After more than 40 years in the publishing industry,
I decided to unburden myself of most of my worldly belongings
and start traveling the world. Costa Rica was my first adventure.
After 14 months in Costa Rica, however, I turned my adventure into what I call the 2 Bags and a Pack World Tour. The second year of that tour will be spent touring southern Europe (Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy/Sicily), staying in a different country every three months. The challenge here would be that these would be four distinctly different cultures, each with its own language. I would have to negotiate the transportation in each country, find an apartment in each one, learn each currency, find places to shop for food and other needs.
During my time in Costa Rica, I kept a running blog account of my experiences (2bagsandapack.wordpress.com). These accounts were not about being a tourist in Costa Rica; in fact, I hardly visited any typical tourist destinations in the country, although I did visit the capital and several towns and villages. My purpose in writing about my experiences was to provide useful information to anyone retiring or moving there, insights that might help others more easily navigate Costa Rican culture and day-to-day activities.
This small book is an effort to bring together what I learned in Costa Rica that might help others considering a move there. This is not a travel guide; far too many others have already written such guides. This book provides useful, on-the-ground advice and ideas on how to negotiate this Central American country as a resident, not a two-week tourist.
Here, you will not find information about the best resorts or hotels to book for your vacation, or the best restaurants or tourist attractions. Instead, you will learn about the vagaries of renting an apartment; shopping experiences in small towns, such as Quepos, to the country's capital, San Jose; how to open a Costa Rican bank account and why you would want to; how to apply for permanent residency and why; finding what you need for everyday life; understanding the culture and the people; communications and technology issues to consider; and a host of smaller, seemingly insignificant bits of advice that will help your transition. This information is all gleaned from real experiences by an American expat who spent 14 months in Costa Rica.
About Ken Anderberg
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Published October 13, 2011