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The trend of young families and retirees moving to foreign countries is not new but definitely on the  rise. Borders all over the world are opening and inviting people to not only visit but to invest their  futures, build homes, open businesses and apply for residency. Moving somewhere that is not your  home and has no familiar connections is not a decision to take lightly or without deliberation. The list of  things to consider is endless and many things cannot be simply Googled, they must be experienced.  Once you’ve selected the part of the world where you want to cultivate a new life, you must analyze so  many factors like language, climate, laws, customs, health care, finances and how many luxuries can you  forego and still be happy. In all honesty, no matter how clear your vision is, you won’t know exactly  what you want until you go out and see the many intricacies of life abroad.

All that being said, there is a golden rule to becoming a blissful expatriate: rent first! You will read this  over and over, and you may convince yourself that it’s not necessary. Let’s put it this way, if your first  overseas rental is perfection, and you can’t imagine living anywhere else, then find a house to buy on  your favorite street, by your favorite store in walking distance to your favorite beach. You won’t know  all this looking at listings while sitting in Nebraska! If your rental shows you that the town is not right,  the climate isn’t ideal and your neighbors drive you crazy, pack up and move on without the financial  threat or devastation of investment without return.

Now that you understand calculated risk, may we offer other considerations? Take a look at why you want to leave your home. Are you tired of cold weather, overpriced insurance and medical care, obnoxious neighbors who do not share your open mind of the world, your own limited travels, too much traffic and too many highways or a town so small you can’t escape the gossip ring? Start forming a picture in your mind of the things you want to have in your new town, city and country. Then take a breath and rest in the fact that you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Costa Rica has been developing a well grooved path of expats for over 30 years. And do you know why? Because Costa Rica can offer you what you are looking for.

This little slip of a country is smaller than Lake Michigan yet has every visual landscape and climate  preference you could desire. You can live in bustling cities, quirky tourist strips, reggae loving beach  shanties or the solitude of mountain tops and farm lands. You can have the temperate, dry Central  Valley, the predictable rain and summer of the north Pacific peninsula, the year round warmth with  scattered annual rains in the South Pacific or the warm, wet humidity of the Caribbean side. You can be  surrounded by fun loving expatriates, fully immerse yourself in Ticos (natives of Costa Rica), find a  private hole and live in solitude and anything in between. A small town might sound idyllic until you find  yourself bored, lonely or tired of the “politics.” A rich, cultural city may be enticing until you miss quiet  nights, lower cost living and knowing all your neighbors.

Let Costa Rica be your new home, just don’t go in blind or with your head in the clouds. There are things  to learn about in any new location. The government systems, cultural whims, what’s accepted and  what’s not, rhythms of life and the underbelly pulse can’t be explained to you, because they mean  something different to everyone. Travel this magnificent country and get a true feel of where and how  you want your future to play out.

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