Have you ever made a huge decision that will affect your entire life? At the beginning of 2016, after another chilly winter, (yes I realize we live in sunny California), the Schauer Pack made just that kind of decision. After our third trip to Costa Rica in February 2015, we decided that we wanted to live there full time. So we made it our 5 year plan! That 5 year plan changed to first quarter of 2018. Me, being so excited, just had to tell anyone who would listen. I never can be quiet when I’m excited about something! No doubt driving everyone crazy hearing about it! Plus, I knew this was going to rock my mother’s world, being that we are the best of friends! I thought if I gave her enough heads up, that she wouldn’t be so freaked out when the day actually comes. Not sure if that was good or bad. She has been on a roller coaster of emotions. I do not have children, so I cannot relate, but she is my favorite person, so I know it will be tough for me too.
Since our initial decision, and after our December 2016 trip, we have pushed our move to September of 2017! Crazy, right?! I’m only 48 and Chris is only 45. We both have good jobs, we own our home, we have rentals in other states, we have many beautiful friends, and of course, the most important, our family. So why the move?
Even with all of these great things, we need a change. Although the Bay Area has become this beautiful rainbow of cultures, it is getting too crowded and too expensive. Even though we live very much beneath our means, we just don’t see spending the rest of our lives in this area. So, when Chris mentioned an epic move outside the country, I told him the only place so far I have felt at home, is Costa Rica. Don’t ask me why, because I can’t explain it, I actually felt it the first trip back in 2010. I know for sure the weather is perfect for us, as we both like to be warm, and we prefer the tropical humidity over the dry dessert heat. But, they speak Spanish, and we do not. They do not have all the conveniences we are used to. Food, driving, language, emergency services, all so different than the States. Will we be able to handle it? They say 40% of the expats move home by the first year! Well, most people go to Costa Rica, and go to an all-inclusive and never leave the resort, so they say “Awe paradise! Let’s move!” If they did venture out, they would see how poor many people live, and how it isn’t all lush landscape, amazing beaches, and wild animals. But, we have ventured out and driven to small towns, sat at the open sodas and tried to communicate with the locals. For us, there is something special about this adventure.
This last year and a half has been full of anxiety waiting for the big, “Move Day!” Will it happen? Will we have enough money? Will I miss home and our peeps too much? Who will rent our house, and will they take care of my happy place? How will the dogs handle flying? Will they be OK? Who is going to take care of our two 17 year old cats, because they are too old to make such a huge life change (These last two have been a HUGE concern for me).
Another big concern is no prospect of work there at this time, because you can start a business, but you cannot work for a Costa Rican company. I’ll share all the ins and outs of residency and requirements later. I can say it is a little scary for me, since this will be the first time that I will not be making my own money……ugh!
Tick Tock….. stay tuned!