My sweet Momma came and visited us! All the way from Wisconsin! She had been to Costa Rica once before – in early 2012 she was with us on our due diligence trip, so she had been a part of our decision process from early on. For her, it was great to visit us this time and see where we lived, friends we’ve made, and how we live our daily lives here. She was constantly awed by the natural beauty of Costa Rica and inquisitive about everything – the plants, flowers, birds, trees, people and customs. I must say, it is so fun to have someone who is so thrilled by her surroundings (future visitors, please keep this in mind! We don’t take on unenthused or unappreciative people for boarders!).
Our very first visit to San Jose was to meet our attorney. We handed over all our paper work, lots of money, and he initiated our rentista residency process (see my first post about this, which describes the “rentista residency” vs. the residency people do when they are of OTHER retirement age and receive social security). All went well, and he told us he’d call us once we received our “folio numbers” – which would enable us to come back and get finger printed and set up a bank account. Our attorney also mentioned that he had 15 years of experience working with Banco National, and we would have no problem opening an account to satisfy the rentista requirements.
Every year, this time of year – I get tired of hearing everyone’s “new year resolutions” and having people ask me what mine are. Why? Because if you ask almost ANYONE what their resolutions were last year at this time – they wouldn’t be able to answer you! Resolutions seem to be a high priority at the end of December and throughout January, but then…. are quickly forgotten (OK – not everyone… I know I have a few friends out there that are the exception to this rule). I feel this is something people love to talk about, and yes – have good intentions (which are always good, don’t get me wrong). But how many people really carry through with them – for the whole year?
2013 was a year bookended by a beginning and an end for Greg and I. Beginning of our new life in Costa Rica, and the end to Greg’s Dad’s wonderful life. The year began with both of us leaving our jobs in May. We then moved to Costa Rica in June, and attended Dad’s funeral shortly thereafter – he died 3 days after we had arrived in Costa Rica.
I must say I was really looking forward to my first Christmas in Costa Rica. I’ve always liked Christmas while growing up in the states – the music, the lights, the shopping…. But I didn’t like how stressful and commercialized it had all seemed to become for me, the last several years living in Dallas.
Ok, this post is a PICTURES-OVERLOAD-POST, just so you know. You’ve been warned. We had a completely awesome and amazing time in Manuel Antonio. We went with our good friends Justa & Steve, and had a short but FULL weekend. I’ll let my pictures tell the story.
First stop on the drive down, Esterillos Oeste – this was a beautiful, virtually uninhabited beach. The road to the beach had several shops and soda’s that were boarded up, so I guess it was more popular at one time… It was serene and gorgeous, and very sparse with people. One of the land marks of this beach is this beautiful mermaid statue:
If you would have talked to me 3 years ago, and asked me how I’d feel about quitting my job and entering early retirement, selling everything I owned, and moving to Costa Rica; I would have burst out laughing and said:
“Excuse me? What are you talking about?”
And then I would have asked you: “Where is Costa Rica, anyway?”
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
I saw this quote the other day, and it really got to me the more I thought about it. Turns out, I’ve already been doing a lot of the “things I thought I could not do” – just this year.
1. I never thought I could retire in my early-40’s.
But yet – here I am.
2. I never thought I could make my own pesto sauce.
This may sound odd to you, because I now know that making pesto from scratch is quite easy. While living in Dallas, I had looked up recipes for pesto several time, but I think the food processor business just scared me. Whenever we dined at Italian restaurants, I’d ALWAYS order a dish with pesto sauce. And now, I make my own – and it tastes so gourmet to me, it’s crazy. BTW – swirled with tomato sauce on my homemade pizza? – THE BEST!
6 months ago Greg & I were living and working in Dallas, Texas. Here’s a handful of ways our lives have changed since then.
1. Same sound, different Pavlovian response…
6 months ago when Greg’s phone would go off with his “ting, ting” sound, it would almost ALWAYS mean bad news, stress, long dicussions, and a lot of times end with him going into work (inevitably on a Friday or Saturday night)… And trust me that “ting, ting” went off ALL the time. Greg & I BOTH got to the point were we truly dreaded it. All we had to hear was that first “ting” and we both stiffened and braced ourselves for the worst.
Somebody Pinch me. Seriously. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been living here in Costa Rica forever (it’s that comfortable); but more often than not, it’s still like – wow – is this really my life?
Retired? Me? Yep. I know it’s odd – I’m still in my early 40’s (I can say early till I’m 45, just fyi). In fact, I really don’t like telling people I’m retired – I usually get strange looks of disbelief, and some people don’t even believe me after I reiterate. Maybe early-retired is a better and truer word. Also, I’ve only been officially retired since June, so it’s all still very new to me.