Wow! Has it really been that long?!? Ten years ago, 2006, we had researched like crazy, and determined that we could retire, as long as it was not in the USA. We could live well enough and indulge ourselves occasionally as long as we could find medical insurance. And that is what we couldn't get in the states. So, we had a list of countries to explore! At the top was Costa Rica, so we went to check it out. And, despite our cautious approach, we fell in love! We spent the rest of the year getting our residency from afar. This took several trips and a lot of paperwork, but we had help wading through the bureaucracy.
I also started to wind things up at work, and quit early in 2007. I left the question of "what will I do?" open; I wanted to see what I was capable of and interested in outside of the technical world. Of course, living in a different country meant figuring out how to do things a different way, in a different language - I learned Spanish! I learned bus routes! I figured out how to find unusual things in unusual-to-me places! I greeted neighbors in the street, and I made panhandlers laugh. I discovered new foods, and invented recipes (and almost all of them were really good). I started painting, and found the same sort of zone I enjoyed as an engineer. I went to parades and fiestas, and watched fireworks set off for "ordinary" neighborhood celebrations. We downsized, upsized, and downsized again. I started writing about life as well as living it!
We saw a lot of our new country - rainforests, cloud forests, volcanoes, Pacific and Caribbean beaches. We loved spending so much time together! We had occasional visitors, and got to show them around as well!
|Santa Fe (road trip)|
|East Coast trip|
|East Coast trip|
|Iowa Early Spring|
So we did! There were definitely surprises, unpleasant as well as pleasant. But after 10 years of "different," we know how to handle those ;-)
|Albuquerque Cactus Flower|
|Me and Marianne in Costa Rica :-)|