Since I wasn't a native Spanish speaker—and the only people I knew in Costa Rica were a couple of real estate agents from previous visits—I wasn't familiar with all the resources available to get reliable information.
Although the beaches are popular, an estimated 70% of the population in Costa Rica resides in the Central Valley, not on the coast. It is not really a "valley" per se, but more like a plateau across the middle of the country; in the higher elevations it reaches 3,000 to 5,000 feet.
For millions of people around the globe who share genealogical or cultural ties with Ireland, March 17 is a special day. The St. Patrick's Day celebration has been part of the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church since the 15th century. Costa Rica is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, so March 17 is traditionally celebrated as a religious day, with a Mass service in honor of St. Patrick on the day he died.
What is it that draws us to the seashore? What is this power that attracts us and increases real estate values? I have traveled much of the coast of my adopted home country, and quite a bit of the world. The beaches always entice. Whether to walk, meditate, do yoga, jog, surf, wade—you will find humanity drawn to the shores for a mental reset. To better understand, I asked an expert.
I no longer make resolutions specifically for the new year. After all, you can decide to do something better for yourself any time, not just on January 1. I have found, however, that making resolutions or reaching goals of any kind is easier in Costa Rica. Whether it's for the mind, body, or soul.
Living in a foreign country has its challenges—any expat will tell you that. Most of us downsize when we move to Costa Rica. You don't need a lot of "stuff" here. There are some things, however, that you don't want to live without—items that add a little comfort, and essentials you need for survival.
One of my annual to-do's Stateside was to have my teeth cleaned with my long-held dentist. I've done that for the last five years. After all, he had all my records and was inexpensive by North American standards. I also—thankfully—have not had any dental emergencies that required me to seek out a Costa Rican dentist.
As another hurricane season nears its end, Mother Nature's awe-inspiring (and occasionally deadly) acts remain top-of-mind for many. The good news is, in Costa Rica hurricanes are not a major concern. Although we have a Caribbean shoreline, it is extremely rare to see a tempest weather maker this far south below the "hurricane belt."
One marvelous example of a native heritage that can be known is found in the Boruca. This indigenous tribe is located in the far south Pacific corner of Costa Rica. About 2,000 of these indomitable people remain there on protected, reserved lands.
Anecdotal stories are fun, but facts and actual numbers are the real deal. So, I did a big comparison of the cost of groceries, so I would know the truth of it. I did it just for me, since, well...I'm a nerd about these things. However, I'm going to share my findings with you—as it really is "insider" information.