How does the Pura Vida lifestyle differ from that in the US?
Paul Carter here in Costa Rica, continuing to research what Costa Ricans mean by Pura Vida, and what we can learn about that to create the life we’ve always wanted.
Today I’ll be talking with Sadie Calhoun, who was born here in Costa Rica, but raised in the United States.
(Sadie) Hi. My name is Sadie Calhoun. We’re here presently in Costa Rica – born here, baptized here. I was naturalized by an American that came here when I was three. And I was raised in the States. So I was born here. I enjoy it – didn’t grow up here – came every so often. So the way I was raised was an American lifestyle.
But my husband who was fully raised here, born here, and um. When you grow up in America you have a lot of worries, and a lot of them are economic. And I would never understand why he would tell me “Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it.” And I would think to my self, “How am I not going to worry about it?”
Now that I’ve been here, I understand it’s the Costa Rican lifestyle. They really don’t worry about those things. All they want to do is have fun, enjoy themselves, and live life. And that’s why when you greet them they say “Pura Vida.” Because that’s all they’re worried about, that’s life – pure life.
This flower here, and this is one of the memories I do have as a child, probably three or four (years old), I remember that as a child with my cousins we’d pull this. It’s called an amapola. And you’ll see them all around Costa Rica.
Sometimes you’ll see the women put them in their hair, maybe twenty or thirty years ago. But as (a child) I would grab it and pull it out. And I would suck on this. And it would have a sweet juice, a candy-like juice. And I remember as children we used to do that.
But this is what the Ticas used to do with their national clothing when they would dance the music that is Tipica, they would put this in their ears – in their hair right behind their ear.
I want to introduce the owner of this property Vado Meno Umenia. He was gracious enough to come and show us this property, and allow us to film here, and to share everything with you.
(Sadie speaks to Vado in Spanish.) I’m asking him what is the significance of Pura Vida.
(Vado replies in Spanish. Sadie translates.) Kindness, attentive people, calm people, happy people. That’s the typical feeling that the people like to give out to one another. No complications. No worries.
And we’re on the property that we’re looking at, and here to the right you can see all the fruit trees that they have here on this property. They have orange trees. They have some apple trees – different types of apples and different types of oranges.
You can look at the sky, and you can see how fluffy the clouds are here. They’re very close, and they’re beautiful. You get the colors in the sky. You can hear the birds chirping. Relaxing. Fresh air. Exotic birds. I just saw a couple that came down. Beautiful trees. We get a lot of shade here.
And the trees are valued. The greenery and everything. It’s a lot of value. Part of being Costa Rican is to be able to enjoy all this. This is our natural shade.
Here we’re looking at a small cabin that they made on this piece of land. You see the corrugated roofing. A big thing in Costa Rica is when it rains, and it’s time for a nap – maybe two or three o’clock, and you’ve had a little bit of coffee with a piece of bread or tortilla with something, they like to take a nap. And if it’s raining, the sound that makes is amazing. It really relaxes you.
Windows open. You get the natural breeze. It doesn’t get hot.
A little patio to come and enjoy something here.
This section right here in front of us is a pond. And he has several different types of fish that they have here in Costa Rica. And they’re pretty, about one to two feet long. He says he comes here daily to feed them. This is part of Pura Vida. This is where he comes and he relaxes. And he was telling me that this is relaxation for the day – coming and feeding the fish.
If you were here you could feel the air – soft breeze. You hear the insects. You hear the birds. That’s all part of Pura Vida – something as simple as just standing here and feeling the air on your face. Costa Ricans value that. It’s not the material things that we value. It’s the enjoyment of life. That’s what Pura Vida means – pure life. And a little more than just saying pure life. It’s living it.
Now this behind us is a banana tree. And if you can come closer, you can see the bananas. I don’t know what they’re called in English, but in Spanish they’re called rafimos. And you’ll see three of them.
Now that’s another thing about growing in Costa Rica. You have a lot of family that have these on their property. So this is our market. This is where we come and get our bananas when they are ready. An uncle would cut them off. You would wait for them to go yellow. And you would grab the banana and eat it. So our bananas are free here. We don’t have to pay for them.
And you can see the oranges in the back. So every time we’d come here – we’d always go to my uncle’s who would have these on the property, bring a bunch home. Everybody ate from them. And I’ll tell you the Costa Rican bananas are the best I’ve ever tasted.
You see the view at the end? That’s spectacular. You see all the clouds. They’re all fluffy. And you get to see the mountains toward the end. And that’s what you see everywhere here, especially here in San Isidro. You can stand in the center of town, and you look up, and you look all the way towards the end. And all you see are these beautiful mountains – little houses up in the mountain tops, it’s just a beautiful view.
What you’ll find here nice is that everybody’s always happy. And everybody’s always smiling. Everywhere you go you get that nice, warm smile from the Cosa Ricans – from the locals. It’s heart warming. It’s heart felt. You come into their house. They start giving you coffee – everything. They may have little, but they give it all to you.
(Paul) What are your thoughts about what Sadie has been saying about Pura Vida, and the kind of life that you’ve always wanted? Scroll on down and leave a comment in the box below. And if you’d like to get notified of future videos, pop your email into the box over to the right. And if you’d like to help spread the word, grab the link below, pop it into your favorite email program or social media site, and encourage other people to come and join the conversation.
This is Paul Carter. Let’s go refire!