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New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourselves here – June to December 2017

isn't a "halfway house" for expats called "rental accommodation?"  :cool:  Lots of them available in the Playas del Coco area.

By law, anyone who introduces the successful buyer to the seller, is entitled to a 5% commission.

Yes hi I'm the Costa Rica director of the national Cycling Team and we will be participating in the next UCI world championship in Bergen. My question is if anyone know someone that will like to host us from the 14-25 of September we will apreciat it. Just need a play to stay and cook. We are 6 people 4 cyclists and 2 staf members. Please let me know thanks so mutch.

Hello to all,

My name is Michael and my wife is Fatima. I am soon to be a retired RN as well as retired from the military. We live in the concrete jungle near Dallas, Texas. We love the outdoors and nature. Have been reading about Costa Rico for years and glad that our soon to be vacation will take us there. We are very excited about exploring the possibility of a slower lifestyle.


Mike and Fatima Ramsey

milram1 :

Hello to all,

My name is Michael and my wife is Fatima. I am soon to be a retired RN as well as retired from the military. We live in the concrete jungle near Dallas, Texas. We love the outdoors and nature. Have been reading about Costa Rico for years and glad that our soon to be vacation will take us there. We are very excited about exploring the possibility of a slower lifestyle.


Mike and Fatima Ramsey

Hola Mike & Fatima,

Welcome to Expat.com!

If you haven't already done so, by browsing through the many posts in the Forum section you'll find answers to many of your questions on searching Costa Rica, what to look for, how to obtain residency, housing, etc.

Feel free to ask any question that you might have.  Deciding to leave your home country and become an expat can seem daunting but it should also be a fun adventure to look forward to.

I was born in and spent most of my life in the States and have lived as an expat for about 10 years total - 8 of those now in Costa Rica.  I cannot imagine returning to the States.  CR can be trying at times, but I feel much, much more at ease in life here.  Hopefully you'll find it to be the same for you.

I would suggest that you do not judge CR by a few weeks of vacation.  Vacations almost always make a destination appear all roses and rainbows.   Vacationing here and living here are two different worlds.  If you do find that it seems like a great place to try as a new home, then come down, rent for at least a year and then decide if you want to make it permanent.  ...just my two cents.   :cool:

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Hello,
My name is Ronnie. I am coming down to vacation in a few weeks with the hubby and trying to make some new friends before we arrive. We are going to be in Tamarindo to start and then wherever the wind blows us!!! Feel free to reach out i would love to meet some expats as our goal is to eventually move to costa rica permanently.

Hello everyone. My name is Fabio Guevara, I'm Costarrican by birth and US citizen by naturalization. Me, my wife and our daughters are now living in Grecia, Alajuela after many years abroad in the US and in Spain. My wife is System Analyst and I am Jungian Analyst  :) ***

Moderated by Priscilla 2 months ago
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Fabio,

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- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Making plans to move by early next year, but where?  Looking for someplace close to food, drink and music near the beach.  Diversity of people and ages, tolerance of gringos learning Spanish.  Costa Rica top of my list and I am planning a trip in about a month.

62 but not retired- I have managed HOAs and condos for ten years and hope to continue managing two small properties online when I move.  Had airbnb recently for about a year while caring for my mom and really enjoyed it.  I don't have to work in Costa Rica to make the move and may end up just doing the online gigs.

This is a long-time dream and all reasons not to pursue it are now gone.  Third-third of my life and I am so psyched!

Where do I start?  Ideas?

Thank you in advance!

Pura Vida!
I moved here on December 30th and can tell you not to tie yourself down to one location until you have been able to really get to know all the wonderful places.  I am living two blocks from the beach in Coco and a little over a mile from downtown so I can go hang out whenever I need a break.  I am an online instructor for GCU, I tutor children in China online and I teach at an international school here.  Would love to get to know you and talk.  I have a four bedroom home so if you need a place, maybe we can work something out.  What you really need to look at is what you are looking for because you have rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, mountains, etc.  I made all the major Gringo mistakes so I at least know what NOT to do! : )  I am 61 and retired from the US.  Welcome to the community.
Star

Hello everyone,
My husband and I are new to this site, we're looking to retire in the next 5-6 years. We did an incredible amount of research as we thought Panama seemed ideal...we just came back from Panama. The reality is, there was alot of poverty and I think it would be difficult to see this on a daily basis. I loved El Valle, but it's very small and not alot going on for the expat community. People were friendly, we felt safe, but didn't like the crumbling sidewalks everywhere, poor road conditions in some areas and barbed wire/razor wire everywhere. Not sure if this is normal in all of Central America?
We didn't think Costa Rica would be in our budget, but when I did a little further research, it looks like it's do-able for us. Provided we rent in a community that fits our middle income retirement portfolio.
So now, I'm looking for a cooler climate area. Don't get me wrong, we love the beach, but don't want to live in the beach areas. We want something that's like spring and fall in Canada.
We also like our privacy, so wherever we rent, we don't want to be in a neighbourhood where you are super close to the neighbours.
Having said that, we like social outings, shopping, dining, hikes etc. But ultimately, we'd like to have views of nature as our surroundings.
I've only just started my research, so I'm currently looking at Santa Ana, but need to find out everything I can about where is a good fit for us.
We'll be visiting Costa Rica for our first time in either July or August 2018. I plan on visiting the areas we could potentially settle in.
I welcome any advice or suggestions!
Thanks in advance!
Julie (The Mallens)  :D

Unfortunately, plenty of poverty in Costa Rica too.
Visit as often as possible, while checking out various areas of the country. Suggest, you would be best looking in the Central Valley at higher elevations, to get the temperatures that you require.

Good Day,

I am looking forward to finding out more about Costa Rica, my wife and I are 64 years young. Thining about Costa Rica as a destination, we have never thought about moving from our Canada but now this sounds like an adventure we would like to check out.

Reading books, checking blogs, viewing You Tube is not the same as travelling and finding out. We will be coming to Costa Rica for the first time February and looking into a 3 week stay again in 2018.

We look forward to learn much from you all.

Thanks
Al

Hi Al,
My husband and I are in the same boat as you. We're 47 & 52 years young :) We hope to retire early, in the next 6 years. We will visit for the 1st time in July or August 2018.  We were thinking Panama originally, but after visiting last month, we're re-thinking it. We need to do some more travelling before deciding on a country. I'm now looking at the Central Valley area in Costa Rica, because of the weather. Where are you from in Canada? We're an hour outside of Toronto. Where are you planning on visiting in Costa Rica?
Safe travels in February!
Julie :)

I have lived here in Costa Rica since December 2016 and have been thinking about moving on to Panama.  What did you not like about the country?  There is so much to do here but lots of things are really expensive.  I know Panama has the pension program but, like you, want to read up more before making a decision.
Star

Hi SSmith,
Please don't get me wrong, I LOVED Panama! The people were lovely, friendly, I felt safe, food was amazing. We visited a few areas...Taboga Island, El Valle, Boquete, Bocas del Toro...all beautiful in their own ways. We were specifically interested in the mountain regions of El Valle & Boquete, because we'd like to retire somewhere with a spring-like climate. I really like El Valle, very pretty, small, quiet, quaint. I didn't like that you had to watch your step everywhere, because sidewalks were crumbling and then non-existant, all of a sudden, it was dirt with puddles, then sidewalk, etc. I guess we take that for granted in North America (safety standards I mean). I felt like the little town was gorgeous, but a little too quiet, I like quiet, but there are no cinemas, theatres, recreation centres or nightlife etc. So if you want that sort of thing, you'd have to venture 45minutes down a treacherous, winding, 1 lane mountain road. The infrastructure may improve in the next few years, I haven't scratched El Valle off my list, but it's a little too remote for me. But for someone who doesn't speak Spanish fluently, if your want a cooler climate town, I think the only real choices for expatriates are either El Valle or Boquete. I thought Boquete had it's own charm, but the town centre is quite run down in my opinion. It had tons of great restaurants and a very large expat community. Maybe I only saw the grungy side? I'm not knocking Panama...it was truly gorgeous. It was my first time travelling to Central America, so maybe I have to lower my standards, but I need to see what else is out there before I make a decision.
I hope this answers your question, I'd be happy to share any info with you!
Cheers,
Julie :)

Julie,
Thank-you for the input, I think it is all about where you choose to live.  I am in Coco about two blocks from the beach.  It does take time to transition and, you are right, you cannot really make a decision based on a visit.  I had read so much about Costa Rica but no one ever said how expensive things like cars, gas and electricity could be.  I made a lot of the "Gringo mistakes" and so I really cannot complain.  I guess I missed the "Dummies Guide to moving to Costa Rica"! : )  I would love to know more; maybe we can help each other out?  Have a great evening.
Star

Unfortunately unless you are in the 'big city' areas around San José /Escazú , you will not find find cinemas, theatres, recreation centres or nightlife etc. In a large town you may find the occasional cinema, yes, but not cultural events, with the exception of eating and drinking at  restaurants, although every town has at least one event  throughout the year which usually involves horses ... but they all offer 'something special.'

"Crumbling sidewalks everywhere, poor road conditions in some areas and barbed wire/razor wire everywhere. Not sure if this is normal in all of Central America?" Yes, this is 'pretty normal' for Central America, and most of the Caribbean countries.

This is why it is suggested that you check out the country, like you intend to do.

On this forum there has been many posts regarding the higher costs involved with living here, including the cost of vehicles, electricity and imported food.

I have started buying one unknown fruit/vegetable each week so we can have a "guess what it is" night!  Most of the items in the produce section is either twice the price (like grapes) so I am trying to learn how to cook some of the odd stuff that I don't know what it is.  I have come up with some pretty good recipes.  It takes patience and imagination but I am learning.
Star

New to this group though been in cr for many yrs. Am new to the San Ramon area looking possibly to setup a natural med and therapy clinic in sr am legal to work here and would be interested in a like minded partner.

Hello I'm an exCalifornian who's been living in Italy for the last 15 years, it's getting too expensive and I need a change and also to be closer to the kids in the states. So I've been looking at Costa Rica, because I really can't stand the state of the States at the moment unfortunately... it's certainly not the country I grew up in and once loved.

I'll be pouring over these forums to glean the atmosphere and am considering a 3 month stay to get a feel for the place.. so all input, good, bad and ugly are welcome... I'm a realist and like facts over fantasy any day. I already made one cultural jump, so I know how to swim in those waters and thrive.

Cheers, Ginger

Good for you, nothing better than an adventurous spirit ;-)!

gininitaly :

Hello I'm an exCalifornian who's been living in Italy for the last 15 years, it's getting too expensive and I need a change and also to be closer to the kids in the states. So I've been looking at Costa Rica, because I really can't stand the state of the States at the moment unfortunately... it's certainly not the country I grew up in and once loved.

I'll be pouring over these forums to glean the atmosphere and am considering a 3 month stay to get a feel for the place.. so all input, good, bad and ugly are welcome... I'm a realist and like facts over fantasy any day. I already made one cultural jump, so I know how to swim in those waters and thrive.

Cheers, Ginger

Hola Ginger,

Welcome to Expat.com!

I'm also an ex-Californian and agree with your "state of the States" comment.  As you say, once you've made that "cultural jump," you already have an understanding of accepting your environment for what it is and changing for it.

CR is of course not as "developed" as Italy, but I'm not sure that is such a bad thing.  You need to just do as you plan, spend a few months here to get a feel for what you like and see what you'd need to adjust to and go from there.

Peruse through the many comments in the Forum and that will help you get a good grasp of what goes on here in CR, the positives and the negatives.  Any questions you have, just asked.   ;)

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Ginger,
I had so many people tell me I would get homesick, but for what?  I am not thrilled about the US at this point.  With that said, I will tell you that Costa Rica is NOT cheap especially if you want a car.   I am gradually learning where to shop and what to purchase but I have only been here about 8 months.  Some advice I would give;
1.  Do short term rental in several places but DO NOT buy!  You need to understand the process before jumping into it.  It is also important for you to find out what area you want to live in because there are so many different cultures, climates, and sights.  You have the beach, the mountains, the city, the rural, etc.
2.  Get to know what is around that area and develop connections.  For example, BINGO games or other gatherings/activities will help you find out more about the area than just taking tours or sight seeing.
3.  Not sure about Italy; however, my biggest eyeopeners has been the lack of addresses, the style of homes, shipping a "few things" (that was a NIGHTMARE), overall cost of things in a low income country.
Costa Rica is rich in the sense of having so much beauty.  I can sit at the beach and listen to Howler monkeys in the background and hear parrots rustling and squawking around me.  Like any country, there are ups and there are downs and you cannot depend on anything you read no matter how much you read.  I found this out the hard way!  Come see me sometime, I have a four bedroom home in Coco near the beach.  I am finally making some great connections and actually starting to feel more positive about my decision.
Star

ssmith, how many border crossings to renew you tourist visa have you done? How did it go?

Traveler,
I have been on three.  The first was a full day Nicaragua tour which was awesome but lasted from 5 a.m. until close to midnight!!  No problems.  The second was a run in, turn around, and run out which was not bad.  This last one was this last Friday and we went to Revas and came back.  I am sticking with Amy because she keeps up with the immigration rules which have recently changed and could have created issues.  I have also learned to rent tickets through flyonward just to keep down on the questions.  I know you can go cheaper with a Ticabus but I have not tried that because I would rather have a small group and someone to provide direction.  I also do not know Spanish so it just makes it easier to have someone around in case things do not go smoothly.  Have you been on any?
Star

Going next week.

How are you going?  Please, let me know how it goes so I know which method I want to go.  Thanks!
S

Anyone in the San Ramon area interested in starting a weekly meet in one of thethe common coffee shops let me know.

Hi,
it looks like I will be moving with my family (wife, 3yo boy and 11 yo girl) from the Czech Republic to Costa Rica for about 2 years of my work contract. I expect it to happen in January 2018. We have never been to CR, once I visited Cuba. I know it sounds strange moving in without previous visit but I have done some research, spoke to people... We have lived 3 years in Malaysia and we loved it there, so I am quite confident that we can manage it.
I am about to negotiate details of my contract but it is going to be a local position job, nothing luxury or a gold mine... Company does the paperwork, pays relocation expenses, one month or so in a hotel, health insurance for family and that's it. The office location is San Jose, Heredia.
Once we settle, my wife may try to find a job to contribute to our budget.
We are coming for an experience, to travel and learn Spanish. We will need to find an apartment, school, buy a car and find some friends.
Here I will be coming for an advice, to share my experience and to know people alike.
Richard

While your employer will be responsible in securing your work visa, this will not allow your wife to 'legally' work. She would have to look for a potential employer, to apply for one on her behalf but know that work visas are very hard to get.
Private schools are not inexpensive.

Good luck.

ssmith I am going through Paso Canoas.

Thanks for the welcome Dave,

Sorry for the late reply but here we seem to have just gone from summer to winter in about a week, had to dig out blankets and some winter stuff to keep from freezing my assets off! I don't suppose that happens very often in Costa Rica lol. Whether it's hot sand from the Sahara or a cold front from Siberia, one never quite knows what the wind will blow our way here in northern Italy.  :joking:

Cheers, Ginger

Hi Star,

Yes well, I rented in Italy for 3 years before I bought, unfortunately right in the middle of the escalating housing bubble that kept going up instead of down as I had hoped. As for gas, Americans are spoiled, the rest of the world has been paying those liter prices forever, after 15 yrs it's no big deal, but I also drive a Fiat Panda which is the bomb and really good on gas mileage and fits in most of the little bitty parking places I can find.

I'm not a hot humid beach bunny type, especially at 68, so I'll probably be looking towards the hills, but a half hour to 45 minutes from the west coast if that's possible (not thrilled with the idea of hurricanes either). Altho the kids and grandkids like the beach and consider me the resort with low end amenities or so my daughterinlaw implied this summer.... they seem to have forgotten how long they drained the tit when they started out 12 years ago now that they've become so shee shee yuppified. Personally I prefer a smaller footprint. So a little patch of land where I can grow some deliciously new exotic plants and can find just a few friends (who actually stick around) that I can be myself with.. are basically all I need, I self amuse pretty well.

Now about that electricity, in the house I assume... are people doing solar panels and storing their own, are those expensive there or is that something to get in the states? How are the internet connections in the hills and where's the nearest place not sitting on top of, on or under a volcano? Do you lose power often in storms?

Thanks in advance, Ginge

Keep us posted Richard... sounds like you're used to moving around, so it won't be a big deal. My ex was military and we did a lot of it too, lovely when The Company does the heavy lifting. ;-)

All the best, Ginger

Ginger,
I am an adjunct online instructor for a USA University so internet is extremely important.  Internet is improving; however, when it rains, I find myself holding my breath and watching the modem because it does go out during serious storms.  The power will flicker and go out sometimes but not for any long period of time.  In the 8 months I have lived here, the water has been out three maybe four times and, thankfully, not when I needed to get ready for work.  I have actually traveled all the way down the West coast and even out on Drake's Bay and still have not had any serious problems with internet.  I am going back to Quepos and Manuel Antonio in a week just because I love that area.  Manuel Antonio is touristy but Quepos is just a quaint little town.  I understand the humid part, I have had days that I literally avoided getting close to walls because I was afraid I would stick to them and not be able to pull away! : )  As far as cars and gas, I tried the bus thing which would have worked if I did not have to do it every day.  I had to walk two miles to the bus stop which meant getting up an hour earlier to make it.
My solution has been to take as many teachers with me from Coco to Sardinal so we share gas.  Even really old cars here are expensive and importing a car is extremely expensive so there are few options.  I would love a small car but cannot afford a new vehicle and most of the used cars are SUVs.  I even looked into shipping mine but was quoted 10,000 to get it here.  I think my problem was a lack of good planning and believing what I read online.  The should've, could've, would'ves have come back to haunt me and all I can do is chalk it up to experience.  I have found several wonderful ladies and have ladies night out often which is helping.  Keep me posted and if I can help in any way, please let me know. 
Star

gininitaly :

Hi Star,

Yes well, I rented in Italy for 3 years before I bought, unfortunately right in the middle of the escalating housing bubble that kept going up instead of down as I had hoped. As for gas, Americans are spoiled, the rest of the world has been paying those liter prices forever, after 15 yrs it's no big deal, but I also drive a Fiat Panda which is the bomb and really good on gas mileage and fits in most of the little bitty parking places I can find.

I'm not a hot humid beach bunny type, especially at 68, so I'll probably be looking towards the hills, but a half hour to 45 minutes from the west coast if that's possible (not thrilled with the idea of hurricanes either). Altho the kids and grandkids like the beach and consider me the resort with low end amenities or so my daughterinlaw implied this summer.... they seem to have forgotten how long they drained the tit when they started out 12 years ago now that they've become so shee shee yuppified. Personally I prefer a smaller footprint. So a little patch of land where I can grow some deliciously new exotic plants and can find just a few friends (who actually stick around) that I can be myself with.. are basically all I need, I self amuse pretty well.

Now about that electricity, in the house I assume... are people doing solar panels and storing their own, are those expensive there or is that something to get in the states? How are the internet connections in the hills and where's the nearest place not sitting on top of, on or under a volcano? Do you lose power often in storms?

Thanks in advance, Ginge

Buenos dias to all,

At present, there is not a lot of concern about hurricanes.  With climate change we can only guess what the future holds in store.  Costa Rica rarely gets direct hits from hurricanes.  Here is an article that discusses the reason why:  http://ticotimes.com/costa-rica/hurricanes

You'd really need to spend some time in various areas to find what works best for you.  To be that close to the beach, yet inland a ways, I would suggest trying the inland areas off the central coast.

Solar has become more readily available over the past few years.  When I moved here 8 years ago it was expensive and the people I spoke with I did not trust.  I'll be moving to a new property soon and plan to have solar installed.  For a house of about 140 m2, the cost will be about $11,000.00 total...we'll see. It will take approximately 9 years for it to pay for itself.

Internet Connection  -  Anyone considering renting or purchasing property, DO NOT ASSUME THERE IS INTERNET AVAILABLE AT THAT LOCATION.  Many areas throughout CR have no internet.  And don't assume because a neighbor has it that you will as well.  At our new property we have very limited internet signal.  You drive either direction on the road and it increases substantially.  For this reason we plan to purchase a internet extender to elevate the problem.  Still doing some research on this one.

So bottom line, you need come over and spend some time exploring and discover what area suits you best.  🌴☀️

- Expat Dave

Yes, living in a rural location will severely limit your options of getting a decent internet connection. Possibly, a mobile one with limited service. Electrical storms will cause you to lose service...or heavy rain pounding on the roof, may drown out any audio.

ssmith338 :

Even really old cars here are expensive and importing a car is extremely expensive so there are few options.  I would love a small car but cannot afford a new vehicle and most of the used cars are SUVs.  I even looked into shipping mine but was quoted 10,000 to get it here.  I think my problem was a lack of good planning and believing what I read online.  The should've, could've, would'ves have come back to haunt me and all I can do is chalk it up to experience.  I have found several wonderful ladies and have ladies night out often which is helping.  Keep me posted and if I can help in any way, please let me know. 
Star

Totally agree that cars are comically expensive here due to import taxes.  At the same time if/when you go to sell the car it sells at that same higher cost.

As to small vehicles, old or new, there are many available.  If you look online at Craigslist CR or Ecuentra24 CR, you can find just about anything.  HOWEVER, have a "trustworthy" mechanic go over the vehicle first and confirm that parts for that brand are available here or easily obtainable.  You can also get an idea of the cost of vehicles here by researching these same sites.

On that subject, mechanics here cost nothing compared to the States.  I have had my transition rebuilt at a cost of $450.00.  Per angieslist.com, average cost in the U.S. is about $3,000.00.  Oil change, not including oil is ¢4,000 (less than $8), flat tire repair, less than $4.  So although cars are expensive, they can be maintained for a lot less.  No, the cheap mechanic does not really offset the extremely high cost of the car, but it helps.   :proud

And, I do agree, do not believe everything you read online.  Before moving to CR, or any other country, spend as much time in your destination spot as you can and experience things for yourself.  THEN decide if it's the place for you.  One person's dream is another person's nightmare.  🌈 😱

Hola !

My husband (Claude) and I (Penny) plan to leave the US about a year from now (we currently live in a small town just outside of Portland, OR).  We really have no idea where we will end up, so plan to be "vagabonds" (sojourners?  wanderers?) for an undetermined amount of time (6 mos? 1 year? more?), traveling around Latin America.  If we find a place that feels like "This is IT!" (a place we feel we could settle and call "home"), then that's where it will be.  Otherwise, we will either continue to travel, or if we never find our "it" place, then I guess we will eventually return to the US. 

Costa Rica is high on our list of places that are attractive to us - for the wildlife, the natural beauty, the friendliness of the Tico's, the Pura Vida lifestyle - so many reasons, right?  We're fortunate that Claude's first language is Spanish (his mother was born in northern Mexico), and I'm brushing up my 3 years of  high school Spanish (from waaaaay too long ago, LOL!).   We value relationships and experiences over material things  - in fact, we have already downsized our living to a 285 sq. ft. RV for the past 5 years. 

I don't have any specific questions at this time, since we don't have any specific locations in mind.  But I will be following the various posts on this site, and I also want to thank you experienced expats who take the time to help us "newbies".

Looking forward to the adventure!

  ~ Penny (and Claude)

PennyandClaude :

Hola !

My husband (Claude) and I (Penny) plan to leave the US about a year from now (we currently live in a small town just outside of Portland, OR).  We really have no idea where we will end up, so plan to be "vagabonds" (sojourners?  wanderers?) for an undetermined amount of time (6 mos? 1 year? more?), traveling around Latin America.  If we find a place that feels like "This is IT!" (a place we feel we could settle and call "home"), then that's where it will be.  Otherwise, we will either continue to travel, or if we never find our "it" place, then I guess we will eventually return to the US. 

Costa Rica is high on our list of places that are attractive to us - for the wildlife, the natural beauty, the friendliness of the Tico's, the Pura Vida lifestyle - so many reasons, right?  We're fortunate that Claude's first language is Spanish (his mother was born in northern Mexico), and I'm brushing up my 3 years of  high school Spanish (from waaaaay too long ago, LOL!).   We value relationships and experiences over material things  - in fact, we have already downsized our living to a 285 sq. ft. RV for the past 5 years. 

I don't have any specific questions at this time, since we don't have any specific locations in mind.  But I will be following the various posts on this site, and I also want to thank you experienced expats who take the time to help us "newbies".

Looking forward to the adventure!

  ~ Penny (and Claude)

Hola Penny & Claude,

Welcome to Expat.com!

I'm originally from Oregon, born in Albany and then lived outside of Monmouth for years before moving to Northern California.  I've been in CR for 8 year now.

It sounds like your plan is a good one.  I explored a number of countries before finally settling here.  If you haven't already, read though the many posts on this site and the other countries on expat.com.  You can gain a lot of information, both the positive and negative of people living in those countries from their posts.  Just take them all with a grain of salt.  You sound like an open minded person so I'm sure you'll be able to "read between the lines" on many posts.

It's fun to just drive here with no particular destination in mind and then just find cheap hotels along the way - there are many.  I did this in almost all countries I've visited and found my greatest adventure this way - accidentally.  I've explored most of CR on my motorcycle and have had wonderful experiences. 

Have a great adventure and feel free to ask any questions that might come up.

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

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