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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beginning our Third Year in Costa Rica

"It was a dark and stormy night" - actually, it wasn't stormy but it was dark and raining. Two years ago, on May 31, 2011, at 8:30 pm, our plane landed at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. We set foot on Costa Rican soil for the first time ever and thus began our adventure of living in a new country with a new language and new culture.

We knew no one but had a San José hotel booked, our immigration lawyer selected, our cat boarding with an excellent vet in Santa Ana, we knew the town we wanted to live in to start with (Atenas), six suitcases and were eager to start this exciting new chapter in our lives. We had left Vancouver, B.C., but had arranged it so we could easily return there if we decided Costa Rica was not for us.

Looking back on the past two years, we are very happy we made this decision to relocate here. Costa Rica suits us well. It is incredibly beautiful, of course, and the Ticos (as the Costa Ricans call themselves) are truly wonderful people - welcoming, generous, content, hardworking, innovative. I think they have the capacity to enjoy life more than many others. The tropical weather is another attraction, as are the incredible numbers of plant, bird and animal life here. The abundance of year 'round fresh fruits and vegetables is another plus. We have lots of seafood from the two coasts - the Pacific and the Caribbean.

We still have so much to see of this country but have been delaying any trips of more than a few hours because of our elderly cat, Genny. With failing kidneys, she needs to be monitored to ensure she is eating and drinking lots of water. We don't mind - this is all part of the responsibility of pet ownership. Costa Rica will always be here.

Chile and Equador are two other countries that we hope to visit one day and of course now we are perfectly positioned to do that.

I often think that, if we had not done this two years ago, we would still be sitting in Canada saying to each other, "We really should try this". Time passes by and, in the blink of an eye, it is too late to try anything except the next insipid meal at the rest home.

In the past two years, we have made many friends, both expats and Ticos. Yesterday, we received an invitation to a Tico wedding in November and are really looking forward to this new experience. The network of expats in Atenas and neighbouring towns is exemplary. We share information about where to find different foods, butchers, doctors, dentists, gardeners, vets, the lady who does clothing alterations, new restaurants, when a road is closed or when it has reopened, etc.

There is a Facebook page entitled "Atenas Costa Rica Info" where information is shared. It is open to the public and is interesting reading for those thinking of relocating to our small town.

I heard a phrase the other day that sums up what we and other adventuresome types have done. It is "Life Reimagined".

Boyero with Oxcart Team, Atenas, 2013




Tony Pérez said...

I just went on business to San Jose and it was awesome i love Costa Rica and i had a great time there. I stayed for two weeks at a hotel that my company provided, from all the hotels in San Jose my company chose City Express San Jose, near the airport, and was very pleasant. It is very modern and confortable hotel.

A few meters away form the hotel, you can find a small shopping center where you can find all kinds of restaurants. The location is great. It is a hotel I would recommend for those people travelin on business.

Diana Miskell said...

Thank you for the recommendation, Tony.

Dan and Lisle said...


Congrats on the 2nd anniversary! Life Reimagined in so appropriate!


Costa Rica qué me pongo said...

por casualidades del destino acabo de encontrarme con el blog de ustedes!! no sé si me entiende espero que si!! El ingles no es lo mio!!! realmente me ha encantado lo que escriben sobre nuestro país!!!! yo vivo en San Rafael de Alajuela, queda relativamente cerca de Santa Ana!!! los sigo espero que visiten mi blog!!! un fuerte abrazo

Diana Miskell said...

Gracias - muy apreciado!

Diana Miskell said...

Thanks, Dan. How time flies ... seems like you were just building your house.

Maria Guti said...

Hi Tony i`m from Mexico and i know these hotels and they are pretty good, back in Mexico almost all the states have a City Express and i recomend them very much, i also stayed in that hotel on San Jose and had a great time.

Good luck!