Considering a Move to Costa Rica?

Men who visit here and are aware of the ‘scene’ often daydream of living ‘the life’ here full time and enjoy the ‘attractions’ every day of their lives. There are those whose life ‘back home’ is such that they would never consider living full time in Costa Rica. Family, friends, business, or any number of things might be reasons why a move down here isn’t on the table.

On the other hand, there are those whose ties to ‘back home’ aren’t all that strong. In my own case, I have essentially no family still alive, I have no business or professional ties, I don’t own any property or have much of anything else that prevented me from making the move.

I do miss my friends, but thinking back to the last time I lived ‘back home’ I realize I didn’t spend all that much time with them anyway. Growing up in a smallish town/city as I did, I do miss the common history I share with so many people, but there are trade offs in any decision. My last extended time spent ‘back home’ was after I had spent almost a year here in Costa Rica. I found myself missing my life in Costa Rica a lot more when I was ‘back home’ than I have missed ‘back home’ while I have been in Costa Rica.

During my last long stay in the States, my life was, to put it bluntly, dull. Probably the worst part of it all, not surprisingly, was the (almost) total lack of female companionship. I was in my mid 50s at the time, and my opportunities were very few and far between, not to mention unpalatable. There were a few women interested in me, but they were either old, fat, crazy or druggies. Or a combination thereof. One of the ironies live plays on us me is that the older we get, the more difficult it is to be aroused by women our own age. I look in the mirror and I can honestly say it’s not a mystery to me why a hot young girl (back home) wouldn’t give me a second glance. In fact, one of the most striking things I realized during my last ‘exile’ that women I thought weren’t good enough for me were of the opinion that I wasn’t good enough for them.

There was one woman in particular that was somewhere in her 40s at the time, grossly overweight and a drank to the point stupidity. This same woman routinely had her choice of younger (than I) guys to chase her and go home with her if she so desired.

My last ‘exile’ back in the States was for seven months… I took 2 Viagra with me, came back to Costa Rica seven months later with one, and the one I used was a false alarm.

Those who read this blog know very well how easy it is to find female company down here. Is that enough reason to relocate? Well, there are a few other things this country has to offer other than willing and affordable women. I am rather fond of the weather. It does tend to be a little cloudier than I would prefer, and there are times when the temperature rises above 80 (not many) or falls below 60 (ditto). Costa Rica isn’t as cheap as it probably should be, considering the median income here, there are still some things that are significantly cheaper than ‘back home.’ I pay less per year here on health insurance than I was paying per month back home. My rent is cheap. I have no heating or cooling bills either.

So much for the pluses. There are plenty of minuses to consider. First of all, there is the crime. Costa Rican advocates will hurriedly point out that crime is worse in Detroit, or LA, or wherever. The difference is that in the States you can find large enclaves that are far from the scary parts of town. There are rich ‘ghettos’ in Costa Rica, but they are still not that far from pockets of extreme poverty. One of the things that strikes most visitors immediately are the iron bars on all the windows and the amount of barbed wire you’ll see on almost any building. The bars and wire aren’t there because Ticos think it looks nice.

There are other irritations that almost anyone who lives here will dislike. Ticos are a very tolerant people, and that extends to putting up with lousy service in almost all aspects of life here, whether it’s long lines at the bank, bad utility service, poorly maintained roads and countless other annoyances.

One of the other major downsides here is, putting it bluntly, the other gringos you’ll meet. This may not be a problem for you if you like to drink a lot and hang out with other drinkers and don’t mind listening to a lot of bull as you sit at one of the gringo bars. Aside from that, there are simply a lot less people here who share your culture and reference points. There are some folks who can really enjoy the local culture, who love Reggaton, gallo pinto, telenovelas and above all, futbol. Sadly, I am not one of those. I am able to converse with about half the population here in Spanish, the half that doesn’t talk so fast or slur their words to the point I can’t understand them.

Bottom line is that life can be great here, but it depends on who you are, above all. If you have enough money you can live a lifestyle quite similar to whatever you had back home, plus have a ‘little black book’ full of phone numbers of hot tomatoes. Those not quite so affluent will encounter more of the quirks here than the aforementioned. I could spend hours discussing all the things that differ between the States (or Canada) and Costa Rica. I just wanted to give a short overview of what you may face if you are considering a move here.

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  1. Hey Thomas!
    Thanks ever so much for your most informative article! I could not agree with you more ; C.R. v. the states!!
    Keep the "goodies" coming !!!
    All the best,
    P.S. D.R. ain't that hard to take either ! :)))

    • david strecker says:

      I always liked to visit countries like CR, Cuba, The DR ect. but after a couple of weeks of getting what I came for I started to see the minus more than the pluses, so I had no problem returning to reality. But it was truly reality that guys in their later years have a problem dong what they like best back in the states – I can identify to everything you are talking about, I just couldn't see the advantage to living in these country's – unless you have unlimited cash flow there is very little chance of making enough money to support your habit. I know Thomas it has worked for you but even if I had unlimited cash flow I couldn't put up with the minus' you talked about, but the pluse's keep bringing me back to these place's every month – besides the beautiful women I did meet alot of great guys and made alot of friends – keep up the good work.

  2. I agree Dave!

  3. you confirmed my impressions . . . just based on research. Visiting CR for the first time next month for medical tourism. Will try out Jaco Beach before hand . . . . .

  4. I think you have given a very balanced equation of the pluses and minuses of moving here. The pluses win by a fair margin. No fun to live in a semi jail but the women make up for it big time. I might add that taking up a new study like learning Spanish is a fine way to keep the adventure of life rolling.