28 years ago I met Jen Beck. She played piano in a traveling show choir and I played trumpet.
Two years ago I saw Jen again while passing through Dallas. She was on the tail end of a corporate life and planning to retire. She is a couple years younger than me.
One year ago Jen and her husband Greg moved to Costa Rica.
Three weeks ago I finished the book Jen wrote about their new adventure. “Costa Rica Chica: Retiring Early, Simplifying My Life, and Realizing that Less is Best.”
Jen writes about what most of us only dream about.
Faced with the frustrations and pitfalls of modern American life that plague us all, Jen and her husband (aka, The Bug Zapper) decided to do something about it.
In this book, Jen candidly shares the very real hopes, dreams, and challenges that led them to move to Costa Rica in pursuit of Pura Vida…the pure life. The book is filled with honest experiences and helpful hints for others who might consider doing the same.
And yes…she writes about the bugs.
I hope Jen doesn’t mind me saying this…in my whole list of friends that I would expect to quit their jobs and move to a tropical paradise, Jen’s name didn’t even show up. I wouldn’t have imagined the shy piano player I knew from Central Wisconsin pitching everything known and secure and making a new home in Central America.
But 25 years will change a person. And reading the book now, it all makes perfect sense.
Looking out my Minnesota window at the snow (though not enough snow to play in) makes their move seem pretty appealing.
More than anything, the book is an affirmation that we all have choices.
We only get one shot at life…make it count. What do you want to do? And why aren’t you doing it?
Way to go Jen and Greg. Can’t wait to come visit you there.
(You can read more about their adventure on Jen’s blog here.)