Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Where are you from? Tell me about you and your family and where you came from.
We moved here from Denver in 2013. Prior to this we had lived on a small Ranchette in Parker,just south of Metro Denver with horses, dogs, cats and chickens. Both of our careers had pretty much taken a turn for the worse a few years prior and keeping up the expenses of living there was not going to be a long term solution. We knew we had to downsize, but we didn’t know where and how. When my wife announced that we should move to Costa Rica after going to an International Living Seminar, I thought she was crazy. Like many Americans my perception of life in Costa Rica was living in a grass hut with a dirt floor in the middle of the jungle in steamy temperatures with snakes and bugs crawling everywhere. But since we still didn’t have much of a plan B, I figured it was worth a look. I started to search the Expat Blog sites and found Andy Brown’s Boomer’s Offshore Blog site which really helped me to put things in perspective. At the time he was offering Expat Discovery tours so we decided to check it out.
Where do you live now, how long have you been there, and how did you decide to go there?
We decided to live in Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste province, just west of Liberia. We had visited some of the towns in the Central Valley, and liked them, but three things were the deciding factor. The first was a dream to live by the ocean, the second was it seemed possible to live in a well-furnished modern home or Condo at a price we could afford, and third, we really had a chance to meet the other expats in the community and felt that we would have an instant support network available to us.
Have you lived anywhere else around the world?
We had the opportunity to live in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1990’s courtesy of a contracting job my wife got with IBM. It gave us out first taste of what it was like to live in another culture, and experience some of the trials and tribulations of what that entailed even though they spoke the same language; sort-of.
Are you ever homesick?
I don’t think you ever get over being homesick. I tend to be very much emotionally tied to the seasons, and really miss the transition between them. In Costa Rica, it’s pretty homogenous, except for a Rainy and Dry season. Foods are probably the thing I miss most. I really miss all the readily available Ethnic restaurants in the USA.
Have you experienced Culture shock?
I don’t think so. Yes, there are a lot of things that are different here and it took a bit of time to catch on to that’s that way things are here. Andy’s orientation and videos helped prepare us for a realistic look at what we were going to face. I think some expat tour operators love to paint the glorious picture of everyday living in Paradise. I think that doesn’t really give people a realistic picture of what it is really like living here.
What is your best tip for moving to another country?
Wow! What really amazes me is all the stuff we did right coming here. You can read about our preparations and lessons on our guest post on Greg’s Blog lesson in
The first year in Costa Rica-lessons.
How is your life different now, than back home?
Probably the hardest thing for me to get used to is the slow pace of things. It wasn’t that I was a “go-go-go!” person back in the USA, but the rhythm of things here is much much slower. You really have to re-invent yourself down here to be happy, and that’s taken some time to accomplish. There are many changes that are due to factors completely outside of living in Costa Rica, such as both of us being retired and now with lots of time on our hands. Also living in a very small community of expats and learning the social mores that come with that.
Do you do anything work-wise, or are you retired? Tell me about a “typical” day for you.
As I said before we are both retired. One of the things that became readily apparent to me in our first year is that the women have things very well organized, but not so much for the guys. I did a rather tongue and cheek blog post on this in Greg’s Blogs titled