You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers.

So, this is just an “answering questions” post… some questions sent to me by my subscribers (which I love, keep ‘em coming!).

What is the exchange rate?

It is currently approximately:  500 – 1.  Example in converting colones to American dollars:  ₡ 30,000 = $60.00; or ₡ 2,500 = $5.00 – approximately.  This is using Jen’s easy method of “approximate” calculating – move the decimal point to the left 3 places and double.

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What do you DO all day??

What in the world do you DO all day?  I get this question a lot…

Well, each day is different, but will tell you what I did the other day.

Got up about 5:30, made a pot of coffee, did some “computer/electronic business” (facebook, emails, instagram, words with friends…  I know, but there’s some things I just can’t give up!…), then went outside and enjoyed a beautiful morning overlooking our pool with the central valley behind it.  Had coffee with our friends who we are living here, always good conversation – and the mornings are always SO nice and sunny  (even now, in the “green season” – which is a nice way to say “rainy season”).

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Why I quit my job and moved to Costa Rica…

People have told me that I’m brave and that they admire me.  Venturing out and doing this crazy thing – quitting my job in my early 40’s, giving up my income, and moving to and living in a foreign country.  And I think some of my friends and family secretly think I’m crazy (they’re just too polite or nice to say it).  It’s true – it IS weird.  It IS crazy.  This is NOT the norm!  When Greg & I first started talking about it, I was like, well this is nice & fun to talk about, but there’s NO WAY we’ll ever really do it.   I mean – who really up and quits their job and moves to a foreign country with no plan of working before retirement age?  Well, it turns out, I do.  We do.

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Where I am right now.

I’ve been here in El Cajon de Grecia, Costa Rica, for 6 weeks now.  Hard to believe, really, if I think about it…  but it all seems pretty natural – so far, anyway.  Eating a more healthy diet, hiking, walking, living more naturally (no doing my hair or makeup these days, unless going out for lunch/dinner with friends, and even then WAY less maintenance than before)… it all just FEELS good.  People talk about culture shock, which is a very real thing, and I read up on it a few times before our move here, feeling I was very “prone” to this.  Anytime there is a change in my life (good or bad) – it seems I have a bit of “culture shock” (for lack of a better term)… a bit of stumbling around for a while, till I get back into a schedule and feel comfortable with things again.  So, I admit, I have had a couple of bad days (1st time was on day #3 after seeing a scorpion and a roach right in a row, followed shortly thereafter by the truly bad news of Greg’s dad passing away).  I do realize I’ve only been here 6 weeks, and according to Wikipedia, Culture Shock (which consists of several stages – kind of like a grieving process or a 12 step program) doesn’t really set in until after living in a different country for 3 months(!).   So come Oct. 1st, I guess I have a lot to look forward to – especially since the WHOLE month of October is supposed to be the worst of the rainy season (people say it can rain ALL day EVERY day).

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I’m living in a 3rd world country?

Well, of course the culture is different here, I mean, I’m in a foreign country, right?  And as some people would remind me…  I’m in a 3rd world country (thanks, Mom).  But it’s true.  Well, technically, “3rd world country” is a bit of an outdated term, I guess these days Costa Rica would be more classified as an “underdeveloped country”, but even that is hard to fathom when you think of the world class hospitals throughout the country and cities like Escazu (American-style shopping & restaurants).  I like to think of Costa Rica as more of a “developing country”.  In any case, one of the reasons we picked Grecia as the town to start out in, is because it is a small, local town – I haven’t seen any tourism here, and it just seems to be more real and authentic to the local customs and way of living.  I really have not even been here a full month yet, but here’s my observations thus far…

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