So often in life we don’t set off with a clear sense of our own future, or we find that what we think and what we feel are at odds when it comes to creating a life that fits.
Sometimes the most satisfying outcomes result from having the courage to pursue our most compelling desires, step by step, against all better advice.
When Daveed Hollander set off on a trek to Chile a decade ago after graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz, his parents weren’t too concerned. After all, he was a Chilean American who had grown up in the United States, and who now longed to connect with his Latin roots. Besides, he had worked hard at his education, and deserved a break before attending law school.
When soon thereafter Daveed announced that he was scratching the law career and would instead be moving to the small Costa Rican beach town of Dominical to surf and sell real estate, his parents’ hand wringing began in earnest. “Yeah, they weren’t too happy at first,” remembers Daveed, “but after a few years of working hard and building my company, my friends and family became excited by the fact that I was working and living in another country. To them it was so adventurous.”
Indeed for Daveed, the adventure had just begun in that his youthful exploration would lead him down the path to a permanently multicultural lifestyle full of the kind of rich new encounters, challenges, and problem-solving that put one on the interpersonal front lines of the ever-expanding global paradigm. Having established a successful and widely respected real estate company, Daveed embarked on a new endeavor: romancing a Tica.
“I met my wife, Vanessa, at a dinner party at the home of mutual friends in Dominical,” Daveed explains. “She spoke more Spanish than English, and I more English than Spanish, but that did not keep us from communicating… we just kept trying. I feel it actually strengthened our relationship.” Daveed was already friends with Vanessa’s sister, which helped when he decided to ask Vanessa out. Daveed and Vanessa quickly clicked, but their decision to move in together was definitely not popular with her family. “Living together created huge issues,” says Daveed, “as her parents are devoutly Catholic.” All parties were soon delighted, however, when Daveed and Vanessa married.
Daveed cites adapting to each other’s extended families as both one of the biggest challenges and one of the best rewards of living in a multicultural family. “My wife is from a family of five sisters and four brothers…WOW,” exclaims Daveed. “With such a big family it is sometimes hard to find peace at family events, but everyone helps out so much. Even though we all have our differences at times, at the end of the day we are one big family.”
Language, of course, poses another problem. “Sometimes my words don’t come out exactly right in Spanish,” Daveed admits, “and I have had a hard time communicating.” Still, the young couple’s underlying trust helps to finesse such communication breakdowns. “My wife and I are best friends first and that keeps us from fighting. Years ago we learned to use the words ‘Tell Mr. Grumpy to go away’ whenever we felt frustrated or mad at each other, which made us smile and so prevented silly fights. Even today we use the same words with our infant son when he cries, and it seems to work… well occasionally, anyway,” laughs Daveed.
Now future educational plans for their own son are foremost in the minds of Daveed and Vanessa as they sort out their own multicultural options and priorities. “At first we were thinking we would have to home school part time and send him to Tico school part time, and this was a problem because of work constraints on both my wife and myself,” Daveed explains. “So for a while we were just stuck on what to do. Now one of Costa Rica’s best private schools has announced plans to come to our area, Valle de San Isidro, so it seems we have found a good solution.”
Despite the extra challenges and demands of living with feet firmly planted in several worlds, Daveed wouldn’t trade his lot for anything. “No two days are ever the same because you are always learning something new or trying something new, whether it be a fruit or the little meat they sell on the street.”
Dominical Real Estate For Sale.
If you have ever dreamed of living in a place that’s as close to a tropical paradise as you can find … Please contact our Recommended Costa Rica Realtors Daveed Hollander, John Wieland and James Drews in Dominical in the Southern Pacific area, by using the simple form below:
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