Real Life Stories
A perfect storm of health challenges, a job loss, and the 9/11 attacks in nearby NYC led Alison and Michael Olivieri to retire when they were both 55, sooner than they had expected. They left their long-time home in Connecticut for a new life in Costa Rica. Along the way they learned a new language, made new friends, and Alison replaced a former passion for bird-banding studies with hands-on involvement in a Cornell program that helps local school kids learn to appreciate the natural wonders all around them.
In 2002, Sara Clark used a modest inheritance from her parents to buy almost 700 acres of barren cow pasture high in the mountains of Costa Rica. Her goal: to return the land to native cloud forest, as a tribute to her parents, who had shared their love of the natural world with her. Along the way, her 38 year marriage ended in divorce, and she learned the importance of being flexible on the way to making her dream come true.