Not a day goes by that I don’t chuckle or marvel at some behavior or action I’m doing and compare it to my old life in The States. On the surface, Costa Rica doesn’t seem that different from North America, but successfully living here requires little adjustments and new skill sets. There are tons of things I have learned in Costa Rica that I never imagined I would ever need or want to know. So far I have learned:

1. The best methods for using water out of buckets and bottles for drinking, cleaning, and… bathing.

Cold bucket shower better than no bucket shower


2. The busiest biting hours of sand fleas.

costa rican sand flea monsters


3. Tiny ants are everywhere.

ant party invitation


4. Tiny ants don’t taste bad.

black ant drinking water

Actually, you ate like ten of them.


5. The exact length and width of my car, with and without the side mirrors folded in.

wrecked front right fender of my car


6. Best strategies for driving through wet and dry river beds in a 2WD or 4WD vehicle.

a dry river bed in costa rica


7. Tires can be glued back together. This service only costs $2.

blown out tire


8. Alternate ways to express the innocent and popular US saying: “I’m excited.”

(Hint: it’s not the direct translation “estoy excitado”)

excited dog


9. How to lie my way out of saying “no” in order to be polite.

empty pockets

10. Hot sauce and guaro go really well together.

tio pelon hot sauce and cacique guaro


11. Fruit has seeds, some are quite tasty.

yummy passion fruit costa rica


12. You don’t have to throw away the whole fruit just because a bug ate part of it.

crazy looking bug eating my food


13. Living in harmony with spiders inside the house is quite possible.

my family stickers, me, dogs, spiders


14. How NOT to prevent birds from attacking a house.

trying to deter birds from attacking my house, but failed


15. How to deter aggressive street dogs.

street puppies in costa rica


16. Things will fix themselves if you wait long enough.

policeman shining his flashlight into big sinkhole in pan american highway in costa rica


Can you relate?

Let’s add to this list. Tell me, what new skills or knowledge from Costa Rica or Central America have you surprised yourself with?