We looked like typical American tourists at the Liberia airport rental car location in Costa Rica: 2 adults and 3 children, ages 10, 7, and 4 with our 9 our suitcases in tow.

Yet this day marked for our family a turning point, our exodus out of the United States.

We welcomed the January heat & humidity, in contrast with the icy East Coast earlier that morning.

I suppressed the urge to pinch myself. This wasn’t a dream. We did it. We had taken the leap!

We represented a new kind of 21st-century pioneer. Conscious. Seeking to redefine Affluence. Questioning the validity of the American Dream.

Unlike many immigrants seeking economic opportunity or religious freedom, we shared a commonality with a new breed of expats who work virtually and choose to live outside the US, many of us making our home in Costa Rica:

wealth costa ricaWe desired a different kind of freedom:  free from American consumerism, free to breathe fresher air, drink non-fluoride water, and free to access to vibrant local organic foods. Free to work a little less since we consume less. Free to focus more on magical memories and experiences.

Our children flittered back and forth from outside to inside the air-conditioned interior at Budget rental car location.  Some visitors in Costa Rica complain about the waiting. But if you live here, you are happier if you embrace the slower pace. The Pura Vida lifestyle. If you want American efficiency, you can find it in the U.S.

What brought us here was a series of questions that prompted us to follow our hearts.

My husband elected to leave behind the cushy corporate executive salary for a simple life of adventure in the jungle tropics. My online coaching company allowed us the freedom of choice. We wanted to raise our children unfettered by the over scheduled routines and pressures of American culture.  We followed our bliss, even though the decision was the scariest leap we had ever taken.

Before we left the U.S., we were living the so-called American Dream. We owned a 6600 square foot luxury home in the suburbs. The fancy SUV. Like many middle-class professionals, we had devoted much of our life energy accumulating the stuff that we associate with success.

My husband clocked in long hours, commuting 2-3 hours a day into Washington, DC. When not working from home, I spent a lot of our time shuttling the kids from school to activities.

Dental TourismMy coaching practice assists clients to break through blocks to manifest their dreams. Yet in my personal life, I felt an uneasy twinge of hypocrisy:

Was this the life that I had envisioned for me and for our family? Was this my dream?

Just asking those questions prompted the Dream Question that was the catalyst for our radical move to Costa Rica:

 Where in the world will we THRIVE as a family?

I asked that question and searched on Google. And a YouTube video for Del Mar Academy popped up on my radar of a school in the jungle in Nosara.

I have never visited Costa Rica. But I asked half-jokingly, half-inspired: Wouldn’t that be amazing if our kids attended this school?

And 1 year later, the house sold, job resigned, most of our stuff sold or given away, here we were, pioneering a new life in the jungle.

costa rica lifestyle

Since moving to Costa Rica, we have redefined affluence, one based not on an accumulation of stuff, but based on freedom, joy, and adventure.

Our kids have learned to be content with less. Now, they don’t like clutter. Kids’ birthday parties in Nosara are focused on celebrating together, not obsessed with gift-giving.

Affluence is a byproduct of living on purpose in all areas of our life. It’s the freedom to create the money flow that you want, aligned with your heart, and to do what you want when you want, with whom you want.

Tera Maxwell

We sacrificed the security and comforts of the United States to live a life of simple affluence… we surf every day. We are growing an organic garden on our 3 acres. We live a life a freedom, including freedom from owning too many things. Now, we collect sunsets.

Tera designed a life of freedom in Costa Rica for her and her family and teaches others how to do the same. We are honored to have her as a regular contributor to TCRN family! To learn more, check out teramaxwell.com

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