If You are Thinking About Relocating to Costa Rica, You May Want to do a Scouting Expedition First.
As with any contemplated move abroad, Costa Rica should receive a good, thorough scouting expedition before you sell your stuff, pack up that shipping container and join the many expatriates who have made Costa Rica their new home.
When it comes to possible locations for the adventurous of heart to consider, Costa Rica can’t be beat.
Close enough to the United States to boast direct flights provided by over a dozen major airlines, Costa Rica is just a 3 to 7 hour flight from home so it is easy to get back to visit family and friends. In fact, its not much different from moving from one end of the United States to the other, except that you’d be moving to an entirely different country and all the benefits that come with that.
If you are on your way to becoming a Costa Rica expat, there are a few things you can do to prepare.
Launch a major scouting expedition
Any contemplated move to any country in the world should be preceded by a good long experience in the country of choice. If you can, you should try to visit more than one and definitely spend a few months getting to know the culture, the area, the language and more. One weeklong vacation in Costa Rica does not serve to tell you whether or not you can live here. You need to experience the place from the perspective of a resident.
Study Your Spanish
Once you’ve decided that indeed Costa Rica is the one for you, you should make an effort to start learning Spanish. Just the basics will do at first, and you can load an application on your smart phone or carry around a small translation dictionary to get around, but everyone who chooses to relocate to another country should make an effort to learn the language of their host country. Don’t expect others to figure it out for you. Let go of the “Ugly American” stereotypical expectation that others should speak English; part of the adventure is total emersion.
Reach out to Other Expats for Advice
There are a number of forums, blogs, and websites that are by expatriates and for expatriates. Among them are Internations, Expat Focus, and others; you can also check out the Tico Times, which is the “gringo” paper in CR. On these you will find plenty of information, advice and guidance for your adventurous move abroad. Others who have gone before you can answer important questions you may have about banking, health care, shopping, real estates, taxes, and more. Reach out, get social and don’t be shy; when you join the conversation and bring yourself authentically to the table, you will find there are plenty of those out there who want to help you.