A couple Fridays a month I will be featuring another blogger or up-and-coming writer on my site. Stories range from expat life to travel/adventure. If you are interested in possibly being featured, please read the info hereand get in touch! You may notice differences in terminology, vocabulary and spellings here but I think keeping it authentic to the author’s voice and background makes for a richer reading.
Becoming an Expat
By: Jason Mueller
“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” Roman Payne
Many people don’t even get a chance to travel outside of their own country of origin or even their home state or province so the thought of becoming an expat in a completely strange country may seem overwhelming and scary. For me I think I was destined to become an expat, I got addicted to traveling when I was a kid I believe, I was privileged to be in a family that took family vacations to some pretty cool places like Disneyland and Reno. It was only natural that I turn in to a wanderlust when I was all gown up. I couldn’t imagine having an anxiety order like agoraphobia, in fact I am the complete opposite, if I stay in the same place for too long then I get anxious and look for change. This seems to be a trait that you seem to have or don’t have.
Becoming an expat is not easy, probably the hardest part is not knowing what the outcome may be, for me I was conditioned to take risks. When I was living a life that I didn’t necessarily enjoy in my early 20’s I made a life changing decision to follow a dream I had and quit a decent paying job and become a full time poker player. I made this decision shortly after watching The Secret, thankfully a friend frantically introduced me to the life of conscious thinking and the law of attraction. It was through taking a big leap of faith and having everything work out that I realized I could do anything I wanted.
After winning some money from playing poker I decided to go an epic backpacking trip for 3.5 months to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. It was in Australia that I almost became an expat for the first time, I was contemplating moving there but decided not to. For anyone that thinks expat life is for them I would highly recommend going traveling for extended periods of time. It is good to get to know other countries cultures, there are many differences in the world and chances are you have it way better than you could ever imagine.
If you are thinking about moving to another country it is best to spend some time getting to know the specific country and city or town that you plan on moving to. I would recommend at least 6 months, now I pretty much jumped in and decided that I was moving to Costa Rica after taking a 1 month vacation there but remember I am known for making decisions very fast, I can’t say I have any regrets but I have watched many Youtube videos warning people not to move to Costa Rica or other Latin American countries.
One character attribute that expats must have is the ability to make adaptations and be willing to accept changes. For instance the original business plan that I had intended to do when I first moved here fell through because I had a falling out with a business partner/friend but I opened up another business named Jaco Ropes which ended up being totally different than the original plan. Of course things starting out with a business are usually slow but we had a really slow year for tourism in Central America so I had to make the decision to pick up some online work for A-1 Auto Transport. I also started a separate business to try and help bring in some extra income and tourism to my existing business named Costa Rica Vacation Rentals. The point is that you have to do what it takes to survive and most often things do not always go as planned.
Expat Life in Costa Rica
Life in Costa is hard to beat when you are on vacation but living here as an expat can be challenging at times. For instance the fast passed life of living in Canada that I had become accustom to came to an almost drastic halt. The pace of life is very slow around here and if you are looking to get something done fast then this is the wrong place, for instance if you are planning on going to the bank or running an errand chance are it will take you way longer than you had hoped. The locals are referred to as ticos and they are notorious for operating on “tico time” They are basically never on time and projects can be delayed for months, sometimes years.
Of course Costa Rica’s native language is Spanish so it is best to learn if you are planning to live here. Although in Jaco, where I live and much like in other tourist parts of the country, lots locals speak English but it is always going to be natural for them to speak Spanish when socializing in groups.
Are you ready to Become an Expat?
Jason Mueller is an entrepreneur living in Costa Rica with family from Canada. Since graduating from high school and getting his pilot’s licence, he has lived to travel the world looking for adventure. You can find him on Facebook and Instagram.