Saturday, August 4, 2012

Living Abroad in Costa Rica: An Interview with Erin Van Rheenen

Moving abroad can be truly scary, but the life-changing experience of living outside your comfort zone is completely worth it. Erin Van Rheenen, author of Living Abroad in Costa Rica, made the move, and she wrote the book to tackle those tricky questions that start storming your brain when you’re thinking of moving to a different country. Hip Chick Zine asked her a few questions about her experiences.

Hip Chick Zine: What are your favorite things about Costa Rica?
Erin Van Rheenen: I like how even the air here feels green, and how the place pushes me past my usual limitations: by making me drive through rivers, for instance, or talk my way out of a speeding ticket in another language, or how it makes me rethink my stereotypes of so-called developing countries. Consider this: In 2006, women held nearly 40% of the seats in Costa Rica’s national assembly, while only 15% of U.S. Congress members were women. It’s odd that a so-called machista society has so much more female participation in politics than a country boasting equal opportunity for all. It’s these kinds of discoveries that get you thinking about the flawed assumptions you’ve been living by. Living outside of my own country has made me a little less stupid about the world.

HCZ: What advice do you have for a woman who wants to move to Costa Rica? (Besides to read the book, which is good advice.)
Van Rheenen: Get on a plane and go. Stay for as long as your life will allow. See if you like the feel of the place. If you do, make the move happen; you know how, even if you don’t know yet that you know. Trust your instincts.

HCZ: What’s your favorite travel destination outside of Costa Rica?
Van Rheenen: The Yosemite back country, the Lost Coast in northern California, New York City, remote mountain towns in Mexico, and anywhere I haven’t been yet (right now, I want to trek in Northern India and Nepal).

Read more HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I really want to visit Costa Rica one day...I heard great things about the country-"the Switzerland of Central America". Women representing almost half of the seats in the national assembly? My type of a place :)!