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Where to live.

There are so many places to choose from.  I don't want a tourist place or a little village either.  I need to have a doctor or medical facility  be at least an hour from where I finally settle.   I think a condo would be my best bet.  Can I hear from people from different areas?  I thought Lake Arneal would be perfect but not I am not sure.  I have been to Panama and I decided that I want to give Costa Rica a try.  Since I am a widow  with a monthly budget around 2400 monthly  would I be comfortable there or should I try Panama again.  I have even thout about southern France and Spain.  I will take any advice,sugesstions good or bad.   Internet and a cell phone would be nice but I understand this is not reliable.  I can generate a little income if I did have internet.   I am  also going to be on the Panama, France and Spain fourms.   have a t least 2 years before the big move.  I will appreciate any  advice you give.

Sharlyn828 :

There are so many places to choose from.  I don't want a tourist place or a little village either.  I need to have a doctor or medical facility  be at least an hour from where I finally settle.   I think a condo would be my best bet.  Can I hear from people from different areas?  I thought Lake Arneal would be perfect but not I am not sure.  I have been to Panama and I decided that I want to give Costa Rica a try.  Since I am a widow  with a monthly budget around 2400 monthly  would I be comfortable there or should I try Panama again.  I have even thout about southern France and Spain.  I will take any advice,sugesstions good or bad.   Internet and a cell phone would be nice but I understand this is not reliable.  I can generate a little income if I did have internet.   I am  also going to be on the Panama, France and Spain fourms.   have a t least 2 years before the big move.  I will appreciate any  advice you give.

Hola Sharlyn,

Welcome to Expat.com!

If you haven't done so already, you might want to look through the many posts in the Forum section above, you might find answers to some of your questions.

No one can decide for you what is the best country to live in.  You need to spend time exploring each one, research online as you are and then form your own opinion.  Spain and France will be different worlds than that of Central America.  They are developed countries, I visited Spain but have not been to France.  Costa Rica and Panama are not "developed" countries.  Personally, I prefer life here in Costa Rica.  It's simply a personal choice.

Again, if you read through previous posts, you will see many comments on living on $2,400 per month.  It will depend on "your" lifestyle.  Cell phone and the Internet are both reliable here.  Not as reliable as the U.S., but you can adjust if you choose to.

The most important thing that you can do is spend as much time as you can exploring in whatever country you are considering prior to making a decision.  You cannot make a decision based on pictures or what others think of any given area. 

You suggested that Arenal might be ideal for you - and it very well may be.  Many expat live there and do enjoy the area.  At the same time, I don't like that area at all.  Just personal taste.  For me, it's too windy, too hot and the area is too touristy.  Again, that's just my personal view.  You would need to physically have feet on the ground before you decide on the "perfect" spot.   ;)

After reviewing some of the previous posts, please do not hesitate to ask whatever questions you might have.  Good luck on your search.

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Thanks Dave,

I appreciate the comments.  I too have heard that Lake Arneal is windy and touristy.  Its might not be what I am looking for.   I am also looking into Belize but the "stories" I have herd are not as pleasant as I thought.  I like the thought of beach close and rain forrest close would be ideal.  Does any one else have things to say or suggest?
Thanks
C
Sharlyn

Hey Sharlyn,

You definitely would need to spend some time here to feel/experience the differences between the beach and a rainforest.  Beaches are HOT, very HOT and of course are at sea level.  If you're "in" the rainforest it will be cloudy most of the time, very wet/humid most of the time and at about 4,000+ feet in elevation.  Two very, very different options.

I live at 3,200 feet, about 8 km. outside San Ramon, Alajuela and for me it's ideal.  Year round, the weather is averages 82 degrees during the day and 64 degree at night.  I live in what I would describe as semi-jungle - monkeys on a regular basis, Tocans, sloths, Coatis, etc.  Again, for others this will not be their perfect location.

You can always just cruise around the country, stay in inexpensive hotels and make a determination of what area best suits you.  I would suggest this of any country that your considering.  ☀️🌴

- Expat Dave

Hi gang
My husband is there now, exploring places. He did some research about more places for us, he's doing the cheap hotel thing and he is (so far) enjoying it. He will be in country until Saturday morning.
He's sending me photos and notes about what he's seeing
I was wondering how did everybody do on Saturday? He did say that every one was without power, is that normal? Fir it to go out everywhere?
We still can't find out much about my service dog. 
Would rather do the buses, but if I can't take him on them, I'm stuck at home or have to go by taxi because I'm unable to do a great deal of walking.
Anyhow I hope he does get to meet up and hear more stories from and about you all

Here is a link where you can read about the 'blackout'. Plus one other.  It had happened only once before, in 2001.
We were out from 1.15pm-6pm.

Another thing to take into consideration: will your dog be allowed into stores? Many are so crowded, there is hardly any room to walk and of course, some will not allow it for their own reasons.

Glad to hear that power outages are not that normal
As for my service dog, here in the states he is allowed everywhere
He and or I can not be told that I can't bring him in anywhere, if he has his vest on! I also have his service ID in the side window on the vest along with the law that says service dogs can go anywhere, it's against the law to refuse admission 
(It sounds funny that a dog could sue somebody) the law even allows him to fly with me for free.
I hope that people wouldn't stop me or refuse me in to shop because I have a service dog, that would be shameful
You can not have a harmful animal as a service animal

Unfortunately, power outages are quite normal...just not all over the country at one time. :/

I understand what the law is regarding service dogs, but this in another country, and it could/will vary from store or hotel,  to another. If anything, you will probably have to apply for  new paperwork for your dog, just as someone will need a new drivers license or a handicapped parking permit.

Ok thanks that's just something that we will add to the list that will need to be talked about with the lawyers

As a frequent bus traveler, I will say there sure isn't much space for a dog to lie under the seat in front, unless it is really small.

Last week I took a bus to Fortuna that is full of tourists then another bus to Tilaran. Pretty, but wet. You should buy a ticket in advance. The bus kept on the main road, so if your home is off up on of the side roads  you would have to walk or get a taxi which isn't so easy when dropped out of the town. I was told there is a market between Tilaran and Nuevo Arenal on the first and third Sunday morning of the month.

This update is to tell of my bus trip to Coco & area. Main thing is to get a  direct bus or it takes twice as long.
The storms were here too, but with hot periods.
I was looking for a small apartment or rooms but there wasn't much in my price point. I will return and check in other areas around there in a few weeks.

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