Slower pace and family
As you know North American’s run around most times like chickens with their heads cut off in all different directions at the same time. The pace is called a rat race. Many people contact us wanting to get out of the “rat race” in the US and other countries. When you are caught up in that race you rarely see your family unless it is to take them to some kind of event where you don’t get to spend quality time with them. Many mothers part time as taxi drivers for their children running them here and there for this and that event only to get home in time to rush through dinner and go to bed.
When you come to Costa Rica things slow down a bit, actually quite a bit. We live a much more relaxed life in Costa Rica and this is what draws many people to this beautiful country among other things. Things get done but at a much slower pace and if you have just come from the US this pace will drive you nuts but once you get acclimated (for us it has taken many years) you begin to relax and enjoy life so much more.
The downside to the slower pace is when you think you need something done immediately. This is not a word that Costa Ricans are familiar with. Tranquila on the other hand is, and if you need something done yesterday, often the response is tranquila esta bien or relájese, está bien (relax, take it easy, everything is ok). I promise you this mentality will drive you to madness when you first arrive.
Costa Ricans put family first above everything, as it should be in my opinion, and they do things as a family. On the weekends you will see families at the park playing with their children (fathers included). They go to parties together, even childrens parties where the whole family is invited and not just the child. With many families Sunday is the day to visit the grandparents and the family as a group will all meet at mom’s house for lunch every week.
We eat dinner together every night as a family. All of the extra curricular activities are over by 4:30 or 5:00 at the same time that dad gets off work so that we can all sit down together each night and discuss the days events.
I believe that our move to Costa Rica was the best move we could have made because we have grown closer to our children as they have gotten older instead of being driven farther apart as is often the case.
So things don’t move so fast here, but we have time for our family, and that to me is an excellent reason to slow down.