Graham Cooper first became an expat when he moved from his native England to Toronto, Canada in 1972, to pursue what would be a long and prosperous career in mechanical engineering. When he became eligible for retirement after 30 years with the same employer at the age of 55, he didn’t hesitate. “I figured, why would I work any longer if I can retire now,” Graham reflects. “My company offered me a nice retirement package including my pension and health benefits until I die, so I took it and planned to pursue my passion for travel.”
Daily sightings of howler monkeys and a variety of lizards never gets old. Between the monkeys and the tropical birds found here, chances are you'll be waking to the tune of a different type of alarm clock. Arguably the most developed town in the Guanacaste region along the northern Pacific coast, Tamarindo offers the convenience of a bustling little town and also the tranquility of nature, with its nearly two miles of sandy beach, surrounded by mountains and tropical dry forest.
Town is quiet in the morning; a few local vendors set up roadside shops where they sell wood carvings, tapestries, and the like. A few people gather for a generous breakfast and fresh-brewed, local coffee for about $8 at the cafes. “Downtown” is small, really just one street that wraps around the western shoreline…walk through from the road and you’ll be in awe of the three-mile stretch of lush, palm-lined coast and blue water. An old fisherman’s boat is always washed up during low tide.
Costa Rica is a relatively small country, but it boasts one of the most diverse varieties of landscapes and climate in the world. It’s got the perfect harmony between the lush, green jungle teeming with wildlife and unadulterated beaches.
Before moving to Tamarindo, my husband and I lived in Chicago. We were accustomed to brunch as the key to socializing with friends. If you set a weekly date with someone or made plans to catch up with an old friend, oftentimes you would do it over a weekend brunch. We had to re-learn some of the “rules” to socializing when we moved to our little beach town. When we began to meet people, it struck us as odd that the common invite for social gatherings was to go and watch the sunset together…but we quickly learned why.
Fed up with the harsh Midwest winters and tired of working too much to pay for a life we didn't have time to enjoy, my husband, Junior, and I decided we weren't willing to wait for retirement to see the world and enjoy life. Just before Christmas last year, we started researching our overseas options. We sold all of our belongings after New Year and at the start of April this year, we landed in Costa Rica...without ever having been here before.