Becoming a digital nomad or remote worker? Tips to find the perfect location to live and work abroad

Hi there again, 2020. Some of us finally have the guts to face you, stand up, and get creative again! I believe the following guide to find the perfect place to live and work abroad for new digital nomads or remote workers may be the first major step in the right direction for many in an otherwise daunting year.

If there’s a master lesson we were taught in the past several months, it’s the importance of our “base camp”–whether we are a digital nomad or a 9-5 worker. Many of us experienced a really powerful shift in our day-to-day routine, in our priorities.

What do I really need inside these four walls?

How far am I from the places and people I love?

Where can I go safely, while also experiencing a sense of community?

Where do I find my mind wandering to?

digital nomad in Costa Rica working from the beach

To me, it was the beach and yoga. The connection to the ocean and the calmness and centering of the mind and soul that outdoor yoga delivers are all I really needed. With most relatives always afar, that slice of socially-distanced paradise became a sanctuary to my husband and I (oh yes, I got married. More on that on a future post!).

And I’m not alone: the silver lining of this crisis has been that a lot of us find ourselves working remotely full-time, digital nomad or not. This means an increased flexibility to go out there and find a haven you can call home temporarily–perhaps even escaping strict lockdowns and crowds.

If living and working abroad has always been a dream of yours, seize this moment!

Today’s guest writer Aaron is a dedicated yoga teacher I met back in 2014 while on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Blue Osa, the sacred land he calls home, transformed my mind and soul in ways that I can barely explain, so it is with great pleasure that I present to you his detailed guide. He will share useful tips on how to pick the best remote worker location and see if living and working in Costa Rica is right for you.

Aaron and Blue Osa, take it away!

living and working from Costa Rica yoga retreat

The once-elusive digital nomad job title is now recognized worldwide as a legitimate way to live, travel, and work remotely. But not all exotic locations are great places to live as a remote worker.

As a temporary resident, there are many factors to consider in order to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

When deciding on a location to live and work abroad, you should focus on what could make or break your experience, such as amenities available and community. It’s easy to think you want to be amid the hustle and bustle of a city–until you find you’re unable to sleep at night because of nightlife noise.

On the flip side, you may think you want to live on a remote beach to escape the chaos that this pandemic has stirred–but may be worried about being isolated again.

Enter Costa Rica: the happy medium you may be looking for!

living and working remotely in Costa Rica, things to do

Costa Rica. a digital nomad hotspot

Costa Rica is a place where the jungle meets the beach, with beautiful weather year-round and plenty of fresh food, interesting sightseeing, and adventurous activities to offer. From hundreds of miles of unspoiled beaches and a stress-free pura vida lifestyle to adrenaline-pumping rappelling, zip lines and scuba diving, it’s no wonder this Central American country is becoming a digital nomad hotspot.

Furthermore (and perhaps most importantly), Costa Rica has the infrastructure to accommodate the growing numbers of travelers and remote workers. A perfect example? High-speed Wi-Fi availability, even in seemingly-remote beach towns.

However, many new remote workers make “rookie mistakes,” forgetting to think beyond beautiful surroundings and Internet connectivity when choosing a base camp to travel, work, and live in.

Factors you should consider as a digital nomad or remote worker

A productive environment

Any seasoned digital nomad will tell you how important it is to create a productive environment to work in. If you work from your accommodation, that means ensuring you have a dedicated working space. If you like to go out, you’ll want to choose a location with various coffee shops and unlimited WiFi, plenty of cable ports, and desks. Likewise, if you enjoy participating in local events and networking, you’ll want an area that has a lot going on.

living and working in Costa Rica, community

A community of like-minded people

Working in solitude might be the most productive environment for some. Still, you’ll likely want to collaborate and meet like-minded people every once in a while. As a digital nomad or remote worker, you are away from most things that are familiar to you, including friends and family. Thus, building a community that shares your interests is a great way to feel connected, be inspired, and have fun.

A range of leisure activities

Speaking of fun, you should also strive to create a healthy work-life balance in your new base camp. As many of us have found out, working remotely blurs the line between clocking in and out, so it’s imperative to set up a rough schedule to walk away from your desk. You didn’t jet out to sit at your laptop all day!

Whether you like to go whitewater rafting in the morning or neon rollerblading at night, it’s wise to build some social activities into your daily routine and try something new while living abroad. Remember: having fun and staying healthy is just as important as making money.

Language and culture

If you are reading this, you have a huge advantage over other non-English remote workers. Most locations that become digital nomad hotspots do so because they have plenty of English-speaking locals and services.

While these are great locations to start your journey, it’s still a good idea to learn the language and familiarize yourself with the culture of the country you plan to travel to and work from. Understanding and respecting the customs and traditions of your temporary home will enrich your experience.

working remotely from Costa Rica, warm climate

one of the best parts of living and working remotely from Costa Rica? Year-round warm climate! However, its high humidity is not for everyone.


When deciding where to go on holiday, it seems the popular choice is ‘the hotter, the better.’ However, if you’re looking to work and live abroad, you want to ensure the weather meets your personal comfort and is conducive to productivity. Can you work in humidity with nothing but a fan? Do you feel more comfortable in a cool shade?

Cost of Living

You may have a secure full-time remote job–or you may be a freelancer in between gigs. Either way, most people become digital nomads and/or decide to live and work abroad because of the low cost of living compared to their home country.

But not all locations are as cheap as you think.

Moving abroad can be costly at first, especially if it’s your first time dealing with currency exchanges and “paying the foreigner tax” (i.e. being charged a higher price than the locals or ripped off). It’s always best to underestimate your monthly salary and overestimate your expenses until you get accustomed to the local currency and cost of living.

Safety and security

A location with a low cost of living might also come with a hidden price tag: lack of security/safety. Once you find the country you’re interested in, do your due diligence online by reading expat blogs, destination guides from digital nomads already on-site, and local forums. This will help you zero in not only on a particular town, but also specific neighborhoods that match your interests and security concerns.

Also important: speak to locals once you arrive for up-to-date advice.

Accommodation types

accommodation for digital nomads and remote workers

where should I stay as a digital nomad / remote worker? 

The 3 accommodation types that most digital nomads and remote workers go for at the beginning of their journey are:


Hotels are the initial go-to, as many of them offer easy online booking, free unlimited WiFi, private room and bath, breakfast, and other amenities that’ll take care of most of your needs. Moreover, most hotels don’t require a minimum stay or a contract, allowing you to get a feel of different neighborhoods before committing to a specific area.

The flip side? Privacy may come at the price of isolation.

Hotels are less homey, plus it’s uncommon to have access to a communal kitchen or shared spaces with other travelers and digital nomads, making it harder to meet people. It’s also the most expensive of all options–and it’s unlikely for you to be able to book longer than 30 days online. This means you’re limited to short stays unless you speak with the hotel staff in person and arrange an extended stay.

However, if you’ve already decided on a specific location, staying in a hotel for a few nights while you find a more permanent place is a sensible option. Being on the ground means you get a feel of the area you’d be living in, plus you can talk to owners to get the inside scoop and strike better deals.


If you are an adventurous remote worker and want to meet new people while living on a budget, a hostel is a great accommodation option for you. Usually, hostels provide dorms with shared bathrooms and, in some cases, they may provide private bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hostels are also non-committal and more flexible. You can stay anywhere from one night to 50– it’s entirely up to you. You can expect to meet many new people, as the guest turnover is much higher at a hostel than at any other accommodation type.

The best part of staying in a hostel? They are designed with sociability in mind, offering a variety of activities during the day and other social events at night. If you’re not an outgoing person or you’re someone who likes a lot of personal space, perhaps a hostel isn’t for you.

Additionally, keep in mind that hostels cater to short-term travelers first and foremost. As a remote worker, this means you’ll need to be proactive about setting a work routine and finding quiet spaces to work.

Another issue to remember when living and working at hostels is security. You’ll need to bring a high-quality padlock to lock away your valuables and work equipment when you aren’t using them.

co-living for digital nomads and remote workers in Costa Rica, Blue Osa

co-living spaces and residential programs

Co-living spaces and residential programs are somewhere between a hotel and a hostel. They typically offer many of the amenities you are used to at home, while sharing some of the living spaces with other like-minded remote workers. You can expect to share a kitchen and other communal areas, all while still enjoying a private bedroom and en suite bathroom.

Another benefit of choosing a co-living space or residential program is that you may snag some great deals when booking long-term stays. This makes them more cost-effective than staying in a hotel, while still being able to enjoy many of the same amenities and some sense of privacy.

While there are many different types of co-living spaces and residential programs, the one thing they share in common is the focus of connecting like-minded remote workers and digital nomads.

There is a sense of community and shared purpose in all co-living spaces.

This type of accommodation option offers you the social life you’d enjoy at a hostel, while the focus of most of the residents is on networking and collaborating instead of partying.

Of course, you may choose to work hard and play hard, too! But you’ll at least always have a quiet, private space to retreat to whenever you need to.

co-living in Costa Rica, Blue Osa residential program

Why choose a co-living program

‘Community hubs’ and ‘expat haven’ are excellent terms to look out for when deciding on a location. But if you know what you like and you plan to stay 1-2 months in one place, going for a co-living or residential program is a wonderful option.

Sure, living and working by the beach while living in a cute Airbnb is great. But living, learning, and retreating with like-minded people is one of the top benefits of being a digital nomad or remote worker abroad.

Whether you’re into yoga and establishing a spiritual practice or building a tech startup and looking to make work connections, there is a co-living program out there for you.

a co-living program in Costa Rica

Why not combine your working schedule with your holistic needs and seek answers to life’s big questions?

Blue Osa, a retreat and spa located in the lush jungles of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, also functions as a co-living residence. Its residential program for remote workers offers private bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, 3 healthy meals a day, high-speed WiFi, and a variety of holistic activities such as yoga classes, meditation, and nature excursions. The experience has been designed to meet digital nomads’ needs beyond the usual sense of community, internet connectivity and other amenities.

Some of the benefits of the Blue Osa Residential Program:

  • Live and serve in a community of like-minded people dedicated to serving others
  • Take breathtaking daily beach walks at sunrise
  • Enjoy the companionship of three dogs and four cats
  • Have access to guided yoga practices
  • Enjoy discounted rejuvenating spa services

Is it safe to live, work, and travel to Costa Rica right now, though?

Costa Rica is positioned as an ideal destination post-COVID “thanks to the successful management of the pandemic and robust health system.” By nature, its remote jungle location allows for semi-private, boutique tourist experiences that are perfect for observing current precautions without adding many hindrances.

Specifically, Blue Osa currently adheres to the COVID guidelines of social distancing and other precautions. Better yet? This retreat is located in an open-air facility on the beach. The continuous ocean breeze, spacious grounds, and secluded private beach–combined with social distancing–make this Costa Rican haven the perfect place to live and work from.

live temporarily in Costa Rica, digital nomad destinations

Come to a safe space where you can wake up every day in a tropical destination and sink deep into an understanding of who you are–all while propelling your career forward and meeting like-minded travelers and remote workers. Live the balanced life you have always wanted!

For more information about Blue Osa’s residential program, click here.

Costa Rica Waterfall Rappelling: My Pant-Pooping Experience [VIDEOS]

When I accepted the kind invitation of Yogi Aaron to take part of a week-long yoga retreat in the unspoiled Osa Peninsula, the last thing I imagined is that I would give Costa Rica waterfall rappelling a try. It’s pretty ironic that while I consider myself to be pretty adventurous, I pee my pants whenever I think of sudden drops from higher grounds…

But there I was, hanging from a seemingly-feeble rope, over 100 ft.

Costa Rica waterfall rappelling photo

I went down THAT thing?!

It all started innocently enough, at a ranch a couple of kilometers away. We were told the horseback ride would last about 2 hours—and that we would be delighted by the open fields, jungle, and coastline.

It all sounded great! And theeeen

Costa Rica waterfall rappelling, horseback riding

Scary moment during horseback riding, beautifully captured! Haha

They forgot to tell us that because it was the rainy season, it would be a tad bit slippery in parts. They also forgot to tell us that the horseback ride alone was going to be a great adrenaline build up to the crazy adventure that awaited us at the waterfall…

So even that ride (and consequent hike) was scary to me. I felt like such a bouji city girl as I galloped through the narrow paths, way too steep for my comfort. I almost slipped out of my seat and into the abyss more than a handful of times:

Then I heard the raging river welcoming us. I started to get excited. Finally, in a good way. I was not scared, but giddy.

And then it got scary again REAL FREAKIN’ QUICK!

^ [Start at 4:30 for the crazy drop, without the hiking prologue] ^

Yeah, I did slip. And felt like I would die. But I didn’t. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

Would you give Costa Rica waterfall rappelling a try?

Special thanks to Aaron and the entire team at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat for such an incredible press trip! While tour was complimentary, this post about my pant-pooping experience is my honest opinion. And very, very real.

Corcovado School: Smiles and Hope in Costa Rica

During my stay at Blue Osa, I got the opportunity to learn about one of their special partnerships—the Corcovado School in the nearby community of Puerto Jimenez.

Corcovado School 1, Costa Rica charity

Aren’t they the cutest?

About 20 miles from Blue Osa, Puerto Jimenez is a small, tight-knit community of 1,780 (and growing), known for agriculture, commercial fishing and ecotourism. Nestled at the doorstep of Corcovado National Park, nature and adventure seekers come for the wildlife and adrenaline rush, but many tourists don’t realize the reality of the town.

Largely rural, many jobs are tourism based, which is not entirely positive because at the education level, children are affected. Public education in Costa Rica is based on learning by memorization, and doesn’t teach future generations critical thinking skills or autonomy.

Blue Osa has been working with the local school for some time and hopes to change the face of education on the Osa Peninsula.

Corcovado School 2, Costa Rica charity

Corcovado School is a privately funded school that rose out of the necessity to educate the young population of Puerto Jimenez and covers children in the preschool years up until Grade 6. If you were to meet the students, you’d find kids that are all smiles, curious and interested in the world around them.

The teachers, staff, and advising committee hope to build a school that the local community can be a part of, but also be proud of. Curriculum is place-based learning, which allows the students to experience events, building their self-esteem, confidence and cognitive abilities. Subjects are taught in Spanish and English to give the students a global education since both languages are spoken and utilized in a number of countries.

The truth is Corcovado School is in transition. The students need tools in the form of sponsorships and the teaching and administrative staff requires assistance with infrastructure. The cost to sponsor a child is $3,000 USD per year, which goes directly to their daily needs. Blue Osa is asking for a commitment of six years to sponsor a child, but even one year would make a difference.

Corcovado School 3, Costa Rica charity

If you’ve ever traveled to Costa Rica and fallen in love with it, remember that in many ways its local population is still developing and giving back in equal amounts to what the country gave you would not only feel wonderful, but right.

Want to help this Costa Rica charity? Become a sponsor!

If you want to sponsor a child at the Corcovado School visit the sponsorship page on their website or email them directly at: corcovadoschooldirector(at)

The Magic of Irazu Volcano National Park

One day: I only had one day in my Costa Rica itinerary to explore San Jose and surrounding areas. After debating between Poas and Irazu Volcano National Park, I finally picked the latter due to its unusual, stark terrain created by its last eruption in 1963.

In fact, scientists and researchers alike called such eruption the “highway from hell,” as they believe it happened due to magma that took a nonstop route from the mantle over just a few months. I knew I would take some stunning pictures there, so I went for it!

Irazu Crater Lake tour, Cartago, Costa Rica

What I thought Irazu’s crater would look like… [Photo: Wiki Commons]

Irazu Volcano via Public Transportation

The owner of the Monkey’s Tribe Hostel and fellow Couchsurfer Hazel was gracious enough to take me to Irazu Volcano National Park despite my tight schedule. I was skeptical when she mentioned we were taking public transportation there, I’m not going to lie. Yet, I was wonderfully surprised once at the bus stop! The coach was unusually comfortable, with reclining seats and large picture windows. It was also a pretty direct, stunning route, which made it the best Irazu Volcano tour on a budget.

Cartago and Irazu via public transportation

Cartago panorama enroute to Irazu volcano

To get to Irazu volcano from San Jose, just go to downtown’s Central Avenue: right in front of the National Theather. From there, you will see a bus stop called Volcan Irazu. The first bus leaves at 8 AM every day and costs less than USD $1.

The ride takes about two hours and best of all? The bus drops you off inside the National Park (by the souvenir shop) and entrance fee is only USD $10 for foreigners. You will have a solid 2-2.5 hours to explore, as the bus won’t go back to San Jose from that same spot until 12:30 PM.

The Crater Lake (That Wasn’t There)

Spectacular scenery: green rolling hills, puffy white clouds, light blue sky. “Are we really going up to Irazu Volcano National Park? Doesn’t feel like it!” exclaimed Hazel upon our arrival. We were being blessed with an unusually-sunny day, as the way up is typically foggy (such is the volcanic climate).

As we finally reached the summit though, the city of Cartago below was slowly covered by a gentle mist. This only added to the incredible landscape.

The stark contrast of beautiful flowers and oddly-shaped leaves against the dark gray ashes left me in pure awe:

Irazu volcano landscape

the barren terrain of Irazu

I kept walking, thinking we would be trekking for at least 30 minutes before anything “exciting” happened… Boy, was I wrong! Just a few minutes in, I was slapped in the face by the sheer size and depth of Crater Principal (“principal crater”):

Irazu crater Cartago Costa Rica

Irazu crater during a drought: NO LAKE! But stunning nonetheless…

Irazu crater Cartago Costa Rica

I was flabbergasted: WOW

Sadly, the province was experiencing a drought during my visit last month, so Irazu’s crater didn’t have its characteristic green-turquoise lake. At all. It had DRIED, fully!

Blame it on climate change.

I tried to look on the bright side though: this gave us the rare chance to admire the volcano in all its glory. The uneven surface, barren walls, and ashy bottom. In turn, we could also focus on other often-overlooked gems around the National Park, such as the unique flora and fauna that play with visitors (whether they like it or not!):

Irazu wildlife Costa Rica

This little fella stole food from other tourists having a picnic! VIDEO coming soon 😉

Irazu National Park wildlife Costa Rica

while THIS fella stole MY snack! 😛

Irazu National Park via public transportation, flora

exotic flowers you may find at Irazu

Irazu Volcano tour, Costa Rica flora

Unique plants by the entrance of Irazu National Park

The Irazu Volcano National Park might be relatively small, but its close proximity to San Jose, ease of access, and rich landscape make it a must-see attraction when visiting Costa Rica — whether you go by public transportation or book a guided tour.

For many more pictures of IRAZU, check out my Central America album

Have you gone on an Irazu Volcano tour? What did you think?

My Costa Rica itinerary: Adventure & sustainable tourism in 9 days

The past 3 weeks have been insane: from packing up my entire life out Florida to coming to Puerto Rico to visit family before I head out to Central America and onward to Asia. AH! Barely any time to breathe. In fact, I’m posting this during my 4-hr. layover, since the Costa Rica itinerary you see below kicks off TONIGHT!

For more details about my Latin American adventures, check out my Nicaragua itinerary as well. It’s fun, I promise 😉

My Costa Rica itinerary: Details of my adventures

Costa Rica itinerary, Cartago

Beautiful province of Cartago, Costa Rica, Wiki Commons

I flew out of Puerto Rico this afternoon, but due this inconvenient layover in Fort Lauderdale, I don’t get to Costa Rica until well past midnight (so technically tomorrow). Thankfully, I’ll be Couchsurfing with a wonderful lady named Hazel, who also happens to have her very own travel agency and hostel in downtown San Jose! I’ll be taking a bus from the airport to downtown, where she will send one of her taxi drivers to pick me up 🙂

I better sleep well on those flights, because it is up to a VERY early start that Wednesday, August 6! We’ll be taking a half-day trip to climb Costa Rica’s highest, and one of its most active, volcanoes: Irazu. Its stunning crater lake graced the intro of this blog post 😉

On the way, we will also be visiting the historical ruins of Cartago. This province has some beautifully-decaying colonial architecture, in addition to rich ecological diversity.

Costa Rica itinerary, Heredia

Heredia, Costa Rica by Erick Hit, Flickr

Unfortunately, I had to cut this day short, as I will also be doing some medical tourism while still in Costa Rica. That afternoon, I will be getting my typhoid fever shot, as it was way too expensive in the states + I wanted to ensure I had it before getting to Asia. There will be plenty of time for some sightseeing around the Ticos’ capital though, plus even some salsa dancing or foodie experience or 2 at night with my host Hazel!

Then, on August 7th, I take the TicaBus to Nicaragua, with the aforementioned adventures taking place until August 15th. IF I still have energy by the time I’m back to Costa Rica that night, I plan on going out and experiencing the nightlife with my Couchsurfing host PELUK! He is a bboy dancer and will be interesting to learn about his style and his suburb, Heredia.

DAYS 12-18: Blue Osa Peninsula yoga retreat

Costa Rica itinerary, Blue Osa yoga retreat

Backyard of the Blue Osa by Jessika F, TripAdvisor

What started this mammoth of a Central American trip: Aaron, the owner of the Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa! He invited me to his property’s PRESS WEEK, in order to experience his beautiful hideaway in the Osa Peninsula. It is one of Costa Rica’s most unspoiled corners, close to some world-class reserves and wildlife. Because of this week-long stay is that I decided to come to the continent a little earlier in order to enjoy not only CR, but also Nicaragua.

My getaway in Costa Rica’s south Pacific region includes:

  • Round Trip Airfare from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez
  • 7 Days / 6 Nights Accommodations
  • 3 Farm-to-table meals, 1 Yoga Class daily
  • A 60-minute Spa treatment
  • One special Farm-to-table cocktail each night before dinner
  • 2 Eco-Tours
  • Still tentative: 2 days of diving, Isla de Cano expedition with local dive shop

I chose to go Waterfall Rappelling / Tree Climbing one full day; then tackle the Matapalo half-day hike, as I hear that its proximity to celebrated Corcovado Reserve should afford us with some spectacular wildlife sightings. the rest of the time I plan to be on the beach doing absolutely nothing. Except for maybe posting on Instagram once a day. lol.

DAYS 18-19: Golfo Dulce and departure

Costa Rica itinerary, dolphin watching

I really hope I get to go on that snorkeling/dolphin watching tour! Photo by Philipp Figueroa, Flickr

My last day in Costa Rica will be spent in downtown Puerto Jimenez, to see if I can take part of a dolphin and whale watching / snorkeling tour in Golfo Dulce! I still have to wait for a couple of more travelers to meet the minimum, so crossing my fingers tightly. As far as accommodation goes, I will be staying at cozy La Choza Del Manglar: a prime wildlife viewing spot in itself.

~ * ~

And this is IT! You probably won’t hear from me through the blog well into September, as I settle into my boarding house in Indonesia. This is why you should TOTALLY follow me through Instagram & Facebook, as it’s likely I will update those every couple of days as I stumble upon Internet between beaches and the jungle 😉

I’m scared and sad and anxious and excited as I leave my beloved island and continent behind to embark on new adventures and thrills. Wish me luck — and keep me in your prayers — as I trot through this intense transition… <3

Costa Rica itinerary, Golfo Dulce beach

Golfo Dulce’s beaches look STUNNING, too! (Scott Ableman, Flickr)

Got more tips for my Costa Rica itinerary? Tell me below!