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Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:03 PM

Our new life in Costa Rica

When we moved to Costa Rica I promised my friends on DU I would keep you all posted. I owe so many interested folks much more than these few pictures.

Everyday is a new adventure. So I find I can never catch up to our time here.

So hereís what happened today....

The boa constrictor is on our gate as we speak. Itís about six feet.

The parrot came a few days ago and eats bananas from my hand.

The toucan stops by our fav restaurant for a few bites.

We have howler monkeys, coatimundis,
Sloths and deer in the jungle across the road.

We are having the adventure of a lifetime.
I think we are getting younger.




[url=https://postimg.cc/HVLJGCmr][img][/img][/url]

[url=https://postimg.cc/TLXyBL2x][img][/img][/url]

[url=https://postimg.cc/K4xkNMsr][img][/img][/url]

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Arrow 67 replies Author Time Post
Reply Our new life in Costa Rica (Original post)
LakeArenal Dec 2019 OP
livetohike Dec 2019 #1
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #2
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #7
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #18
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #23
UniteFightBack Dec 2019 #34
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #37
calimary Dec 2019 #57
Ferrets are Cool Dec 2019 #3
elleng Dec 2019 #4
BigmanPigman Dec 2019 #11
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #24
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #25
abqtommy Dec 2019 #5
underpants Dec 2019 #6
Phentex Dec 2019 #8
Uncle Joe Dec 2019 #9
Karadeniz Dec 2019 #10
LastLiberal in PalmSprings Dec 2019 #12
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #20
SallyHemmings Dec 2019 #13
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #22
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #41
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #43
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #51
tenaciousdem Dec 2019 #60
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #65
Foolacious Dec 2019 #14
mountain grammy Dec 2019 #17
babylonsister Dec 2019 #59
mountain grammy Dec 2019 #61
babylonsister Dec 2019 #63
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #21
Callalily Dec 2019 #48
WyLoochka Dec 2019 #15
wryter2000 Dec 2019 #58
OriginalGeek Dec 2019 #16
mountain grammy Dec 2019 #19
Polly Hennessey Dec 2019 #26
blm Dec 2019 #27
proud patriot Dec 2019 #28
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #31
betsuni Dec 2019 #29
OhNo-Really Dec 2019 #30
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #33
Ohiogal Dec 2019 #32
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #35
Heartstrings Dec 2019 #36
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #40
texasfiddler Dec 2019 #38
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #39
tblue37 Dec 2019 #42
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #44
tblue37 Dec 2019 #45
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #46
mahina Dec 2019 #50
James48 Dec 2019 #47
Callalily Dec 2019 #49
Marcuse Dec 2019 #52
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2019 #53
saidsimplesimon Dec 2019 #54
PNW-Dem Dec 2019 #55
Major Nikon Dec 2019 #56
Cha Dec 2019 #62
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #64
StClone Dec 2019 #67
orangecrush Dec 2019 #66

Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:11 PM

1. Sounds like paradise. Thanks for posting these pictures.

Would love to visit there one day.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:11 PM

2. We considered moving there at one time.

Can you talk more about life there? Are you in the mountains or near the water?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:24 PM

7. Sure. But it would take forever...

We are renting this casita on a mountain near Tilaran. We over look Lake Arenal and the Arenal volcano.

Donít believe anything you read in books.
Not as many speak English as we thought. The people here are nice. Itís a socialist country so the State owns all the utilities. There are over a hundred wind turbines on the mountain across the lake. There are not piles of dead birds under them.

Food is great and definitely not Mexican.
Pizza is the states second favorite food.

Where we live has international wind surfing events and we can see them practice from our window.

Being in the mountains itís windy and cooler and few have AC. Over by the Pacific coast itís usually ten degrees hotter and humid. We have not been to the gulf coast.

Bureaucracy, both American and Costa Rican make it hard to open bank accounts, buy a car or house, or do just about anything legal.

There is a no kill any animal policy. Dogs run free everywhere. Many starve. We adopted a boy from the streets.

We love every minute of everyday.



[url=https://postimg.cc/HVLJGCmr][img][/img][/url]

[url=https://postimg.cc/TLXyBL2x][img][/img][/url]

[url=https://postimg.cc/K4xkNMsr][img][/img][/url]

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:13 PM

18. How long have you lived there?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:36 PM

23. Since Sept 1st

We are amazed at everything and how easy life is here once you get here.
We have breakfast with expats twice a week. We are taking Spanish lessons for free. We have lived in three totally cool houses. We adopted a street dog. There is a local farmers market twice a month.
Our View is fantastic. We love it.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:02 PM

34. No kill is amazing but it's too bad it sounds like they are also doing no spay. I would not be

 

happy with seeing so many stray animals...daily heartbreak for me. Thank you for adopting!!

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Response to UniteFightBack (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:13 PM

37. There is a great movement to spay and neuter.

That is one thing that many expats volunteer for.

We just had a free clinic last week.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 04:02 PM

57. Great, LakeArenal! Thank you for doing that!

Sounds wonderful down there. We have a friend whoís made several trips to Costa Rica. Sheís loved it every time.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:11 PM

3. Enjoy every moment

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:13 PM

4. WOW!

and THANKS!

In addition to such dramatic daily happenings, please let us know how day to day life is, including finding necessities and economic matters.

Thanks

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:46 PM

11. Yes, I'd like to know about those things too.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:38 PM

24. See comment 20. Thanks.

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:38 PM

25. See comment $20. Thanks.

Always can ask me more. 😉

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:15 PM

5. I've always heard good things about Costa Rica. If you run out of parrots and toucans, I'll be

happy to stop by to eat from your hand or table!

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:20 PM

6. Sounds fantastic

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:30 PM

8. I think seeing a toucan would be so cool...

the boa not so much.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:34 PM

9. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for sharing LakeArenal.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:35 PM

10. Sounds fabulous...congratulations!❤

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 09:03 PM

12. Since nobody else asked, what is your monthly budget?

Also, what was it like buying a car? Shipping household goods from the States?

How is the crime rate? Medical care?

It sounds like a wonderful place to live. I need to check out issues of International Living magazine (free online) which discuss Costa Rica.

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Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:20 PM

20. I will say we are on a very fixed income

The rule is you needs verified income of $1000.
Buying a car is a nightmare. So much so that we shipped our old car. Long... story...
Cars here may be flood damaged vehicles from the U S. Car here are three times the cost here. Our blue book value is $5000.
It cost $11000 to ship here. The state values it at $15000. There are tariffs and taxes and to renew plates slides with value of car. Ours is $600 for the year. If you buy anything big here you need a lawyer.

If you ship personal property be sure to make your inventory complete. If it isnít clearly stated in the manifest, it may be stolen. Somewhere along the way every box is opened and rifled. Who knows who took my costume jewelry and my motherís Pyrex mixing bowls. But all I listed was bowls and dishes. And just jewelry. So they leave a few pieces and steal the rest.

Thereís no crime here in the mountains. There are crimes of opportunity. If you leave your purse unattended it might get stolen. The real crime is businesses will rip you off if you arenít careful. I bought a piece of furniture only to see it advertised on a flyer at a discounted price. Things like that.
You have to get residency to get the socialized medicine. Residency application requires a lawyer about $3000 for two and 15 months to three years to get. But lots of folks come here on medical vacations because services are often cheaper than deductibles in U S.
Meds are cheap and for most things donít need a prescription.

We advise to only half believe what you read in articles and books. Every single personís experience is their own.

Living here is way different than visiting here. If you come to live make sure you clear your current bankís position on international living. My Wisconsin bank has been a nightmare of not being told anything when I went in to the bank to inform them of our move. They freeze our accounts, locked our debit cards. Not allowed to wire money to our Costa Rican landlord. Itís been hell and mucho dinero in international calls to get some access to our money.
We opened a new American account in the south so itís only a couple hour flight if we have to go in person to a bank. Expats are advised to keep an active American account as who knows when trump may get us thrown out of somewhere.

Itís been so hard money and red tape wise that we say if itís this hard to go back we arenít ever leaving.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 09:05 PM

13. If the 2020 election is stolen

....you may have more neighbors. I could do without the 6ft snake..

Enjoy!

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Response to SallyHemmings (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:26 PM

22. Well the bugs here are giant.

The rain forest where we are is not for everybody.

Just for us. We planned this move for 13 years. We knew exactly where we wanted to be. And bless our heart, we are amazed at how close the actuality is to the dream we planned. 🤞🏼👍🏻👊🏻

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:40 PM

41. Okay I think the bugs are a deal breaker for me

I have a bug phobia that goes back to childhood in Hawaii.

Big bugs are a big problem for me. I would honestly rather someone pointed a gun at my head than showed me a giant bug. They terrify me.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:46 PM

43. Oh yes. The jungle is definitely not for everyone.

The reality is the big bugs are not really a problem. Itís the ants. Bitey ants. There is one kind of ant that waits till about twenty are on you then sends some pheromone and they bite at the same time. You canít go bare foot and you can never picnic on a blanket or sit in the grass

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 10:39 AM

51. Those giant bugs though . . .

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #41)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:09 PM

60. Bugs bugs bugs

I hear you about the bugs in Hawaii. Lived in South Kona for several years. Centipedes are the creepiest bugs on the planet, especially when the crawl in bed and bite you.

As well, the constant chirp of the coqui frog can actually reach a decibel level the causes physical pain.

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Response to tenaciousdem (Reply #60)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 08:05 PM

65. Stinging centipedes were not that prevalent

We did see them though.

No it was the giant bugs that we could not keep out of the house. The ones that would crawl into our shoes.

My brother wasn't afraid of them. Used to fling them at us on the lanai.

In Florida we have the same kind of bugs but nowadays there are exterminators that manage to keep them out of the house for the most part.

Anything bigger than what I've already seen is just unacceptable. Some giant bug ever landed on me they would have to put me away.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 09:13 PM

14. Congrats and welcome to your paradise!

Our paradise is in Mexico... been here going on five years and still love it.

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Response to Foolacious (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:12 PM

17. My dream, Rosarito.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 05:16 PM

59. Really! My sister lives there,

has for years. They pulled up roots from Mission Viejo, had a house built, and living la vida loca.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #59)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:15 PM

61. I can only assume...

They love it 😊 I read the Rosarito Town Crier once in a while. Been decades, but still dream about it.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #61)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:43 PM

63. Yes, pretty much.

They go to the US weekly to shop and get their mail so it's close, but not too.

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Response to Foolacious (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:21 PM

21. Pura Vida as we Ticos say!!

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Response to Foolacious (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:46 AM

48. We're leaving for Mexico next week.

Staying six weeks. Can't wait. Will be quite an experience.

Sounds like you are enjoying Mexico! My friend winters there, stays six months.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 09:16 PM

15. now c'mon, boa constrictor draped across the gate?

how do you manage this situation when you need to pass through the gate?

those boas are probably all around.

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Response to WyLoochka (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 04:24 PM

58. You open the gate

The snake slithers away...or not, if it doesn't want to.

People keep them as pets.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 09:54 PM

16. Sounds heavenly!

I've only been in Costa Rica for a few hours on a stop from a cruise ship and fell in love with it. Hope to get back there some day for real.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:13 PM

19. Enjoy. Thanks for the update.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:42 PM

26. No thanks.

The rainforest is not for me. Not a big fan of the tropics.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:44 PM

27. Wow. Have you set up the guest bedroom for us?

😁

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:45 PM

28. I'm loving it

We made a move to Hawaii Island 6 years ago from the very congested SF Bay Area .

living in the jungle is awesome .. I am really glad to hear you are having a fun Adventure too.

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Response to proud patriot (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:53 PM

31. Kindred spirits!

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:52 PM

29. Two of my ballet teachers who were married that I knew a million years ago live in Costa Rica.

I found out by chance while reading something about a woman who turned out to be their daughter. Not only was I surprised they lived in Costa Rica but that they were still married.

When I was in their classes, she'd recently had her daughter and she and her husband were going through something. Glowering looks across the room, sighs, innuendos dropped like large boots on a wooden floor. She was so beautiful and glamorous in the classroom, and then you saw her in regular clothes and she'd wear hideous polyester pantsuits. It was like she hadn't bothered to shop since the sixties.

I wouldn't like to like in a warm place with large snakes and spiders and things, it would make me too nervous!

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:53 PM

30. Thank you. Do you find renting an AirBNB is safe or

Are there red tape issues for a one month rental.

Are there places to avoid? Best places to rent?

Asking for a friend.

Thank you for sharing. Any info will be passed to my friend

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Response to OhNo-Really (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:01 PM

33. I only have one source with regards to Airbnb

But our three places are great.

I think one three bed three bath rents for $1400 a week.

Our second was a two and a half bed three bath. More funky than chic is $700 a week for two.

Our years lease is quite expensive because wanted to settle quickly. Itís $900 for the month. One bedroom one bath. Laundry and my dream veranda or porch. An great Mountain View of the lake. We think next year we might find a two bedroom at more like $650 to $750. We have a dog. Costa Ricanís arenít much on dogs in the house.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 10:54 PM

32. Thank you so much

For sharing your experience with all of us. Itís fascinating to hear about your new life.

Your home is amazing and beautiful, but I would not like boa constrictors or huge insects. I freak out if I see a mouse.

I think you two are very brave to do this! May I ask how you decided on Lake Arenal ? Did you vacation there and fall n love with it?

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #32)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:11 PM

35. No. We knew we wanted something tropical.

So we started researching. I remembered that anyone who had been here loved it and wanted to stay. So we read books, YouTubed, googled lots about it.
Things that struck us
Mountains view, lake, remote, more birds than anywhere on earth. Mr Lake has a thing for volcanoes.
There was a passage in a book about the variety of ecology in CR. It said something like: ď Or perhaps you would prefer an emerald green spot on a mountain with a view of an active volcano and amazing wildlife all aroundĒ I read that to Mr Lake and both of us knew thatís where we would go. In the 13 years of dreaming, the volcano has gone to sleep. Otherwise everything is as we dreamed.

Oh and never take for granted how fortunate we are that both of us have been on the same page since the first idea came to us.

And no. We auctioned off most of our possessions and hoboed it here sight unseen. As Billy Joelís says ďa matter of faithĒ.


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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:12 PM

36. LIFG, girlfwend!

Miss you! 🥰😘😚

Pura Vida, baby❣️ ✌️🦜 ☺️ 🐍 😄 🐕‍🦺 😎 🤗

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Response to Heartstrings (Reply #36)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:16 PM

40. Couldn't have done it without the support of friends ❣️🥰

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:13 PM

38. Wow that is great

I took my family last year. Spent time in La Fortuna. We absolutely loved it.

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Response to texasfiddler (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:15 PM

39. We live south of La Fortuna.

Weíve been a few times. Itís very touristy.
The volcano and thermal springs are awesome.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:43 PM

42. Bananas give parrots diarrhea. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:48 PM

44. I am worried for that. He turns down everything else

Grapes, papaya, avocado, apples, oranges...sunflower seeds. Just a bit ago we found out heís begging from our neighbor too.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:52 PM

45. Well, maybe he has a mutation that allows him to eat bananas. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #45)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 11:54 PM

46. I only give him maybe an inch of banana.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 09:59 AM

50. Why I still love DU:

The things you learn along the way.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 01:09 AM

47. I'll pass.

Iím thinking more like Portugal.

The bugs and the snakes arenít nearly as big.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:47 AM

49. Sounds like a great adventure.

I'm all for leaving the cold winters.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 11:44 AM

52. 5 Costa Rican Creatures (That Will Give You Nightmares)

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 02:06 PM

53. Thank you for all of this information.

I think the most important thing you said is that you guys spent 13 years planning.

Moving permanently to another country is not to be taken lightly.

I have an acquaintance who moved several years ago to Panama and is very happy there.

Here's what I want to ask. Do you have family back here? Especially children or grandchildren? How often do you expect to get back for a visit?

The friend in Panama is divorced, no kids, and I don't even know if she has living siblings. She's about 75 now. A while back she shared what she paid for a house (I think it's inside a gated community) there, and I was shocked as it was something over $300k, which is significantly more than my modest home in supposedly expensive Santa Fe, and much more than I'll ever be able to afford anywhere. Just as the above rents you quoted struck me as very high.

But the real and probably only thing that matters is that you are very happy there.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 02:07 PM

54. There are not piles of dead birds under them.

My retired brother managed a wind farm. He has assured me that this is just another figment of our resident bird brain in the WH.

Thanks for the thread, great photos, I've been taking a look at Puerto Rico for that age reversal.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 02:13 PM

55. Healthcare Question

I love your post and the thread is great. I'm curious, what do you do for healthcare, especially for accidents or emergency room visit? Did you buy travel insurance until you get residency or some other way?

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 02:28 PM

56. I took a vacation there on the west coast a few years back

From what little I saw of the country (when I was sober) it looked pretty impressive.

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 07:41 PM

62. Mahalo for these gorgeous pics, LakeArenal!

I'm so Happy for you!

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Response to Cha (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 08:00 PM

64. Sigh! We are so very lucky and happy!

Happy 2020. Next year we will be having quite the celebration.

Two presidents down. How many more will we elect in our life?

amor y abrazos, Chica!

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #64)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 09:02 PM

67. Pizza Ranch still in La Fortuna

Last edited Thu Jan 2, 2020, 10:48 PM - Edit history (1)

I know the Arenal area fairly well. We are very tempted to move there too. The parrot is a Red-lored and is one of so many parrots species in the area. You will enjoy your new life in CR it's hard not to when the national saying is
Pura Vida! By the way, I grew up with Pizza Ranch and I could never figure out if the one in La Fortuna is a real franchise or a imitation-good either way!

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Response to LakeArenal (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2019, 08:15 PM

66. I take it


Quite a few are reaching the conclusion that it is time to bail.

It sounds lovely in Costa Rica, and I really enjoyed your sharing a taste of a different life.

I unfortunately missed the financial lifeboat, and it looks like many like myself are doomed to go down with the Trumptanic.

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