A fabulous life in stunning Costa Rica has attracted retired expats for decades. Do your own dreams take you there?
Excitement. Adventure. Anticipation. Oh, yes, and a healthy dose of trepidation, too. Can you feel them? If so, the idea of moving abroad to Costa Rica, and and joining other expats has likely taken hold of you. In fact, you may just be taking it so seriously that you’re ready to take action. Or are you at the “dipping toe” stage? No matter. You just know that a whole new life could be waiting for you in this fantastically unique country. Are you ready? Hmm…can you ever be?
I’ve made the move overseas to four different countries in my life – twice as a young teacher in international schools in Guatemala and Spain. Twice more as a retired expat in Ecuador and Costa Rica, with a total of 13 years living as an expat. Thinking back, it occurs to me that the planning phase was probably the most incredibly exciting to me. Once the decision was made, my spirits would rise with irrepressible optimism. The novelty of doing something totally new and unique was exhilarating. Soon I’d be going beyond the “same old, same old”, and stepping into an entirely new world full of learning experiences as an expat. I would be free to grow and be changed forever.
What’s more, deep down I knew it would be all right. I don’t know how, but I knew.
Was I afraid? Anxious is probably the better word. Anyone would be crazy not to be concerned, right? After all, it’s one thing to dream hopefully of a better, possibly more adventurous life overseas as an expat. Yet quite another to feel with any certainty that everything would work out. I assure you, though, somehow it usually always does. In all this time I’ve only witnessed two people who’d had to high-tail it immediately back to where they felt most comfortable again. Two expats who unfortunately hadn’t taken the time to delve into whether it was really right for them personally beforehand.
Most expats I know are what I call “successful” – those expats who’ve made the great leap and have set up really nice lives for themselves. Still other expats I describe as “thrivers”. What’s the difference? The answer lies in a host of characteristics I plan to share with you in upcoming articles (yes, that’s a teaser!) We’ll be exploring all the ways in which you can succeed as an expat, and better yet, to thrive and flourish. Keep a lookout!
The ultimate goal of this new TCRN feature is to provide true insights into what expat life is really all about ~ the fantastic, the not-so-great, and yes, also sharing my own mistakes and missteps as an expat along the way. The idea is to provide you with information beyond what you may already encounter – truthful and real. Here are a few overall questions I’ll be seeking to answer for you:
- How can I prepare for a life abroad, both pragmatically and personally?
- What is life as an expat really like in the country (or countries) I’m considering? How can I find out the truth?
- How will life abroad as an expat affect me personally – emotionally, intellectually, socially & physically? Will I succeed? Will I thrive?
- What experiences do most expats share in common, and what can I learn from them?
- What are some of the pitfalls other expats learned to avoid along the way?
- How can I make my own expat experience the best it can be?
These are just a handful of burning questions you might have. I’m sure you have more. I’ll not only answer them here in the future, but would also like to invite you to visit my website “Aspire To Retire Abroad” (www.aspiretoretireabroad.com). There you’ll find Expat Wise Chats (video interviews), and ongoing relevant Blog posts on life overseas. You’ll also discover information about Personal Expat Coaching services, as well as a ‘mini-course on the expat life’ called “The Expat Wise Guide”. While this is certainly a shameless plug (and I promise, the only one you’ll see in articles from here on), I sincerely hope you’ll join me there as well.
“But what is life like specifically in Costa Rica?” you may be asking. “Aren’t you going to share those particular glimpses and insights?” My answer is, “Yes. Absolutely.” The Costa Rican expat experience can be absolutely exhilarating. But just as with any country, however, there are bound to be challenges to adjust to as well. We’ll face all of it head-on, basking in the journey together!
Most importantly, I want to get you thinking about your own expat adventure. Every article will culminate with several personal reflection questions to explore the aspiring expat …YOU. You may even want to begin a personal journal in which to answer them, or simply jot them down on a sheet of paper. Here are the first:
- How do I feel about the idea of moving overseas? What would be the positives ~ how would my life be enhanced? What are the potential negatives of being an expat, and how do I think I could deal with them?
- What are my most burning questions about life abroad as an expat?
- Do I think I would be a “successful” expat? Would I be a “thriver”? What do I think is the difference?
I welcome your feedback now and in the future – both on the articles, and with any suggestions as to what you would most like to read about. Join me right here at The Costa Rica News every week. We’re sure to delve deeply to “unpack” the retired expat life in Costa Rica together!
WRITTEN BY: TRISH LA PLACA