing their healing center. I provided holistic services at both lodges to guests from around the world who were visiting, vacationing or as what a guest coined edu-vacationing in Costa Rica. These two eco-lodges are the jewels of the north central region of Costa Rica and I learned so much about community ,sustainability and protecting our earth and especially the rainforest.

Casey and I came back to the states in March 2012 to spend time with my mom who is 88 years young and my grown son Justin who lives in Colorado.  We initially were just going to spend some time in the states spending quality time with family and then return to Costa Rica to start our next adventure. As destiny would have it, I met and fell in love with my wonderful husband, Wes Baltzell and my soon to be children. Casey gained four new siblings almost overnight. Wes had four children ranging from ages 12 to 16. So now we will return with Stevie 16, Shannon 15, Sarah 13 and Jake 12 years old.

So now instead of just Casey and myself returning to Costa Rica we will be returning to Costa Rica with just a few more family members than we originally anticipated.

 My new husband is so excited about the move to Costa Rica that he could almost be called obsessed. Big Smile!  He is this way despite my most valiant efforts of trying to dissuade his enthusiasm by including every possible challenge I went through, as well as anything I have ever heard others say about their challenges of moving to Costa Rica. I overly emphasized, even possibly exaggerated any thing that could possibly be construed as a negative aspect of relocating. I wanted to make sure that he did not just have rose colored glasses about moving and living in Costa Rica.  Nothing I said deterred this newly found dream of moving to Costa Rica.

 This condition is really quite common and happens very frequently to those who get introduced to Costa Rica by someone who has already been there. It starts with this amazing little suggestion and then almost overnight it can become the foremost thought in those people's mind.  Usually this is because these folks are already feeling that call of a better way of life. It may only take you sharing your story or answering questions for others to have a full blown outbreak of "Lets Go"! Be forewarned it can be very contagious. Our children have already been infected by the enthusiasm of Costa Rica and now they just keep asking if we can't move sooner rather than later.

We have started planning our retirement in Costa Ricao we bought a rustic home on the riverbanks of the Rio Chachagua about 14km from La Fortuna and the Arenal area. We live in growning commmunity of individuals, couples and best of all families.

You experience a sense of community and sustainability that is unsurpassed anywhere in Central America.

If you are visiting or moving to Costa Rica I would be delighted to help you plan your move, make recommendations, give you advice on who to contact to get the best deals on tours, hotels, airfare, vacation packages or real estate. I can help you find the most up to date information on relocation, medical tourism,or almost anything you want to know about Costa Rica. I can help you plan a vacation or put you in contact with the right connections to save you money and time. Please free to contact me.


Pura Vida!! 

Robin Jones-Baltzell

Phone 850-895-2000 email puravidagringa.com@gmail.com

ps. Moving to Costa Rica means you might have to reinvent yourself just a little but if you have a desire for a simpler more down to earth lifestyle in the happiest country in the world then please ask me if I think it is worth it... the answer is an astounding Oh Yes!!!!