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      IMPORTANT - READ BEFORE POSTING to SUPPORT FORUM   01/28/2011

      Posts to this Support Forum are to be related ONLY to one's ARCR membership.   Please post all other types of questions to the appropriate forum.   Only Forums Moderators, Administrators and ARCR Employees ae able to make any replies to this ARCR Support Forum.   Paul M. Forums Moderator ==
RobertM

New to the Forum...Moving to CR in 2017...

14 posts in this topic

Hello all. My name is Bob Maguire. I currently live the DC area with my with my wife Margit.

 

We've been kicking around the idea of moving to Costa Rica for at least a year. Even went down there

last year and took in one of Tim Lytle's tours (Hi, Tim!).

 

Well, we've finally decided to make the jump to Pura Vida and will probably be in Costa Rica the middle of

2017.

 

We also just joined the ARCR. Between their resources and the ARCR forum, I'm sure our move will be relatively

smooth.

 

I'm retired military (25 years US Navy), so I have plenty of experience with moving and living overseas. We are really

excited at the idea of moving to a new home in a beautiful country. We're ready for the challenges.

 

Just wanted to say hello to all.

 

Bob Maguire

Frederick, MD

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Welcome to the forum Bob.

We made the move a year and a half ago and have never looked back.

Best of luck to both of you!

Cheers .... Terry

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Welcome Bob! I'm sure with your wealth of experience with international living, you'll avoid the "gee, it's not like back home" reaction so many experience, sooner or later. So ask any questions and be sure to learn Spanish (unless you're already fluent?)

 

You'll have no trouble believing those with lots of time here, when they offer conflicting information based upon their own experiences and circumstances. They're all correct based upon where/how they live, so you'll need to evaluate which scenarios will be acceptable to you and Margit.

 

Enjoy the planning, and good luck!

Colin

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Welcome to the Forums, Bob.

 

As Colin said, there are lots of long-timers here on the Forums and while their experiences may vary widely there is almost always something of value to be gleaned from what they report.

 

So ask away and –to further agree with Colin– it is really important to acquire some facility with spanish asap which will open a lot of doors for you & help you assimilate into this new culture.

 

¡Pura Vida!

 

Paul M.

==

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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

 

I look forward to getting down there next year.

 

I can speak passable Spanish. Studied it for quite a few years and lived in Spain for a year. It's rusty as hell though. I did surprise myself at

how it came back when I was down there, but there are LOTS of holes in my knowledge. I'll just go out and start talking! That's really the only

way I have found for learning the local lingo. For me, at least.

 

My wife is another story. No Spanish at all, but since she learned English as a second language (she's German), I'm sure she'll do just fine.

 

Muchisimas gracias y hasta la proxima vez!

 

Bob Maguire

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I agree that your experiences living internationally will be the best "teacher." And yes, the language will come back pretty quickly. Although -- don't be surprised if Costa Rican Spanish is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain!

 

Whether you live near other expats or not is something you will need to think about. I live in an area where there are very few which is fine with me. You have to keep in mind that moving to another country may be the only thing you have in common with other expats. As others have said, everyone's experience is different and you will make your own way and make the experience yours.

 

My son recently retired from the Army and lived in Germany (which I'm assuming you were stationed there). After work, he did not associate much with other Americans, just because they were Americans, but gravitated towards people with the same interests, etc. Perhaps the same would be true of your time in Costa Rica.

 

The school issue is thorny. You can read other posts about what people have done with their school-aged children and that will depend on a great extent on where you are located.

 

As for residency -- if you are only going to be here for a year, I wouldn't bother. But if you decide to stay, you can easily obtain residency using your military pension. "Easily" involves a lot of paperwork, of course!

 

It's important that everyone in your family is enthusiastic about living in Costa Rica. If you are military, you could always say to your family "Well, that's where they are sending me." But if the decision is (blessedly!) yours, then that's a different scenario.

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I agree with Eleanorcr about expats. I also live in an expat free area and prefer it.

 

That doesn't mean that you can't meet some good people and get some good information. But, try to make your own opinions about everything and make Tico friends. It takes very little effort to make friends with Ticos.

 

Keep in mind that a large percentage of people who move here leave within a year. So in a large group of expats you can expect to hear a lot about how horrible Costa Rica and the people are. Try to take that with a grain of salt and listen to those with a more positive attitude. The longer a person has been here, the more balanced their views may be.

 

Personally, I hate the term "expat" because it brings to mind living apart, rather than in the culture.

 

I hope your move is a successful one.

 

T

 

no soy expat sino residente.

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I think you will do well here in Costa Rica based on your international experiences and your knowing Spanish.

 

My best advice to all newcomers is RENT for awhile to make sure you like the area you are in before you buy a property.

Also, know that even 100 meters in a certain direction can give you a whole different micro-climate so you need to be aware of that when and if you do decide to buy property here.

 

Also know that Ticos may well do things in a way you just cannot understand, but you just have to learn to accept it or you'll go nuts.
Luckily it's countered by the fact they are by and large good, kind people.

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When I lived in Spain, I made the mistake of hanging out mostly with Americans. Heck, I was only 19 and didn't know any better.

 

When i moved to Germany, I promised myself that I would not do that again. Many people warned me off the "cold" Germans and that i would regret it. Boy, were they wrong!

 

I found that if I made the effort to speak German and just try to get to know people, the natives opened up and were very, very, very friendly. Heck, one was so friendly I married her! ;-)

 

So, when I come to Costa Rica, I intend on repeating my Germany experience. It makes life so much more fun!

 

And once again, thanks again for all the great info!

Edited by RobertM

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Hi Bob,

 

I love your story! (Only one wife, though, please**)

 

regards,

Gayle

 

**El Diablo me lo hizo ...

Edited by salish sea

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I live in an area where there are plenty of expats living full time or 1/2 the year. Here 5 & 1/2 years & have limited contact with a lot of the expats. From experience when first moved I found so many live limited lives, sit around pool & drink,wait for happy hour at the bars, & bash the country,its people,customs,traditions,& way of doing things. I totally embrace CR with all it's customs etc.

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We also live in a community where there are 18 houses and only 7 are lived in year round. We are lucky in that the ones that come down for a few months are great people and it is nice to have the increased contact while they are here. That does not stop us from visiting and working with our Tico friends one little bit. We have combined English / Spanish classes with 4 locals, have two teens that come to our house once a week for advanced English, and volunteer teaching English once a week at the local high school. Life is what you make of it!

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