Hello, my name is Jason, some friend’s call me Jay and my journey started in July of 2014 when I sold my house moved my car and belongings to Costa Rica and started a completely new life 5600 kilometers away. To be frank my adventure started about 15 years when I first took a vacation to Costa Rica with my girlfriend at the time, her uncle and grandparents owned a hotel so we had it made. This trip is what sparked my love for this amazing country and also implanted a travel bug. I always felt the urge to go live in another county so one day I just said screw it, I’m going!
I have always been an entrepreneur and have owned a few businesses back home in Canada so when I came to Costa Rica I had big plans to start a business. My initial plans of having a cable wake board park fell through because a business partner and I had a falling out but I have met some amazing people along the way and ended up opening a ropes course adventure tour in Jaco, Costa Rica which is very exciting. This business is cool because it is really rewarding when a client comes a little scared but you get to see them face their fears and at the end of it all they are so happy feeling this sense of accomplishment. I think that in life you have to face your fears or you will not grow and I would be lying to you if I wasn’t a little bit afraid of starting a drastically new life in a country so far away, not to mention that I didn’t even know how to speak Spanish. I now understand maybe 40% hearing, can write 50% and read 75%. Watching movies with subtitles on has helped me a lot. My best advice for people looking to travel or move abroad is to learn the language especially if you are going to start a business. If you are starting a business abroad you will want to plan to have a lot more money than you initially planned on paper in your business plan, you better have a business plan! My money ran out quicker than I had imagined, this is usually the case with start-ups but I think especially abroad because there are so many unknowns.
I would recommend that you actually visit and spend some time at the place that you plan to move your LIFE to. I went for 2 vacation/business planning trips before I made the move but I had a condo lease agreement on the 2nd trip and the whole time I had it in mind that I was moving here. I kind of jumped in but that’s just my personality. I have no regrets but I hear stories of people that do regret moving to such an immensely different country. I think most people have a hard time with the language barrier and I will be honest it’s tough but that’s motivation to learn.
Costa Rica has been a great country to make a new home, the people are friendly and it is very safe. I mean there is some crimes, mostly robberies but I don’t know many places where that’s not the case unfortunately. I have never felt threatened but our office has been broken in to a few times, nothing major got stolen and one time they only got the milk. The hardest part about having a business in Costa Rica is dealing with “tico time” ticos are the locals and they don’t really seem to understand how time works. After living here I am partially convinced that time is just an allusion. I will say that the country is amazing and I would recommend moving here but don’t expect it to be easy.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson