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The Art of Doing Nothing in Costa Rica

The Art of Doing Nothing in Costa RicaDoing nothing is pretty easy in Costa Rica. I know a lot of people who spend their entire day doing nothing or idling.

When I want to do nothing, which almost never happens, I just sit on my terrace and enjoy the weather.

A friend gave me the idea of writing about this. He found this article about the Dutch and the verb “niksen” which more or less means doing nothing.

In 2013, I wrote a blog with a perfect example of why doing nothing is the smart way of living a good life in Costa Rica. It’s the story about the retired gringo and fisherman. You’ve got to read it, it makes so much sense.

As you know, Costa Rica is located in the tropics. And in the tropics, everything goes slower than elsewhere. People in Costa Rica for example, walk much slower than they do in New York. The lines in the bank and every governmental building are much slower than elsewhere. And we have plenty of them. There, you have three choices: you bring a book, you go on Facebook or you wait for your turn while doing nothing.

The Art of Doing Nothing in Costa Rica

Now, you have to understand that I’m not complaining, of course not. It’s just how things work in Costa Rica. And that’s why it’s so nice to live here. IF you can adjust to the lifestyle.

Doing nothing in Spanish

You can, of course, do nothing in any language you want. But if you live in Costa Rica, you should know the right words for doing nothing in Spanish. There are several options:

  • No hacer nada – do nothing
  • No hacer ni pirinola – doing absolutely nothing
  • Estar de vago – being lazy
  • Achantarse – to be lazy or not feel like doing anything
  • Estar echado – being lazy

The bank

I just got back from the bank. I needed some information for a client, so I went to what we call a “platform”. There were no other clients, just me. The two bank officials were doing nothing. I thought that they would jump at the first chance of attending a client. Nothing happened, so I took a ticket from the dispenser and sat down.

Then I started doing nothing as well for a while. Until they realized I was there, both at the same time.

Luckily, I was number 87, so I could stop doing nothing.

The Art of Doing Nothing in Costa Rica

Stay busy

Some people can do nothing forever, others need to stay busy. I am one of those. If you’re like me, there are lots of clubs for when you’re bored stiff.

The art of doing nothing

There are different ways of doing nothing, feel free to try:

  • Gaze out of a window at the beautiful scenery
  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset
  • Listen to music
  • Go for a leisurely walk
  • Simply sit still
  • Find a comfortable hammock and lie down in it
  • Go somewhere you can escape, zone out, and find some peace
  • Draw a bath or fill the hot tub
  • Lie down in a field with beautiful flowers
  • Clouds are beautiful and can be really interesting when you’re doing nothing
  • Sit on a Costa Rican beach and watch the ocean, the birds, the surfers, and the horizon
  • Pretend to meditate
  • Lie on a beach chair at the pool

At GoDutch Realty, we care about you and want you to feel comfortable when you move to Costa Rica. That is the reason for these blogs. Do you want to work with a realtor that you will feel comfortable with? Then contact us now.


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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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