Our Journey to Becoming a Digital Nomad Family
When I was a little girl when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say "a tourist". I looked at the world of stressed out people being unhappy with their jobs and lives, and the only people who seemed consistently happy were tourists, so it made sense that this was what I wanted to be as an adult. Fast forward to my adult life and I tried out a ton of career choices, eventually following in my father's footsteps with a career in accounting. Every day in the office though I would think about the places I wanted to go to and explore, planning my next trips out in detail in my head on every break.
I lived abroad for broad periods of time, trying out different jobs from bartending in Norway to working for an Italian helicopter company. But after having kids I resigned myself to thinking that we wouldn't be able to travel much going forward, and we would take trips when we could, mainly small trips around Hawaii where we were living at the time. Luckily though, my husband, Andre, loves travel as much as I do, and lived abroad in his youth as well, so we found ways to take more trips together than we expected, and gradually it has become our full-time life.
The first international move for us was to rural Portugal, as Andre was able through his work at the time to work on a research project in the mountains for a few months. Our older daughter, Synne, was three, and our younger daughter, Timea, was barely three months old at the time, and I was working full time remotely, so we juggled baby duties between a nanny who spoke only Portuguese, Andre took her for the evenings, and I worked 14 hours a day to meet a deadline. We loved every minute of it.
We would take walks every day around Montes de Senhora, on the ancient cobblestone streets, picking cherries and oranges from the abandoned orchards. Our local friends invited us to meet their families, we helped them harvest cherries, and we were given such an abundance of kiwis that we learned to cook with them in place of tomatoes. It was a a beautiful, simple life, and it became our goal to make this type of adventure a full-time gig.
Fast forward past many small trips to the pandemic. Andre had started working remotely a few months prior for a startup in Boulder, Colorado. We were supposed to be relocating up there from New Mexico, but we had been having a hard time finding a house we wanted to buy. The pandemic made it impossible to keep looking, and at first we were devastated. Then it dawned on us that this was an opportunity where Andre's job could continue to be remote indefinitely as well, so we started thinking where in the world we would want to live now that we could live anywhere?
After discussing all our travels, where we had lived, and tons of research online, we decided on Costa Rica. Why? Well first off we wanted to be near a beach where Andre can surf, so that narrowed it down quite a bit. Costa Rica is stable politically, abolished the military in 1949, there is minimal hurricane risk, and property rights are strong. Plus we wanted to go somewhere where the kids would be learning another language, as that is so important to do at a young age. And there is a big focus here on ecological matters, being a good global citizen.
Now we spend about six months a year at our beautiful beachside home in Playa Negra, Guanacaste, and the other six months a year we travel to amazing destinations that our children want to learn about and we want to explore. We look forward to sharing our adventures with you in this blog, and please comment about your own journey to becoming a digital nomad.