Dec 04 2013

In the Mailbag – November 28, 2013

In the Mailbag


We got a lot of feedback about our last issue, especially about our article, “Why Are People Leaving Costa Rica?” We thought we’d share some of the comments with you:


Hi, Gloria,

VERY well done article about why folks move back! Balanced, thorough, just well done all around.

I, for instance, am DELIGHTED that we spent those years [in Costa Rica.]! BUT, I do think that what we’re seeing is that the idea that it will be “forever” is not actually all that likely to be true for many (probably even “most”, i.e. more than 50%) folks as the years go by.

Part of what I thought you did so well in your article was to acknowledge that we simply DON’T KNOW what the future will bring and that coming back does NOT mean it was a mistake to move there. When folks like us — who clearly really loved it there and weren’t “unhappy” at all — decide to come back, and SO many others who also seemed to “be happy there” do so as well, it’s clear that it’s simply impossible to “predict” how one will feel about it as the years go by.

And I think that’s JUST FINE — after all, I’m not sure why we all tend to imbue the move with this heavy “it’s forever” layer, and I think that folks *might* make some better decisions if they came with a more realistic idea that it *might* be forever, but it sure might well NOT, and that doesn’t discount the value of making the move, or invalidate the idea, or anything like that. ;-)”

Arden Brink

Note: Arden is working on a new book called, “Reality Check” about her family’s move to Costa Rica and the subsequent move back to the U.S. five years later. We’ll give you more information about it as soon as the book is published.

On why people leave Costa Rica is excellent; thorough, covering all the points I can think of and interesting. And the point about personal reasons….grandchildren…well taken.

Nicely done!

Culture shock can happen in the first months or years. I remember one time when I decided I hated everything…the Spanish language as spoken by Ticos, the long lines, the dirty streets (since then cleaned up considerably and the lines at the bank are shorter) and the noise, not to mention my apartment and landlord. A really nice lunch at Tin Jo’s with fresh vegetables calmed me down. But reverse culture shock is real and it can happen when you return to your home country. I went though that for years after returning to the States from Majorca!

Thanks for doing such a good job.”

Jo Stuart


Hi folks.

We are the Churchills that stayed at the cabinas for a month last winter. Some of the issues you addressed in your November newsletter are so true, we loved our stay in San Ramon and having rented a car for that month we were able to explore the country. We planned on returning this year for a longer stay, but my 88 year old mother broke her hip so our plans have changed and we are looking after her as we should be. Hopefully in the future we will be able to return. In the mean time we will live vicariously thorough your newsletters.

Our Best, Sue & Bruce.”

And the conversation continued on facebook:

Good comments, Gloria & Paul! I was one of the ones who has been shocked (SHOCKED, I say!) to hear that SO many of the great folks we met while we were in Costa Rica have been moving back to the States. After speaking with some of you other expats, plus reading the article, I have a better understanding of the situation(s). At this point in my life, I cannot wait to get there & relax a bit, get involved in animal welfare, and retire from the very stressful & hectic occupation of nursing (which I do love!)! But who knows what the future holds?”

Shirley Anderson

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