"It was the best move of my life," says Michael Harris of his new life in Costa Rica. "I feel like I'm living in technicolor now." Back in the States, Michael worked as a director for an IT company but was laid off in a corporate take-over.
Costa Rica is indeed a “rich coast.” That’s what Christopher Columbus called it—Costa Rica—when he discovered this paradise. And every travel show on TV focuses on the beach life as tourists swarm the shores for vacations filled with swimming, sunning, and surfing.
I know that when we began to look more in-depth at Costa Rica as our retirement destination, the reports of living on what seemed to be a minuscule amount of money seemed incredible, and sometimes the information came across as vague.
"Spring is my favorite time of the year. And it's like an eternal Spring here," says expat Ray Reynolds, who lives in the green hills of Costa Rica's Central Valley. "To be surrounded by the mountains, well, I feel like I've finally found the home of my heart."
I was sitting on our cantilevered terrace, listening to birdsong and the river flowing below me. I pondered the 11,000-foot-tall Volcano Irazú in the distance.
Yesterday morning, as I stood on the terrace of my Costa Rican home, I couldn't help but marvel at the stunning blue-green mountains right outside our front door. Sometimes I still can't believe that this is my life.
“I can’t believe it!” That’s what every one of our friends say when they see where my partner Michael and I live. Instead of the urban sprawl that had engulfed our lives in Dallas, we now live in something that seems more like Shangri-La than the real world.
Having lived in Costa Rica’s Orosi Valley for a year now, leaving our lives behind in Dallas was the best thing my partner and I could have done. I knew it would be years before I could afford to retire in the States but I was ready for an adventure. I didn’t want to wait. So I started searching… We visited Costa Rica numerous times in the three years before we moved here to find what we called our “Goldilocks Place.” The beaches were gorgeous, but too warm for our taste. The jungles were amazing, but too humid for us. The Central Valley was cooler and popular with expats, but just not quite what we were looking for. Then we found our place in the mountains of the Orosi Valley, about 20 miles south of the capital San Jose. It was “just right.”