Our New Adventure

We’d like to tell you about a pretty amazing adventure we are going to have. We are all moving to Costa Rica for a year!

Deb and I have always wanted to give the kids a more global perspective by living in another country and having them learn another language within that culture. We also want to have a chance to spend some real time getting to know our kids better and not just leave it to fragments we find in all of our busy schedules.  Vie is 13 and Aidan is 11 – they really aren’t kids anymore. While things are going great for us in Seattle, we realized that if we don’t do this now, we will miss the opportunity.

We tried for several years to live in Brazil, but it proved too difficult with visas, etc. Deb’s research led us to Costa Rica and it fit our needs perfectly: it’s warm (!), they speak another language, we can bring our two dogs without any quarantine period, we can live by a beach (!), and the cost of living is not too high.  We did an exploratory trip there last year and were enchanted

So, we are taking the leap and pursuing this radical undertaking. We both quit our jobs, we are selling nearly everything, renting the house, and moving down to Costa Rica October 23rd.

Teague and Whitepages have been incredible companies to work for and we will miss them and our colleagues there. While in Costa Rica, we both might do a little side work for them here and there through Deb’s freelancing company, Razberry Jam.  Our goal though is to spend the time with the kids and we’ve set up things so we should be able to spend most of our time with them.  Like a good startup, we have a planned cash flow and burn rate J. We have a budget that makes it possible to stay a year. If we spend more than we think, we will work a little more. If we stay longer, we’ll work a little more.

Meanwhile, we had already decided to homeschool, or “unschool”, Vie and Aidan and so we’ll start their first year with a pretty incredible learning experience. They’ll get to work with budgets for starters. Aidan is already classifying and getting to know all of the poisonous snakes in Costa Rica. He also wants to learn to make video blogs for the school he recently graduated from: University Cooperative School (a.k.a. u-coop). So, I’ll be helping him learn Adobe Premiere (we might as well start with a useful tool skill). He’s also talking about making a video game so we may be looking in to building that. Vie is already an accomplished digital artist and will be continuing some awesome work there as well as costume design. Add in to all of this some trips to volcanoes , a trek to Tikal in Guatemala to learn first-hand about the Mayan civilization, intensive Spanish language studies, and you have a pretty strong curriculum we think. Oh yeah, did I mention surfing, yoga, soccer and beach volleyball?

We are selling most of our stuff in an estate sale and will be starting over in many ways when we return. We’ve found wonderful “foster parents” for a few big things like our piano but for the most part everything is going. It’s actually been very freeing to get rid of stuff – especially the stuff we haven’t seen or used in years.

In Costa Rica, we will be living in the lovely Playa Protrero in Guanacaste province, north of Tamarindo.  We got lucky and Deb found an incredible 3 bedroom house about 5 minutes walk from the beach. It was especially challenging since we are bringing our two dogs – Lucy, a rescued Weimaraner and Isis, a rescued Greyhound.  The house allows dogs, has a swimming pool, and the rent is reasonable!

A bunch of you have asked if we could blog or send updates and so we’ll be doing our first blog: IntentionallyOffPath. This will be a new adventure too and one in which we hope to involve the kids. This is our first post.

We are looking forward to a once in a lifetime experience with our family. The days already seem to be getting shorter and we have a lot to do to get ready. Getting disconnected from everything is a bit challenging. While we may be disconnected from Seattle, we won’t be “unplugged.” In fact, part of this adventure is getting the kids very computer literate. We’ll all have email addresses, Skype accounts, etc. Hopefully in a few months the kids will be doing all the IT for us.

Watch here for more of our story and adventure and then look for us coming back in about a year more tanned, fit, speaking Spanish, and playing soccer like Ticos.

Fondly, Andy, Deb, Vie, Aidan, Lucy, and Isis