Oh, my goddess. I am sitting in Costa Rica RIGHT NOW! We flew into Liberia, Costa Rica on Tuesday. We left Austin, TX around 8:45 am, arrived in Houston around 9:45 am, arrived in Liberia around 1:30 pm (Costa Rica is one hour earlier than Central Time until Daylight Saving Time ends in November), and finally arrived at our rental space at 3 pm.
Dario was such a good traveler. I was a bit worried since this was the first time we flew sans breastfeeding. We did download Finding Dory - his current obsession - that we watched during the long flight to Costa Rica. But that’s when he took his 30-minute nap on Zac’s shoulder (fail for napping during traveling). Also, we had a baggie of snacks for him to eat for the elevations up and down. That’s where the crying babies usually come from - can you imagine how it would feel if you didn’t know to “pop” your ears during a flight? Super important to have your kids drink water and chew snacks to equalize the pressure in their little ears.
The rental van had a child’s seat (awesome!) however it was a front facing seat which we weren’t going to switch Dario until he was 2 years old. But honestly, he was super alert and interested in watching all the cars and cows and tractors the entire way to Tamarindo.
We rented an apartment on AirBnB for our first month so we would have time to look for something more long-term once we got on the ground. It’s super great. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a utility room we’re keeping Dario’s dirty diapers in, kitchen/dining/living open space area. The front yard is where I’m currently sitting under the covered patio with a huge fan. This place is great, no problems.
Our first few days have been spent checking boxes. And grocery shopping. We’ve literally been to the grocery store EVERY day since Tuesday. And we’re dropping $40 each time. The cheap living we were looking for has not presented itself yet. But we’re also starting from nothing so weekly shopping will come, maybe the week before we leave. Zac got us a Costa Rican phone number so locals can call and text me for yoga, hopefully. We have also gone to the beach and traveled to Playa Conchal (amazing!). Yesterday we bought a $12, 12 piece firetruck puzzle for Dario. He loves puzzles but $1 per piece?! We still need to take a trip to the next big town over that has a resale shop. But…. Dario has done the puzzle about 20 times already and it’s fine, it was a good purchase.
We found our long-term lease opportunity and sign the lease on Monday! Whoa, Zac is so good at getting things done. He’s been looking online, we’ve been calling signs we see (thanks to the local number!), and found a realtor next door. Jennifer, the lovely realtor, is also letting us borrow a big plastic bin for Dario’s baths until we can get to that big town with the resale shop where we can buy our own big bin for baths since there are no baths anywhere in Costa Rica.
So we have a place to sleep, we’re eating food, visiting beaches - what about yoga? Zac is going to work from home for Texas Campaign for the Environment 20 hours a week. My responsibility for our budget is $10,000 a year, or $200 a week. Step one: contact all the yoga studios in town. One studio straight up told me I need to be bilingual - which I am practicing my Spanish! Thirty minutes a day, thank you Duolingo! So I’ll reapply there next travel round in January. Another studio is a gym and the website (aka Facebook page) is all Spanish - so… January, again. Of the other TWO studios, one has been radio silent so I’m going to go and take a class next week - there’s a class that also contains meditation so that’s the one I’m eyeing. Talk to them in person and see if there are any opportunities. And the final studio, tada! I have a demo on Monday! Wish me luck.
But there’s no way that one studio will be enough for my $200 slice of the weekly family pie. I have updated (by hand) my business cards so I need to drop them off at all SEVENTY-EIGHT hotels in Tamarindo and maybe drum up some donation classes or even private sessions from tourists. Put that one the to-do list for next week before Zac goes back to work October 1st. Also, I posted on Facebook working to drum up private session business and people are mean on the internet. I had to take a post down from an Expat in Costa Rica Facebook group and I have a pretty thick skin - especially through the screen of the computer. But holy goddess people were awful. So my newest idea is to teach private yoga over the internet. I’ve buddied up with a teacher friend and we’re going to be teaching each other every week for practice so that will hopefully smooth out any wrinkles as I’m working to book my schedule.
People teach yoga to people on Skype. This is not a new thing, it’s new to me, but not new to the world. Some charge $50 - $200/hour. I’m starting with $40 for 60 minutes, $45 for 75 minutes, $50 for 90 minutes. I feel like I’m lowballing myself here but I also have zero experience with teaching over the internet so let’s give it a go at first and see what happens. But I think it sounds great. Let’s say you’re brand new and don’t know what poses are which - no problem. I could go really slow and talk about alignment for all the poses. If someone wants a certain class, maybe a different Chakra every week or a class dedicated to moving towards handstand, then a personalized private class would be prefect. Also if someone has an injury they would need very specific poses to help the injured and very specific poses to avoid for the time being. I think that private yoga sessions are so beneficial. When I teach online I can see people and even have them see me to demo and show modifications. Definitely missing out on hands on assists and adjusts, which I love. Also, no essential oil therapy which is part of every class that I teach. But teaching via Skype can be so flexible. People can still be doing a weekly class with a trusted teacher when they travel for work, or if someone wants to do yoga super early or super late, or if someone is shy and wants to do yoga but doesn’t want to go to a class. I mean I can talk myself up about this exciting new thing all day but we’ll see what happens when the rubber hits the road and people start booking. Which they haven’t yet. Yet. I’m going to keep plugging and sharing. Because if FIVE people practice every week with me then that’s it. That’s all that I need. And I just love thinking about the personalized sequences and researching different modifications and physical anatomy for different people. I’m just so excited that this could be a thing. I hope this becomes a thing. I really, really want this to become my life so I’m going to work until I get the work and then I’m going to work to be awesome at the work. Work work work.
So that’s Costa Rica in our first four days. Highlights - Playa Conchal, learning Spanish, eating fish. Lowlights - groceries do not cost pennies, Dario has stopped sleeping through the night and wakes up at 5:30 am every morning. So tired.