I’ve been living in Costa Rica now for around 2 years. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, especially for someone like me with a passion for biology and animals. But life is not always easy down here, and it takes time to learn how Ticos (that’s how the Costa Ricans call themselves) “tick”. Especially as a female traveling and living in this country alone, there are certain things to watch out for… and I’ve learned my fair share of life and work related lessons.
Working as a freelancer in Costa Rica was easier than I ever would have thought. I decided to become a freelancer in the beginning of 2012, when I’ve quit my job in a volunteer company to see “what else is out there”. I’ve decided to open up my own volunteer organization (Green Life Volunteers) and I designed and developed the website for the organization myself.
Most of my friends and family back in my last homes (including Canada, Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand) think that my life is just one long vacation. Often they ask me “How did you manage to finish two degrees, live in so many countries around the world, and now end up living and working in paradise?”. I just shrug my shoulders at them and say “I think if you just follow your heart and do what feels right, you’ll end up in the right place and before you know it, you’ll be doing what you love”.
I have to say that I’m a very lucky girl because my parents have always supported me and put up with my new crazy plans and ideas. Without their support throughout my life, I would not have been able to come to Costa Rica that effortlessly. However, I never had a lot of money – I’ve always had to get stipends, jobs, and work or study hard to maintain my life.
I’ve recently was hired to design a map for the Osa Peninsula and Puerto Jimenez. The map took me about 2 months to make, using Adobe Illustrator for the map-part, and Adobe Photoshop for the ads.
I’ve designed (from scratch) the ads for Osa Tropical, Musmanni, Joyeria & Relojeria Jimenez, Handcrafted Endemic, Osalud Puerto Jimenez, Osa Birds, Farmacia Hidalgo, Cabinas the Corner, Soda la Campesina, Los Delfines Restaurant and Bar, Pura Vida Bar and Restaurant, Nachos de Osa, Sala de Masajes, Cabinas Jimenez, Marisqueria Corcovado, La Leona Lodge, Ojo del Mar, Cabinas Tropicales, Cabinas Backpacker, Coral Tours Sportfishing, and Bosque del Mar Canopy Tours. I’ve made changes to the ads for Luna Lodge, Sala de Una Nova, and Yaguara.
The map was printed in January 2013 and is now available for free in travel agencies and Cabinas around Puerto Jimenez.
In December 2012 a friend of mine, Matt, published a promotional video about the Osa Peninsula. The video was made for one of my long term clients Osa Tropical. It was made to attract tourists to come and enjoy my new favorite place on earth, and the place I call home now, the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.
I’m interviewed in the video and in it quite a lot. Enjoy 🙂
During my major paper research in Costa Rica, I’ve been writing a blog and published it online. I wrote mainly for my friends and family, and anyone interested in doing research in Costa Rica. After I’ve finished my research, a friend of my father found the site, and asked me if she could publish the content in a book. I said yes, of course, and she went ahead and translated the entire blog into German… and then really published it along with other blogs in a book.
The book is available online, and is called “Statt Karten – Emails aus Aller Welt”, which means translated into English “Instead of Postcards – Emails from all corners of the World”.
On the 28th of September, the Neue Westfaelische Zeitung published an article about 25 Years of Erasmus. I was chosen to be one of the published stories – as an ex-Erasmus participant (I went to Uppsala for a year in 2007 – 2008).
Erasmus is a great exchange program offered in Europe. Students can go into a different country to study there for half a year or a year – and they even pay for it! When I did my Bachelor’s degree, I went for a year to Uppsala, Sweden, to study at the University of Uppsala. That was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.
I traveled through India and South East Asia in 2008, and I also did some volunteering in India. I was working with an organization called VOYCE, and we helped them a bit with general logistic and management of the non-governmental organization.
Me and my friends got interviewed by “The Hindu” about environmentalism and VOYCE, the organization we were helping out. I felt a little like a celebrity. I even bought a Sarong for the occasion, and I felt amazing wearing it and showing my support for the Indian tradition and culture.
Green Life Volunteers’ is going well! I’ve received already a number of volunteers. Soon a new volunteer will arrive and teach English Puerto Jimenez. I’m very excited to welcome her here, and I hope she’ll love this town as much as I do.
Puerto Jimenez is a really nice, sleepy little town – directly on the Gulfo Dulce in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. It is very secluded, about 5 hours from the nearest town overland, and 1/2 hour by boat/ lancha to the nearest bigger town Golfito. Since it is so secluded, this place doesn’t receive much attention – and neither do the local schools here.
English is taught in the schools, but there is no set curriculum and the kids don’t learn much English in the classes. Most learn their English after school by working in Tourism. To change that, I’m sending volunteers to the local school, to help the English teachers to teach better classes… and ultimately teach the kids better English.