Expats Thriving in CoCo
Ron & Tammy Thompson
We are Ron and Tammy Thompson. We met at a local running group in Michigan in early 2014. What started out as a love of running turned into a friendship, love, marriage, and a continued love of running. We have run many 5Ks, 10Ks, Half-Marathons and Marathons throughout the last nine years.
In 2017 we were married and came to Costa Rica on our honeymoon. We fell in love with the country, the nature, the beach, and the people. Over the next three years we came back another 4 times and decided Coco was the place for us to live and thrive. We purchased in Pacifico during the
COVID pandemic and moved full time to Coco in January 2021.
We have continued our running about five times a week here in Coco and just ran our 3rd Marathon in Maui!
We have lived in Coco for 2 years and are so happy with our decision. We have met so many wonderful people that we call friends, and we love our new community.
Dillon, our Shih-tzu is 1-1/2 years old and loves all people and dogs here. Many people call him the “Mayor of Pacifico” as he makes his rounds to say “Hi” to everyone. We have also met many local people who call us “the Runners”.
Funny story, one time at Automercado Tammy was buying some brownies from the bakery and a local man came up and told her
“You will have to run twice as far tomorrow”! When we are out running, we have truckers, garbage truck drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, walkers, and neighborhood people cheer us on.
Honk or say “Hola” next time you see us on the road!
Expats Thriving in CoCo
Jonathan Baldock &
We are Jonathan Baldock and Belinda Seppings and we met each other on a Zoom call in 2020. Covid had hit and we were plunged into lockdown; I was in London, England, and Jonathan in Toronto. A friend of mine – who happened to be
Jonathan’s cousin - created a weekly trivia night to help pass the time and stay connected. We joined the trivia night every week for six months and became virtual friends, spontaneously deciding to take a trip to Provence in August 2020. Our first physical meeting was at Marseille airport and we spent two weeks cruising around an oddly quiet South of France. It was like the movies! We knew we wanted to be together, but Covid restrictions kept us apart for a year.
Jonathan had always wanted to spend some time in Costa Rica, having visited Coco a couple of times since 2016. When the question arose as to where we could spend time together (and live actually in the same place!) Jonathan mentioned Costa Rica; he said we could escape the winter together in Coco and have an adventure. Jonathan was developing his app, Glimpse Social, while also working
as a consultant for a technology start-up, and could work remotely from anywhere in the world. I however was rooted in London, working for White Cube art gallery, project managing the gallery’s international art fairs. I knew I wanted
to make a go of things with Jonathan and follow him so, I approached the gallery and asked to work remotely for five months. To my utter surprise, they agreed! We travelled here in November 2021 with Jonathan’s Boston Terrier, Sophia, and Jonathan Baldock and Belinda Seppings
spent five glorious months working remotely, enjoying Coco and exploring the country in the Jeep Wrangler we bought down here.
Coco life together is beyond anything we
could have imagined. We love being active,
and enjoy early morning beach walks with
Sophia, going to the gym at Coco Bay,
swimming in the ocean and spending time
with the many friends that we’re so lucky to
have made here. I’ve started painting again,
which I never found time to do in London.
There is so much inspiration in Coco! We
knew being here was an experience we
wanted to repeat each year and so, after
bouncing between Toronto, London and NYC
in the summer, we returned to Coco in
Covid sparked our relationship and changed our lives; we feel so incredibly lucky.
Covid also sparked Jonathan’s idea for Glimpse Social, an app to help small,
minority-owned independent businesses who suffered a great deal during the
global pandemic. Jonathan worked for LinkedIn for nearly ten years and was
always frustrated by the lack of help out there for small business-owners.
LinkedIn provides plenty of value for mid to large companies, but misses the boat
for small retail businesses. He wanted to do help change this and do some good in
We’ve been working hard to get Glimpse Social ready to rollout, which have just
begun to do in Coco. Many businesses have already signed-up here and we’ve had
hundreds of users download it so far. We feel Coco is the perfect place to pilot
the app, not least because we love the town and want to help out the community,
before rolling out to the rest of the Costa Rica, and beyond.
Jonathan has had many chats with various chambers of commerce and not-for-
profits who support minority-owned, underserved and independent business
owners, and is currently working towards partnerships with organizations, such as
American Express and the US Chamber of Commerce.
So how does Glimpse Social work?
Each business gets a pin on the interactive
Glimpse Social map, colour-coded depending on
category. Users download the app, browse the
map and click on the nearby pins, from
restaurants, bars, cafes, beauty salons, gyms,
health care, hotels, shops, tours, services or even
grocery stores, to view exclusive content posted
by businesses. This content could be a simple
advert, a photo of what’s going on that day or
even a short video introducing the team,
promoting an event, or offering special deals.
Users can flip on the app at any time and see
everything Coco has to offer at a glance, getting
real-time updates on what’s happening in town.
You will no longer miss the cool band that you
heard played “yesterday”!
Please help us help Coco by
downloading Glimpse Social,
and please get in touch if you
have any questions or would
like to get involved in any
way. We enjoy meeting new
people so come and say hello if you see us out and about; we’ve found everyone down here has a cool story and we’d love to hear about yours!
Expats Thriving in CoCo
Russ & Tamara Wandzura
It all started back in 2007…
We were supposed to go to Thailand.
In 2007, we had been married for one year, and we had big plans to go to Thailand, but political issues in the country had us quickly pivot and change direction to sunny Costa Rica. We spent 17 days touring this FABULOUS country and immediately fell in love. What we loved the most…every time we turned a new corner, it felt like we were in a different country. The color of the sand is different at every beach, the tide and surf are significantly different, and the shells and sea life at each beach are entirely different. Some areas are dirt roads, and other regions are major highways. We spent time in the rain forest (Arenal area), and the blue zone (Nosara area), finishing our stay in the Playas del Coco area. (and saw everything in between). We spent 17 days doing a different adventure every single day.
We were still super young at the time (not even 30), but decided that buying a condo in Costa Rica, was the same financial investment as buying a camper at home, so we jumped in…and the rest is history (in the making). 15+ years later, Playas Del Coco, has become our ‘home away from home. We have since purchased and fully renovated 3 UNIQUE studio apartment condos that we use as rentals. Renovating in Costa Rica has been an experience, and we seem to really LOVE and excel at it.
Playas del Coco is the perfect balance of laid-back & small town with all the amenities we need to live the simple lifestyle we LOVE so much.
Did we mention – we LOVE the RESTAURANTS in Coco and area?? Our little town has so many AMAZING locally run restaurants and bars…We decided last year to create a FB and IG blog to highlight and showcase the local fare. The blog works excellent, as we are able to keep our tenants up to speed on the latest and greatest grub in the local area in ‘real time’.
Follow us on IG and FB Coco Eats Costa Rica to get some great tips on all the incredible food and dining options in Playas Del Coco (and area)
At home (Saskatchewan, Canada), we stay super busy with our businesses (Russ is a grain farmer, and Tammy is a mortgage broker). We love spending time with our kids, family, and friends whenever we have the chance. We are always planning the next adventure and rarely sit still for too long! We are so grateful to have found our little corner of paradise and to have an absolutely amazing core group of friends that we get to hang out with every single year.
Tamara and Russ