"I can't Believe it's been 6 years!"
Photo by Jesse Epstein
At it again! On July 17, we celebrated our 6th year living in Costa Rica! What an adventure it has been! We took a big leap of faith and it has worked out for us so far. Though we've had many trials and tribulations along the way.
I think for me the first 2 years were the hardest. Our daughter's education was the upmost important aspect in considering where to live. We had moved to the capitol, San Jose, originally because that's where we had thought the best schools were located. She went to Country Day School there, which is considered a good school because their education standards are based on United States standards. Basically, it is a school for rich Costa Ricans and expats. Myah had good experiences there, but it was just a little too elitist for us.
What was really hard in those 2 years was that I was sick most of the time. The reason for this was that I was born with a blood condition called thalassemia. My red blood cells are shaped differently so they don't hold oxygen as long. When living at a higher altitude like San Jose, I became very anemic making my immune system weak plus my iron levels dropped severely. Basically I ended up catching whatever was going around. Eventually, I had to see a hematologist (the best one I've ever seen) and he explained to me that I had hardly any iron left in my body. He sent me to the hospital to get I think 500CC's of Iron and a B12 shot. Having been weak and tired for so long it felt like I had just taken speed. My immune system by then was still compromised so I was still getting sick, but not as often.
We had visited Tamarindo, Costa Rica (at sea level!) on the Pacific coast for a vacation the summer of 2018 and decided on our second visit that summer that we wanted to move here. We learned that there were good schools in the area. We put our house on the market in San Jose and started looking for places to rent.
We officially moved to Tamarindo on Aug 19th 2019. We lived in a rental condo for 2 years before buying the beautiful house we have now.
Honestly, I never thought I would be living as an expat, just because I am such a New Yorker. It's interesting at times and also challenging. Costa Rica is a lovely country, though the people I think have mixed feelings about our presence in their country. We do our upmost to respect that we are living in someone else's country and their way of doing things is different from the way we do them in the States. That can be hard when buying a house or going for residency. Buying a car here is difficult. Plus we discovered quickly that food costs more than in NYC! Some things are cheaper but not much. And because we live in a rural area, it's difficult to find and buy certain items. There are many pluses and minuses to most decisions and you have to evaluate them for yourself.
In sum, our quality of life is much better here. Living near and within nature is extraordinary. It doesn't matter where you go in this country, it's breathtaking. Living out here near the beach in Guanacaste is just awesome. The beaches are lovely, and the animal life here (monkeys) is fun to be around. You never know when leaving the house if there will be cows or horses out front. The childhood our daughter is having is magical.
So, thank you Costa Rica for taking us in and making a better life for us!
Love & Peace