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Why I Choose Costa Rica Over United States Convenience

I was in the world’s largest Harris-Teeter supermarket, located in eastern North Carolina. The supermarket was cool and expansive with wide aisles and the shelves and counters filled to the brim, the coolers stacked high. I enjoy that good old US American abundance, with ten kinds of everything and well-fed shoppers filling their carts.

My youngest daughter, born and raised in Costa Rica, was with me. “Everything is so….. convenient here,” she said. English is her second language and like me in my second language of Spanish, sometimes the precise word you want eludes you. I understood. Costa Rica now has Walmart’s and supermarkets that offer far more than the old style pulperias and abastecedores, but nothing that approaches the megastore we found ourselves in.

My more or less annual trip to the states always brings all the differences between my birth country and my now country of residence into sharp focus. Everything is indeed more convenient there – bigger, wider, faster – easier you might say. My final days I made a few purchases on Amazon, some of which arrived later that day, and the rest the following day. Versus online purchases made from here, which can take up to 2 weeks to arrive.

Quality as well– I bought two pairs of athletic shoes– Reeboks and Under Armour– for the same price I would pay at a local Payless for off-brand shoes of lesser comfort and endurance. And big? I went to my first ever Indy 500.

The grandstands extended as far as I could see, and the infield, where we watched from, is so enormous that you can fit the 15 largest football stadiums in the world inside. Over a quarter million people attended. It’s a bigger, more convenient place, one that does spectaculars like the Indy 500 better than any other; And yet– I am always ready to come back to Costa Rica.

One thing I always miss while up there is open air living. Here I live in a house where the windows are always open to let in the air. Up there, most everyone lives closed up, doors, windows shut tight. Temps go above 75, crank the a/c. Temps go below 65, crank the heat. The roads and highways seem great to me, yet I heard complaints about the occasional stretch of road that had a pothole or three. I wanted to bring them to my barrio and send them on the long downhill main drag, that is so broken and potholed that speed bumps aren’t even needed.

My time up north was spent with my son and daughter, both born in Costa Rica, and presently living and working in the US. They enjoy the benefits of life there– good jobs at good wages, and all of those great conveniences. And yet– they miss Costa Rica, and in a perfect world would likely be living here at least half the time. My son and his wife revealed their future work plans, which include a way to get down here for at least a month each year. My daughter has a vanity plate on her car that reads CRPV. She too plans to someday return here to live.

I am happy to be back home. I will likely return for a visit to the US in 2025, just so I can enjoy that 5-star life of ease and convenience, until I have had my fill (and purchased whatever hard to find in CR items I need).

Until then, Pura Vida!

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