10 times “Pura Vida” will make you go absolutely crazy

Pura Vida is much more than a saying in Costa Rica, it is a way of life. The literal translation is “pure life.” The saying carries a philosophy of no stress, no worries, look on the bright side, get up when you’re down, the glass is WAY more than half full blissfulness. It’s kind of like Hakuna Matata in the Lion King.


The Pura Vida philosophy has quite an appeal with locals and with expats (most of the time). For some, myself included, adjusting to the Pura Vida life can be frustrating when you’re accustom to the standards of back home. Here are 10 times the Pura Vida saying/philosophy can be, well, annoying:

  1. When there is a power outage and you have important work to do online…Pura Vida!
  1. When there is a really long line in the grocery store because someone is paying for a cart full of groceries with a big bag of small coins…Pura Vida!
  1. When everyone seems to have a snazzy apartment and you can’t find a place to live…Pura Vida!
  1. When the ATM will only let you take out $80 and you need much more than that to pay your rent (you’re one of the lucky ones who has an apartment!)…Pura Vida!
  1. When you buy a house in Langosta and have been waiting for the dirt road to Tamarindo to be paved for several years now…Pura Vida!
  1. When you take a colectivo (a shared taxi) without reading this article so you get charged the gringo rate…Pura Vida!
  1. When you made a bad bikini choice on a big wave day so you flash everyone…Pura Vida!
  1. When you have something shipped to you and it goes to the wrong town so you have to take a dodgy field trip to collect it (10 meters from the soccer field wasn’t clear?!)…Pura Vida!
  1. When you get Dengue Fever or Chikungunya and you feel like you’re going to die…Pura Vida!
  1. When you wake up at an awful early hour to get your 5 a.m. pick up for an adventure tour and the bus is late, very very late…Pura Vida!

Love Pura Vida? Hate it? Let me know your frustrating experiences or your favorite Pura Vida moments!

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