Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

Costa Rica Doesn’t Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

“Maybe there´s no home, just road´s end.”
― Tony Cohan, On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel

When I was thinking of moving to Costa Rica, I got messages from a lot of you that you would be watching me, as you were also thinking of moving there. So, what happened? Why didn’t I move there?

Well, it started out with the place I was volunteering not being what I had hoped it would be. It turned out that we would be staying in shared tents with cots that were a mile hike from the road on a slippery trail that crossed a stream in the jungle. A trail so sketchy that we couldn’t even get my suitcase down the trail. Now, I’m a girl who loves to hike. But, my idea of camping is staying at a Holiday Inn instead of the Four Seasons. So, having to worry about stepping on pit viper snakes in the middle of the night, as I run out in pouring rain to the outhouse is not my idea of a good time. It’s not even my idea of an OK time. On top of that, their website said I’d be volunteering for six hours, six days a week. However, when I arrived, I was told it would be nine hours a day, seven days a week. Since, I also work remotely, that just wasn’t going to work.

I thought about staying in Costa Rica longer to check it out, but I could already tell that it wasn’t for me. The mere fact that a burger, fries, and a coke at the airport was $20 sent me scrambling out of there. So here are some of the reasons why I decided Mexico is a better fit for me.

Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

1. They Don’t Have Tacos In Costa Rica

Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

“Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”
― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Ok, so Costa Rica does have something they call a taco. However, it’s nothing like a taco. It’s a sub par tortilla rolled around some meat and deep-fried, topped with cabbage, ketchup, and mayonnaise. And, served WITH A SIDE OF FRIES!! Oh, the travesty. How they can even get by calling them tacos is beyond me. If, I were Mexico, I’d be proclaiming war on this one. But, oh right, Costa Rica doesn’t have an army, so I guess they get to call that thing anything they want.

2. The Food Is Expensive

Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

In Costa Rica, a cheap meal costs $8 (I’m used to spending about $3 in Mexico). And, most of the meals I had, were $12-15. Even the groceries at the grocery store were very expensive. Handmade tortillas were $4 a package! (there went my taco habit). The produce at the farmer’s market was really cheap, but that was about the only thing. But, if I can’t live somewhere where I can at least afford to make my own tacos, I’m pretty much out of there. It always goes back to the tacos.

3. Pit Vipers

Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

Yes, Costa Rica has pit vipers. After living in Hawaii where there were no snakes, I really didn’t want to move somewhere where there were some of the most poisonous snakes also lived. Especially, since I kept seeing posts on the Costa Rica Facebook I joined where people kept posting the snakes they had found in their house. That was enough to convince me that it wasn’t the place for me.

4. A US Citizen Can Only Stay 90 Days If They Don’t Have Residency

I know from living in Thailand, it can be a royal pain to constantly do visa runs. I appreciate the very generous six months that Mexico lets me stay on a tourist visa. And, getting temporary residency in Costa Rica, doesn’t sound very easy either. So, that also factored into the decision for me.

5. Unreliability Of Utilities And Wi-Fi

Another thing I’ve constantly read on the Facebook group from residents is that it’s a good day if you have electricity, water, and Wi-Fi all day. For me, working online, it is a must that I always have a good internet connection. I’ve also only had the electricity and water go out for a total of one day the entire two years I’ve lived in Mexico.

6. Mexico Just Feels Like Home

Costa Rica Doesn't Have Tacos And 5 Other Reasons I Decided Not To Move There

If I smile here, people smile wider. If I say “Buenos dias,’ they say it back stronger. In Mexico, you put out a little you get back a lot. In human terms at least, you could say it’s a functional economy.”-On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel, Tony Cohan

Mexico already feels like home to me. I’ve spent a total of almost two years here, and I really missed the friends that I had already made. I also know the town of San Miguel de Allende so well. I like knowing which market I can get fish sauce at, which place has the best tortillas, where the best tacos are.

While Costa Rica is a beautiful country with kind people,I realized I didn’t want to start all over again somewhere new. So, I decided to come back. I came back to a place with a beautiful community of people, people who have touched my heart, and it’s really those people who have made this place feel like home.