At Blue Zone Legal we love being part of the expat community, and today we would like to share with you the story of our dear friends Chris and Shayna Dufresne who relocated to Samara Costa Rica from Canada in 2017.

Read on to learn more about their experience in the Blue Zone:

1. Tell us more about yourselves and your businesses in Costa Rica.

We are a family of 4 originally from Canada that sold everything and moved to Costa Rica 6 years ago. We have a very beautiful, comfortable, and unique Airbnb business in Samara consisting of two 40-foot shipping containers, a private nature filled property close to the beach and town, and a beautiful pool. We also have a successful YouTube channel with a very good following of over 10,000 subscribers.

Sea Casa Logo

2. When did you arrive in Costa Rica? What brought you here?

We arrived in Costa Rica in July of 2017. We felt a strong desire to chase our dreams and live a much better lifestyle of freedom for ourselves and our 2 children. We wanted to escape the North American daily “grind” and start focusing on things that were more important to us, so that’s what we did! We have not looked back since and we are so happy that we made this bold and courageous leap of faith. We wouldn’t change it for the world and we have no regrets! It’s the best decision we could have ever made for ourselves.

3. Did you visit Costa Rica before moving here permanently?

We had never visited Costa Rica previously, but we had always heard such great things about the country. We did a small amount of research before moving, but not too much, and we just decided to come! Our mindset was that in the worst-case scenario, if we didn’t like Costa Rica, we could always go somewhere else and try a different country. We very quickly fell in love with Costa Rica, as many others do! Our minds were made up easily!

4. Why did you choose Samara to establish?

We chose the beautiful beach town of Samara to plant our roots and establish ourselves because we instantly loved the feel/vibe of the place, and we noticed right away that Samara had a very tightly knit community. One of our main priorities was to find a place with a great sense of community and this was discovered by us all very quickly once we arrived. We love the layout of Samara, how everything is very central, and the close proximity to the beach with beautiful neighborhoods scattered throughout. We have been many places in Costa Rica, and no place comes close in comparison to Samara! It’s a very special spot for sure.

5. What are the top five (5) good reasons to move to Costa Rica?

In our opinion, the top 5 reasons to move to Costa Rica are (in no specific order):

  • The warm and friendly people and local culture along with peaceful communities.
  • The beautiful weather, beaches, and preserved nature and wildlife everywhere. Also, the diversity of the landscape and how easy it is to enjoy all sorts of different views and climates in only a short distance from one place to another.
  • The ability to easily slow down, take a step back, and create more time for yourself and/or your family. To have a more free and laid back lifestyle, to escape the “rat race of life”, and just breathe and have appreciation and gratitude for the simple things in life.
  • How simple it is to live in Costa Rica as an expat no matter what you may want to do with your life here and how easy the country/government makes it for others to settle here whether they want to make a business or simply just retire. Costa Rica has always been so welcoming to foreigners.
  • The fresh and much healthier foods of all types and how abundant it always is here!

6. What are the top five (5) challenges you experienced during your time in Costa Rica?

The top 5 challenges we have experienced while living in Costa Rica are (in no specific order):

  • Car/Mechanical issues.
  • Lack of selection/amenities when living in a beach town.
  • Having to keep up with lots of maintenance when it comes to the things you own and your life necessities, house, outdoor items etc. due to the tropical climate in Costa Rica.
  • Many transient relationships with people, especially for our children trying to make friends, as so many people just come and go and many do not settle long term/permanently like we did.
  • The life slogan here “Pura Vida” is great and very meaningful, but many times too much “Pura Vida” can be detrimental and cause problems if you need something from someone or have to get something important done in a timely manner.
The Dufresnes Logos

7. Do you have a favorite video of your YouTube channel? Any funny behind the scenes moments you would like to share with us?

We have a YouTube channel with over 400 videos, it’s honestly quite difficult to nail down one specific video of ours that is our favorite. They are all great and so different in so many ways! Many of them have some pretty funny bloopers that we insert into the end of the videos!

8. What are your top five (5) recommendations for other expats that want to relocate to Costa Rica?

Our top 5 recommendations for other expats that want to relocate to Costa Rica are (in no specific order):

  • Get a REALLY good counsel, such as Cristina and her team at BZ Legal. This is very important even in our own countries of course, but especially in a country that we do not belong to and don’t know much about. It’s so important to have a professional and timely lawyer that also has the ability to speak English if you do not know much or any Spanish at all, and that can help you with all of your legal needs no matter what they may be. Communication is always key, and Cristina is excellent at this!
  • Do not come to Costa Rica and try to change things or think that the locals and their culture should be more like yours back where you’re from. Embrace the culture and immerse yourself in it. Be respectful and mindful, and always remember that you are a GUEST here! If you can’t accept this and adapt, you need to go back home!
  • Do some basic research before visiting if planning on living in Costa Rica full time or long term. You can find a wealth of free information that we have provided for others on our YouTube channel! Many people find our videos extremely helpful.
  • Know that if you end up living in a smaller area or a beach town and you can’t find something that you want or need, you can always go to a larger town/city to get it! You might have to travel an hour or two or four to get it, but you can make it fun and enjoyable and make a little trip out of it! There are always ways to find things and contrary to the belief of many others, Costa Rica has LOTS of things available in country!
  • It’s a privilege to live in such a beautiful country like Costa Rica, so just do it! Push any fears aside and take the leap of faith if you are ready to do so. You won’t regret it and it will be worth it!

9. What is your favorite activity in Samara?

Our favorite activity in Samara is simply just visiting the beach and spending lots of time there! Along with Playa Carrillo too, we really love that beach as well. Doing this just never gets old!

10. Mention three (3) places that you recommend visiting in Costa Rica.

3 places we recommend visiting in Costa Rica are:

  • Samara/Carrillo area
  • Santa Teresa/Montezuma area
  • Manuel Antonio/Uvita area
  • Arenal and the La Fortuna area and places inland like that are also a must visit!

11. What do you miss the most about Canada?

The thing we miss most about Canada would have to be the traditional snowy/cold Canadian Christmas. Other than that, not much at all!

12. You have two (2) boys that are homeschooled. What has been their experience of growing up in Costa Rica so far?

Our two boys absolutely love their life here in Costa Rica and they will still tell you this to this day 6 years later! Their experience growing up here has broadened their horizons in a big way and has taught them so many valuable things in life. They have a much better balance in their daily life as well, and we are so grateful that we are able to provide them with this (and they truly are too!)

13. Where do you see yourselves five (5) years from now?

In 5 years from now, we personally see ourselves still living in Samara and running our businesses just like we are doing now since we truly love what we do, but with the possibility of traveling more worldwide and spending more time in other countries while always having our beautiful piece of paradise here in Samara to come home to. At that point we will hire a property manager to look after our Airbnb and we will have someone stay on the property and take care of everything. It will be strange for us at that time for sure and it will be a big change, but a welcome one!

14. Please share your contact info in case other expats want to get in touch with you.

To book a stay in one of our beautiful Airbnb’s, or to book a consultation Q&A session with us, we can be contacted at

15. How did you get to know about Blue Zone Legal?

We know about Cristina and BZ Legal through friends of ours that used to live in Playa Del Coco. They had nothing but a great experience with Cristina’s help and expertise, so they referred her to us a few years ago and we are so happy that they did!

You can visit our website and YouTube channel to learn more about our experience, business and lifestyle:

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