In happy anticipation of Costa Rica

Soon I will be in Costa Rica. I feel excited.

I’ve been cycling around the Americas for 6 months exploring happiness and well-being, eager to one-day reach Bhutan, a country that many may have not heard of. Bhutan is in Asia, yet I began in South America to make a path that is intentionally long, and has often been difficult, to explore places that, like Bhutan, are leading the way when it comes to well-being policy movement. Costa Rica is one of those places.

It still frustrates me how prevalent the belief that a happier life will be had if only we had more money and better material living standards – an obsession with perpetual income growth. Always more, never less. Always wanting, never satisfied.

Costa Rica signals that there is another way.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. Instead Costa Rica chose to invest in the health and education of its citizens. Costa Rica has an active reforestation programme. Costa Rica is not a financially rich country – instead Costa Ricans celebrate the simple life – as they say there Pura Vida!

pura vida 2

Then perhaps it is no surprise that Costa Rica creates very happy citizens, and does not use vast amounts of resources to do so. Costa Rica consistently tops the Happy Planet Index – creating happy citizens without also costing the earth. Thus from Costa Rica it seems we can all learn – Costa Rica is paving the way for how we will all one-day need to be.

Costa Rica has inspired me for many years. It has inspired and supported me on my own path of simplicity – if a whole country can be happy with less then so can I. And, as I roll around this world on two wheels with my small home in tow, happier with my life, I now am.

I am hoping to spend about a month in Costa Rica. I will go slow and steady. I will breath in the daily life, the pura vida, and I will be open to the flow of the journey.

But there is already much I wish to explore there, such as a visit to a farm based around permaculture principles, connections I’ve made with those actively generating well-being policy, volunteering at a farm practicing non-violent communication, and visiting a retreat centre. Permaculture, volunteer opportunities at interesting communities, and retreats are all not unique to Costa Rica but like their approach to well-being are in active abundance.

Soon I will be in Costa Rica. I feel excited.



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