Last updated on December 17, 2012

Laura, Austin, Zack, Spencer


Hi, we’re the Hanson family.  We thought life might have more to offer than a mortgage and a career, so we decided to go looking for it.  Back in July 2012 we set out on our adventure – not entirely sure where it might lead us.  The goal was simple – to LIVE.

Adventure, purpose, service, learning, and love are those things which we believed would bring us true Happiness, yet we weren’t living like we believed it, for some reason.  We found ourselves stuck, living lives of quiet desperation, afraid to change course.  This adventure is our delayed response to those long-held convictions of true Happiness.  Better late than never!

Our Belief
We believe the key to a better world is peaceful, voluntary cooperation on a global scale – starting with families and then extending over oceans.

Our Mission
Work to break down personal and national borders.  Strive to inspire families to bond and strangers to unite.  Remind the world how similar we all are, and thus encourage a spirit of global cooperation, entrepreneurship and activism.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why, how, and when did you decide to leave?
We answered a lot of these kinds of questions in our interview with Man vs. Debt.  We also shared a key driver in an early post, How Much Life Does That Cost?

Why Costa Rica?
It’s beautiful, exotic, affordable, and safe.  We’re after a slower-paced, more family-centered lifestyle, and Costa Rica is a good fit for this.  We’re excited to learn new languages, and Spanish is a great one to start with (especially since Spencer lived in Buenos Aires for 2 years from 2001 to 2003 serving as an LDS missionary).

What has your timeline been like?

  • 03/12/2012 – our adventure began.  We signed papers to put our house on the market!
  • 07/19/2012 – our last night in our house ending with cramming everything we own into our minivan.
  • 07/20/2012 – Spencer’s last day of work at HP, where catastrophe became adventure.
  • 07/20/2012 – drove to Salt Lake City in our snuggly packed van to party with family.
  • 07/28/2012 – drove to Portland, Oregon to party with more family.  While there we sold our van.
  • 08/14/2012 – flew to New Jersey to party with more family.
  • 08/29/2012 – flew to San Jose, Costa Rica!  We started out in a hotel in Escazu.
  • 09/08/2012 – our first adventure with our first new amigos in the beautiful rainforests of Monteverde.
  • 09/15/2012 – moved into our new rental in San Luis, Heredia, Costa Rica.
  • 03/15/2013 – Our 6 month rental contract ends…..

How do you pay the bills?
We’ve saved up enough money to live frugally for about 1.5 years.  If we can’t figure out how to make enough money to sustain ourselves before then, we’ll have to crawl back and beg for another cubical job.  Here are our projects that are bringing in money right now.  As you can see, we have a lot of work to do!

  1. Lost & Found Family Website and YouTube Channel – You’ll notice that there are ads running on our website and videos.  The more trafic we get to our website and videos, the more revenue these ads generate.  As a matter of fact, the best way to support us is to share our videos and posts with your friends!
  2. Baby Scientists YouTube Channel – We started Baby Scientists YouTube channel back in August of 2011 to document some of our fun, family learning activities and share them with others.  We monetized the videos in October 2012.
  3. Amazon Affiliate Earnings – Amazon awards us 4-8% of every purchase that is placed using our special Amazon reference link.  If you bookmark it, you can support us every time you shop at no cost to you.  http://amzn.to/T60kaL
L&FF Monthly Earnings Chart

L&FF Monthly Earnings Chart

Lost and Found Family Monthly Earnings


What about sending your kids to school?
One of the perks we’re most excited about on this adventure is to homeschool our boys.  We’ve explained more about our ideas on education on our Learning tab.

Is it safe?
The world, just like any city, has it’s dangerous neighborhoods.  Obviously, we avoid these.

When we first arrived in Costa Rica, I did not feel safe.  Everything was unfamiliar and scary.  It seemed every conversation we had with anybody for our first week here gravitated toward how paranoid we needed to be.

As we became more familiar with the places, faces, and the culture, we realized our initial fears were over-done.  We do feel safe.

What about healthcare?
Healthcare in Costa Rica is about 1/3 the cost of similar care in the US.  A big reason for so many expats retiring down here is because of Costa Rica’s reputable, affordable healthcare.

For these first 4 months, we’ve been using temporary health insurance, in case of major disaster.  We may upgrade to a longer-term policy, but we are still researching this out.

What is the cost of living in Costa Rica?
We’re living comfortably for about $1300 per month.  Rent is $750, and utilities about $80.  Food is more expensive than we thought, especially dairy!  More detail here – Our New House and the Cost of Living in Costa Rica. 

What were some of the biggest surprises as you prepared to leave?

  • Our house selling in 1 week!
  • The ducks selling in a few hours (who would have know there was such a demand for 6 Swedish Blue ducks).
  • Laura crying over 6 quickly sold ducks.
  • HP announcing 27,000 layoffs the same day we had planned to quit!
  • The overwhelming amount of stuff we had.  Even after selling $7,500 worth of stuff we still had a house full.  (I never want to have this much stuff again.)
  • Being contacted by Kenzie’s original owners out of the blue to see if we were selling Kenzie, which in fact we were!  They sold Kenzie to us because their youngest had an allergy, but had since grown out of it.
  • Zack and Austin being so good about selling their toys.  We thought it would be hard for them to get rid of their favorite toys, but they are being surprisingly mature about it!  They really seem to understand well the bigger picture of what we are trying to do.
  • The number of people that tell us they know somebody else that has done the same thing and moved to Costa Rica.  We thought we were being all rebellious and original by shirking the cubical career life and fleeing to Costa Rica, but just about everybody we talk to reminds us that we are not original at all.  It is actually very comforting to know that we are not the only ones.

Do you need help?  How can I help?
Yes we do!  And so glad you asked!  Please check out this page – Get Involved.

Some Good Quotes

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. - William Hutchinson Murray