Andy Hoyle gave up his city based job, married a Costa Rican and headed off to tropical climates to start over. He now lives a completely different way of life. We caught up with Andy to hear what he had to say about this new chapter.
“I spent many years as a ‘suit‘, working in Consulting and Strategic Infrastructure for a large transport consultancy. The work was challenging, but it wasn’t satisfying. Working with the railway, we were treading water, always under funded and under resourced – the higher up I moved, the more frustrating it became. I was spending 4 hours a day in traffic just getting to and from work, which gave me a lot of time to think! My life revolved around work, and little else, with no time or energy to get involved in the community in which we lived. This wasn’t good for me, or for my wife and young daughter – I felt like the bad dad in a Disney movie!
I started to work towards returning to my wife’s country, Costa Rica, to get involved in community based volunteer tourism, where those who want to take a break from university or their career can use their skills in areas of need in rural Costa Rica, and return refreshed to ‘normal’ life, having seen tangible results from their efforts.
We sold the house, I handed in my notice, we engaged in the 3 month ordeal of moving furniture half way across the world, and then chased and overtook our furniture to live at my mother-in-law’s house for several months whilst we built a volunteer centre and integrated into the life of the town and the villages around.
The change in lifestyle has been dramatic, and there are many new and positive challenges. On the railway, we plan everything rigidly, and we adhere to strict procedures. Volunteer tourism, and life in general, is a little more relaxed in Costa Rica. We operate as part of the community here, welcoming our guests as members of my wife’s large family and the wider community. Although you’ll come to take part in one of our placements, we will always look to get you involved in other areas where you have expertise or interest. Being able to be part of some of the best experiences of people’s lives, being able to introduce them to our beautiful country, and being able to make an impact in the local community has been fulfilling in a way that the corporate life never was.”
Visit Andy and his wife Adriana for a truly unforgettable Central American experience by browsing through our Costa Rica section and seeing the range of interesting activities you could be getting up to on your career break adventures.