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An Adventure By Design – Rain or Shine

[This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8]

Today’s adventure was not unlike most days, but today’s walk was a bit more special than other days for a few reasons:

The Rain

We had the first rain storm in Victoria in quite some time today. It poured cats and dogs! We caught a short break in the storm and we took advantage of it and headed out.

The Old Lady

Silka is our old lady dog. She’s a 14-year-old Weimeraner, and she will likely not be with us all that much longer. Her legs don’t work like they used to, and she gets cold quite easily – hence the rain jacket.

Silks the Old Weimeraner

The Quality Time

I also got to spend quality time with my man during our walk today. Our recent engagement is still very fresh and exciting, and I love every minute we are able to spend together. (ok ok, enough of the mushy stuff… haha!)

Time for a dog walk - Adam and Silka walking

The Good Days

Silka managed to make it through a longer walk than usual today. She has had a few health problems lately, from stomach issues, to a foot injury, to her general age issues with failing hips. I’m always so grateful and relieved when her body cooperates to give her her better days.

Cash and Silka
The Mushrooms

Thanks to the rain, the forest is coming back to life after a dry summer. Mushrooms are some of my favourite things to photograph, so finding this pine cone with tiny shroomies growing out of it was super exciting for me. You’ll find some of my other fave mushroom shots here, here, and here.

Tiny mushrooms on a pinecone

The Puddles

And of course, no walk is complete without the fur baby love of my life, Roxie! Roxie is a swimmer. If there is water around, she will be in it. Even though it rained, the streams are still dry as are her usual water holes, but we did come across a gigantic puddle for her to play in.

If I’m able to choose my own adventure for my days, dog walks will always be a part of them. Hikes, walks, swims, bike rides, as long as our beasties can be a part of it, I’m happy!

Want to design your own adventure?

There’s still time to join Natalie Sisson’s 10 Day Blog Challenge! The challenge has helped me find my focus, identify my road blocks as well as my superpowers. *Click* the image below to join!

Join Natalie Sisson's 10 Day Blog Challenge

Day Trip: China Beach, Vancouver Island

As with all the beaches in this part of the world, China Beach, Vancouver Island has it’s own features and characteristics that make it an easy favourite for many. I have a pretty long shortlist of the best beaches on Vancouver Island, and China Beach is one of them.

China Beach on Vancouver Island

How to Get to China Beach

China Beach falls approximately at the midway point of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail between Jordan River and Port Renfrew on BC Highway 14. You’ll see signage for a campground and a little ways past that, you’ll see the day use parking lot entrance. The beach is about a 10 minute walk from parking lot on a clear and easy walking path.

Three Things I Love About China Beach

  1. The Sand!
    China Beach is a gorgeous long sandy beach with large rocks at either end. The sand is soft and clean with very few shells or rocks to hurt your feet on when walking barefoot. It’s a great place for kids to build sandcastles while parents enjoy a picnic basket and an adult beverage.The Sand - China Beach on Vancouver Island
  2. The Waterfall!
    If you hike over the rocks on the west side of the beach at low tide between fall and spring, you’ll find a river flowing out into the ocean. If you follow the stream up, you will come to a beautiful waterfall flowing over the rocks into a small pool that could be used as a swimming hole on warmer days.The Waterfall at China Beach on Vancouver Island
  3. It’s Dog Friendly!
    We usually bring two of our three dogs with us on our day trip adventures and China beach was no exception. I love that the beach is dog friendly and the dogs had such an incredible time digging holes, chasing sticks and playing in the water.Dogs playing at China Beach on Vancouver Island Dogs playing at China Beach on Vancouver Island

 Tips For A Day Trip To China Beach

There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting any beach along Vancouver Island’s west coast:

  1. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. Thieves are active in the area and are not shy to break into cars. Be sure to take your valuables with you and to securely lock your vehicle.
  2. Protect yourself from the sun. Always wear sunscreen and a hat. Even on cool cloudy days, the sun can still treat you to a burn. Everyone hates dealing with a sunburn. Be sun smart!
  3. Respect the wildlife. Vancouver Island’s west coast is home to all kinds of wildlife, including deer, bears, cougars, wolves and raccoons. Be aware of your surroundings and if you happen to come across any local wildlife, do NOT feed it, do not approach it, and give it lots of space. Animals become dangerous if they feel cornered or if they have young with them. Steer clear, even if it means that you need to leave the beach for your and your family’s safety. We sometimes attach bear bells to our dogs’ collars to help alert any wildlife of our presence.
  4. Pack it in, pack it out. If you pack food down to the beach, please be sure you pack out ALL of your garbage (even the compostables) and dispose of it responsibly. Don’t be a litterbug. Please keep our parks and beaches clean.
  5. Bring a camera! The views and the waterfall at China Beach provide beautiful photo ops. We all have our camera phones with us these days, but it’s well worth the effort to carry your DSLR camera with you, you may even be lucky enough to see whales just off the beach!
View more photos of China Beach, Vancouver Island

China Beach on Vancouver Island

Have you visited China Beach on Vancouver Island?

Please share your favourite part in the comments below.

I Just Booked My Ticket To Mars!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m addicted to travel, adventure and photography. So when I saw the opportunity to book a ticket to Mars, I had to jump at it! And I’m taking my niece and nephew with me!

I just booked my ticket to Mars and you can come too!

Well, not exactly….

Every so often Nasa has fun interactive programs to name a star or to send your name to space, I’ve participated in a few over the years. The current campaign is sending names to Mars on the Orion Flight Test with a launching sometime in the December 4 – 6, 2014 launch window.

“NASA’s newest spacecraft, Orion, will be launching into space for the first time in December 2014, on a flight that will take it farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years and through temperatures twice as hot as molten lava to put its critical systems to the test.” Credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center

This NASA video explains the whole adventure far better than I ever could:

You and your kids can be part of this adventure too by visiting NASA’s website. But HURRY! The deadline is October 31st at midnight (ET).

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake on Vancouver Island

Nitinat Lake is considered to be the jewel of Vancouver Island for kiteboarding. It is an ideal place for both novice and expert kiteboarders to practice their skills.

Nitinat Lake is a tidal, saltwater fjord, 23 km long and 1.2 km wide. The southern end of the lake lies in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which also includes Nitinat Hill on the lake’s northern shore and Nitinat Cone on the southern shore.

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding Conditions

The wind on the lake picks up around 11am – 12 noon and brings great conditions for both kiteboarding and wind surfing throughout the day. The windy season at Nitinat (also known as Nitnat) Lake runs from May through September with the windiest months being July and August. During these months a normal day will deliver thermal winds in the perfect 18-20 knot range, and then slowly dies off in the evening. For weather and wind forecasts, visit Windfinder.com.

Every summer Nitinal Lake hosts the Windfest kiteboarding competition which attracts kiters from the USA, and more recently the world. For more information visit Windfest.ca.

(For more photos of the kiteboarding and scenery at Nitinat Lake, please visit the set on Flickr.)

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake
Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

How to Get to Nitinat Lake

Access to Nitinat Lake is by gravel logging road via Lake Cowichan/Youbou. It’s approximately 3.5 hours from Victoria and 3 hours from Nanaimo, and 2.5 hours from Duncan. Make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle the dirt roads, as they can be slippery and riddled with potholes.

Where to Stay at Nitinat Lake

The Nitinat Lake Recreation Site provides rustic camping, managed by the Ditidaht First Nation.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get a spot right on the lake.

The campground provides picnic tables and fire pits at $12.00 – 14.00/night – although no one came around to collect fees when I was there. 

A Few Camping Tips…

  • There is no cell service, no running water and no power at the campground.
  • Nitinat is bear country –  be ‘Bear Aware.’
  • Pack out your garbage when you leave, there is no disposal services.
  • There are outhouse facilities, but it’s a good idea to supply your own toilet paper, as they tend to run out.
  • Evening temperatures can vary during the summer from cool to tropically warm. Be sure to bring enough blankets for those cooler nights.
  • During the summer months, there is a good chance that there will be a campfire bans in effect.

The alternative to camping is the Nitinat Lake Motel. Room prices ranging from $65 – $100/night. For information and reservations, call 250-745 -3844.

For more photos from my time at Nitinat Lake, please visit the set on Flickr.

Day Trip: Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island

One of Vancouver Island’s truly unique beach experiences is Botanical Beach, near Port Renfrew in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.

Botanical Beach is about a three-hour drive from either Victoria (via Sooke) or Nanaimo (via Lake Cowichan), so make sure you head out early to give yourself plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beach. It is a day-use area only, camping is not permitted on this beach. The best time to visit is at low tide, so you can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite beach to view tide pools filled with brightly coloured marine life.

 

Botanical Beach, BC - Map

Botanical Beach is one of the richest tidal areas on the Island’s west coast. You’ll find that the tidal pools are full of life, including mussels, snails, sea urchins, anemones, crabs, little fish, kelp and more. It’s a natural aquarium that will keep you busy for hours.

Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island

Tide Pool on Botanical Beach Tide Pool on Botanical Beach Tide Pool on Botanical Beach

There are also opportunities to view larger marine life. I’ve seen a pod of grey whales and orcas breaching off Botanical Beach on two separate occasions. Whales have feeding grounds just off Juan de Fuca Park. The best time to see Grey whales is during their migration from the Mexico to Alaska in March and April. Harbour seals and sea lions are also commonly found playing offshore from August to May. Keep your eyes peeled on the open water and you could get lucky.

Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island

Tips for Visiting Botanical Beach

  • Look in the tide pools only – do not touch the marine life.
  • Do not remove, collect or disturb any tide pool life, shells, plants, flowers, kelp, etc. Even touching the water in a tide pool with sunscreen on your hands can create an “oil slick” that could kill the vulnerable creatures in this sensitive ecosystem.
  • Watch your step while exploring. The rocks can be very slippery and can be dangerously sharp.
  • Bring your camera. Photos make great souvenirs.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun and bring a hat for additional protection.
  • Be sure to remove any valuables from your vehicle. Thieves are active in the area and it’s not uncommon to get back to your car to find that you’ve had an unwanted intrusion.
  • Watch for wildlife. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is a wilderness area and there are black bears and cougars in the area. Be aware of your surroundings and if you happen to come across local wildlife, do not feed or approach it. Wildlife gets dangerous if they feel cornered or have young. Steer clear, even if it means you need to leave the beach for your own safety.
  • Bring binoculars in case you’re lucky enough to see whales playing off shore.
  • Pack a picnic. There are a couple of diner/cafe options in Port Renfrew, but there is nothing right on or near the beach. Pack a lunch with you if you plan to make it a full day trip.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. If you bring a picnic or a snack to the beach, make sure you pack out all your garbage and dispose of it responsibly. No one likes a litterbug, please keep our parks and beaches clean.
  • Stay for sunset. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Botanical Beach is a true gem on Vancouver Island’s west coast. It’s a must see and is one of my all time favourite day trips. For more information, please visit the BC Parks website.

What have you discovered in the tide pools at Botanical Beach?

Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island

Day Trip: Sandcut Beach on Vancouver Island

How to Get to Sandcut Beach

Sandcut Beach is one of my favourite day trips along Vancouver Island’s southern west coast. It is situated between French Beach Provincial Park and Jordan River, about 30 kilometres west of Sooke along the Juan de Fuca Highway. Access to the beach is easy to find with a gravel parking lot just off the highway.

Sandcut Beach Map

The beach is about a 10-minute walk from the parking lot along a trail through thick forest of giant cedar, spruce and douglas fir trees draped with moss and witch’s hair, also known as old man’s beard. You’ll walk along a boardwalk and take in fantastic views of the Olympic Peninsula through the breaks in the trees as you make your way to the beach.

The Forest on the wat to Sandcut Beach

The boardwalk on the way to Sandcut Beach

Views along the trail to Sandcut Beach

What To Do At Sandcut Beach

After a short walk along the stone and pebble beach, you’ll find a beautiful sandstone waterfall. It’s a perfect spot to plant your picnic basket and blanket to take a break for lunch.

If you’re a rock collector, there are thousands upon thousands of rocks to explore and collect on the beach, and if you like beach creatures, some will have all kinds of life under them when overturned. On warmer days, it’s a beautiful place to swim and there are some nice sandy patches to make it easier to walk into the water.

Giant kelp on Sandcut Beach The waterfall at Sandcut Beach Waterfall at Sandcut Beach The waterfall at Sandcut Beach

Cliffs line the beach and at the end there is a gorgeous rock formation that you can climb to get a bird’s eye 180 degree view of Juan de Fuca Straight and the Olympic Peninsula on a clear day. Sandcut beach is a great place for a campfire to roast a tasty lunch (please mind the fire restrictions), and if you’re lucky, you’ll even see a pod of whales playing out in the open water as you sit on the beach listening to the wind, waves and the pebbles tumbling in the surf.

Sandcut Beach Sandcut Beach Sandcut Beach Climbing Rocks at Sandcut Beach

Sandcut Beach is one of the more natural beaches along Vancouver Island’s southwest coastline. There are no facilities provided, so make sure you come prepared.

 Tips For A Day Trip To Sandcut Beach

There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Sandcut Beach or any provincial park in BC:

  1. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. Thieves are active in the area and are not shy to break into cars. Make sure you take your valuables with you and lock your car before heading to the beach. There are sometimes volunteers keeping an eye on the parking lots during high traffic times, but don’t count on this being the case on a regular basis.
  2. Respect the wildlife. There is all kinds of wildlife on Vancouver Island, including bears and cougars. Be aware of your surroundings and if you happen to come across local wildlife, do not feed it, do not approach it, and give it lots of room. Wildlife gets dangerous if they feel cornered or have young with them. Steer clear, even if it means you need to leave the beach for your own safety.
  3. Protect yourself from the sun. Use sunscreen and bring a hat. No one likes a sunburn and skin cancer is largely preventable. Be sun smart.
  4. Pack it in, pack it out. If you bring a picnic or a snack to the beach, make sure you pack out all your garbage and dispose of it responsibly. No one likes a litterbug, please keep our parks and beaches clean.
  5. Bring a camera! Sandcut Beach is a beautiful place for photography, especially the waterfall. We all have our camera phones with us these days, but it’s well worth it to bring your actual camera to this one.

Have you been to Sandcut Beach? Please share your experience in the comments.

Day Trip: Exploring Protection Island

Since moving back to Vancouver Island, I’ve done my best to follow through on my promise to myself to explore a new place or try something new at least once a week. This week was no exception and when I unexpectedly ended up exploring Protection Island, just off Nanaimo, BC.

Protection Island on Google Maps

To get to Protection Island, you need to take a 5-minute passenger ferry near the corner of Front Street and Promenade Drive. Although I found the ferry cost to be somewhat expensive ($9 return), it was well worth it once I saw what awaited me on the other side.

Boat Ride to Protection Island

Welcome to Protection Island

The main mode of transportation on Protection Island is by golf cart. The dirt roads are lined with lovely rustic cabins and cottages, and the beachfront homes have absolutely beautiful views. I found the island to have a very welcoming atmosphere; the people were friendly, saying hello or waving as they passed by in their golf cart, or on their bicycle. Protection Island in Nanaimo

We arrived on the island at mid-afternoon and decided to walk around and explore a bit before finding a seat on the sunny patio at the Dinghy Dock Pub. We weaved down the dirt roads (all named with a pirate theme) and explored every beach access trail we came across.

Protection Island in Nanaimo Protection Island in Nanaimo

Protection Island in NanaimoProtection Island in NanaimoProtection Island in NanaimoProtection Island in NanaimoProtection Island in Nanaimo

It was hard to believe that Nanaimo was only a 5 minute boat ride away. It felt like a whole other world and was a bit reminiscent of the time I spent on the islands in Belize. There were even palm trees!

Protection Island in Nanaimo

Protection Island in Nanaimo

Appys at the Dinghy Dock Pub

All that exploring makes a girl thirsty, so after a couple of hours we found our way back to the Dinghy Dock Pub and found a seat on the floating patio for well-deserved cocktails and appys. The pub was decorated with a pirate theme and also had a huge projection tv, perfect for a fun hockey (or other preferred sport) night out. If you arrive by private boat, there are lots of boatslips around the pub to moor your boat while you enjoy your meal.

We ordered the Thai mussels, crab stuffed mushroom caps and a pint of prawns. Sadly, I didn’t take photos of the food. I’m a huge fan of seafood, so as soon as the food hit the table I dived right in. The appys were delicious, the drinks were refreshing, the service was good and the hot sun and the view were amazing!

Dinghy DOck Pub on Protection Island Dinghy DOck Pub on Protection Island

Protection Island made for a perfect mix of afternoon exploration and patio time; I highly recommend it as a fun day trip adventure if you’re in the Nanaimo area. Although we didn’t stick around for sunset, I imagine this would be a perfect spot to watch it from. I look forward to returning later this summer to take one in and to explore the island further! 

Ferry Information:

The ferry runs from 7am to 10pm (11pm on Thursdays and Fridays). It leaves Protection Island every hour on the hour, and leaves the Nanaimo side 10  minutes past every hour. The ramp to access the Protection Island Ferry waiting room is located on the corner of Front Street and Promenade Drive in downtown Nanaimo.

Round Trip Fares:

Adult – $9.00
Senior (age: 65+) – $8.00
Child (age: 6-12) – $6.00
Bikes – $5.00
Dogs – $2.00

Have you been to Protection Island? Share your experience in the comments below.

Bali Dive Guide Featuring My Photos!

Bali DIVEmApps logo

Are you a scuba diver? Are you planning to dive in Bali? You need the Bali Dive Guide from DIVEmApps!

DIVEmApps recently released the Bali Dive Guide featuring photos from my travels in Bali! (Yay!)

The guide is built by divers for divers and gives you access to information about the most popular dive destinations and dive sites around Bali, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Use the app to search dive sites, common fish and coral libraries. 

“The Bali Dive Guide by DIVEmApps is an indispensable tool for divers. It is an essential Dive Guide for anyone interested in diving Bali’s best sites. “
– Robert Scales, DIVEmApps’ Publisher

Plan your dives, explore new sites, check out the fish and coral sections, local emergency action plans, view detailed hand-crafted dive site maps created by experienced local guides and instructors, read the Mola and Manta codes of conduct, and learn about local conservation initiatives, review relevant fish signs and hand signals, and much more.

Bali Dive Guide Features:

  • Relevant information about Bali’s history, culture and point of interests
  • Pre dive information: Briefing, buddy check, hand signals, conservation, and code of conduct
  • Emergency Action Plan with local contacts
  • Searchable dives sites, fish and coral libraries
  • User friendly universal App (optimized for iOS 7, iPad Retina and iPhone 5)

My images are featured in the ‘About Bali’ section of the app:

In-App Purchase:

(Unlock all content on this DIVEmApps with a one-time payment $3.99) 

  • 30+ dive site descriptions with occasional tips, depth, and suggested experience level.
  • 30+ quality hand-drawn maps of some of the most popular dive sites around Bali, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida, Indonesia
  • 50+ common fish, coral, and invertebrates images and descriptions

The Bali Dive Guide is a great interactive tool for divers.

The Bali Dive Guide is available for FREE in the App Store.
* The Android version is expected to be released in June 2014.

Be sure to follow Bali Dive Guide on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other useful diving information.

For more photos from my travels in Bali, please visit my Flickr page

Have you used the Bali Dive Guide? What did you think?

Take a Scenic Tour with Harbour Air

Harbour Air held business card draw at Social Media Camp‘s networking bash this past weekend where winners would win a scenic tour with Harbour Air around Victoria for themselves and a guest. Although I didn’t win the draw, I was invited by two of the winners to join them for this wonderful lunch-hour adventure! Having never been on a float plan before, I was very excited! Led by Turbo the Sea Otter, the winning group traipsed from the Victoria Conference Centre, through the Fairmont Empress Hotel and down to the Harbour Air flight docks in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Turbo made a few new friends along the way. Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flights After some quick photos with Turbo (I kind of have a thing for mascots – I love them!), the pilot led us down to the plane for priority boarding. After watching the safety video for the flight, we were off! Woohoo! Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flights Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight The flight was incredible! Victoria looked very different from the sky than I imagined it in my mind from driving around the city. We toured the Victoria area for about 30 minutes and enjoyed so many beautiful views, before returning to the Inner Harbour. Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight Harbour Air Scenic Flight After taking a closer look at their website, I’ve concluded that Harbour Air is a very convenient way to travel around the West Coast of British Columbia. They fly from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, to BC’s Gulf Islands and even to up Comox and Whistler. If you’re not interested in the long travel times of ferries and stresses of the road, this is the way to go. With docks at YVR, the Vancouver Harbour and Victoria’s Inner Harbour, it’s the most convenient island hopper I’ve seen, especially for business commuters.

Harbour Air also provides private charters and parcel service. Other scenic tours include flights around Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Nanaimo and Seachelt. Learn more at the Harbour Air website.

Sending a huge thank you to @HarbourAirLtd for the lunch-hour adventure, and to @Vancouverscape and @Bars_Bartending for inviting me to join them! It was an awesome way to take my first ever seaplane flight! I highly recommend Harbour Air’s scenic tours to anyone wanting a bird’s eye view of this beautiful place we live in. Yay!

Happier Than A Billionaire – A Must Read For Costa Rica First Timers!

Happier Than A Billionaire by Nadine Hays Pisani

During my first visit to Costa Rica last fall, the friend I was visiting handed me Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week, by Nadine Hays Pisani. He said that it was a great introduction to anyone visiting Costa Rica for the first time. He was right! I had already been in the country for a week, so it was a lot of fun reading about many of the things that I had encountered during my introduction to Costa Rican life.

The book is a hilarious true account of an American couple (Nadine and Rob), who had had enough of their rat race cookie-cutter American life. They were not happy or inspired by their day to day lives anymore, so they sold everything and moved to Costa Rica! I laughed out loud at some of the hilarious experiences Nadine talks about in the book, from encounters with bats, to suicide showers.

What I loved most about this is that I saw so much of myself in their story. Just before my trip to Costa Rica I had done the same thing. One day I simply decided that I had had enough. The next day I gave notice to my landlord and over the month that followed, I sold all of my furniture, donated a bunch of stuff I never used to the thrift shop, and boxed the rest up and put it into storage before hopping on a plane to Central America.

So now, here I was, reading about this couple’s crazy adventures doing exactly the same thing! Nadine and Rob had more of a plan than I did at the time, but after aching to do this for the past five years, I was so excited and happy that I finally got the ball rolling!

Sunset at Playa Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sunset at Playa Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Now I follow the Pisanis’ journey online from Canada, as I continue to set my life up to live a location independently myself. Soon I will be off to Central America again. Costa Rica is the first place I have traveled where I have felt truly and comfortably at home. It’s such a beautiful country! There’s so much life, nature at every turn, beautiful sunsets, the people are wonderful and the food is delicious! Not to mention that I LOVE the language! I have always wanted to be fluent in Spanish, but taking classes in Canada is nothing compared to learning where it is the mother tongue.

I keep Happier Than A Billionaire at my bedside and read a passage from it when I need a little escape from the cold rainy days of a Canadian spring (which is often). Between the book and looking back at the thousands of photos I took of sunsets, jungles, volcanoes and beaches during my visit, I get my fix. But it’s never quite the same as breathing that tropical air, feeling the hot sun on my face, or hearing the waves crashing on the beach… Costa Rica, I will be seeing you again soon!

So if you’re going to Costa Rica, and you’re not quite sure what to expect, or if you want a fun book to read on the plane or on the beach when you get there, pick up Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week! It’s a light and funny read and who knows, it just might inspire you to create a tropical dream life of your own!

The book is available on Amazon. You can also follow Nadine Hays Pisani’s journey online on Facebook, where she shares beautiful images of her daily Costa Rican life.

Have you read Happier Than A Billionaire? What did you think?