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Published: December 24th 2007
View of the Nicoya Peninsula
These are just random photos taken during 2007
Since I moved to Costa Rica and have been keeping up this blog, I have been writing a “year-end review,” which is essentially my take on the preceding 12 months. With the holidays here and everything going on, I thought I’d get it done now—well now, meant I started it several weeks ago but I finally finished it today. So here goes, and it’s bound to be long-winded!
Wow, what a year! I never thought I’d be as busy as I was this past year and the “life-changing” events have been numerous. A few highlights:
1. Finished up addressing some medical issues—with a clean bill of health!
2. Helped (mostly moral support) friends/colleagues transition from bad business partners to….good ones!
3. Figured out (finally!) who to work with and trust!
4. Definitely determined I don’t like the rainy season.
5. Lifelong friends can be made anywhere even in a small town in the middle of CR!
6. Kicked off our ocean-view residential community, Pacific Hills at Magallanes, and saw great success with it.
7. Continued doing our Boomers in Costa Rica relocation/retirement tours and met many terrific people—some of whom will be our neighbors in the
View from a hotel in Quepos
Great sunset! Taken right after Thanksgiving.
Magallanes section of San Ramon.
8. Guests at the B&B, Angel Valley Farm, continue to be as assorted and as interesting as ever.
9. Realized that marketing is the same everywhere—just give people what they want and then some!
10. Learned more than I’ll ever need to know about putting roads in a development!
11. Certainly know my ’91 Trooper loves gasoline—need to retire it soon!
12. Getting stuff done here remains difficult, but my patience is much better!
13. There are illogical people throughout the world and Costa Rica is no different.
14. Decided Costa Rica is still for me.
What is different about this year more than past ones living in Costa Rica is that I find myself “working” full time—meaning doing a variety of things to keep myself busy whether it’s paid or not—and hammock time has become scarce. That’s fine with me because when you work and interact with others, you always learn something new, so that’s a good thing. I’ve never been one to sit around and I doubt I ever will.
What’s also different about this year, particularly compared to the beginning of the year is that things are finally
Boomers tour guests
Looking at property in Atenas
starting to “sort themselves out.” Late last year and early this year, I had a number of projects going but I wasn’t always sure about where they would go or how well they would do. I guess that is always an issue, particularly when starting new businesses, but in the process of working on them—and making a variety of mistakes along the way—you learn a lot more about what works and what doesn’t and you certainly learn a lot about yourself, your strengths, and weaknesses.
I’ve been asked numerous times recently about what changes I’ve seen in Costa Rica since living here. There are many things, some good and some bad. On balance, though, much of it is good. We’ve definitely seen many more foreigners moving here, particularly to the San Ramon area, and of course, like anywhere, that is both good and bad. Many of us who have been here a while always cringe at the prospect of more people moving here as if since we’re already here, we don’t need “more of us,” but most of the time, the additions to our community have been terrific.
I swear I’ve noticed a change in the climate, particularly
Stuck in the dirt
Trying to figure out how to get the roller unstuck while building our road at "Pacific Hills at Magallanes."
the transition of seasons and I swear it’s due to global climate change! The first few years here it seemed like the season would go from dry to rainy (or rainy to dry) like clockwork. More recently, I cannot tell. Something just seems out of sync to me.
It seems to me that the government is beginning to do a better job fixing this country’s infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges. In the past year, I’ve seen work begin on building new bridges down in the Quepos area, and work has begun on new highways. Now, I have not seen work started yet on the “highway” between San Ramon and Puntarenas, and I still believe it is the worst stretch of road in the country. Apparently, government statistics prove this out as it is the most accident-prone stretch of road in the entire country.
People are different…but the same the world over….
I’ve definitely noticed that life isn’t all that much different when it comes to personal relationships whether you are living in a small town like San Ramon or a big city like New York City. You still have to get up each day, make your way
in the world however that may be, interact with different types of people, do your laundry, pay your bills, and much more. While the language may be different I do notice that people still have issues and they are similar to what one sees anywhere else in the world. One of the things I’ve noticed in the past few months is how some people actually resent others who are doing well here. I gather part of it is a competitive issue in the sense that someone new comes to town and actually “builds a better mousetrap.” I chalk this up mostly to fear and ignorance. Personally, I’d rather work with someone smarter than me any day as I know I’ll learn more and be a better person for it. Others simply resent those who have worked hard and are successful because of it. There are still others who just don’t like it when someone younger comes along who has solid ideas about how to get something done in a better way—and actually gets it done. I don’t let this kind of negative thinking bother me because what I find is that naturally hard-working, intelligent, honest, and good people tend to
gravitate towards others, while the rest, they remain with others like themselves or continue to drift aimlessly.
I think the key to “success” in Costa Rica, whether you are simply retired, running a business or just escaping the rigors of life back home, is to do what you’ve always done: live your life the best you can and do not let anyone tell you what they think is best for you. Live by those values and principles that make sense to you realizing that honesty and integrity are important everywhere, even in Costa Rica.
Next year is going to prove to be an exciting one on many fronts. I’ll be starting new projects, taking on some new businesses and further exploring the region. I also suspect that like this year, I’ll continue to meet interesting and intelligent people, and when that happens I’m sure my direction may change yet again. But that’s okay, life is all about change, and in particular, how to remain sane during the process. However, it’s also about holding on to those very few special people who will always be a force in my life—and you all know who you are!
Happy Holidays! That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and for your comments!
www.CRCommunities.com (real estate and more!)
www.BoomersInCostaRica.com (4-day/3 night relocation/retirement/real estate tour!)
www.CostaRicaRealEstate.typepad.com (Boomers’ Real Estate & More Blog!)
www.AngelValleyFarmBandB.com (the B&B!)
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