Costa Rica Expat Life: Erin Morris, Alajuela Costa Rica
The Expat: Erin Morris
What is your blog url?
Where are you currently living?
Alajuela, Costa Rica, Central America for 1.5 years
What’s Your Story?
I grew up with a home base in South Carolina, but my family raised me while traveling all over the world. We even lived abroad in Denmark when I was only 10 years old. We traveled all over Europe, visiting the famous sites and showing up for historic moments like the tearing down of the Berlin wall. I believe it was this experience abroad that really opened my eyes to the beauty of traveling and experiencing other cultures.
When and where did you get the idea of living in Costa Rica?
I moved to Costa Rica to learn more about the country, culture, and family of my Tico fiancé. I’ve been here a year and a half. It was originally suppose to be for one year, but I feel like I only just scratched the surface and there is a lot more to learn. It also takes 10 times longer to do anything in the land of Pura Vida – those who live there know exactly what I’m talking about!! lol
My current status is Tourist – I have to leave the country every 3 months to renew my tourist visa.
How’s your Spanish?
I did not speak Spanish before I came to Costa Rica. Only English. I took a few preliminary classes before I left the States in order to start to train my brain. Once I got to Costa Rica, this made it a million times easier to absorb the language and excel in Spanish language school. I can understand, read and write fluently – still having trouble speaking with the Southern accent, though lol.
I think it’s critical to at least attempt to learn parts of the language of the country you are living in: Hello, Thank you, Where is the bathroom?, One more beer please.
What do you do?
Well, I quit my cushy 9 to 5 to move to Costa Rica. Now my office is wherever I happen to be sitting with my laptop. I dabble in a variety of things to make a living, in order to keep things interesting. I’m a freelance graphic designer, freelance translator, artist, and I manage a small local English language newspaper.
How do you find the cost of living in Costa Rica?
In some aspects, the cost of living in Costa Rica is higher than what I expected it to be, in others it is lower.
- Lower: fruits, vegetables, breads, utilities
- Higher: meats, the rest of the food in the grocery store, rent, quality clothing and furniture, cars, gas
It’s a balancing act to live inexpensively, but it is definitely doable. And there are perks – like a diet of mostly fresh fruits and veggies and the incredible biodiversity at my fingertips!
What do you love about Costa Rica expat life?
There are significant differences between life in Costa Rica and life in the United States. I have a blog full of posts discussing this in great detail, I mentioned some above…
And my love for Costa Rica fluctuates… it depends on what the day is like. If I’m dealing with the government, driving over the latest sinkhole, or missing my friends, I feel like life would be easier in the States. If I’m preparing a meal, I’m head over heels excited about the variety of fresh inexpensive ingredients available at my fingertips. Fresh fruit smoothies everyday, the lush rainforest outside my door, beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds floating and buzzing around my yard, open air houses, beaches… the list of pros goes on and on 🙂