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Costa Rica Budget

March 29, 2010 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Costa Rica was definitely more expensive than a lot of the places we’ve been over the last year and a half. That being said it also offered the most convenience and more modern amenities than anywhere else… which I suppose could be a plus or a minus depending on what you’re looking for. For us it was just what we needed. After a year on the road, and a particularly busy three months we were quite happy to find a nice place to rent and stay put for six months.

Before I jump into the numbers part of this post I want to remind everyone that we’re not budget backpackers. Yes you can do Costa Rica a lot cheaper than we did, but since this isn’t just a vacation for us, it’s a lifestyle, we often make choices that aren’t inline with other travelers priorities.

A comfortable place and a decent internet connection are always first priority on our list of requirements, which often means we stick to more touristy places and don’t venture off the beaten track as much as other travelers. When we arrived in Costa Rica we both had a lot of work lined up and knew we’d be spending the majority of our days online, so it was even more important than usual. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

From Tamarindo, Costa Rica to Roatan, Honduras

March 15, 2010 - Filed under Other, Travel

After 6 months, our time in Costa Rica has come to a close. Last week we woke up early to take the 5am shuttle to Liberia from Tamarindo. Around 9am, we boarded a Ticabus headed to Managua, Nicaragua. A few hours later, we arrived at the Nicaraguan border to find a HUGE line. Spending the next 3 hours frying our brains in the sun while we waited to get our exit visas, then another hour waiting as the Costa Rican DEA randomly selected our bus for a screening, and then another hour getting our entry visas in Nicaragua. During all this, the Canadian men’s final hockey game was going on… something we had realized only a few days earlier. Oops, bad scheduling on our part and we had hoped to make it to our destination on time to catch it. But we did meet a few people on the bus and chatted the hours away.


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Posted by: Shim

Costa Rican and Nicaraguan Beverages

March 11, 2010 - Filed under Drinks

In Costa Rica it’s safe to drink the water, but why would you when you’ve got all these other choices? ;) Costa Rica has one major brewery called Cerveceria de Costa Rica which is owned by the Florida Ice and Farm Co., but they brew a variety of beers locally. And there’s a few other canned beverage alternatives too. It’s the local custom to have your beer in a glass with ice, but as gringos we rarely had to ask for it without (‘sin hielo’).

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Posted by: Shim

Handmade Souvenir in Costa Rica

March 5, 2010 - Filed under Stuff to do

We don’t tend to buy a lot of souvenirs. They’re heavy and they take up too much space. We also don’t do a lot of sight-seeing. We don’t visit temples or museums and very rarely go on tours. Some might say we’re pretty crappy tourists. Instead we capture most of our “souvenirs” in the form of photos, and experience a place’s culture by doing things that are activity-based rather than passively seeing “the sights”.

On our last week in Tamarindo, I ended up with the first souvenir of our year and a half on the road. I took a pottery class and learned the traditional art of making Chorotega Pottery.

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Posted by: Kelly

Scuba Diving at Playas del Coco

February 11, 2010 - Filed under Eats, Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography

Since arriving in Costa Rica nearly 6 months ago, we haven’t been scuba diving much compared to the 80+ dives we did last year in Southeast Asia. We did a 2 dive trip to the Catalina Islands from Tamarindo a couple months ago where we saw a few eagle rays, a school of jacks, and 3 or 4 white tip reef sharks, but the visibility was really poor and with the Papagayo wind in full effect since then, we haven’t attempted another dive until this last weekend when we decided to take a quick trip to Playas del Coco.

We got on the local bus to Liberia at 9am which meanders in and out of each town on the way to it’s destination; picking up and dropping off school children, workers, and food and drink vendors as it goes. Liberia is approximately an hour away from Tamarindo by car, but the local bus takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours to get there. We got off the bus before Liberia at the turn off to Playas del Coco (shortly after Filadelfia) and switched buses. Our next bus came along within 45 minutes and we continued on through Sardinal. Within a half hour, we had completed our 3.5 hour journey arriving at Coco.


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Posted by: Shim

Nomadic Professionals – Interviewed by The Professional Hobo

January 18, 2010 - Filed under General


Kelly was interviewed by Nora Dunn from theprofessionalhobo.com not too long ago as part of her ‘A Week-In-The-Life of’ series. People sometimes assume that because we’re living in a tropical destination, we must be semi-retired, or that we’re always hanging out on the beach or diving… Truth be told, it’s been a very busy few months work-wise since we arrived in Costa Rica. For a closer look at what went on in an average week when we arrived in Costa Rica, have a look at Nora’s latest post here: A Week-In-The-Life of Kelly & Mike: Have Internet Will Travel

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Posted by: Shim

Our Nomadic Life — 2009 in Review

January 1, 2010 - Filed under General

2009 was an amazing year for us. It was a year full of travel, new experiences, fantastic memories, and thankfully a lot more ups than downs. It was our first full year without a permanent home and our first full year freelancing from the road. We visited 7 countries in 12 months, took 18 flights, and made a million new memories.

Below are just a few of those memories, as we look back and reminisce over an amazing 2009.

01_jan

We rang in the New Year with some friends at a beach resort in the Philippines. We had some great dives in January, made some new friends, rented a motorbike, and celebrated my 30th birthday. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Our ATV Tour from Tamarindo

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Stuff to do

I haven’t been getting my motor-sports fix lately, so Kelly and I decided to take an ATV trek this week. We booked a tour with FourTrax Adventure ATV tours and were picked up by a shuttle and transferred to the briefing point, a few minutes outside of Villa Real.

We ran over the basic controls; pretty familiar for a motorcycle rider, and took the ATVs for a quick test lap around the property. Because of the lack of counter steering on an ATV, it wasn’t immediately as intuitive for me as a motorcycle, but I got the hang of it soon enough.

ATV tour Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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Posted by: Shim

Nicaragua Visa Run from Tamarindo

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Drinks, Travel

As a tourist in Costa Rica, you can stay for a maximum of 90 days before you have to exit the country for 72 hours before reentry. Shortly before Xmas, our first three months in Costa Rica were coming to a close. Nicaragua is considerably nearer to Tamarindo than Panama, so we opted to head to Nicaragua for a quick visa run. Being so close to Christmas, many dates for the buses to Nicaragua were already fully booked, but luckily we were able to book a couple seats on the Ticabus (around $40 each) to and from Nicaragua as opposed to the ‘chicken bus’ where you walk across the border and catch another local bus on the other side.

Local bus from Tamarindo to Liberia
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Posted by: Shim

Learning to surf at Tamarindo Beach

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do

Tamarindo is a popular spot for learning to surf. The waves are fairly small (though there are a couple larger points along the beach) and it’s well suited for those just picking up the basics. There’s plenty of board rental shops along the beach, most of which will provide lessons for around $40 for a two hour lesson. So, a few weeks ago I decided to try surfing on my next day off.

Saturday came around and Kelly and I wandered down to the beach to find that a huge swell had come in and the usual 1-3 foot waves had turned into some monster 5-7 foot waves and bigger! I wandered into a surf shop to see if a lesson was doable in those conditions and they convinced me that by 3pm things would probably have calmed down a bit. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

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