How to quit your day job, move to Costa Rica and pursue your passion for fitness: An interview with Carey Adam of RunningMoms.com
How many of you have dreamed about what it would be like to quit your 9-to-5, pack up your whole family and move to paradise so you can pursue your true passion — be it blogging, fitness coaching, writing or otherwise — all while being able to stay home to spend time with your kids?
According to Carey Adam of RunningMoms.com, not impossible. You just need to discover your true passion, define your goals, seek guidance and support, and make a plan A — with no plan B option — to make it happen.
Instead of your typical guest post, I decided it would be fun to Skype call Carey and record the conversation to share with you guys. Carey used to live in my hometown of Victoria, BC, so I was curious about why she decided to move to Costa Rica, how she made the jump from working a 9-to-5 day job to launching her online run coaching business, and what it’s like working, living and running in Costa Rica, a place I’ve always wanted to visit.
The Skype conversation is below, but if you’d rather read her answers, Carey was kind enough to write down some of the things we talked about as well, which I’ve included in this post along with links to all the resources she mentions.
This is my first attempt at a recorded Skype call, so be warned the production quality is not up to par with today’s podcasts. I hope you enjoy anyway 🙂
An interview with Carey Adam of RunningMoms.com
1. Tell me a little bit about your business and your blog and why you started it.
RunningMoms.com is an online training programs where I use running as a way to empower busy moms to reconnect with themselves and where I motivate and inspire them to get ﬁt, strong and in control of their bodies and minds. As a mom and feeling like I am always taking care of everyone else, there is very little time for me. Running has always been what I have done to take care of me, maintain my sanity and feel good about myself regardless of what is going on around me. So I started these online training programs to connect and motivate other women to start running to see if it is something they can use of for the same reasons, and it has connected many women and changed lives for the better. I love it! It is the perfect way of me to use my education, skills and passions in a career that I love. It does not feel like work at all to me. And I get to get more people moving. I really believe movement is medicine and it is so nice to be working with people when they are young and healthy and have the capacity to shape their own health and wellness.
2. What made you decide to move to Costa Rica? How long have you been there and how long are you planing to stay?
Well, I had the two degrees, the house, the cars, married with two kids, a good, stable job with a pension… but my husband and I were still unhappy and bored, underwhelmed, and longing for adventure and excitement in our lives. It is a long story, but my good stable job was not using any of the skills I loved to use and I was growing more and more crazy in my ofﬁce behind my computer sorting through lists of patients waiting for surgery and not being able to help them in any way. I could have simply got a new job but I already did that numerous times before and I knew we had to try something drastically different.
So I got organized and took part in women’s life coaching course to help me sort through what I really wanted in life and what really made me happy and how I could incorporate that into my work and life. I had been doing the RunningMoms thing as a side hobby for a year or so and it became obvious in the coaching group that training and connecting women who run was my passion. It used my physio skills, my passion for physical activity, my love of creating community and working one-on-one with people, and I knew all about running and how to train for any distance at any level.
So once I established that, the decisions I needed to make became obvious and it is weird how life ﬂows when you say your dreams and your goals out loud. I instantly found an online health and wellness business school that taught me the business skills I needed and not just more health knowledge, so I could turn my hobbies and passions into a real business helping women. We knew we were going to have to move but did not know where to go, so we just dreamed big and worked with a travel consultant to help narrow our location down because we do have two small kids so we needed schools and good healthcare. And we put ourselves out there into ex-pat Facebook groups, read free downloads to living life as an ex-pat family and followed blogs. We moved to the Tamarindo area of Costa Rica three months ago and the transition has almost been seamless. The boys are both loving their school. We all wake up together and walk to school together everyday. I am home with my kids while still building a business and career I love online — running programs and teaching others to live their most desired life as well. I am speaking at a few retreats around Costa Rica in early 2016!
3. What were you doing for work before you moved?
Before I moved I was working in an ofﬁce coordinating surgical wait lists in orthopedic surgery. I liked aspects of it and it was a great learning opportunity for me as I have contemplated moving my career into health care admin at periods in my life. But I was in an ofﬁce all day alone. I am best with people and love listening to patients and helping them through their surgical journey. The job was not the right ﬁt for me and it also showed me that admin was not a route I wanted to take my career, even with 10 years experience. But it was a good transition for a tired mama going back to work after an exhausting, sleepless maternity leave with a babe that did not sleep. It was so nice to go into my ofﬁce all alone, sit with a cup of coffee and breath — all alone.
4. What have you learned since moving to Costa Rica?
That having access to less is a much better way to live. There is no Tim Hortons or McDonalds or Subway or any quick stop you can stop at. As a result, our eating is way better and we eat way more fresh fruit and veggies at home every single day. Eating out is a luxury now and we respect it now. I have realized very quickly why we have such issues with obesity in North America; temptation is everywhere. How can you constantly say no to everything all the time when you are driving around trying to ﬁt everything into your day? You sort of have no chance. It is not surprising why Costa Ricans are are such happy and healthy people.
5. What are some of the challenges you’re facing running your business from Costa Rica? And what are the beneﬁts?
Time! It is always time. I work when the kids are at school and sleeping.
That challenge would exist anywhere! The beneﬁts to working in Costa Rica is I am inspired every single day by the beauty of nature. I love my ofﬁce by the pool or when I decide to go in to Tamarindo and work from a hotel with an ocean view. I have energy, life, warm temperatures, ocean breezes and inspiration every day to put the work in that needs to be done. And there is good internet for what I need almost everywhere I go.
6. How do you balance work, running and family?
Balance; that crazy state of being. I feel I am at the best I have been with my life in years and again it goes back to the life coaching and business programs I have taken and being really clear on what lights me up and what takes my energy and stresses me out. I always try to do more of the positive. I am so happy to have the freedom, ability and conﬁdence to start an online business that allows me the location and time and freedom I need to also be there when my kids get up and when it is time to pick them up from school. I prioritize that, running, going on family beach trips every afternoon and cooking nutritious meals for my family because these are the things that light me up and make me feel balanced. My house is still a constant mess, the dishes are never done and the laundry is usually in a heap; clean on the edge of the bed and we just pick through it. There really is only so much time in the day and this life, I try to do only the things that fulﬁll and inspire me deeply.
7. What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who has a family and is thinking about doing the same thing (either moving or starting their own business)?
This is a tough one. You have to seriously want to do this. Wanting to live the paradise lifestyle or simple life is not easy as it sounds coming from a busy, hectic North American lifestyle. To slow down and simplify and live in the moment takes time to get used to. You have to take on the complete lifestyle mindset because not everything is easy here! And if you are committed to that, have a passive or online revenue stream, just go for it and do not overthink it. After our initial travel consult where Amanda at Travel Roots gave us eight places to narrow our search down to we found a school and just went with it. I could have driven myself insane trying to research every detail. I joined ex-pat groups and tried to make real connections and just booked the tickets, made a list of what needed to get done and got it done.
If you are contemplating starting your own business, get a business coach like Lori from the Wellness Business Academy who will teach you about business, real business. Like how to integrate your email sequence to your sign-up form and what the heck that even means and why it is important, the actual basics of running a business day to day. This course has taken my wild and random thoughts and turned it into a real functioning business. Without the knowledge and community she has provided me with, I would have had no idea where to start!
If you’re interested in Carey’s retreats or programs, you can check her out at RunningMoms.com. Here are a few other links (some of which are affiliate) where you can find out more information:
- Women’s Business Retreat in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica on March 13, 2016: http://wickedhotretreats.com/
- Carey’s free 10 Simple Tips to Faster Stronger Running for Busy Moms (to access it you have to become a member.)
- The 28 Day Faster, Stronger Running Challenge for Busy Moms – The next online program starts on November 23
- Learn to Run a 5K and other programs will be starting in January
- Follow Carey on Facebook and join her free community at RunningMoms.com.