- Martha Pierce bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica two weeks ago.
- Now, she’s living by the beach and running her coaching business.
- Pierce said she was nervous to take the plunge but has already reaped the rewards of the move.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Martha Pierce, a 34-year-old former marketing agency owner, who started her own business coaching practice this year and left Denver, Colorado for Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
I’ve always pursued the uncommon path and always been someone who takes risks. I don’t have a home base. But I’m currently sitting in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and I’ll be traveling for the next six-to-12 months.
I had always planned to do this but I kept extending the timeline. Previously I was living in Denver, Colorado, and before that, I was in LA, and before that I was in New York City.
At the start of this year, I was working a temp job. I was at a crossroads of no longer wanting my marketing agency but not being entirely sure what it would look like to shift. I was afraid of plunging into coaching full time. I was also in a relationship.
At the beginning of this year, I hosted a women’s co-working retreat in Malta. Then I flew to Italy for a couple of days. While I was there, my partner and I broke up. I came back, moved all my stuff out, and moved into my parents’ house.
At the six-month mark, I decided I was going to cut and run essentially. I decided to go for it and do the thing that I always wanted to do, which was run a business and serve women. I help women eliminate shame and other problematic emotions so they can really show up as their best, most authentic selves.
Ultimately, I decided to book a one-way flight to Costa Rica and explore what that could look like. I’m not saying I wouldn’t stay in Costa Rica, but I’m also not closing myself off to going elsewhere.
For instance, next month I’ll be in Colombia for about a week. And then the plan is to also be in Bali before the end of the year.
Costa Rica checked all my boxes
I looked at all angles: cost of living, climate, what there is to do, is it a safe country. Costa Rica is also aligned with the timezone I was coming from.
I moved here two weeks ago. I’m doing Airbnbs for the foreseeable future. It’s easier and safer than doing a long-term rental.
I’m not on a visa. I’m considered a visitor to the country. I might pursue a digital visa, but that only makes sense if I’m committing to one location. Costa Rica just announced that they are allowing 180-day stays for visitors. Previously you were limited to 90 days.
I work when I travel. I guess the term digital nomad applies. My vision for my life is that I don’t have a job that I want to get away from. I have a business that I love and I don’t necessarily need a vacation from.
I’ve been coaching women and founders for about 10 months
Now, I’m working more specifically with women who are where I was about a year and a half ago, which is to say they’re feeling stuck. They’re on the verge of some breakthrough. They’ve likely been shaming themselves for the calling they feel like they have. They want something more, whether it’s a relationship or at work or both.
It’s quite a pivot from the marketing agency, but it’s the most meaningful work I’ve ever done. It’s been really exciting. It’s freeing to create the space and community for other women and founders.
Business growth is definitely a key area I’m focusing on. I’m already experiencing a lot of growth being here, which is interesting. I think when you’ve made an aligned choice, the universe meets you, and I’ve experienced a lot of momentum here. It feels nice to be loving where you’re working.
It’s also been messy: navigating my breakup, navigating moving out of that house, navigating taking my business in a different direction. It was scary.
But I really believe we are our safest asset. It’s best to invest in ourselves first. That’s the approach I’ve taken, and I think that’s been my Northstar through all of this.
I imagine people reading this might think: Could I really do this? It’s easy to come up with reasons not to do something. But ultimately, testing it out, taking the leap, trying it is probably always a good idea.
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