Costa Rica, Pura Vida and Ayahuasca6 min read
Costa Rica, Pura Vida and Ayahuasca6 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Hi Thomas, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
My name is Thomas Kanze and I’m 32 years old and father of 2 children (4yrs old and 7 months old). They have changed my lifestyle drastically and are part of the reason why I’ve decided to settle (for a while?) in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, with my wife.
We live a simple life. I own a coworking and vegan cafe where I spend my mornings and afternoons are usually dedicated to the family. We go to the beach, eat papaya and organize play dates for the kids. Nothing crazy, yet many would consider our lifestyle crazy. Vegan, naked kids, living in the jungle. Sounds pretty abnormal, especially if I tell you that I do not own the latest iPhone (OnePlus for the win).
One of the reasons we’ve decided to settle in Costa Rica is because of nature. We didn’t want our kids to grow surrounded by concrete but rather by trees, sloths and tucans.
What is your current destination?
We live in Puerto Viejo. A small town by the Caribbean sea in Costa Rica. Only a few kilometers away from Panama.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
Currently, I work mostly on personal projects:
- Gyvas: A real estate company in Costa Rica. I’m in charge of all the marketing and the online presence (website,…). However, due to COVID-19 this is pretty much on hold for now.
- Puerto&Co: A coworking space and vegan cafe I cofounded with a French guy I met here. When we arrived we quickly realized that the internet was very bad here. And me being vegan I thought combining the 2 would be a good idea. However, this business has also been highly impacted by COVID as their are almost no tourists in Costa Rica at the moment and we rely on digital nomads.
- Nomadific: This started as a side project and was a nice complement to the coworking. In simple words, it’s a blog dedicated to digital nomads, with country guides, and any kind of information related to the lifestyle. It’s fairly new and is not generating any revenue yet but it’s growing at a nice pace and most importantly it’s fun!
Those are the main ones. I also work on developing two affiliate sites in order to generate revenue. And when I feel like it, I also share a bit of my life on my personal blog.
What did you enjoyed the most about being a Digital Nomad?
I don’t know if I should really consider myself a digital nomad right now as we haven’t been traveling extensively since our children were born. However, what I enjoy most about it is having to have the freedom to chose where to go and live. We shouldn’t be limited to imaginary boundaries and traveling is a great way to discover other cultures and ways of living.
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
It can get lonely. If your friends are digital nomads or expats they may leave at any point. It’s not always easy to have strong lasting relationships.
Also, it can sometimes feel as we live in a bubble. We travel, work, and enjoy our time. Sometimes we end up in places where people are struggling while we’re ‘having a blast’.
Can you tell us a bit about your coworking space?
Sure. It all happened fairly quickly. After arriving I was thinking about opening a vegan restaurant here. I guess living in Melbourne prior to coming has planted a seed into creating something in the vegan niche. Then I met my business partner, He was drinking a smoothie in a cafe. He told me he wanted to open a coworking space. The same day I’ve sent him a message telling him that I would love to work with him on it if we could also incorporate a vegan cafe. He was sold. We found the location the following Saturday and on Monday we were incorporating the company.
However, launching and managing the business was far from being easy. We open mid-November shortly before high season started (Christmas to March). We had to find staff, elaborate a menu, and find a solution to the internet problem. The only way to have good internet was to get a fiber optics line but the prices were through the roof…. $585 per month for 20Mbps… Can you imagine? And that was our only option. We took it.
Over our 2 years of existence, we were able to reduce some of our costs and things were looking better… Until… COVID. Yay! But I’m sure you know all about it already.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
Well… I have young kids so I don’t get the time to dream really. However, what I would love is for them to grow in a place with a strong community where people help each other and are not damaged by this whole capitalistic system based on consumerism. A place where tech blends with nature for the betterment of humanity and the preservation of our beautiful planet. I wish for a world where we would rather help our neighbor rather than fighting over the 50% discounted TV on black Friday.
But the real challenge is finding the right balance between everything.
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
Pieter Levels. He’s very opinionated and I don’t necessarily agree with everything he’s saying but I like his work ethic. Shipping quickly rather than spending too much time planning.
Other than that I have people I admire that are not necessarily DNs such as Tim Ferriss, Scott Young, Matthew Woodward, Lewis Howes… And many others
Is there something that you would like to add?
Now is the right time to reassess your priorities in life and question what you want and if what you do makes you happy. One positive aspect of COVID is that it has freed up a lot of time for many to think.
Oh and you should try Ayahuasca. It’s great.
Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes.