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Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Health/Fitness | 18 comments

A new addition to my life – Walking

A new addition to my life – Walking

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

– Steven Wright

One of the changes to our daily lives, since leaving Dallas for Costa Rica, is that we walk many places as opposed to driving. At this point we have decided, because of high cost of vehicle ownership here, not to purchase a vehicle and to walk or take a bus for the next few months to determine if car ownership would be worth the cost. While owning a vehicle provides a sense of freedom, walking has allowed us to slow down, take in our surroundings and drop a bit of the weight gained from our lifestyle in the US. We walk about a half of a mile up a dirt road to catch the bus into town, we walk to see friends, we walk everywhere while we are in town and we walk and hike for fitness.

For fitness there is a 4 mile, figure 8 route, that I like to take. The hike begins outside our apartment and climbs through the coffee fields of a finca (a Costa Rican farm). This section of the hike provides beautiful vistas and overlooks the San Miguel ridge and the mountains  in the background.

View from El Cajon de Grecia

Once you exit the finca we follow the El Cajon road back down to the dirt road  Matapalo, this road splits and contiues for about a mile down hill. Along this road there are beautiful views of coffee fields, farm land, trees and flowers. Many of these flowers are butterfly attractants and the variety of butterflies surrounding these flowers is awesome.

Butterfly in Costa Rica

The last mile of the trek is entirely uphill, providing a great cardio finish to the hike. The hike is almost exactly 4 miles long and takes about an hour and 40 minutes.

My first hike, about a month ago, was 40 minutes long and it about killed me. Literally, I could not catch my breath and had to stop multiple times to “enjoy the view”. Now I do that same hike in about 30 minutes and follow it up with an extra hour or so of walking. Although I have not weighed myself since I have been here, I can see my belly shrinking and my double chin becoming single again.

I think I will keep on walking,

Greg

 

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Gregorio

Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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18 Comments

  1. Greg,

    Great to hear you are enjoying more of your life through walking. With surroundings like you have, you wouldn’t have a hard time talking me into it. Keep it up! thanks for the regular postings. Very inspirational to a budding expat.

    RT

    • Thanks for the encouragement Rob; I highly recommend the expat life and, so far, CR has been a great choice. We love the town where we live as well as the higher elevation for the views, perfectly cool climate and less traffic. Walking is a big part of my “slower pace” lifestyle and I am enjoying the time smelling the roses.

  2. Love it! I think walking is the best way to get around! I love seeing all the sights and I always have my camera with me when I go to town-you never know what you are going to see!

    • Thanks Debbie,
      Carrying the camera is a great idea and luckily the cameras that are in phones these days are incredible. If I every forget my phone or camera I inevitably regret it as I miss out on shooting something cool.

  3. When you are walking it allows you to see more…and if you have a camera you can capture the beauty and uniqueness. I often wonder how much we miss by driving & tuning out the world as we “fly by” it. You are definitely reaping many benefits by your daily walks!

    • Thanks for your comment Candy,
      By walking and taking the bus we get to really slow down and see our world – and there is so much to see and experience here. In the States it was mostly driving our cars from garage to garage without a thought of all the interesting things we were passing. Then there are the health benefits that I am starting to enjoy; more energy and a smaller gut.

  4. Puravida…walk in town and run through the Jungkes.#Jealous

    • Haha Val. Will have your room ready in October as we will be in our new, bigger place then.

  5. Living in Costa Rica (especially without a car) is an almost guaranteed way to lose weight. My dad was just here for 10 days. He had gone to the doctor two days before arriving, and again one day after his return–he lost 14 pounds in Costa Rica. I was surprised, because I was just serving him a balanced diet… The little exercise he got from walking to the bus stop or around town combined with a healthy local diet did the trick. I wish people like him who have Diabetes or other weight-related health conditions would forgo all the expensive medications and just spend a few months in CR! It would work better, I think.

    • That is awesome. I agree – the majority of health issues are cured by diet and exercise. It is just a shame that the norm in the States is to do the opposite. I am glad I am here…without a car.

  6. I have just started reading your blog. I have slowed down this week. I love to read it. And
    yes walking is great and I wish I could do more, but with bad knees it hurts after 1 1/2 mile. Tell me about your bathroom and hot water.Are they last decade like most in Europe? And do you have a washing machine? Things like this makes you wonder if you do hot have them for the good life. Tell Jen hello.

    • Hi Gloria, thanks for reading and good to hear from you. The showers run from “on demand”, other wise known as Suicide Showers, as they have electricity running to the shower head to American style hot water and pressure. We have a washing machine and a dryer. It is very common to use a solar dryer her – i.e., clothes line. We have improved our lives greatly, reduced our expenditure and are not missing out on many things.

  7. I just found your site! I just moved from the Dallas suburbs to Turrialba, Costa Rica! We’re so alike 🙂

    I’m also getting used to walking a lot more. I was pretty sedentary the past 7 months in DFW. The easiest way to get groceries here is a 20 minute walk through a Botanical Garden. It’s not a bad way to spend the afternoon, if I say so myself!

    • Hey Katie! Welcome. We lived in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas, near the arboretum for the 6 years before we moved here. As of this month, we have been in Costa Rica one year (on the 17th to be exact). We love it and my hikes are now 6-7 miles and I am training for the San Jose half marathon in December. I have lost over 40#’s and feel great.

      Your blog looks great, i will check it out further.

      Thanks for the comment and keep walking 🙂

  8. I gave away my 22 year old car two years ago and never bought another one. Walk everywhere except when bus makes more sense. In summer I also have a bicycle. Last winter in Portugal I walked to town 40 minutes away everyday and just about everywhere else in the Algarve. I am sure I have saved enough to pay for a lot of overseas travel. Costs Rica looks good!

    • Congrats! I still walk quite a bit and have once walked to town from my home, about 8 miles – I don’t think the passengers on the bus ride back up the mountain appreciated my efforts. Costa Rica is a wonderful country to visit, and for some, to live. We enjoy it very much.

  9. I no longer drive ever since somebody ran a red light and totaled my great Toyota. I’ve become a recognized local bus authority and walk short distances, which helps my COPD. I don’t miss bullies telling me to give them a ride too. By the way, I moved to the center of town.

    • Bummer about your Toyota. We enjoy riding the bus as we meet more neighbors that way, and the walking keeps us in shape.

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