Are you one of those foreigners who have lived in Costa Rica for so long that you have adopted and adapted into Pura Vida life?  Have you noticed an increased appreciation of the natural world, a closer connection with the nature right outside your door, and taken up a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle?  Then you need to know that you have been infected by the Tico Effect, and you need to know that it is irreversible.  You will never be the same again.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you have been infected by the Tico Effect:

  • tico effectNo matter if the sun is shining when you leave home, you always take your umbrella everywhere.  No matter whether it is rainy season or not.
  • One of the primary reasons that Costa Rica is so stunningly beautiful is all that rain.  You have stopped cursing the rain and come to appreciate it.
  • When you plan your schedule in the morning, you schedule those outdoor activities between 6am and 1pm – so you can beat the rain.
  • When you encounter one of the numerous creepy crawlies that make it into your house, now you leave them alone, or simply find a way to catch and release them back into nature.  In the advanced stages of Tico Effect, you actually stop what you are doing to take a better look at this cool bug you have never seen before.  You may even grab your phone to take a photo and share with others on Facebook.
  • You stop whatever you are doing so you can enjoy the song of that beautiful bird singing right outside the window.
  • You now use coconut oil as your favorite over-all moisturizer, and love how soft and smooth your skin feels these days. All that moisture in the air really helps to keep your skin hydrated too.
  • Choosing what to wear in the morning is now an easy choice – what doesn’t have visible stains or smell really nasty – and that will do for today.
  • You can drive with a Tico, in spite of their crazy driving skills, and not grab hold of the door handle.  Or maybe you have only lessened your grip a bit.
  • You wake up to a bug crawling around in bed with you, or even on your arm, and you don’t scream any more.  You simply brush it to the floor, and go back to sleep.
  • tico effectYou now have enough fruit trees planted on your property that you can go out and collect some for breakfast, rather than buying your fruit from the supermarket.
  • You understand that “Tico Time” is always the standard time.  You have stopped expecting people to show up on time.  And if you really want friends or associates to show up on time, you tell them the meeting starts 30 minutes to an hour earlier.
  • During rainy season when all those nasty biting insects are out in force, you now have more bug bites than freckles.
  • No matter what you had planned for dinner, you always have rice AND beans ready.  And you have come to enjoy them more than you ever expected.
  • tico effectWhen you hear what sounds like a dog barking in the distance, you have learned to look up in the trees.  For it is most likely a howler monkey letting you know he is there marking his territory.  If only he wouldn’t do that so early in the morning though!
  • When you know you will be packing clothes for a trip, or need a special outfit to go out later in the week, you now wash your clothes 2 days in advance to be sure they will be dry.
  • Having taken enough rides on the local buses, you know there is always room for one more person on the bus.   You accept that the seat numbers and bus tickets do not equate to the number of people who can actually fit on the bus.
  • And you are that one more person squeezing on the bus.  You know that the bus driver will stop for you, even when it seems the bus is just too full for one more.
  • tico effectEven though you were never a morning person before you moved to Costa Rica, you now get up with the sun so you can really enjoy the amazing bird chorus that starts the day here.  If you ever wondered what the sound of joy might sound like – it’s birds welcoming a new day!
  • When you wake up and the water and electricity are still working, this is a good day.  You have learned to always keep a couple of big jugs of water handy at all times, just in case.
  • Butterflies are now a big part of your every-day world.  Not the plastic or artificial kinds though.  The real ones fluttering around your rooms.
  • Rather than dumping out the tea when you find some ants floating there, you now spoon out the ants and keep on drinking your tea.

Even though the Tico Effect may be irreversible, who really cares?

Dental care in Costa Rica