Casa Sueno: The ideal rental property in Nosara
3 Bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, beautiful swimming pool
CASA MARIPOSA - LUXURY RESIDENCE
Amazing views - never miss a sunset!
Incredible views, 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath New Home
In November 2014 Cheryl Casone of FOX Business News visited Playa Guiones for vacation and what she realized about our local real estate market prompted her to share her findings live on FOX. Listen to this unsolicited promotion as it appeared on television in front of thousands of viewers.
Matt Banes, Century21nosara.com
Back in the late 70’s I recall my parents buying a new home in the suburbs outside of Baltimore. I was just old enough to appreciate my mom and dad’s excitement despite the endless model home tours where I had to sit patiently through boring discussions about schools, the neighborhood, and what life would soon become like for my sister and me as the new kids on the block. We were the typical North American family of four, and my parents had a vision of the comfortable lifestyle in an area with like-minded families—and it became exactly that. With this sort of upbringing, it’s interesting that three decades later I am living in Central America writing about a popular trend in modern family planning that has some families moving away from their home country’s suburbia to small rural communities like the seaside town of Nosara, Costa Rica—where the ideal lifestyle with like-minded families is affordable, adventurous, educational and down-right enjoyable.
So what do a modern day mom and dad consider before making such an incredible life-changing move to a foreign country—and what do they think after making the move? To answer these questions I sat down with a very unique family from San Diego, California—Tom, Jenny, Kai, and Sol Pellegrino. The Pellegrino’s have been living in Nosara for seven months now and their smiles tell all about this very exciting chapter in their lives. From changing professions to making new friends in a foreign country—this family has been through a life changing education and the results are everything they expected and more.
Meet the Pellegrinos: Tom, a former School Superintendent turned entrepreneur; Jenny a staffing executive with a major U.S. based technology recruiting firm; and Kai and Sol—ages 11 and 9, both with big smiles and lots of laughter.
Why did you make the decision to move your family to another country—what was the motivation?
Tom & Jenny: We moved seeking more of the five P's. Priorities, People, Peace, Play, and Plants.
Priorities for us means that we wanted to spend more time with our children and balance work, health, and family time better.
People means expanding our understanding of cultures outside the U.S. Understanding a culture is best achieved by speaking the language of the culture and we are committed to becoming bilingual.
Peace...We didn't think our move would bring world peace and it hasn't even stopped our boys from occasionally pushing each other's buttons, but it has slowed things down a bit and that was our goal...more peace and tranquility.
Play is important. We wanted to travel more and do the things that make us feel alive and happy together. For us that means surfing, mountain biking, horseback riding, running, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, soccer, rock climbing, and dancing.
Plants...This is about respecting and valuing nature. Taking hikes and immersing ourselves in nature is important to us. Being in the presence of turtles nesting that have traveled half way around the globe to do so brings a new level of appreciation to the circle of life. Ostional is a 40 minute bike ride from our house in Nosara. Every time I ride there early in the morning to see the turtles and have breakfast on the sand, I am thankful I did. It's surreal.
Why did you chose Playa Guiones in Nosara?
Tom: We chose to live in Nosara because of the heralded school Del Mar Academy, the raw beauty and nature, the surfing, and the investment opportunities in real estate.
Jenny: Everything seemed to match our desires—including the fact that there are several other families like ours living here. Plus it was easy for me to continue my career working remotely with the tools I need—namely good wifi!
What were the most important “must haves” for you in order to feel comfortable in your new community?
Jenny: The communities that we profiled had to be within a safe and stable country, have a great school, adequate infrastructure, abundant nature, be a Spanish speaking country, and provide access to high quality health care.
Tom: Surfing was a plus and Nosara has surfing spots for all levels—from beginners to expert. The boys and Jenny can go to the beach in Playa Guiones and enjoy a day of fun in the sun with other families and safe beach break conditions—and I can go and surf bigger waves in Ostional or Marbella when I have some free time and the swell is up. Beyond surfing, there are so many great one day and overnight trips we can take around the country that there seems to be so much to do—and all of it keeps each one of us excited about what’s next. [laughing] I do believe that’s the meaning of Pura Vida.
What were your biggest fears about moving to Costa Rica?
Tom & Jenny: We were worried that we might feel isolated from our family back in the States. We were not sure how long it would take to build a strong network of friends for each of us here. Lastly, we worried that our work would be impacted by slower net connection speeds.
The reality has been that we talk to family more than we did when we were 3-150 miles away from one another. Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangouts make it possible for us to see our nephews and nieces grow and check in on our parents. [Tom] My mother-in-law stayed with us for the month of December and that allowed us to become really close.
Building a network of quality friends takes time. We were fortunate to have great neighbors move in next to us. They have raised great kids and share many of our core beliefs. I also work with people you would want in your family. As a family, we are focused on quality not quantity when it comes to friendships.
On the Connectivity of the Web:
Here we have unlimited data download and upload on mobile devices (can't pay for that in the States). Our home connection is reliable and fast enough to video skype and stream the occasional movie!
What were your top priorities for you with respect to your two sons during this big change of lifestyle?
Tom & Jenny: One of the central reasons for making such a major move was to commit ourselves to becoming bilingual, so the quality of the school was the key factor for our move. We also wanted to make sure that our boys would be able to continue the sports and other activities they enjoyed in the States including soccer, music lessons, and surfing. The Del Mar Academy's mission and goals fit our family's top priorities.
Now that you have been living in Costa Rica for seven months, how are you and your family feeling about this new and adventurous life?
Jenny: After seven months of living in Nosara, we are spending more time with our children. It's not unusual for us to go the beach before school or at sunset for a walk or surf—you know, spending meaningful time together without rushing through life. We are learning the language, and more from the people than I thought we would about balance and patience. Our lives are more peaceful and we enjoy a great deal more by traveling or simply staying in Nosara for perfect BBQ's on the beach.
Have you and Jenny been able to adapt to life in an area without as many conveniences as San Diego?
Tom & Jenny: In San Diego everything was easy and attainable within a 5 minute drive. Now, some things take a long time to acquire. That has taught us patience and we moved out of the immediate gratification culture. We also cook from scratch here, which we did little of in the States. We have learned so much about what we thought we needed in our lives that we don't even think twice about it now. Examples of Before & Now:
Before: Two cars was a must — Now: We have one SUV and an ATV is our second car.
Before: 100 choices for cereal — Now: Granola, yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast
Before: TV— Now: We chose not bring or buy a TV down here...Not Missing It!
Before: Amazon shipped directly to our home — Now: We ship important items to friends and family that travel down to see us.
Before: Costco trips were 25 minutes away — Now: Costco/PriceSmart trips are 4 hours away and we do them every 3 months.
Before: Gym memberships were a given — Now: We use the beach, ocean, and trails as our gym.
What are your future plans?
Tom: Our future plans are to expand our real estate investments in and around Nosara, and to live with gratitude every day we are fortunate enough to live here.