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Moving to Costa Rica – It’s All About You!

Jun 03, 2013

Moving to Costa Rica – It’s All About You!

Making the decision to live in another country is a big one, and not one that should be taken lightly. But, once that decision is made, it’s hard to stop the ball from rolling! Choosing when to break the news to family and friends, isn’t quite as monumental, but it can be a pretty big deal on it’s own.

You hear it all the time; people return from their vacation and say how much they want to live there… buy a little place on the beach, etc. But do you know anyone who’s actually done it? Hence why keeping your decision to actually make the move, and doing some preliminary planning before breaking it to everyone isn’t a bad idea.

Make The Decision For Yourself First 

Don’t forget to keep your goal in perspective… when Felicia and Calvin were planning their move to Costa Rica, they initially kept it to themselves.

“When we began our 3-week Costa Rican adventure, we didn’t plan to look at property. It just kind of happened…” Calvin explains. “We wanted to include the Nicoya Peninsula in our adventure – Felicia loves reading about celebrities, and had read that some stars have homes in that part of the country so we had to see what it was about!”

They ended up staying in a small, boutique-type resort right on the beach in Playa Tambor. During a pre-dinner cocktail, they ended up chatting with Mike and Judy, from Pacific Blue, who happened to be sitting at the bar, doing the same thing.

“Mike and Judy were so friendly and welcoming! We all hit it off so well. Plus, hearing their story of how they moved to the area and are enjoying the ‘simple life’ was inspiring.”

Drinks at the bar turned into having dinner together, and between bites of fresh civiche and fish tacos, Felicia and Calvin scheduled a tour of properties for the next day.

Following the tour of the area, they continued on their adventure, the whole time discussing the property they saw and how they could make a move to Costa Rica work. It wouldn’t be difficult… Felicia worked primarily from home writing for several magazines and Calvin travelled so much with his job, that it didn’t really matter where his home base was.

Although the thought of having to tell family and friends did come up throughout their discussions, it was never a large enough caveat to sway them – despite being very close with both of their families. This was also how they came to the decision to keep this news to themselves until everything was somewhat finalized.   

Stay Focused 

As soon as Felicia and Calvin had all their ducks in a row, including a signed property agreement, they broke the news to their families. The initial reaction was excitement, but after a couple of days, the reality of the situation set in and it started… ‘I read that someone was murdered in Costa Rica’, or ‘Costa Rica gets so much rain they have mudslides!’ Both Felicia and Calvin fielded comments like this for the much of the first month after their announcement. Their friends were shocked that they were making such a ‘drastic’ change and had their own tactics of dissuasion… ‘I hear it’s hard to find good-quality wine in Costa Rica’ or ‘you know, you can’t cross-country ski down there’. Both Felicia and Calvin were expecting this and were ready for it, ultimately throwing a positive spin on any rebuttal they heard from either family or friends (murders happen in Toronto almost every week, mudslides are better then freezing rain and snowstorms, maybe they’d switch to rum if the wine is that terrible and they’d take up surfing, paddle-boarding and kayaking in place of cross-country skiing!)

Soon enough though, everyone started to come around and even got excited about the move themselves. After all, they now had a ‘home base’ in a beautiful country!

The logistics of moving to a new country can get a bit daunting  (health insurance, pet vaccines and transportation, choosing what to bring, etc) as you go through the motions, and both Felicia and Calvin admit to having second thoughts more then once. But, they persevered, and even got extra encouragement from those same family and friends that were previously trying to talk them out of it.

A short 5 months after their trip to Costa Rica, Felicia and Calvin were headed back to the Nicoya Peninsula… for good. They had been back once, to get their rental home and property contract finalized, but this time they didn’t have a return flight.

“It just feels right”, says Calvin. “We’ve been here now for 1 and a half years and are getting ready to move into our custom-built home. We still have our routines; we pay the bills, go grocery shopping and take out the trash. But the bills and groceries are considerably cheaper and I typically don’t come back in the house after taking out the trash, every day is a beautiful day here! We couldn’t be happier.”

Moving abroad is a big decision, but if living in another country is on your radar, think long and hard about why you’re doing it. It should be something that you want, and that you can’t be talked out of. True, it’s tough for friends and family to wrap their heads around you living somewhere else, but remind them that you’re only a phone or Skype call away. Before you know it, they’ll want you to host the family holidays! 

To learn more about Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula go HERE to see how you can visit on a Discovery Weekend. You’ll meet with Mike and Judy of Pacific Blue and be shown the available properties just waiting for you to make them your new home!


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Where International is not accountable for the orchestration or deliverance of Discovery Weekends. We provide them to you on behalf of our developer partners. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance, as you would with any trip out of your home country. In addition, we advise you complete your own due diligence, purchase title insurance and always use a local attorney to assist with all transactions. In the event that a reader purchases a property from a recommended developer, Where International receives a sum from the developer.