Inspiring Places: The Costa Rica Edition

Costa Rica. Courtesy of Arturo Sotillo.

Hi. I’m Reese Ryan, and I have an addiction. To HGTV home improvement shows.

It may seem innocent enough. But given the network’s propensity for the all day marathon, this addiction can easily steal half a day. A day I’d planned to write, or to do something else productive.

Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Flip or Flop (and several other house flipping shows) have all had their day in the sun. I’d gotten off the channel cold turkey for months, only to be pulled back in by a Memorial Day Weekend marathon of Flea Market Flip. Like most gateway drugs, it slowly pulled me back into the world of HGTV where everything can can be made shiny and new again.

The exceptions to my penchant for home improvement shows are House Hunters and House Hunters International. The latter is what inspired my dream of unhurried beach living in Central America. Maybe Costa Rica, pictured above. Or Belize, pictured below.

Belize. Courtesy of Serge Melki.Tropical countries that offer paradisaic views of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. A more laid back lifestyle among the lush green trees, with wildlife playing right outside your window. After a hard core addiction to the show, a year or two ago, I decided to add living in one of these countries to my list of goals. And I’ve started learning Spanish.

Until now, I hadn’t given any thought to setting a story or series in one of these tropical Central American countries. My dream of moving there is more about refilling my well and inspiring the flow of the old creative juices. But now that I think about it, it might be fun to write about Americans who spend some time in paradise and find love. And maybe a little bit of themselves. The piece that is lost to soul-crushing jobs, hurried living, noisy urban centers and mind-numbing traffic jams.

Hmm…not a bad idea. I think this calls for a research trip.

What about you? Is there someplace that makes you dream of picking up stakes and moving overseas, or across the country? And am I the only one that needs an HGTV intervention?

Costa Rica courtesy of Arturo Sotillo. Some rights reserved.
Belize courtesy of Serge Melki.


Inspiring Places: The Costa Rica Edition — 7 Comments

    • It’s such a beautiful place. I love the houses that really take advantage of the location by bringing the outside in. As a setting in a novel, you could have so much fun with a tropical location in a fantasy book.

  1. Pingback: JuNoWriMo and Dreams of Beachside Living in Costa Rica -

  2. You are definitely not the only one with an HGTV addiction. I think it’s the allure of taking something that’s old and broken and making it beautiful and functional again.

    I love the shows about living in the tropics, like Caribbean Life and Hawaii Life. Hawaii is my personal favorite; I’m talking about it in my post tomorrow. I’m not sure I’d want to live on an island full-time, but for a few months during a Canadian winter, Hawaii life would be heaven.

    • Jana,

      I was watching episodes of My Wife & Kids the other day that were filmed in Hawaii. So much beauty and so many great things to see and experience. Also, I’m with you about the allure of taking something old and making it beautiful again. The transformations are often stunning.

  3. I understand completely. Just finished my first novel and set part of it in San Juan. The combination of Latin romance, salsa music, sunny beach and verdant rain forest made it a perfect place for falling in love.

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