Over the last 30 years I have been successfully relocating scores of expats to Costa Rica. About forty percent who move here return home. There are a variety of reasons—among them the Spanish language, adjusting to the culture, missing family in their home countries, illness or in many cases nostalgia.
Costa Rica is really a “user friendly country” for North Americans, but some people still yearn for an occasional slice of home.
Fortunately, there a lot of familiar things from the States and Canada that can help you feel at home here.
- With streaming platforms like IPTV, foreigners can watch all of their favorite TV shows and live sports like the NFL, NBA, baseball and a lot more.
- On line social networks and clubs help connect you with others here and provide a useful support system. There are many expats groups that focus on Costa Rica. Just look on line. Here are a few.
Expatriates in Costa Rica (47,100 members )
Gringo Expats in Costa Rica (23,700 members)
Expats Living in Costa Rica ( 17,300 members)
Lake Arenal Community (3,400 members)
Costa Ballena Bulletin Board (5,200 members)
Expat Artist Community (2,700 members)
- The Internet and VOIP telephone availability also help those who live here easily stay in touch with their family, friends and business associates . I know people who talk to their children and/or granchildren a couple of times a week.
- Private mail services like Aeropost provide a physical address in Miami that enable you to receive all of the goodies from home.
- U.S. restaurants like the Olive Garden and PF Chang’s many others allow expats to have a U.S. style- meal if they so desire.
- A huge variety of U.S. food products found at several supermarket chains like Welch’s grape juice, Yoplait yogurt, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter and a whole lot more.
- Although not the best option for one’s heal U.S. fast foods chains abound like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Quiznos, KFC, Arby’s, Burger King, Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway and more.
Regarding the last point …many foreigns want to experience the local cuisine and say they didn’t come here to eat U.S. – style fast food. I can understand their point, but it is good to have many options, some of which may help people adjust to living here successfully.
Christopher Howard has lived in the country over 40 years, is a Costa Rican citizen, Costa Rica’s foremost relocation expert and has been conducting monthly relocation/retirement tours to Costa Rica for 30 years. See www.liveincostarica.com. He is also the author of the one- of-a-kind bestselling, “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica — the official guide to relocation” and the “Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” that may be purchased through: