The philosophical term ‘zeitgeist’ was defined by Hegel as “the spirit of the age” and Costa Rica seems to be embodying the zeitgeist of today.
As we become a further globalized society, one might argue that we are all collectively bound by a set of parameters that we all care about: What issues are we collectively plagued with? What do we believe in? What do we perceive our purpose to be? For many of us living here, life in Costa Rica offers the answers.
Of course, Costa Rica does not claim to have the answers for all humans. But there are some general themes that capture the majority of the people. Two of the biggest issues today seem to be our health and safety, as well as the protection of our environment. These two issues came to the forefront in recent years with new global threats to our health, a rise in violent crime around the world, and mounting climate catastrophes.
At the start of this year, Forbes Magazine published an article titled ‘7 Cultural Trends That Will Shape 2022 And Beyond’ by Kian Bahjtiari that projected the cultural trends that will shape the next decade. In it, the author describes our post pandemic world:
“The pandemic was an unprecedented shock in 2020. More than two years later it serves as the backdrop to everyday life. Billions of people around the world have adjusted their routines to this new reality. The human ability to adapt is truly remarkable.”
Physical distancing and lockdowns reshaped our collective consciousness and we are now ready to reimagine the outdated patterns of our economic, political, and social systems. Some of those who are ready for change are taking that change into their own hands and moving themselves and/or their families to somewhere they feel can help manifest that change. For many, their desired future is embodied in Costa Rica today.
Valuing Health And Safety
Families and retirees have been choosing Costa Rica for a long time for the reasons that they value their health and safety. As the world’s population grows, health and safety are becoming more endangered in the most populous areas where resources are spread thinner. Costa Rica’s universal health care system includes foreigners who become residents of this country. By paying into the CAJA system, expat residents of Costa Rica can have cheap access to good basic health care, as well as access to the high-quality private local health care providers at a fraction of the cost that they would pay in the United States, for example.
Families enjoy their lives in Costa Rica because their children have access to a more traditional childhood that involves playing outside more with less focus on technology. With a population of only a few thousand people in all of Costa Ballena (the region that includes Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal), the pace of life here is slower, neighbors are more connected, and community is more valued. This community safety-net offers a form of development for children and adults that is rare throughout the world.
The Protection Of The Environment
The climate crisis is a clear defining challenge of our time and Costa Rica is ahead of the pack in addressing the issues it presents. The notable Paris Climate Change Summit in 2015 recognized Costa Rica’s record stretch of running on 100 percent renewable energy by projecting the words “100% Pura Vida” on the Eiffel Tower during the summit. This action put Costa Rica on the environmentalism map as one of the leaders in addressing this global challenge.
Nature, ecotourism, adventure, beach, sports, agro-productive farms, culture, and wellness are part of the main activities that people are seeking post-pandemic in Costa Rica. The lockdowns, quarantines, and the pandemic reminded the entire world of the beauty of going out and exploring the wild, feeling free and one with nature, and how important it is to enjoy life’s simple yet most beautiful things. Recharging and enjoying the land of sloths, waterfalls, beach adventures, and fun is an unmissable experience that is at the forefront of everyone’s post-pandemic dream list.
Over 25% of Costa Rica is protected in nature reserves and over 50% of the country is forested, up from less than a quarter of the country fifty years ago. International real estate investors are increasingly choosing to buy real estate in Costa Rica for its abundance of “green spaces.”
Current research shows big correlations between the amount of time that we spend in green spaces and our mental health and well-being. And for those of us who want to feel our best, it is natural that Costa Rica’s pristine environment beacons us to call it home.
Costa Rica embodies the Zeitgeist of today for a number of reasons that it has been working towards behind the scenes for so long. While other countries fought for resources and social progress, Costa Rica put its focus on growing tourism, finding resource self-sufficiency, and keeping family and community as a top priority. These values laid the foundation for a progressive nation that is now in the global eye for becoming the country that most embodies the Zeitgeist of today: a distrusting yet hopeful spirit seeking a better way of life in sync with the past, present, and future.