Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happier Than a Billionaire: The Sequel

Happier Than a Billionaire: The Sequel
Author: Nadine Hays Pisani
CreateSpace, 2012
318 pages

In October 2011, I came across a delightful book about an American couple who said goodbye to careers in the States and moved to Costa Rica in search of La Pura Vida. (You can read the review for that similarly-titled book here.) I've been following the adventures of Nadine and Rob via Twitter, Facebook, and the Happier Than a Billionaire blog ever since -- and so have a lot of other people. Clearly, Nadine and Rob are living the way LOTS of us would really like to live. Being one of their biggest fans, I was thrilled to learn a few months ago that Nadine had published a second book titled Happier Than a Billionaire: The Sequel.

The Sequel picks up where the first book left off in that it chronicles (among other things) their move from the mountains to the beach; their plans to build a house; their adventures when friends and family come to visit; and their ever-increasing love of their new country. Once again, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, especially when Nadine writes about Rob, her Dad, and her mother-in-law. There are also plenty of emotional moments. For example: Rob experiences the Costa Rican healthcare system. Will he survive? (Actually it seems that Costa Rica's healthcare system is pretty awesome.) Although I'd followed the story of Rob's surgery on the blog, I was still on the edge reading about it in The Sequel.

Woven into the stories of daily life is a sort of "insider's report" about Nadine's journey into writing and publishing. Her sheer joy over the unexpected success of the first book is evident throughout The Sequel. As a writer* I appreciated Nadine's stories of pushing the button (uploading her first book to Amazon), stalking the publisher's web site to peek at sales, getting the first call from CNN about an interview, doing that interview, dealing with the thrill of victory (good reviews) and the agony of defeat (bad reviews), becoming a celebrity, etc., etc.

Nadine has elevated Costa Rica's status on my list of places for travel and retirement. I will get there eventually. Until then, I'll keep going back to both of these books whenever I need a reminder that there's something waiting for me beyond this 8 to 5 American life I'm currently living. Thanks, Nadine, for helping me get my priorities straight! :)

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*I published a travel memoir in 2009: The Wienerschnitzel Diary made it to #11 on the Amazon bestselling books in the Travel-->Austria category . . . for about three days. :)