How bad can it be in one's current life to sell everything and move to another country? What is involved in making that decision? Will you ever see your neighbors and family again? If you do, it surely won't be like it used to be. . stopping by for a cup of coffee or meeting at a park for a picnic on the weekend. Moving 'away' is a life changer.
First, the DECISION. . was unhappiness the major factor? Didn't like the way things were done in your home country? Too much political bickering? Taxes too high? Don't like the fact that you are a part of the 'rat race' and you can't get off of that little never-ending-spinning of that little rat wheel? Don't like the traffic? Are your kids all grown up now and you just want to downsize and simplify? Do you finally realize that leading a somewhat of a 'minimalist' lifestyle is more rewarding that having a garage and basement full of junk that you never use? Have you recently visited Costa Rica and do you like what you see? Did you know AT FIRST SIGHT that Costa Rica perhaps will give you and your family a better life?
All of these are reasons why one DECIDES to move to another country. Take notice. . with that said, that many of those who MOVE TO COSTA RICA find that it really is not for them. I know people who sold everything, cut all ties and moved to paradise to only realize a few months in that it wasn't what they thought it would be. What a terrible mistake. They had two choices at that moment of realization. . move back to their home country and REALLY start over or stay where they are and try to adapt to the new lifestyle that was not so 'Pura Vida' for them for one reason or another. My suggestion is to MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that you know what you're doing. . that this move to Costa Rica is really what you want. And, take all the time in the world to make that decision! No hurry. Make ten visits before you pull the plug. . twenty visits. . do a trial run for a couple of months and live in a couple areas of the country to see what fits you best! Is a big city like San Jose better for you than a small town like Grecia or Atenas? Lots of DECISIONS to make. .
Second, the PREPARATION for the move. . you've now DECIDED that this is the step you want to make to make your life better. You want to write that new chapter. . to experience new things in an entirely new environment. YOU ARE SURE. . there is NO DOUBT. Now, you need to prepare for the move. When do you want to move? Is this a 'right now'. . an 'as soon as possible' sort of thing or are you planning for six months from now. If it is sooner rather than later, you need to get rid of all of your 'stuff'. . MAYBE. Do you want to lug all of your earthly possessions across the planet and make your new home look just like your current home or do you want to start fresh. . a lighter way to live. New furniture. . maybe a light rattan or wicker would be nice. . new appliances. . heck, even start out with a new coffee maker (chorreador) and microwave! If this is your choice, then you need to start giving away and selling your items. That may take a month or two. What items do you want to keep? Your clothes, your shoes, perhaps a chair that was your great grandmother's?
Do you have medical issues? Where are you going to get the medicine you will need? You need to check out the health care system in Costa Rica. Will it fit your needs from Day One? You need to start telling every one that you are moving! Your church, your neighbors and family. Cancel cable TV, internet, arrange to get your deposits back from the power company. How about mail? Can you forward your mail to Costa Rica? This all needs to be addressed.
You need to set a firm date of your move. If you are moving items to Costa Rica, you need to set up the shipping of those items. Who's going to ship your furniture? Your car? Your pet? Lots of PREPARATION!
Of course, we are assuming that you have arranged to either rent or purchase a home in Costa Rica prior to all of this. You need to have that situation down perfect! If you are in the process of setting up either the rental or the purchase, can you trust those who are assisting in the process? Do you have a worthy and attentive attorney? What papers do you need to complete the transactions?
Do you have a bank account in Costa Rica. How about obtaining residency for you and your family members. If you don't have residency, then you have to leave the country every 90 days. . what a hassle that would be. Although. . with that said, many Expats who live in Costa Rica don't have residency or 'legal status'. You have to make sure you understand what the legal status process is all about. .
As you can see, there are so many things to learn about moving to another country. My advice to you is to take is slow! Talk to a lot of people. . find those who you trust to help you every step of the way. Make certain that you are making the right decision and really want this. Because in the end, when you are totally moved here and settled in, the whole idea is to be at peace with your decision. There's a lot of living to do and you want to be in a 'happy' place, for sure!
I will say that if you do move here, and you did most everything right, and you know BEYOND ANY DOUBT that this is for you, you will indeed enjoy the fruits of your labor. It will be a new chapter in your life, one that can be so exciting and fulfilling for you and your entire family!
The biodiversity, the volcanoes, the beaches and mountains. . the simplicity of life, the panoramic views, the food, the attitude, the hundreds of thousands of species of plants and animals. . the "Pura Vida" lifestyle. .
There's many reasons why people want to move to Costa Rica. When you find your reason, simply take it slow and do it right. .
. .Pura Vida
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About the Creator
Costa Rica is a magical place. Since November, 2002, when I first visited this country, I have been in love with the people, the culture, its biodiversity, the food. . everything about it makes me happy! Now I share my excitement with you!