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Top Five Reasons I Love Costa Rica Living

Everyone has their own reasons for falling in love with Costa Rica. The uncomplicated lifestyle, natural beauty and low cost of living always top the list. For me, these five factors of Costa Rica living have improved the overall quality of my life. Don't you want to discover if Costa Rica is right for you?

1. Costa Rica is one of the greenest, cleanest countries in the world.

Its progressive environmental policies and eco-friendly practices are evident everywhere you look. Did you know that Costa Rica is one of the few countries worldwide to actually reverse deforestation? I love waking up to the pure country air lightly scented with orange blossoms in our Central Valley home.

2. Costa Ricans are some of the happiest people on Earth!

According to the Happy Planet Index (HPI), an independent think-tank, "Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world and have the second-highest average life expectancy of the Americas." Now, if that doesn't speak for itself, I don't know what does. Friendly, gregarious, welcoming, patient and happy: the people of Costa Rica are its greatest national treasure.

3. It's easy to live and eat healthfully.

Whether you're an organic foodie, vegan or all-out carnivore, you're bound to treat your body better in this tropical nation. Believe it or not, it's actually more economical to eat healthy foods than junk in Costa Rica. Twenty US dollars will buy you a week's worth of gorgeous fruits and veggies, fresh tuna and mahi mahi cost less than $3 a pound, and many Costa Rican towns have yet to see a McDonald's or Pizza Hut. Roadside "fast food" snacks include farm-fresh fruits, agua de pipa (coconut juice), and tart slices of green mango.

4. The great outdoors!

The moment you set foot in Costa Rica all you want to do is explore. Mountains, rivers, volcanoes, cloud forest, rainforest, and more than 800 miles of sublime beaches: it's all accessible in this tiny country. One of the great things about living - and traveling - in Costa Rica is its compact size, enabling you to traverse varied terrains in short amounts of time. In less than four hours, I can go from chilly cloud forest to sultry beaches, and still have time to relax and enjoy my day.

5. Easy acclimation with little culture shock.

I lived in South East Asia for years and always struggled with the language and feeling like I truly "belonged." Learning Spanish was a breeze compared to Thai, and for the linguistically challenged, you have a built-in community of English-speaking locals and expats. In many ways, Costa Rica is much like the States in terms of access to modern amenities, but it's the peaceful lifestyle coupled with a true appreciation for family and friends that sets this country apart. For me, this is the "pura vida," and it will keep me rooted here for many years to come.

Top Five Reasons I Love Costa Rica Living in Pictures