Reflections on our first year in Puerto Viejo

Tom at UvaYep – that’s right.  Today we have been in our new home in Costa Rica for one full year.  I can hardly believe it!  About this time last year we were on the road from San Jose after loading up our dogs, their crates (which would not fit with them in it so we had to break them down), nine duffle bags full of “stuff”, and four very tired adults.  We made the turn onto Ruta 36 and each kilometer we drove by felt more and more like home.  We got to the house around 11:30 and have not looked back. 

When I think of our decision to do this, I really do marvel at how it all came together.  Our House from the new backyardWe bought the house in June of 2009 (thanks Larissa with howlerLarissa and RamiRami for building it!!) thinking that it would be five or more years before we actually retired and came to live here.  But the more we worked day to day and dealt with the sometimes almost unmanageable stress – particularly of my job – we decided to figure out how to make the move happen a few years earlier than planned.  And we did.  It meant living on much less than we would have had if we had waited but when I wake up here every morning to the sounds of the birds and the ocean (and sometimes the howler monkeys) I know that no amount of additional money would have made it worth the wait. 

In the year that we have been here we have said hello and Tom Rene Sarah enjoying a brewJulia Rene Sarahgoodbye to new Tom Rick Kathleenfriends;Tamara Casey Tom Jana Sean met blog and email buddies in person; Backyard gardendesigned and planted a beautiful new garden in a lot that was overgrown with diseased cacao trees; Right after the rescueadded a new puppy to our household; Backyard Heliconialearned about new plants, birds, and wildlife; rescued a baby sloth and a hog-nosed viper snake (although the baby sloth died a few days later); watched a jaguarundi stalk a sloth way up in a HUGE tree (the sloth was okay); Horses on our roadwatched horses freely wander the beach and town; Volio waterfallhiked to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen and swam in the pool beneath it; Snorkeling at Punta Uva 1learned how to snorkel (and LOVE it!); The other sidecrossed a river to Panama in a rickety canoe to buy cheap goods; Female Iguana in Treewatched iguanas in a tree overhanging our yard; discovered the most amazing therapeutic masseuse whose magic hands have enabled me to finally be out of pain after thirty five years; Church (1)sung the Messiah at the cathedral in Limon with a tiny chorus from our town; Rambutineaten new fruits and vegetables; entertained familyJordan Sonya Maya DrakeBill and Betty at Flip Flops Shanti and Shaylynand friendsLori Clive Kaya Danny Tom and JimTom and Patrickwho visited (keep on coming – we love having you!); and are living a completely stress-free, relaxing life. 

This is not paradise – this is a third world country with all the attendant issues – poverty, theft, bad roads.  But for us, it is as close to paradise as we will get and we love it here – it is our home.

Pura Vida!!!


P.S.  Thanks Susan and Rex for getting us down here one year ago today!!! Rex and Susan

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