Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12, 2008 – Changing Plans

Anyone who has planned anything knows that the result rarely resembles the plan. Even Sci-Fi battle planners have a saying – “All plans are just a starting point; when the battle starts, anything goes.”

Well, our future isn’t exactly a battle, but I laugh when I look at our first plan for retiring and moving to Costa Rica. I still have the timeline on the front page of my notebook. We were going to sell the house before I quit (hah!), store most of our stuff and make perhaps two shipments (that was before we knew the cost), permanently move (live year-round) to Costa Rica by the end of 2007, and finish shipping anything we decided we wanted by the end of 2008. I *did* quit on schedule, but only because I had three different dates as options.

Even before committing it to paper, we went back and forth about shipping stuff. We were going to go with just suitcases and purchase whatever we needed when we got there. We were going to take just a few things. We were going to take our bed. And our double recliner. And our DVDs… I don’t think we’ll really know what we’re taking until we actually do it. Meanwhile, we have some furniture in Costa Rica and some in the states.

We kept putting off selling the house – too much else going on. Probably also some subconscious need to hang on. Well, now it is a nasty time to try selling – foreclosure auctions right and left. So, we’re going to rent it out for a while instead. This decision had probably the most effect on our recent life. Instead of moving completely and immediately to Costa Rica, we have spent most of the last year on two separate long trips. We did get to experience two different ways of living – in a small town (Orosí), and in a large town (Alajuela). But we had to deal with “occupying” two houses in two different countries. This is not for the faint of heart. It is definitely not for us in the long run. At least we don’t have a house in Costa Rica to worry about while we are in the states. The house in the states is a bit easier to watch out for. We have friendly, concerned neighbors; we have family nearby. When our fence blew down in California, our neighbor took care of everything, and my folks drove down just in case. We returned to a dead car battery and some air in the water pipes, but everything else was pretty much ship-shape. Folks who have a house in Costa Rica have to worry about keeping it occupied while they are gone. We just moved out :).

Our thoughts have meandered around the idea of whether to live in Costa Rica year-round or not. At first, it was no question – of course we would! That is the whole idea! Then we started thinking. Uh-oh. More plans fly out the window. Here is another thing that I am sure we won’t really know which we’ll do until we do it. (I had to re-read that sentence twice – yikes!) Since we are rentistas, we will definitely be in Costa Rica for at least 4 months out of each year (this is required in order to maintain that type of residency). That leaves a *lot* of time to explore the rest of the world – or explore more of Costa Rica, of course. We *have* decided (finally) that this year we will be in Costa Rica most or all of the time.

We are still on-plan for our time in Costa Rica. That plan is to live for several months in different places around Costa Rica, looking for just the right place. It is a little crazy, looking for the most perfect piece of paradise *in* paradise. But it is kinda fun too. I think that if we just closed our eyes and pointed at a map of Costa Rica, we’d find a great place to live – we’d be perfectly happy. But neither of us has had the perfect freedom to choose before. The choice has always been made *for* us by jobs, schools, etc – perfectly :(.


trish said...

I can't tell you how many times I have thrown around the shipping ideas in my mind. One day I'm reveling in the idea of being free and throwing everything out, and the next day I'm weighing each and every item we own to see if I can live without it. This process will eventually be good for me, right?

I'm waiting for your post on how Alajuela went for you guys - tell us the verdict! And please, let us know where your next stop will be.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is maryann-(Sammi). I have bought a house in Quepos and am still in Las Vegas yet. We have much paper work to do yet. I enjoyed your sight and will continue to read further. Very good information. Thank You, Maryann

Julie said...

I'm glad our experiences help!