How the Heck Did I End Up in Costa Rica!

Since I started my blog, I’ve had quite a few inquiries from people wanting the whole dirt on: What the heck am I doing in Costa Rica?

So, I figured, I’ll write a quick post-introduction.

I am originally a Russian Jew immigrant that arrived to the States with her parents during the cold war. I was six, and even though back when I was little I hated my heritage and language, I did get to keep it as I grew up. Now, I love the fact that I came from Russia and still am able to speak it with fluency. We moved to NY, and I had the typical suburban lifestyle. However, during sometime in my late teens very early 20’s I got bit by the travel bug. I can’t pin point the date, but all of a sudden, that was all I ever thought about.

So, my wonderful parents sent me to study abroad to England, to help me become more international. Plus, the thing to do after your semester is up, is travel the European mainland by eurorail. All this did was fuel my passion. But… I had to return.

Once I returned, it seemed that my entire life was focused on getting a backpack and traveling the world. It took another 8 years for that to happen, but it finally did.

My goal was to see the world, however, I ended up getting stuck in Latin America, because 4 months into my trip, in Guatemala, I ended up meeting my husband-to-be. I still made my way all the way thru Mexico, all of Central America and 75% of South America, but I haven’t had the chance to leave the Americas – yet!

Never in a million years did I ever think I’d end up living in Costa Rica. I remember studying Spanish in school hating it and saying that I will never use it in real life. (My son’s first language was Spanish). Plus, I’ve never met a single Guatemalan person in my life.

We, actually, had one of those fairy tale meetings. We were both camping next to one another in Tikal, the Mayan Ruins of Guatemala. It’s funny, cause you couldn’t pay me enough to camp there today, but back then I had a very dumb adventurous streak which led me to my life changing experience.

Long story short, my husband got a grant to get his Masters degree in Costa Rica. So, my dream of living in another country came true, granted I always dreamed I’d live in either Australia or Asia but I guess I’m still young and that is all ahead of me (oops, us). In the meantime, we’re about to make our next move to Guatemala.

My amazing little boy was born in Costa Rica. He’s still too young, 5, to understand how lucky he is to have three languages.

  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • English

Yes, he’s trilingual and extremely cute about it. He is completely fluent in Spanish and English, with 100% understanding of Russian. However, he does throw in Russian words as real words into many sentences thinking that it’s the correct word.

So this is the quickie, keep coming back for the longer versions of what’s about to happen…
He also has inherited my travel passion. Or, I want to think so, either way he has no choice, we are a multicultural family living in three different countries which we travel to a few times per year. Plus, I need to be feeding my travel addiction nonstop. So, he’s constantly buckled in tightly into the car on some road trip with mama and papa!

Now, that you know how the heck I ended up here. Wait to hear how the heck I’m going to end up in Guatemala:)

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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