Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anticipation!

Our first visit to Costa Rica was nearly 5 years ago - oh, how things change!  Our original plan was to pack up everything, sell the house, ship all our stuff to Costa Rica, and settle in.  We ended up doing things a *lot* differently!  We did what I now call a "slow move" - in the first 4 years, we made several trips, living in different towns each time.  Each new time, we brought suitcases of things we missed the last time.  Some places were furnished, some were not.  As we bought and brought the few necessities, subsequent trips back to the states meant we had to find a place to store our Costa Rican things.  First we left a few bins with friends, then we rented a small storage area.  On the other end, when we finally moved out of our state-side house, we also stored a few items - we used these basics each time we came back.  We finally trimmed our state-side stuff down to less than half a storage unit, and... YES! *Shipped* our stuff!

The main reason for shipping via container, instead of continuing our suitcase method was that we finally decided it was worth it to move our mattress here.  And, of course, it is too big to ship any other way.  You may think "gee, they're awfully attached to a mattress!"  - and you would be right :-D.  We looked at mattresses here, and found one that was close enough.  If we hadn't already owned one with plenty of use left in it (stored in the states), we would have bought the one here - it was a cushy king for $1600, at Artistica.  When we checked around on shipping costs, we found that we could get our mattress here for about a third of that.  On top of that, we weren't going to use it anymore in the states, and there was no good way to get rid of it - basically, you can't give it away, and you have to pay to take it to the dump!

Once the decision was made (waaaaay back in August!), we found that it was worth it to add in a few more items - there was room in the container (shared with others), and didn't add unreasonably to the cost.  We said we could wait for several months until the others were ready to ship.  Fortunately we really were flexible on the date, because it moved - first it was going to be late September.  Then late October, then mid-November, then late November... Right before Christmas, we heard that the container was in Costa Rica, and would get through customs the next week.  Frankly, we were surprised, because most government offices are completely shut down the last half of December and the first week of January (and very slow on either end!).  But I guess customs is a different story.  Maybe...

Sooooo... NOW Anticipation *strikes!*  If all went as planned (snort), we could have our things delivered Monday, or maybe Tuesday.  We don't hold our breath, but we do move some furniture around and out of the way.  Tuesday comes. And goes.  Now Wednesday...  Don't start thinking about unpacking.  Don't start imagining feasting your eyes on long-stored books.  Don't, and I mean *really* don't think about falling into sleep, blissfully tucked between your favorite comforter and your oh-so-perfect-for-you mattress!

5 comments:

Jen said...

I feel for ya! Took us a two days to get a few books from customs.

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

Hi,
Our first visit will be in a few weeks to look at retiring there. Would you do the "slow move" again? Because our thoughts are to spend a few visits looking for a place then sell everything and relocate.

I'm 6'3" and my wife is concerned that the beds/mattresses will be short.

I've been reading on the forums that mold is prevalent and hard on books? You live where humidity is lower? or use something to manage it?

Enjoy your "stuff!" :-)

Julie said...

@Jen - still trying to not hold my breath...
Hi "Going" :-)
For us, the slow move was the right thing, and I would do it again. It certainly made it much easier to move around when we didn't have "precious stuff" to worry about. It also gave us a chance to weed out what we didn't really care about, and to find out how important some things are (and aren't). We tried to rent furnished places so we wouldn't have to buy much, but then one time we simply couldn't find anything! So we bought just a few necessities (bed, gas counter-top stove, kitchen basics) - then we had to store them or get rid of them when we left. If you can imagine yourself living with just the basics, and in imperfect conditions for the duration, then I would recommend trying it. If it doesn't work for you, then you can always do your full-on move.
The mattresses were an issue for us, as most are twin or doubles - so short and not very wide for two. We usually used two twins pushed together, and had air mattresses (then had almost no maneuvering room LOL). Along with the bed issue goes the problem of room size - most rooms are too small for a king bed (this was actually one of the things that kept us from deciding on the bed, because we weren't sure it would fit where we ended up).
re Mold - I have a post in the works on this. Basically, you have to manage it - there is no place in CR where the humidity is low enough to avoid it.

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

Thanks for the thoughtful answer. I'm cruising your labels to catch up with your prior posts.

Costa Rica said...

I really like the idea of the slow move. My girlfriend and I are planning on moving down in the 8 months but want to take two trips before to find the right location. I hope our friends down there don't mind us leaving a small bin with them :)