La Vida Loca – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Doing something a little crazy and need a good way to say it? Do you want a new, more interesting way to say “YOLO”? Maybe the fact that Ricky Martin has been in the news lately has you singing the catchy phrase. Whatever the reason, adding “la vida loca” to your sentence is a great way to express your desire to make the most of time you have available. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The phrase “la vida loca”, translated from Spanish, means “the crazy life”. It is something you may say when you are doing something out of the ordinary, or on the wild side. This may be used to refer to a person who is living with a “no regrets” kind of style, someone whos cool, fearless, and does whatever they want.

Living this kind of life may make someone adored in the eyes of others. But, though it is not usually used in this way, it may also mean that someone has done something crazy that might not necessarily be a good thing.

Example Usage

“Did you hear Tom went skydiving yesterday? He’s living la vida loca!”

“Let’s go to Vegas, I want to live la vida loca!”

“I don’t want my life to be boring, I want to live la vida loca!”

“Sam stole a car yesterday. She’s living la vida loca, but not in a good way”.

“I think I’m going to pack up and move to a different country! Live la vida loca! ”


This phrase became popular after Ricky Martin released his song, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in 1999. Other musical artists have gone on to use the phrase or even quote Ricky Martin in their songs, including rap artists 2Pac and Logic. Though it may not be as common now as it was in the years after the release of Martin’s song, many people still know the meaning of this phrase, and it does pop up in conversation occasionally.

Phrases Similar to La Vida Loca

  • “YOLO”, meaning “you only live once”
  • “C’est la vie”, or “such is life”
  • “Carpe diem” , translated to mean “seize the day”

Phrases Opposite to La Vida Loca

  • Boring/dull/average.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • “La vida loca” – “The crazy life”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say La Vida Loca

The phrase “la vida loca” is used to refer to someone who lives an extraordinary, crazy life, and who is cool for doing so. Some ways of possibly using this phrase wrong would be to use it to refer to someone who’s life is not particularly crazy or interesting. If you were to say something like, “Frank is a banker. His life must be la vida loca” or, “Kelly never leaves her house. I bet she’s living la vida loca”, this would be an incorrect use of the phrase. Not to say a banker’s life is always boring, but without referencing something interesting that they did, this would be the incorrect way to use the term.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase La Vida Loca

  • He went cliff diving and then immediately competed in a demolition derby! He’s living la vida loca!
  • She just took a trip to Mexico all by herself. Her life is la vida loca.
  • He makes so much money, drives fancy cars, and goes to the best restaurants. His life is la vida loca.
  • There is no reason to sit at home letting life pass you by. Get out, try things, live la vida loca.
  • The life of a stunt man is certainly la vida loca. It’s full of danger and uncertainty.
  • Trying to outsmart your parents and sneak out at night is certainly one way to live la vida loca.
  • I like the la vida loca, there is no plan for what comes next and I live a life of fun and excitement.

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