I started a business in paradise!

From an event planner in Puerto Vallarta to the owner of a surfing school in Costa Rica, these folks launched businesses in their dream destinations.

1 of 9
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Zac Campbell loves a big party (here he dances with the bride at a family wedding). So he started a special events planning firm in Puerto Vallarta.
Who: Zac Campbell, 40
Launched: Event planning firm

Zac Campbell was a partner in a Seattle-based interior design firm in 2001 when he took a vacation in Puerto Vallarta. The town's laid-back lifestyle, ocean views and adventurous spirit made it hard to leave.

After some soul-searching, Campbell realized he wanted to return to two early passions: cooking and event planning. Growing up in Asia, he'd often spend hours in the kitchen and loved helping friends and family plan parties, even starting an event-planning business in Tokyo at age 16.

So when he returned to Seattle, he enrolled in culinary school. "Food is something that feeds the soul and you can take anywhere in the world," he said.

Two years later, Campbell made the 72-hour drive back to Puerto Vallarta. There he combined his love of food with his eye for design to launch Eventful Moments, a wedding and corporate events planning firm.

Business is growing -- he has a full-time staff of four and just opened a state-side office in Dallas -- yet he enjoys a more well-balanced life. In Puerto Vallarta, "you can live that retired dream," said Campbell. "There is nothing like going to work wearing flip flops and shorts."

By Catherine Clifford, staff reporter

NEXT: The Colorado mountains
LAST UPDATE: Nov 24 2010 | 11:47 AM ET
8 great cities to start a business From mega tax breaks to innovative business incubators, these places offer compelling incentives to would-be entrepreneurs. More
Best Places to LiveThese terrific small cities boast plenty of jobs, great schools, safe streets, and other great features for families. More
Where to buy vs. rent Cities like Detroit and Columbus boast killer buying opportunities, but you're better off renting in places like Seattle. More
  • Find Homes for sale
    Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
  • New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
  • Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.