Why I Have Never Lived in Costa Rica

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In the 12 years that we’ve lived outside the U.S., my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have called seven locations in four different countries home.

Thanks to our work writing and reporting for International Living, we’ve become what we call “serial relocators.” We’ve gotten used to moving every few years to different places and writing about them…places that offer something special to expats seeking new opportunities and adventures abroad.

Having just returned from another annual International Living event in Costa Rica, I realize again that this remarkable little country has been offering expats and retirees new opportunities and adventures for about as long as expats have been moving abroad.

Which is why I wasn’t surprised when one of our conference attendees asked, “So why have you and Suzan never lived in Costa Rica?”

Great question… especially when you consider that we were married in Costa Rica in 1997—even before we seriously thought about living or working abroad. We had a lovely little civil service at Hotel Don Carlos in San Jose and spent our honeymoon in a four-wheeler roaming around the country without a schedule or itinerary…just going where whim, the road, and the natural beauty led us.

It was one of the best trips of our lives.

We relive those memories every time we return to Costa Rica, and just like that conference attendee, we ask ourselves every time…why, among all the other places we’ve lived and worked throughout Latin America, we’ve never settled in Costa Rica, at least for a while?

The answer, for serial relocators like us, is actually pretty simple.

We just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Seriously…with some of the best beaches in the world (on two coasts), one of the best climates in the world in the Central Valley, and one of the best-organized and longest-standing expat communities anywhere in Latin America, Costa Rica has to be on anyone’s short list of retirement destinations. Add the facts that the country has no standing army, repeatedly ranks as one of the happiest places on earth, and is one of the most environmentally advanced countries on the planet, and the combination is nearly unbeatable.

Which is why I think that Suzan and I will probably live somewhere in Costa Rica sometime in the future. We just have too much history with Costa Rica not to.

When might we do it, and where in Costa Rica might it be?

No idea. Our travel and living plans have a way of making themselves, no matter how much we try to intervene with what we think we really want to do. And that’s fine with us… we’ve become very comfortable going with the flow over that past dozen years.

And so far, the currents and eddies of life have been taking us through Costa Rica on a very pleasant and regular basis.

One of these days, we just might stick around  for a while.

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