Steps To Move To An International Destination With Kids – Living The Dream

Last week marked the six-year anniversary of our little family moving to Costa Rica. 

I could say, “how did the time move so quickly?” but that feels so cliche. 

So much love, adventure, questioning, discovery, growing and more has been packed into these years. Perhaps all those components contribute to a faster-moving internal clock. You can probably relate.

Raising kids in Oakland felt very challenging and the thought of a bold new adventure sounded appealing. I spent many of my pre-family years exploring different countries and learning about different cultures. I knew that offering this to our children would be valuable to them as we co-created their foundation of learning. I was also yearning for quick access to nature for myself and the girls, without needing to drive to a park that had more than a play structure and some grass. 

How did we make this huge international move? 

Here is a rough outline of our steps: 

  • It all started with an idea (“Hey, let’s get outta here for a little bit! What do you think?”).
  • Then we created more of an overall vision (identifying some aspects that felt most important to us). 
  • We got everything out of our heads and “on paper.” My husband and I are very into diving into the research and creating lists and spreadsheets to compare and contrast – this was key.
  • Then we talked to everyone we knew who could offer their perspectives on geographic locations (especially raising young children in a Spanish-speaking environment).
  • We had long and short conversations about every single aspect of our move throughout.
  • Through the process of elimination (some places were too far, not great for kids, etc.), we became clear about where we wanted to move.
  • Share about all the great things the destination had to offer to our kids (they were completely on board!).

Of course, once we identified the country we wanted to move to, we went through all of these steps again to help figure out even more details.

There are at least 975 action items needed to move four humans and two cats to a different country. All of that happened at the same time as all the research for our next, new locale! 

When we set out on the plane on October 6, 2015, I had no idea we would end up purchasing land, designing and building a house, participating and a very diverse community and supporting the creation of a school. Ok, that’s why the six years moved at lightening speed. Life is full of surprises!

There is never a dull moment when you are in the midst of making your dreams happen!

AND, making your wildest dreams come true does take focus, patience, and a lot of soul-searching.

What are you creating these days that lights you up and helps you get out of bed in the morning?