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Tica Gringa: A Bicultural Perspective on Living in Costa Rica


So You Want to Move to Costa Rica

So you want to move to Costa Rica… Are you looking for the good life? That Pura Vida thing you keep hearing about? Do you yearn for a simpler life? An ecofriendly paradise where you can live naturally, live like a millionaire, do yoga, and leave a small carbon footprint upon the Earth?

Driving Costa Rica Style

Have you heard about the driving in Costa Rica? If you know anyone who’s been here, I’m willing to bet you have. Is it really that bad? Well, it can be. Unless you grew up driving in Costa Rica like I did, driving here can be more than a little intimidating.

Beautiful Deception

The Dark Side of Costa Rica’s Beaches. Riptides, rocks, and dangerous waves. You can enjoy Costa Rica’s beaches safely, but caution is warranted.

Café de Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s very existence is in great part thanks to the “grano de oro,” the golden grain, and I’m proud to say Costa Rican coffee is in my blood!

Farmers Market Santo Domingo

Saturday is the only  predictable day of my week. It’s market day!

Creepy Crawlers

Dealing with Bugs in Costa Rica

What’s in a Name?

What is your name? What name do you go by? Do you wear your name comfortably?

Arriving at El Coco

A little girl’s story of arriving in Costa Rica

Creepy Crawlers: Part II

Getting to Know the Beasties

Becoming Tica

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sung the Himno Nacional and the Himno Patriótico, both as a teacher and as a mother. This year, I sing them as a citizen, and the thought is putting a smile on my face.

A Costa Rican Family Tree

Tracing family ancestry: I somehow became the guardian of the oral history of my family… And so, I write.

Food Quality in Costa Rica

Food quality in Costa Rica has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. It can be a challenge to eat organically or sustainably here, and unless you are raising your own food, you will have to make adjustments and concessions.

Stocking a Pantry in Costa Rica

Grocery shopping here won’t be like it was in your home country. Pantry storage will also require different strategies.

My Mother’s Life in Costa Rica

Today would have been my mother’s birthday, and I want to honor her by taking a look back at the Costa Rica she knew.

What’s the Deal with Rice & Beans?

One of the biggest comments I hear from foreigners about Costa Rican food is, “do they eat anything except rice and beans?!” Costa Rica’s national dish is Tico comfort food.

Tiquismos: Costa Rican Sayings

Ticos have some interesting ways to express certain concepts, and they’re called tiquismos.

Rain, Buckets, and Hair of the Cat

Lluvia means rain. Simple enough. But why call it lluvia, when there are so many more precise ways to describe the precipitation that falls from the clouds in Costa Rica?

Volcanoes in My Back Yard!

It’s pretty amazing to be able to say my view includes two volcanoes!

Glad to be Back?

Personal musings on how it feels to belong to two places an ocean apart.

Condo Living in Costa Rica

How does a woman from Tennessee end up in a condo in Costa Rica?

Holiday Food Tica-Gringa-Prussian Style!

Christmas holiday food: A reflection of my culturally jumbled traditions.

A Walk on the Wild Side

Instructions to Costa Rica visitors always include, “look down at where you’re going, then glance up at the sights. Repeat. If you want to really take in the sights, stop walking!” Exploring Costa Rica means doing a lot of walking, and I want to help you do it safely.

The Scents of Happiness

The aroma of scrubby cypress trees and damp earth unexpectedly and vividly transported me in time and place to my Costa Rican childhood days.

Que Viva Costa Rica!

The tradition-breaking inauguration was just amazing in and of itself. If this is any indication of what is to come, Costa Rica has elected a very special person to the presidency.

Rainy Season on the Doorstep!

Rainy season, green season, or just winter–I hope you’re ready for it, because it’s on the doorstep! Luckily, I love the rainy season, despite the occasional inconveniences. Each season has its charm.

From Here to There

Travel can be stressful, but I prefer to frame it as an adventure. Reaching my destination is the whole point, certainly, but why not enjoy the getting there as well?

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