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Learning about Costa Rica... CR Sure sounds Wonderful

Good Day,

We will be travelling to Costa Rica for the first time in February, I see many have moved from many countries. I am thinking about this possibility. I have been reading books, viewing blogs and looking ate You Tube videos. I know this can not replace the visit. Hoping to also visit again for an extended 3 week period late November to early December.

I look forward to our new adventure in Costa Rica. What can you remember about your first experience, and what would you do differently.

I understand 50% of the expats who do come to Costa Rica return, why is that.

Thanks so much. I look to learning so much about Costa Rica

Happy Trails
Al

We first came down for three weeks in 2010.  Put 2700 kilometers on in three weeks.  Narrowed down potential places to hang our hats and returned to them a couple of times before building our house in 2013 and made the move in 2014.
As to those that return I can only surmise that they did not fully think the move through.  Leaving family behind can be catastrophic if you were not mentally prepared.  People also tend to move here and think that they can just relocate and nothing will change for them.  This is totally incorrect, there is a lot of adapting to be done.
Best of luck in your quest!!!
Terry

Suggest you read the online 'news papers' that will offer a more 'up to date' information.

www.amcostarica.com
www.ticotimes.net
www.nacion.com
www.vozdequanacaste.com
www.news.co.cr
www.qcostarica.com

Also read the info from the Canadian government  regarding becoming a [http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/ndvdls/nnrs-eng.html] non-resident of Canada for tax purposes[/url] plus you must also take into account the value of the Canadian dollar.

As mentioned by the previous respondent, come and visit, prior to making any major decisions.

Al, we are fellow Canadians so any questions you might have regarding any taxes, legalities, etc. chances are that I have already been through it.
Cheers .... Terry

astorie :

Good Day,

We will be travelling to Costa Rica for the first time in February, I see many have moved from many countries. I am thinking about this possibility. I have been reading books, viewing blogs and looking ate You Tube videos. I know this can not replace the visit. Hoping to also visit again for an extended 3 week period late November to early December.

I look forward to our new adventure in Costa Rica. What can you remember about your first experience, and what would you do differently.

I understand 50% of the expats who do come to Costa Rica return, why is that.

Thanks so much. I look to learning so much about Costa Rica

Happy Trails
Al

Hola Al,

Welcome to Expat.com!

Okay, the bad news, you cannot pick a place to live from blogs, books or dummies like me giving you advice.   :D   You have to spend time in whatever country, town or pub you think you want to place roots in.  A few weeks of vacation will not help.  It takes months just to get a "maybe" idea of what you like.  And what you like may be what someone else detests.  You have to discover your perfect spot.

I spent time in about 12 countries before somewhat "choosing" Costa Rica.  I think it's important to explore and find what fits you.  No matter what country you choose, there will be an adjustment.  All countries are different than where you grew up, no matter where that it. 

My personal experiences of why the majority of people return to their home country is their failure to accept their new country for what it is.  It is NOT the country you came from.  It's not going to change, you have to change.  And again as I always say, if you are a Type A personality, you will have a less than 1% chance of adapting to Costa Rica - I am serious.

Living here takes patience, patience when you go to the bank and wait in line for hours - only to be told that you don't have all the documents needed, (although you were told the day before exactly what you'd needed to bring), patience when the "licensed electrician" places a new light switch in your bedroom... behind the door, patience when you get a bill from CAJA saying you owe $3,700.00 and YOU have to prove why you paid it all.  These are just a few of my own experiences and I can assure you that I could go on and on and on...  😱

Life is different here.  You have to adjust to your new life and new world, accept it for what it is, and do you best to find the humor in it all.

Perfect example:  new one way road in downtown San Ramon.  You come to the end of that road to a two way intersection, (meaning you can turn right or left).  There are two signs posted there, one says, "Un Via" (one way) with an arrow pointing left and another that says "Un Via" (one way) with an arrow pointing to the right.  Yes, it's a two way road but it's only one way in each direction.   Huh?  :blink:   Ya just gotta laugh!

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Not sure what you mean "what you would do different about your first experience".  My first experience visiting here or moving here, or ?

As to why people return, there's a whole discussion of that in another post :
Why Many Expats Return to their Home Country

Basically I'll repeat what I probably said there re what kind of people move here and then return "home":
* People who don't try to learn Spanish and never assimilate into the Tico culture
* People who are Type A as Dave says and can't adjust to the different way things are done - or not done - here. One must learn to chill and accept that things are sometimes done in a stupid manner according to our (gringo) point of view
* People who can't accept that Ticos often don't do good work, don't show up on time, or don't show up at all when you hire them, and don't know what they are doing sometimes even when they have convinced you they are "experts" and have a lot of experience. I've seen this time and time again, and while it's frustrating you have to learn to live with it. (Of course there ARE Ticos who are very professional and on time and so on, but finding them is not easy and sometimes near impossible.)

I think these are the main reasons people return.
Some other reasons might be the weather, the bugs, the driving...

Let me add that I love it here, but yes, sometimes it can be challenging. Fortunately the good outweighs the bad for me and for most who do manage to remain here.

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