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My Dream of Moving to the Tropics

Growing up on the East coast of Canada, I’ve always secretly hated the winter — the never ending winter!

It was a reality of life that I grudgingly accepted, and I was always disappointed at the fleetingly short summer.

However, it was not until I became a raw foodist that I started seriously thinking about moving to the tropics!

I think every raw foodist has had this daydream. They envision living in a warm country. They can almost smell the fresh breeze of fresh air coming down from the mountains. They can almost feel their toes in the warm water and sand of the ocean. But most importantly: they can almost taste the delicious tropical fruits that grow there year round!

I was not only fascinated with the tropics, but I wanted to move there!

When I lived in California, I loved it, but didn’t think it was tropical enough. I dreamed of jumping into waterfalls and enjoying truly exotic fruits that can’t be easily found elsewhere.

Almost all my favorite fruits are tropical ones.

I’m not just talking about bananas and mangoes, but exotic treats like jackfruit, durian, mangosteen, lychees, dragon fruit, custard apple, and so many others!

It seems like nature never ran out of ideas to design those amazing tropical fruits.

For example, the fruit called “rolinea” tastes like lemon meringue pie! You can find it in Hawaii, tropical parts of Australia, and some other tropical countries.

And the amazing black sapote, that tastes like chocolate pudding, but better!

What about the “mamey sapote,” which tastes like cooked pumpkin pie, with all the seasonings!

And let’s not mention the durian, which can be the most foul thing in the world, or the best thing you’ve ever tasted. You just need to get a good one! (Hint if it smells awful it’s probably overripe!)

I was sad that all the best fruits in the world are just not available in most supermarkets. If those fruits were available everywhere in their peak state of ripeness, I feel I could almost live on fruit.

Many people, like me, have dreamt about living in the tropics. For most, this will only stay in the realm of fantasy.

But I was determined to take action. I really wanted to try living in a tropical paradise!

In 2002, I visited Costa Rica for the first time, and I was blown away. I stayed there a month and visited the entire country, and the entire time I asked myself how I could move there one day.

I kept reading on the topic of moving abroad. And every time the winter dragged on, such as right now in February and March… I kept thinking about it even more.

Finally, in 2006, I had the opportunity to move to Costa Rica as part of a retreat center project. I stayed there for over six months, but unfortunately, due to some complex business and personal matters, the entire project fell apart and I was forced to return back home.

Although I realized the project I had started was not a good idea, I had not abandoned my dream of living in the tropics.

So every year, I kept going back to Costa Rica. Every winter, I stayed there a minimum of three months, sometimes up to five!

I read everything I could on the subject. I met so many experts on matters of residency, etc.

I’ll tell you the rest of the story in my next email, but now I just want to say that after all this time in Costa Rica, and all this experience, I’ve decided to release a book on the subject!

In fact, I’ve been secretly working on this, and the book will come out next week.

The book is called:

So You Want to Move to Costa Rica – My Quest for the Ultimate Tropical Paradise

It will be available next week in a print and eBook format.

I’m quite excited about it, because this is not a book like anything that has been done before. It’s a raw story, very funny at times, about my tumultuous experience of trying to move to the tropics. It covers everything you need to know about Costa Rica, but also other tropical countries I considered.

The main difference about this book, versus other books on the topic, is that it’s really about this “ideal” of wanting to move to the tropics. Through all my experience, I give you my uncensored version of what it’s really like, and in the end I give you lots of practical advice for anybody who would like to make the move, or for those who want to do what I do, which is to spend a few months a year in the tropics. It’s also for those who are just curious about it!

I’m quite excited about this new book, and to launch it I will be doing something very special, just for my subscribers.

If you are worried about the price… don’t be. This book will be priced to sell! I’m making it affordable for everybody, because I just want to get it out there.

But for my subscribers, I’ll be offering you something special.

I’ll also be giving a way two free copies of the book! Just comment below and get a chance to win! I’ll select someone from the posts below to win. Just tell me what you think of this project! 

UPDATE: We’ve picked the first winner! It’s: 

jan, from Massachusetts, who wrote: 

I would love to have the opportunity to move to Costa Rica. I think that it is fantastic that you wrote a book detailing what it is like to live in Costa Rica. I have been a fan of yours for years and look forward to reading your words of wisdom. I am unemployed currently and would not have the funds to purchase your book. I know that you are a reputable source of information unlike so many out there on the web. I would be able to put your knowledge to good use and share it with others. I would share some of the information with my book club. So my reason for winning the book is not purely self centered, I think we are all here to share love and joy with others.Having a good diet is fundementally key to being able to live ones best life. I think you are an amazing old soul Frederic!

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.


Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.