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Many people looking to relocate or retire to another country change for the attraction of a new environment. Of course, when you’ve lived all your life with cold winters, you dream of a life on the beach. But does the beach offer you a new environment that you can live with and adjust to?
When changing their environment totally, some people miss their old lifestyle too much and end up disappointed with their new lifestyle. Then they end up unhappy with their new lifestyle and start accusing everyone else but themselves of their mistake.
Acclimatization (adjusting to the temperature) should not be your biggest worry, depending on your age, medications, and body fat. Your acclimatization is probably going to be easier moving to the Central Valley than it will be at the beach.
In my experience, people who have traveled to other continents or even lived in different countries adjust much easier to new living conditions and another culture. But unfortunately, few take the time and effort to learn more about this before they pack their belongings and find themselves on a flight to Costa Rica.
Before we go over the changes you will have to suffer (or enjoy?), let’s check out a few of your lifestyle options.
Since we grew up, we got used to a particular lifestyle. As life went on, we adjusted our lifestyle to what we could afford to pay for and what made us happy. Some have had to change their lifestyle because of a divorce, the loss of a job, or even the loss of most of their capital during the last crisis. What sort of lifestyle are you looking for when you’re going to move to Costa Rica?
- Healthy lifestyle
- Active lifestyle
- Bohemian lifestyle
- Nomadic lifestyle
- Corporate lifestyle
- Rural lifestyle
- Urban lifestyle
- Mountain lifestyle
- Beach lifestyle
You’ll learn that you can’t obtain all these lifestyles wherever you move to our beautiful country. For example, you can’t combine a corporate lifestyle with a beach lifestyle (which you’re probably not looking for anyway). And others don’t fit in because of the non-availability of certain foods, sports, church, concerts, theater, shopping, medical services, wining & dining, and many other necessities.
Don’t you hate those foreigners moving into your neighborhood who don’t even try to speak English? I have the advantage of being Dutch, and nobody speaks Dutch anywhere. So I must speak English in a foreign country and Spanish here in Costa Rica.
Yes, I had to learn Spanish when I moved here. It was probably much easier for me than it is for you since I was 25 when I moved. And I married a local girl, so we speak Spanish. I honestly feel that you owe it to the local population that you have to try to learn their language as much as you can. Please try not to be an ugly American. Nobody expects you to be fluent, but please try. and learn a bit of sign language, too; that might help.
If you’re a Christian and you visit a mosque, you’ll see that Muslims do everything differently than you are used to in your own church. Moving to Costa Rica will give you the feeling that you’re in a mosque; everything is different from what it was at home.
Costa Ricans, or Ticos, have a different culture than you have. Their habits are different. That doesn’t mean that they do it all wrong. Even though Ticos love many things and traditions in other countries. Costa Ricans are proud people and don’t like it when foreigners tell them how to do things better. Many foreigners think they’re stupid because they do it differently.
I’m asking you to respect their culture, so they can appreciate you for what you are.
There are lifestyle habits that you will bring with you that you might or might not want to change once you live here. Here are a few.
You were used to going to bed at 2:00 am and getting up late in the morning. Life here starts earlier than you might be used to. Your neighbor’s kid will warm up his noisy motorbike at 6:00 am, and your neighbor’s gardener probably starts mowing the grass at 7:00 am.
Level of physical activity
Would you run your customary 5 miles daily at any time of the day? You’ll probably find it’s already too hot to do so after 9:00 am. Now your sleeping pattern is probably going to hell, or you’ll have to find another physical activity.
You’re probably an exception if you’ve been drinking much water daily before moving here. But if you want to live in the tropics, you better start drinking lots of water to stay healthy. Water, not beer!
Food is cheap here if it’s locally grown. But where it’s imported, you’ll find it a lot more expensive than what you’re used to. Or you might not find it available at all.
Are you a wine lover? Then you’ll probably be disappointed when you move to Costa Rica. Or you will have to change to love Chilean, Spanish, or Italian wines, which is what the stores offer most. Local beer is expensive, but imported beer much cheaper (go figure). If you like palate-pleasing whiskey or other fine liquor, you might not want to move here.
Stress management practices
Do you get mad fast? Are you always in a hurry, and things go too slow for you here? You always disagree with how things are done in this beautiful country, full of beautiful people? Then you’d better leave or do a stress management course.
When we moved to this incredible in 1980, the internet didn’t exist. Tour operators and realtors didn’t have websites, and real estate blogs didn’t exist. Nowadays, you can do most of your due diligence on the internet. You can find vacation rentals, moving companies, immigration attorneys, realtors, and retirement tour companies. Each can help you pave the road to a happy new environment. Don’t try to save money on this; it’s the best investment you can make in what’s left of your life.
Do you think you’re ready to move to Costa Rica? Then feel free to contact us at your own convenience.
Images used in this article: Image by karlyukav on Freepik