Six Life Lessons You Can Learn from Living in Playa Grande, Costa Rica

jennparker Costa Rica , Living Abroad , Playa Grande Leave a Comment

There is a lot you can learn from living in or spending a substantial amount of time in Playa Grande. Life lessons are all around us!

Less is more 

We live in an era of extreme consumerism. Through commercials, print ads, movies, television shows, and social media, we are regularly exposed to this idea that material wealth is a sign of success and happiness. The more you have, the better off you are. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and this truth becomes apparent when you are in Costa Rica. 

Many families, both native and expat, don’t have the same caliber of possessions as you might commonly see in North America. However, according to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world. Most of us who live in Playa Grande only really own what we really need. No one cares if you have worn the same outfit twice in a week and no one judges you for having an old car or an old phone. What you have isn’t a statement of who you are in Playa Grande. 

Having less is liberating. 


What else do you need?

Community equals family

Playa Grande is a diverse community made up of individuals from around the world. Many of us who live in Playa Grande are far away from our extended families. However, Playa Grande is a tight-knit, accepting, and caring community that feels more like a big family than just platonic neighbors. 

It is this sense of community that makes Playa Grande such a special place to live. Everyone takes care of everyone. It is a place where you will never feel alone or unsupported. 

Playa Grande is a beautiful example of how individuals from all different cultures, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds can co-exist in harmony and respect of one another’s differences. 


Friends are family

The best food is real food

You won’t find any fast food restaurants in Playa Grande. The few restaurants that operate in this charming little beach town use ingredients that are fresh from the earth and the sea. While you can buy processed food at the grocery stores, the abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, and proteins readily and affordably available makes it easy to eat healthy. 


Food for the soul

Nature is better than television

Between the monkeys, sea turtles, purple and orange land crabs, pizotes, iguanas, butterflies, dragonflies, and colorful collection of birds, there is no shortage of natural entertainment in Playa Grande. 


Keep your eyes peeled for pizotes

Sunrises and sunsets are sacred

Costa Rica’s prime location close to the equator means that the length of days throughout the year are around twelve hours. However, it is also this location that makes Costa Rica hot. The middle of the day can be brutal in terms of sun and heat, so many locals take advantage of the time of the day close to the sunrise and the sunset. 

Sunsets, in particular, are a time of the day when many individuals from the local community gather on the beach. For some of us, this is our most social time of the day. The sunsets are spectacular in Playa Grande. Ending the day by watching the sun kiss the sea surface goodbye is a ritual many of us participate in several times a week. 


Daily town gathering

Don’t fight the flow 

There is no perfect place or perfect country. Sometimes, what you assume should be easy isn’t. Sometimes, what you think will be a quick fix is complicated. After spending a significant amount of time in Costa Rica, you will learn to just go with the flow. You will learn to not waste your sweat on the stuff that’s out of your control. They say patience is a virtue and this is something you will eventually learn if you don’t already possess it. With the patience of a saint and a “nothing can rain on my day” attitude, life gets just a little bit more breezy. 

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