Nadine and her husband Rob quit their jobs as physiotherapists and decide to settle in Costa Rica. Permanently, that is. Their first trip to Costa Rica starts with a flight arriving at night in San José with a subsequent night drive to the coast. Sounds simple enough from a distance, until you know the state of the roads : no lighting, very few if any road signs, pot-holes, animals on the road and what have you. Nadine and Rob found out the hard way. Through their own experience with little preparation in advance. On top, they approach Costa Rica with Western if not USA-based expectations. They just do stuff and somehow end up in difficult, funny and sometimes downright dangerous situations.
The result is a hilarious book that tells a lot about Costa Rica, the Costa Ricans (Ticos), their attitude to life, Costa Rican nature, bureaucracy, roads, and more. In short, very entertaining!
If you read it as a preparation for your Costa Rica sabbatical, it is not a good guide. First, you should prepare your trip thoroughly. Secondly, you should realize that things in the past ten years have changed for the better. The roads have improved an enormous lot. Potholes still do exist, but they are rare on the main roads. (there still are some ‘less well’ maintained gravel and mud roads.) There is road lighting and electricity in the smallest of villages. The bureaucracy is still there but perhaps easierr to navigate. What is also still there is that you sometimes may get cheated out of your money, with the stress on sometimes. What fortunately is also still there is the laid-back attitude to everything. ‘Tranquilo’. I find it hard sometimes but it is the best approach.
Nadine Hays Pisani (2011) Happier than a billionaire. Published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 5924th edition (July 3, 2011)
See also : https://www.happierthanabillionaire.com/