Beach loving, sandal toting experts of all things Costa Rica, Samantha and Yeison is the amazing couple behind Mytanfeet.com. Don’t let their tan feet fool you though, this couple is anything but laid back! World adventurers and digital nomads, they’re not afraid to get rugged and swashbuckle their way down the road less traveled. Their blog is a compendium of insightful and inspirational articles that can motivate anyone to get off their butts and live a life of travel. They’ve done it, they’ve seen it, and they’re still doing it.
Tell us a little about My Tan Feet. Who are you guys, what are you all about, and your first introduction to traveling?
Hi, we are Samantha and Yeison. I am American and Yeison is Costa Rican and we have been living at the beach in Costa Rica since 2012. Our blog talks about all our travels but we focus predominantly on Costa Rica, sharing everything about traveling and living in the country. I was first introduced to traveling on my first international trip when I was 18 to my family’s country, Taiwan. I didn’t travel again until I graduated college at 22 when I met Yeison and we started traveling to see each other since we were long distance.
What was your inspiration to throw caution to the wind, and embark on a digital nomadic lifestyle?
We had met a couple other guys in our town that worked online and when we learned that it was possible, we decided to go for it. At that time we had just finished working at a hotel and were given a great financial opportunity to take some time off to begin a new project.
You guys have quite the romantic love story! How did your travels bring you both together, and more importantly help you stay together?
I went to Central America to volunteer with a non profit organization and Yeison was actually one of my group leaders! So travel is the core of our relationship and it’s the only reason why we met. I had to go back to the US to finish school and Yeison unfortunately at that time didn’t have a US visa which meant I flew down to Costa Rica every few months during breaks for the next two years. Seattle to Costa Rica is not always a easy flight so we also met in other countries.
What advice can you give for couples who are also planning on adventuring together?
Don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be like a honeymoon 24/7. Even if you aren’t backpackers, traveling is tough. Things don’t always go as planned and it’s up to you and your partner to figure things out together in a healthy, smart way. It definitely teaches you a lot about the other person and yourself so be prepared. But have fun, love every second of it and soak it all in.
How do you guys fund all your adventures?
We saved up a lot before I moved down and we were given a nice financial window for a little bit. But now we fund our travels entirely through our website and the internet.
What are your three steadfast rules that you abide by in order to stay on budget while traveling?
Don’t eat at the touristy places. Walk at least half a mile away and prices are much lower. We keep a spreadsheet of our expenses so we can keep track while we’re on the road. It’s always different when you “think” you spent so and so amount of money versus actually seeing it on paper. Then never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. There have been several times when we just get off the bus or plane or wherever and we’re starving. Instead of going to eat, we go to the supermarket which is a bad idea. We buy way too much and then end up not eating it all and wasting it and money. Bad idea.
This is probably going to be the toughest question in the bunch! But what is one thing about Costa Rica I need to add to my bucket list?
Hmm you are right that is tough! It really depends on what you want to do but if there’s anything about Costa Rica I always recommend to people is to explore beyond the touristic areas. If you go to a popular beach or area, try to go at a time when there’s not a lot of people like very early in the morning. It gives you a different perspective and Costa Rica is pretty touristy so you an get the place all to yourself. Go to a town that’s not exactly on the radar and ask the locals where the best spots are. There are so many hidden gems in the country that many tourists don’t visit.
What’s one of the craziest/dangerous situations you both have experienced and how did you get yourselves out of it?
Hmm luckily we have not run into anything very crazy or dangerous on our travels. Yeison however has, he was robbed at gunpoint once when he was traveling around Costa Rica. Luckily he had a friend who used to be in the Nicaraguan army with him and they were able to safely get away and call the police.
If you could offer only one survival/safety tip, what would it be?
Do not be naive. I’m not saying be a pessimist and think everyone is out to hurt you or that people are bad but don’t be naive. If you feel like something is not right or if someone is being sketchy, don’t take any chances. Trust your gut, trust yourself and don’t put yourself into a situation you could have prevented.
How have you both evolved as travelers from when you first started to how you are now?
We’re both pickier I think. Before 4, 5 years ago we would’ve been the happiest campers staying at a crappy hostel but now, we prefer our private rooms and are willing to pay a little bit extra for something cleaner and nicer. We’re not luxury travelers by any means but I think now we just know what we like and what our boundaries are.
Lets talk about gear. What is one essential piece of travel gear you must have on your adventurers, and why?
Besides electronics, a waterproof backpack. At least where we have traveled to and the time of year, we’ve run into some pretty hefty rainstorms and we once lost a brand new camera because our backpack wasn’t waterproof when we got unexpectedly caught in a rainstorm. It wasn’t very fun.
Where are you both now, and where will your adventures take you next?
We’re in Costa Rica, specifically on the North Pacific beach and we actually don’t have much planned for the rest of the year. I’m planning on going back home in Washington to visit my family and go to a friend’s wedding. Other than that, we’re settled in Costa Rica
Do you have any final advice for those who wish to live a life of travel?
Honestly, just do it. There will be excuses for everything and anything and I made the biggest decision of my life to move to Costa Rica when I was 23. I didn’t really think about it, I just went because if I sat down and started coming up with pros and cons I probably would have psyched myself out. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I don’t think anyone could travel full time for the rest of your life but even if you want to go for a month, two, or 6, just start planning it out now. You can talk about it all your life but it won’t mean anything until you start putting your plan in motion. Adventure is out there and sometimes you gotta go find it.
About Samantha & Yeison
We’re Yeison and Samantha. We’re on a quest to take our tan feet around the world. Samantha shares her personal experiences as an expat in Costa Rica, Yeison shares what it’s like to travel from a Tico perspective. Together, we share what it’s like to explore the world as a multi-cultural couple seeking out the best travel experiences. Travel is the foundation of our relationship and holds us together. Without it, we wouldn’t be where we are now! We are not millionaires but we live a rich life full of adventures, fun and freedom. Come join us:
Latest posts by Carey (see all)
- Travel Hack Friday: #DIY Orange Peel Oil Candle #travelhacks - October 16, 2015
- Hanoi Vietnam, The Photoscape! #Hanoi #Vietnam #Southeastasia - October 5, 2015
- Travel Hack Friday: How to Find Edible Bugs - October 2, 2015