My Expat Story: Jason Mueller
A Canadian expat living in Costa Rica
Jason Mueller is a Canadian expat living in Costa Rica. He loves to travel and meet new people. He made the move to start up an adventure tour in Jaco you can also visit his Facebook Page. This is his Expat Story.
What is your favorite part of expatriate life?
Having a completely different life compared to what I am used to. I have always enjoyed experiencing new adventures in travel, business and life so moving abroad has been a huge change to say the least. The culture is very different here and there is so much to learn, this keeps me on my toes. I have really enjoyed learning Spanish, it has always been a goal of mine to learn a 2nd language and now I am pretty much forced to learn.
What has been the hardest part?
This contradicts the answer to the first question but so far the hardest part has been adapting to the new culture but I enjoy the challenge. Here in Costa Rica everything takes way longer than what I am used to and this can become incredibly difficult, especially when you are trying to run a business. When you are told things will be delivered on a certain day or a job is supposed to be done by a certain time it has always been common curtesy to let the other person know if the deadline won’t be met but here all common curtesy is thrown out the window. I have learned to expect things to take two or three times longer than what I have been promised and this gets frustrating.
Where have you lived around the world? Favorite places?
I have only lived permanently in B.C Canada, Santa Cruz California and currently in Jaco Costa Rica. I have lived for short periods while traveling in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and Mexico. So far my favorite places have been Mexico and Costa Rica and California.
Where would you want to move to eventually?
That’s tough, there are so many places to see and I would have to spend some time traveling to get to know the location before I decided to move there. I could definitely see myself moving to Mexico on a part time basis because it is only a 3-hour flight from my location. The cost of living there is much cheaper which is really nice and the climate is amazing. I also have many friends in Santa Cruz so I have always thought that I could settle down there. I am currently helping my friend with a few projects in California called Things to Do in Santa Cruz and First Security Services so I have thought about moving, knowing I will have full time work.
What’s your sense of ‘home’?
Canada will always be home for me but I also consider my current location home even though I have only lived here for 2 years. Although I don’t feel like I am completely welcome by everyone here I still feel like this is home. Other expats in the area help with making the home away from home feel more welcoming knowing people are in the same boat as you. It is true what they say “home is where the heart is” I have traveled to destinations and had the urge to stay for an extended period of time because it felt like home, only to move on when the timing felt right.
What has been the most helpful thing in adapting to your home abroad?
Probably having friends and a business partner that have helped me with the language and explaining the differences in lifestyles. It really helps to have a local showing you around and introducing you to their friends. I think the people are more accepting of you if they know that you are friends with someone that is hopefully well known and respected.
Share anything else about your expat life that you’d like us to hear!
I will say that making the move is not easy. I would recommend that you spend a little time in the location that you plan to move to before you just up and leave. Maybe go for a 3-6 month vacation if possible. Once you find the right place for you happiness will follow.
[Image courtesy of Jason Mueller]
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