Lisa Valencia packed up everything and moved to Costa Rica in 2007.
Since then she has been creating art and living life to the fullest in her favourite place in the world.
She’s one of TravelPod’s most recent additions to the Local Expert team.
I asked her a few questions about her new life and on being a TP Local Expert and here’s what she said:
Lisa Valencia drenched after a rainstorm in Costa Rica
Why did you become a Local Expert?
I love my life in Costa Rica and want to inspire others to follow their dreams, too.
What are the best and worst things about living in Costa Rica?
The best thing is that I can live cheaply, in a beautiful place, and enjoy a leisurely lifestyle. My life is so much simpler here than when I lived in the States. I have time to walk on the beach and have idle conversation with whoever I meet, time to exercise, time to write, time to just be.
The worst thing about living in Costa Rica has not to do with the country but with me. The worst thing about living here is that I am not fluent in Spanish. Life would be so much richer if I was. But I keep learning, every day. I can’t think of anything that bad about living here – Oh! Yes I can – the bathrooms. Public bathrooms are not kept nearly as clean in this country as in the United States.
What are the top five things for travelers to do in Costa Rica from your personal experiences?
1. Go to the Caribbean, play on the beach, get to know the people and do the following:
2. Take a guided jungle hike.
3. Ride a horse in the mountains.
4. Go to a Salsa Club and watch the amazing dancers.
5. Go to the waterfalls.
What are some of your best and worst travel experiences?
There are so many…… and they’re all in my book!
The worst was the night I spent in a cheap hotel – no – it was the time all my clothes were stolen.
The best is every new day!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
In life – the two great kids I raised.
In travel – creating exactly the life I want to live in a tropical paradise, all on my own.
What do you do with most of your time?
It really varies. I write. I sometimes travel to other parts of Costa Rica. I do art work, spend time with my daughter and my friends, ride my bike and on and on……
What’s a typical day like for you?
I get up, do my yoga, eat breakfast and work online answering emails and writing. Then I’ll go out to do errands – buy some groceries, talk to people I meet on the street. Or maybe I’ll go to the beach for a few hours. Sometimes I walk the beach, sometimes I lay in the sun and read a book. At the end of the day, just as the sun is beginning to set, I like to get some more exercise by running on the beach. In the evening I usually eat at home, but sometimes go out to one of the great restaurants here in Puerto Viejo. Then I’ll stop in to one of the four or five places that have live music. Life is good!
What’s your favourite part of the TravelPod forum?
My favorite part is making connections with new people who love traveling and are interested in Costa Rica. I like to share my adventures and learn about theirs.