Day 1 in San Jose, Costa Rica

by Andie Mitchell on February 2, 2012

This morning at 4am, I blew into Boston Logan airport.


One 20” carry on duffle

One backpack

my precious laptop, three dayglow bathing suits, metallic sandals, a tank top or two, four sundresses, 54 malaria pills, and my most recent read: “The Bedwetter” by Sarah Silverman.


All for two and a half months of living in and loving on Central America.


After much worldly research, extensive browsing of every travel website and magazine, I chose Central America for seven [undeniably] practical reasons:


Reason 1: Natural beauty and warm, sunny weather: an exquisite balance of beach and jungle and happiness.


Reason 2: Affordability: The cost of living in Central America is wildly inexpensive when compared to all the beachy-exotic locations I’ve traveled to around the world. It is also half as cheap to rent housing as the very cheapest apartment I’ve held in the United States. Borrowing someone’s home in Costa Rica, especially for an extended period of time as I’ve chosen to do, is more affordable than all of my summers in Cape Cod, combined.
Reasons 3-5: Affordability.
Reason 6: Affordability.
Reason 7: An irrational and uncontainable affection for movies such as “The Beach” and “Blue Crush.” Judge me.


The itinerary:


February 2012: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica (the eastern coast) where I’ve rented a small home on the beach with my love, Camille. 


March 2012: Bocas del Toro, Panama where I’ll be living in a jazzed up tree house in the jungle with my love, Camille.


April 1-13 2012: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (the western coast) where I’ll be bungalow-ing with my love, Camille.


The ultimate goals of this trip:


To finish penning my memoir in a land of limited distraction. This is nearing the  entirety of my focus.




To explore and joy-seek. Always.


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie February 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Wow that is so different than the Costa Rica Brent showed me via pictures when he went last year. Then again he was in the middle of no where instead of a city.


Tracy February 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Cannot wait to see what is to come for you! All these places? Amazing! Introduce your lovely travel mate! Does she have a blog?


Cassandra @ She Don't Eat No Meat February 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Looks gorgeous! I CANNOT wait for your book!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh February 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Looks lovely! Will you be visiting Arenal volcano while there? That is a bucket list thing for us for sure since we’re lava junkies! Enjoy your time there and hope to see lots of updates in between work!


Lilian February 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

So sad we didn’t catch up before you left, so happy you’re on a tropical sabbatical. Best wishes with writing, and have fun exploring and seeking joy!


Lauren R. February 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

What a glorious dream you are living! I am so excited to continue to read about your travels and adventures :)


johnny February 3, 2012 at 2:39 am

Soak it all in and live it to the fullest! Don’t hold back because you only pass this way once! Always be kind, generous, and loving and all the fullness this life has to offer you will be yours. I will pray for you every day! :)


tina February 3, 2012 at 4:41 am

you rock i love your writings be safe and God bless


Meg February 3, 2012 at 5:17 am

Wow! You really are amazing. Have fun and be safe! Can’t wait to travel “with” you!


Lanae February 3, 2012 at 5:48 am

I have a friend currently visiting Costa Rica and she told me about the little monkeys that sound like a freight train. I hope you get to see monkeys! This is going to be fun reading every morning. Thank you for sharing!!


Rose February 3, 2012 at 5:58 am

That sounds amazing. I would love to take trip like that someday! I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!


Megan February 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

What?! Awesome! So excited! Can’t wait for some exotic food!


Lu February 3, 2012 at 7:13 am

Squee!! Home sweet home for me. I know that you are going to have a wonderful time. If you need anything while you are in Costa Rica please send me an email. I have tons of family and friends there still and it’s always nice to have a safety net. Oh, and go to the West Coast if you get the chance, and the Arenal Volcano! The volcanoes cannot be missed. Arenal has natural hot springs and a spa. Who’s Camille?


Carol @ Lucky Zucca February 3, 2012 at 7:22 am

You’re going to have such a lovely time!! Keep us updated! PS I think you forgot something… I’m still here… in my office… in the US.


Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic February 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

LOVED Costa Rica – I went to Tamarindo… and LOVED Bedwetter. It’s a great book and really gives you a great inside look into Sarah and where she came from!


Rachel February 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

This is so exciting!!! I hope you enjoy all of the little/big things about traveling and being in a new country :)


Sarah February 3, 2012 at 10:47 am

You lucky girl! My boyfriend and I travelled to Costa Rica just a few weeks ago and had a WONDERFUL time! We spent only 10 days there, but could have easily spent 2-1/2 months! It is now on my retirement home wish-list. We spent 3 night near Volcan Arenal and if you have the time, swing through, talk to locals, and find the *free* hot spring locations (there were fireflies! also beware, some of the resorts HEAT their water – lame!). We spent 3 nights near the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which was awesome, but not warm and beach-y. Manuel Antonio was THE BEST, and not just because the ocean is as warm as bath water (here in Cali, the Pacific Ocean is fah-reezing) and the monkeys come out to greet your every sunrise and sunset. Have a blast! I hope you find time to write your book, our days were filled with exploring! Good luck!


Megan (Braise The Roof) February 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

Swoon, this looks beyond amazing. Be safe and have the time of your life!


Lea @ Healthy Coconut February 3, 2012 at 11:43 am

Wow Andrea…what a wonderful adventure this is. I’m so happy for you. When I read this post, I thought of Eat Pray Love, traveling and writing….but in a different light and context.

I look forward to reading your daily adventures.

Once, part of my job was to take care of some hotels we had in Costa Rica and when I would receive pictures from the property, looking at it from my cubicle here in California…..those pictures made me day dream all day long. And to think….you are there right now. Live it up!!!


Shannon February 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

This sounds so fantastic! I hope you have a great time.


Jessy (squeezetheday) February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I’m so jealous! :) Central America and South America are my dream!


Jillian February 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Oh my heart is filled with such joy for you and your adventures. It will burst, I’m sure of it! Please breathe every breath with a happy smile on your face. Seattle will miss you and your warmth.


suki February 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

:) I will be in Costa Rica shortly. Only for a week though and never touching San Jose or Puerto Viejo. :(


Michele February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Have a wonderful adventure! How lucky you are to explore the world while writing your book. Don’t be too distracted! and be SAFE! i look forward to your updates…


Amanda V February 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’m so excited for you and for the blog! I will be living vicariously through your lovely photos and stories, pretending I am speaking Spanish and listening to the ocean.. :) Hope you have a wonderful time!


Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic February 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Sounds wonderful! I think we’ll all just live vicariously through you!


Chelsea @ Naturally Sweet Recipes February 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

OH this looks breathtaking!! So beautiful and wonderful and perfect.


Elena February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Wow! That’s so awesome! :D I can’t wait to keep reading your updates! I’m so excited for you.


Allison February 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

That sounds so amazing!!! I’m so jealous! Have a great time!!


Andrea February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Wow, I am so excited for you! What a dream.


Michelle in N. Cal February 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Oh so exciting!!!


Maria February 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm



MelissaNibbles February 4, 2012 at 3:53 am

Wow! Live life girl!


Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn February 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

Oh wow what an amazing trip, I hope you have a really wonderful time! Your photos are beautiful. Enjoy the experience :-)


Matt February 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Go to Arenal for me. I’m going there with my wife in July. It’d be really cool of you to let me know how it is.

There’s a volcano there, if that’s any sort of motivation.


Kristen February 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

You won’t regret this decision. Last year, my husband and I sold most of our “things”, put our 2 kids under 2 years old on our back, and pulled 2 suitcases behind us to leave rainy Seattle and move to beautiful Costa Rica. It’s been a life changing experience and one that will influence our “forever.”
You’ll love Manuel Antonio. We actually just walked in the door 30 minutes ago from spending the day there. Enjoy!
Maybe we’ll run into you. ;)


Lindsay February 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I am going to sound like the most nosey person, but I thought that you were in a serious relationship with someone in Seattle? Did you break up with him? I might have totally missed that. :-/


erica February 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Have a joy-filled, awe-inspiring, soul-filling and food tasting time! I’m rather jealous as this is something I would love to do. Can’t wait to hear about your journey and everything you discover, xoxo


Heather@ SugarDish(Me) February 5, 2012 at 8:17 am

I am way excited about being able to follow you on this once in a lifetime adventure! Super awesome yay.


Biz February 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I love that you are living your life out loud! Here’s to the start of a wonderful journey! :D


Txtingmrdarcy February 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

What a perfectly amazing adventure! And yet, it’s so appropriate for someone who lives every breath to its fullest. I can’t wait to read along with your travels. :)


The Costa Rica Star February 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

It looks like you had a lot of fun in Costa Rica. The good news is for next time, unless you are going to Guanacaste in the North, you will not need to bring Malaria Pills as there simply isn’t any Malaria to be concerned about in the San Jose Valley. Your photography was nice to see as well, there is a Zoo in Alajuela Costa Rica you should check out next time for some awesome travel shots.


Marisol February 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Andie, great to know you are already here in CR!
Please let me know if you are back in San José at some point during your trip, I’d love to meet with you :)

Pura Vida!


Shal February 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hey Andie! This is amazing!! Just curious to ask what job you have at home that allows you so much time off. Or is your main job the blog and other media related channels? Have a great time, I am a new reader of your blog and love your outlook on food and health!


admin February 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Hi Shal!
Thanks so much. I’m a writer and event planner so all of my work is done on the computer. Luckily, I’m able to work remotely :)
I’m currently writing two books for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House.
Great to meet you!


jess February 8, 2012 at 6:39 am

This sounds amazing, and I am incredibly jealous. You will love Manuel Antonio (how could you not?) Amazing beaches and wildlife, not to mention such fresh and delicious food.

I’ve known and met several people who have run away to Costa Rica to finish various writing projects, and I am quite jealous!


Nicole from Loving Simple Moments February 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

How FUN and exciting!! :)


Camara February 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Please don’t publish this. OMG I can’t wait to see Camille for some reason I picture her blonde. I don’t know why, but I seriously do and I’m so happy that my Boston girl has a “love” that is such a sweet and subtle way to tell the world about her. I think you are wonderful and it’s not just because your a hometown gal or that you and I are both our mother’s sweet baby it’s because you remind me so much of myself before I had my son. You make me miss the old, adventurous me that I was 3 years old. I hope to get her back.

PS Can you believe the Pats? OMG I was so mad! Luv ya, Camara


Amber February 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I am so excited for you to go to Bocas del Toro!!! I lived there for a little over 3 months last year (Sept-Dec) and loved loved loved it. Sooo much good food there, both local cuisine (Restaurant Chitre- comida de pollo for lunch is the best you’ll have) and more trendy (Ultimo Refugio- menu changes daily and it’s all delicious!!!). I cannot wait to hear about your adventures. And remember, Bocas is a place where you fall in love, whether it’s with another person, yourself, or Bocas itself, I guarantee you will fall
in love.


AdrienneCarolyn February 18, 2012 at 5:59 am

I am so excited for you to be in Bocas del Toro and Manual Antonio!! I’ve been to both places and they are HEAVEN. Those places will change you for the better!! Enjoy every second!


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