Why I Moved To Costa Rica | The Next 100

It’s definitely not what you think, thats for sure. If you told me 3 years ago I would be living here I am not sure I would have believed you. It’s crazy how much life can change in such a short time. Getting robbed wasn’t on my bucket list, but I live to tell the tale so there’s that.

I always knew I wanted to live somewhere different. It had to be somewhere outside of my comfort zone. I don’t think that I would have realized Costa Rica was for me. It’s crazy how much life can change in such a short time.

Quote

“Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.” – Zig Ziglar

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Highlights

00:00 Introduction
00:43 Why I move to Costa Rica
01:23 Pandemic changes everything
02:10 How beautiful Pura Vida
03:25 Experiencing home invasion
07:39 Neighborhood in Costa Rica
16:43 Life is long and fast
19:53 Conclusion

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Transcript

Molly: Welcome Back to The Next 100. It’s me. It’s Molly. I’m back. Thanks for joining me. It is getting pretty cold out there, even in Costa Rica. I mean, that means it’s like 71 and 74, but it feels cold. I don’t expect you to feel bad for me, but it does feel cold. I’m even wearing a kind of cozy sweater today.

So, you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about, you know, why I’m doing this podcast and what the point is and what kind of content would be valuable and I realize that I don’t really talk about my journey to Costa Rica that much. And I think because, well, it was a little bit painful, to be honest. You know, I didn’t leave in the most exciting of circumstances, you know, the pandemic and relationship with my mom there. There was a lot going on. I was excited to come here and it was always a plan, but it was like a retirement plan. It wasn’t a plan right now. And everything kind of changed. You know it. I don’t know.

Everything sort of changed and well, everything didn’t sort of change. Everything completely changed in the pandemic, right? How we did business, where we did business, where I was living, where I wanted to live, what I felt was possible, what wasn’t possible, all of that completely tipped on its axis. And I found an opportunity to go to Costa Rica and I took it. And three weeks after I got here, I was drugged and robbed in a home invasion. And I didn’t do anything to deserve it. I know people, I think, and who would say that? Lots of people. I didn’t go to any bars. I used the same taxi driver. I didn’t have any interactions with anybody. They literally were just waiting for me to move in. And it’s a really big problem in Costa Rica. There’s a lot of home invasions all the time, honestly, you know, I love Costa Rica and it didn’t make me want to leave. But Costa Rica has got a great PR campaign and pure life. Pura Vida is absolutely accurate. I mean, there’s toucans flying by and beautiful birds and I mean, just the flowers that I’m looking in my yard right now and there’s a volcano and a lake.

I mean, it’s just unreal. It’s absolutely unreal how beautiful it is. And so Pura Vida is a very accurate statement, but it’s also Central America and it can be dangerous. And people don’t really like to talk about that because it shatters their dream of this utopia that they banked on. And so when you rattle that cage a little bit, people get really defensive and they don’t want to talk about it. And so nobody really tells you what’s happening. You kind of have to get here and figure it out. But at the end of the day, when you’re moving to another country or you don’t speak the language and everything is different, whether it’s a developing country or not, it doesn’t matter.

You are a guest here or a guest there, and you should kind of act accordingly and just not be shocked or surprised or appalled by anything. Because the whole reason why I left is because I wanted something different. And. And, boy, did I get it. And. You know, how did that happen? People ask me this a lot. I left one of my one of those, like, slotted windows like your grandma had on a breezeway, like, you know, where they have in Florida, where you like, like rig a little crank. And I oh, I had one of those and I used to turn the A.C. on every night and close everything up. Otherwise, every bug and the whole town would have been in my living room. And so I would close it up every night and turn on the AC as soon as the sun went down. But apparently I left this one window open. And so at 140 in the morning they came through the window and it was three men. They approached the house they like, shining their flashlights at the security cameras. I have all the footage in case you’re wondering how effective security cameras are. And they got through the window and then they came to the house and then they blew a horse tranquilizer in our faces.

I had two friends from DC visiting and literally knocked us out while we were sleeping. And what it does is it just keeps you asleep and you wake up with a headache and all your shit is gone. And so they were in my bedroom, they were in my house for almost an hour. And I have no recollection. I have no memory of it. And it’s really impossible to defend yourself when you’re sleeping, especially when you’ve been drugged. And so. It was a lot. You know, it was a lot. It really was. Difficult thing, but I’m one of those people that just always survives. And then later on, in retrospect, I’m like, “Damn, that was super fun.” And that’s kind of one of those moments. I was more concerned with my friends who were visiting and feeling bad, and I just got into survival mode. I’ve had so many surgeries and so much pain in my life and I just got into survival mode.

And so I just dealt with it. And, you know, the cops showed up and well, we called them and they didn’t show up. So we called them again. And then they showed up, guns blazing, you know, big, big guns, fingers on the trigger point in them at us. They thought we were the robbers, you know. And so, you know, I’m in my kitchen. I’m totally just. I’m just all shook up trying to figure shit out. There’s two cops in my kitchen. They’re speaking Spanish with my landlord. I don’t understand anything that’s being said. All I see is that they still got their finger on the trigger for, like, 20 minutes. And all of that was a lot, you know, that was a lot. But at no point did it ever make me feel like I regretted my decision to move here, and it didn’t make me feel any differently about he goes, you know, it pisses me off a little bit when people say Crime happens everywhere, you know, shit’s such a fucking stupid thing since somebody. Of course it does. Right? But it’s the crime, you know? Right. It’s the devil you know.

And you know, in D.C., nobody’s coming to your window like that. You know what I’m saying? Hell, no, man. You get shot. You know, you might get shot on your front doorstep. You might get mugged right on your own front porch, my friend. But inside your house is relatively safe. And so. But what it did is it rattled my sense of security and well-being. And I did a bunch of therapy and, you know, ate a bunch of mushrooms and got my head right. You know, if that offends you read a book. But I did whatever it took to get things right. And I and I felt much better and I still do. But it’s crazy how every time I look back, I think to myself, Man, I’m better than I was two months ago. And it’s been like that for a year, you know, almost two years. It’s been almost two years. I moved to Costa Rica, January 20th, 28th, 2021. No, yeah, 2021. So it wasn’t even a full year into the pandemic. And so now I’m coming up on my two year anniversary. And so it’s wild to think that this stuff still affects me. Right. And there’s been some crime lately and home invasions in the general region. So it’s sort of triggering all that again. But at the end of the day, man, you know, that’s life right away.

We got to make choices. You know, the flip side is, I live in this beautiful place and I live in this amazing community full of people. Who genuinely seemed to actually care about me and, you know, look out for me and check in on me. And I’ve never felt more. Like supported or appreciated. And don’t get me wrong, in D.C., there’s a lot of people who love me and I love them. This is hard and everybody is just trying to survive in here. Everything slows down a little bit. You know, people ask me, what’s it like living in Costa Rica? Well, when you’re a business owner, you spend a lot of time on your computers. So it’s just sort of like having a really fancy Zoom background that’s real. Like that shit right there. But, you know, it’s very quiet. It’s very. Quiet. Other than the birds and the monkeys and the cows and the donkey. Back up there is a donkey. But It’s quiet here. And you have a lot of time for self-reflection. A lot. And there are so many moments. It’s like when you end a bad relationship and you’re, like, sweeping. And then you remember, oh, my God, something they did. And you’re like, God, how did you not see that? Right. Well, Costa Rica is like that. But for self reflection, you get all this time too.

Think about the things that’s happened in your life, the things that you did, things that are your fault, things you could have done better on, things you know. And for me, it’s not even like what happened to me, you know, or who rotten. It’s not about me. It’s about moments of recognizing, like, in my own company, where I was just shit as a leader. Oh, God. You know, even now, a couple of weeks ago, I’m sure I could pull an example in the last month where I was a shit ass leader. Man, I’m really trying, you know? But, gosh, just this quiet time gives you so much time to reflect, and sometimes it gives me too much time. So there’s a balance there. I’m curious how other people navigate that stuff, because I think sometimes when you take when you’re in therapy for too much, you know, and you go every week, it’s like sometimes I’m in a good mood and then I go read trigger a bunch of childhood drama and I’m like, Bro, it’s Tuesday. I got work to do. I can’t afford to be this messed up every week. But sometimes you really have to do that. And so there’s a balance there. There’s balance trying to figure all that out. But Costa Rica is just such a beautiful place and it really brings everything back. You know, like I have a doctor, like a local doctor who I can text on WhatsApp and ask her for information or advice or tell her about my health. And I have all this amazing community and I have great friends. You know, people say it’s really hard to make friends as an adult, I think. You know, I think it’s what you focus on, right? Because. If you’re looking for friends who are exactly like you, who feel the same way about you, who voted for the same person as you and have the same beliefs and believe in the same God. And they did it well.

You’re going to have a hard time making friends. And the thing about Costa Rica is that it doesn’t matter. None of that shit matters. Like there’s a certain type of person that leaves everything that they know and moves here. There’s a certain type of person who is like, I’m totally down and live in a developing country and live off a dirt road and like to do that right. It’s a different kind of person and it doesn’t matter who they voted for. It doesn’t matter if the Republican or Democrat does it. None of that matters. And it’s cool how quickly all that stuff kind of fades here because. You know, if your dog bites one of their toes and has a seizure, your neighbor is going to help you. Are you going to say, excuse me, who did you vote for or I’m sorry, but you’re not using the right words or you’re not being politically correct or you’re offending me because no, man, that’s that doesn’t exist here. You know, nobody’s policing each other’s language. It’s just people are here surviving and relating to each other and sharing stories and being good community members. And I think there’s such a big lesson there. And what does that look like? And it’s easy for me to say to tune out of all of those things, because I don’t live in the United States, you know, and that’s just the reality of it.

I’m not a United States haters and miss me with that. I just traveled all over the United States a whole bunch of times. Drove across the country so many times. I’ve lived in California. I lived in New York, I lived in Boston, I lived in Ames, and I’ve lived all over. And the United States is cool, but I’m over it. I want to see some new stuff. And Costa Rica is a great home base for me because then it affords me the opportunity to travel to other places and live a more affordable life and not be in the matrix, you know? And I mean, I’m still in it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not in it. In it. And so. You don’t realize that your body is in fight or flight mode all the time living in the United States. You don’t you honestly don’t realize it until you come someplace like this and you’re like, oh, fuck, it is so quiet and. Like I said, a lot of self-reflection. But what it is now is a lot of noise. There’s not even a lot of advertisements. You know, there’s not even a and unfortunately, you know, who has billboards in this country, white people who come here and sell real estate. Y’all need to cut that shit out. Nobody needs to see your fucking gringo face on a huge billboard messing up the scenery. They’re all legal anyway.

All in my rant there. But there’s not even a lot of signage here. And so it’s just really quiet. And then in the United States, it’s like average, even in ways they’re popping that, hey, Starbucks is coming up like it’s a pressure cooker. And I’m reminded of that when I’m reading the, you know, Morning Brew or the Associated Press, the Little Morning Digest, and I’m just skimming through the headlines. Everyone’s when I make mistake, like clicking on one of the links and I can literally feel my blood pressure go up. I can literally feel myself physically reacting to what I’m reading. And it just reminds me of how I was there all the time. I just lived there and now I live here and it just spikes up. Spikes because of stress, because of health, because of it. But I’m baseline, you know what I’m saying? And then some of that news comes in or somebody new moves into town and they’re still all keyed up about vaccines or whatever. And they’re bringing all this energy and it’s like, Whoa, man, I’m like the alderman here. I’m like, Whoa, man, watch your energy, bro. But for real, like, none of us moved here for that, and I appreciate that. And so the community that I have found and built and been gifted here by moving into this neighborhood in particular is such an incredible gift.

And I think Thanksgiving really gave me an opportunity to really reflect on that and appreciate where I’m at. But yeah. A man living in Costa Rica. You know, if you have any inkling of doing it, like, come on with it then men come, you come for a month, get an Airbnb, you spend the money, what? Sublet your own place, whatever, and come live here for you can’t decide if you want to live in Costa Rica, come for a week. First of all, it takes forever to get anywhere here. So you’re like, oh, it’s only 40 miles. Yeah, 40 miles. Going to take you 2 hours, so don’t get it twisted. Everything takes longer. So if you actually want to see Costa Rica, you need like three weeks, maybe even longer, to not just be like, go, go, go, go. But there’s only a few central areas in Central Valley, San Jose, I don’t know, or like the beach regions or like the Southern, you know, people live in the peninsula and down there, but it’s way more remote. So there’s not all that many places. But my point is, I encourage you to do that. If that’s what you want to do, you should do that. And.

Because life moves fast, you know, and. My biggest thing that was just echoing going through my head is that. You know, life moves fast and I want to make the next 20 the best one because it might be the only 20 I got. And quite frankly, those 20 aren’t even guaranteed. If I keep having these issues, I might fall out any day, you know what I’m saying? So just know I died. Happy, I guess. Comes to an abrupt end. You know why? But that was really fucking morbid. But the point is, anything is possible. But if I’m going to be on this planet, I want to spend the rest of my time looking at beautiful things. And that’s the commitment I made to myself. And that’s why I live where I live with this beautiful scenery behind me and all around me. And it’s why I make the sacrifices to be here and to be a little more isolated, but also feel more connected than I have ever felt. I mean, it’s not like I’m old man winter up on this mountain. I got good people in this neighborhood, you know, and. But life happens fast, man.

And, you know, if you wonder what it’s going to be like, take a look at your parents, you know? Can they? You know, it’s like you finally get to that retirement age on your knees and you can’t do all the things you want to do. And I don’t I don’t I don’t want to blink my eyes and wake up again and to think to myself, man, I missed it again. I missed my last sprint. And yeah, there’s people that lived to be 80 and 90, even 100, especially around here. This is a blue zone. They’re literally famous for people living a long time. But I think I came in at a deficit, so I don’t have high expectations, but. Life. Life is fast, man. And, you know, one of my friends likes to quote me because one time he said, life is short. And I said, no, man, life is long. And he just laughed at me. But I said, no, really, when when you’re not happy. Life is long. Life is hard. Love days are long. When you’re not happy. When you’re depressed, when you’re not moving, when you’re stagnant and you’re sitting in your own shit.

Life is long and hard and arduous, but when you’re feeling good and you’re doing the things you’re supposed to do, the days go by and you’re feeling better and you’re accountable to yourself. That’s when life is good and that’s when life is short, you know, that’s when life is short. So, you know, embrace it and don’t be afraid because, you know, people say to me all the time, oh, you’re so brave. I’m not brave. Moving to Costa Rica. I just did it. Okay. Bravery is running into a building, sacrificing my life for the betterment of others. I sacrifice my discomfort for the betterment of myself. I am not brave, you know, bold, dumb, maybe, but brave now. And I do it again. I do it again in a hard segue. And even if I had to get broken into again, I’d do it again. Because you know what? It’s worth it. And I’m so grateful for this time and I’m excited for what’s next. So if part of the reason why you’re listening to this podcast is because you’re curious about me and the fact that I live in Costa Rica, let me know. I’ll tell you more Costa Rica stuff. It’s pretty cool.

I think the reason why I have been doing that is because I got really spooked about the break in and I became very uncomfortable with talking about where I live or showing where I live or just even I don’t even know. PTSD makes you feel like. So I’m doing my best, but it’s a little bit more about me, a little bit more personal. And, you know, I think there’s a lot of women in this podcast who own businesses, and I really like that and I really want to help. And so if I can do that, that’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to. If I’m an inspiration to you in any way, shape or form, then that’s awesome, man. You know, I feel like a douchebag saying that. But whatever. If me moving in Costa Rica makes you feel like, you know, fuck it, I’m going to do the thing that I’ve been wanting to do too. And that’s awesome. And I think you should do it, and I think you should tell me about it because, man, that’s what life is all about. So this episode is already a little bit too long, but I figured, you know, this is who I am and this is what’s happening and this is what’s happened to me. So sometimes I check out a little bit and that’s okay too. But here I am.

Thanks for taking time to listen to me and appreciate me speaking my truth. And I hope it makes you want to take the next step in your life. And, hey, if you end up in Costa Rica, you better hit me up for sure. We’re gonna hang out and have an imperial. So on that note, have a good one. Be good to each other and I’ll catch you on the flip side.