Costa Rica Chica – THE BOOK


Have you ever wanted to quit your job and “retire early”?  

Well, we did it!  

My husband and I were fed up with the “more, more, more” mentality of North America,  and decided to quit our jobs, sell everything and move to Costa Rica with just 9 suitcases.  Why Costa Rica?  Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out exactly why – but overall we wanted to downsize and simplify our lives and get by on less money. 

See what made us consider Costa Rica in the first place, how we did it, and why we have no regrets!

Bonus chapters include Jen’s special recipe for making bite-sized éclairs and a packing list for YOUR move to Costa Rica!



CLICK HERE to buy paperback directly from Jen via paypal
(note your “ship to” address will be where the book is sent).

 CLICK HERE to buy e-book on Amazon.


“A heartwarming, informative, and inspirational story of one couple’s
decision to leave it all behind for true happiness.”
~ Jennifer Turnbull, co-author of Two Weeks in Costa Rica

“A much needed reminder about how to truly live. Heartfelt, funny, wise, and riveting,
Jen gives readers an extraordinary gift of reminding us that we can (and should) live out our dreams.”
~ Jaclyn Mishal, co-founder of

“Costa Rica Chica is an honest account of an all American couple looking for another way to live,
an escape from the rat-race to enjoy all they’ve earned and accomplished. It’s a playful,
entertaining read that provides a glimpse into the journey of a life in Costa Rica.”
Shannon Enete, author of Becoming an Expat Costa Rica

“They discovered that the true treasures of joy and health appear in front of our very eyes once we let go
of unnecessary material things, take a deep breath and jump into the welcoming unknown.”
~ Fabiana Martínez, Linguist 

23 Responses to Costa Rica Chica – THE BOOK

  1. Pingback: What Do You Do All Day? - CostaRicaCurious

  2. Jen, just finished your book and have to admit had a bunch of good chuckles out of it. :) I’ve been contemplating and researching between Ecuador and Costa Rica and I think you have me sold on the views, parrots and fruit trees galore. ha! Glad to see you two took it upon yourselves what others only dream of, that takes courage and fortitude. I plan on doing more reading on it myself before I start the planning. If there is anything I should know, please scream at me like a tarantula! :)
    Hope to hear from you.

  3. Just wanted to say I have your book in my Amazon cart as I type. After my anniversary trip to Costa Rica in December, my husband and I have decided to retire there! My mindset on returning home (to Dallas, Texas…which is what sold me on buying your book, I saw you were from Dallas), was to sell everything (short of the kids/grandkids) and move tomorrow. But, since my husband doesn’t retire for another 5 years, I am stuck researching and planning our next trip to find out what area we truly would like to retire in! Can’t wait til your book arrives to read about your adventures and to dream about my own!
    Melissa Stinson (soon to be a Costa Rica resident!)

    • Hello fellow Dallas-ite! Exciting to make the decision to retire here to CR (but hard to wait 5 more years, I know!). Thank you for ordering my book! I hope you really enjoy it. Cheers!

  4. Hi Jen, I just ordered your book – and look forward to reading some of your blogs while I wait for it’s arrival. I am fed up with my home town. After almost 53 years here – I am ready to move on. I started “thinking outside the box” in regard to where to go – and was thinking Oregon until one of my friends said “Costa Rica”! Huh? But it got me thinking even further outside the box – and I LIKE THAT! I plan on a visit this year – maybe two, and until then will continue to devour whatever information comes my way. Glad to add you to my plate of delectable treats!

    • Thank you so much Lynlee!! Costa Rica is definitely outside the box, but not as “outside” as you may think. I hope you enjoy my book (thanks so much for ordering!!). :)

  5. I have been following your blog for quite some time now. I always watch for new post. I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica. I absolutely love your book. I’m sure it took guts to change your life like that. Simplify your life. That sounds like heaven. The less is more is definitely catching on for a lot of folks back here in the states. Thanks for sharing some of your life online. It’s definitely been a treat.

    • Alyssa – this was just the nicest comment to read just now! It totally touches me to know your feelings on my book and blog. Really. Thanks for brightening my day!!

  6. Hi Jen, I’m not from US or Canada, I’m from Costa Rica, and most definitely am not retiring any time soon since I don’t have the age to do so.
    I do happen to know Jose and his family since I’m from Naranjo.
    Just wanted to say thanks! It is really amazing all the good things you write about our country, so much, that it is hard to believe we have to read/hear the information from foreigners to actually appreciate them.
    After reading all this, I don’t even consider you a foreigner, you might as well know this country better than I do.
    Thanks for loving this small beautiful country and letting other people know about all the great things we have here.

    • Ohmygosh – how thrilling to hear from a Costa Rican – who knows Jose no less! And that you loved my book. I definitely appreciate this beautiful country – it amazes me every day! Thank you SO much your comments and writing me! Also – I’ve thought of seeing if Espirtu Santu would like to sell my books, so wish me luck. Pura Vida Karen! :)

  7. hi Jen,
    Just finished your book and loved it. I was hoping it might make me less enthusiastic about Costa Ric…but, no, it only added fuel to the fire!
    I returned from my second trip to CR two weeks ago, and all I want to do is go back. And mostly for all the reasons you mentioned: the lack of a materialistic, greedy, valueless over culture, and the incredible kindness of the Costa Rican people. I love the country and its people. But I have a daughter who is off to college in two years and will have to wait till then, I’m afraid, to spend significant time down there (currently I live in Montana.
    However, I am planning to spend all of next February there, dividing my time between Tamarindo and Monteverde. Although I have traveled through the Central Valley, I have not spent time there. The climate sounds amazing, I have to admit.
    In any case, I applaud you and Greg’s brave move, I am happy to her that you are happy, and I hope to join you someday and be a Costa Rica Chica myself! Till then, could you keep writing about your life, the good and the bad, so I can arrive with my eyes wide open? Right now I am trying to keep myself from getting despondent over not being able to leave now by studying Spanish.
    Thanks again for sharing your great adventures. Keep it up! And watch out for those big bugs!
    Pura vida, mi amiga, Debi

    • Debi – so nice to hear from a Montana girl! Your comment warmed my heart this morning, so nice to read, thank you. Glad you enjoyed my book! Costa Rica seems to have grabbed your heart too… I know it’s hard to wait. Please let me know if you come through the central valley or anywhere near Grecia next February! Pura vida! — Jen

  8. Hi Jen, I just finished reading your book and it has really stoked the fire for my move to Costa Rica in a few short months. I wanted to ask, how and in what did you pack your kitchen appliances for air travel? I am worried about my crockpot, coffee maker, etc. getting there in one piece. I have opted to not ship anything, rather taking as checked luggage flying business class. June 14, baby!

    I have been following your husband’s blog and will follow you as well. Thanks for great reads…

    • Hi Nancy! Thanks for reading (and enjoying) my book! Means a lot to me. :)

      Kitchen appliances… I brought them down in a subsequent trip – my kitchen aid mixer we put in a carry-on (was really heavy). I think I packed (with lots of towels) in the checked luggage my crock pot and coffee pot… just really wrapped and stuffed everything really well, and that worked fine. June 14th is awesome (we started on June 17th!!….). Thanks for following!!

      Also – if you wouldn’t mind to leave me a review on amazon, I would really really appreciate! Thanks again. Pura vida!

  9. Hello Jen,

    I just finished your book. I have lived in Panama and Pakistan for several years and could relate to much of what you said. :). Maybe I will switch over to coffee instead of hot chocolate…ha ha.
    In June I will be coming to Costa Rica for a yoga retreat among other things. It is also my goal to talk to expats and get info info info on what it is like to live there. I would love to meet you. One question I do have….What if there are big medical issues, such as surgery, broken bones or issues with older age come up. How is the medical community helpful there. Love to hear back from you. thanks for a great book. Sheila

    • Hi Sheila! Wow on Panama and Pakistan, that’s awesome. Cool on the yoga retreat here! Would definitely be interested in meeting. General medical is very easy here (dental, colds) – the dentist is cheap (without insurance) for cleanings and cavities, as well as a general doctor. We haven’t had to deal with anything major (knock on wood), but the hospital here in Grecia we have heard, is very good (with the national health care that everyone is required to have once you become a resident). There’s much more on this topic, perhaps we can chat when we meet! :) Thanks, Jen

  10. Dear Jen,
    Thanks for writing back so quickly.
    As of June 7 I will be in Nosara, till the 13th.
    There is a high possibility that my boyfriend and I will come earlier to explore; maybe that would be a great time to meet you. Sheila

  11. Jen, just finished reading your book and I loved it! I hadn’t thought about reading it because I don’t plan on moving to Costa Rica and I presumed it was directed only to those looking to move there. Boy was I wrong! Your book does have great advice for those looking to move there and it has equally great stories and references for those wanting to visit. You’ve written your very real life story which I found refreshing, funny and enjoyable too. There are several places I can’t wait to visit based on your account of your experience there. Congratulations on your love story, your spirit of adventure and your courage to leave what you knew in order to live a simple yet joyful life! Pura Vida!

    • Oh – thank you so much, Irma! I truly just wrote my story, and I’m so glad others are interested in it. Can’t wait to meet you in June!

  12. Your book is now in my Amazon cart! I can’t wait to read it! My husband is originally from San Ramon and we have recently been considering moving closer to his family’s farm. (Although I think I want to be closer to the beach…. financially it is a no-brainer to build on the family farm in San Ramon) We have been there many times but I am scared of actually moving from the US. However I think it would be a great adventure for our family and great for the kids to learn about their father’s culture. I know that there are plenty of “older” retired expats all over CR however have you run into many younger families? We are in our 30’s with small children. Do you know of an expat group in San Ramon or surrounding cities?

    • Hello Eva!! Thank you for putting my book in your cart! We have 4 good friends who live in San Ramon and love it. I also know a small handful of younger families with kids (in Costa Rica, not all here in Grecia), and I just asked one of them, she said to look up this group on Facebook: “Families in the Central Valley, Costa Rica” – you have to message them to join. Thanks & cheers!

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