A Costa Rica Evening

Ben's talk How to Live in Costa Rica at Avid Reader

I have just returned to Costa Rica from my regular visit to Davis California. This trip was predicated by the fact that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. The preparations for the trip were rushed. My mother’s surgery to remove the cancer from her throat was scheduled on Monday, so the Monday prior, my sister Audrey made the arrangements and I spent the week getting things in order to fly.

Ben's talk How to Live in Costa Rica at Avid Reader
Here is the setting. I have retouched the photo to insert my head onto the guy who was actually in the pic. We didn’t take any pics at my event. 🙁 But, it gives the setting 🙂

My mother had specifically requested that I come before her surgery.  She didn’t say, but we suspected that she was scared. Also, since her surgery was to be in her throat, she would likely not be able to talk for some time after the surgery.

We had a couple hours on Sunday and then the surgery was on Monday.

When the doctor went in to do the incision, he was a bit taken aback. There really wasn’t much cancer to speak of. So he just did a biopsy. The next day, Mom was up walking around, talking and eating.

All of which resulted in the point of this article, which is to tell you about my evening giving a talk at a bookstore, The Avid Reader in Davis. But first I should probably finish the lengthy lead-in part.

My mother had been diagnosed with

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Costa Rica – What Are We Doing Here?

New friends in Costa Rica.

The reasons for moving to, or visiting Costa Rica are diverse. In my time here I have been asked the question “why did you move to Costa Rica?” so many times I’ve lost count.

However, I am not just the askee of this question. I am the asker of the same question, different sense. “What is your interest in Costa Rica?”, the answer to which tells me volumes about the person I am talking with.

New friends in Costa Rica.
The cultural mix. A great reason for being here.

Cultural Convection: Things are changing here in the southern zone. I think of it as a “cultural convection”. It’s like the ever-present breezes here on the coast around The Zone. The breezes come in off of the ocean in the morning. As the earth warms throughout the course of the day, the inland flow changes and the breezes push back out to the sea in the afternoon and evening.

I think that there is a parallel with the human element.

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Is The Zone at the Tipping Point?

One of the screaming ocean views in the southern pacific zone of Costa Rica.

The place is packed. More and more people who bought land in the past are building or have built (and are happy about it.) Travel & Leisure put The Zone as the #1 place to visit for 2013. What the heck is going on?

I was invited to a house christening last night by Richard & Debby up at Costa Verde Estates. It was a small gathering, made up primarily of migrators, most of whom have just recently built a house or are in the process of doing so. I observed and heard some rather interesting indicators of a tipping point there.

One of the screaming ocean views in the southern pacific zone of Costa Rica.
Richard & Debby: Living the good life in Costa Rica’s southern pacific zone. The view is partial, and is from their home in Costa Verde Estates.
  • numerous statements of an obvious love of Costa Rica and The Zone in particular
  • they were happy with their builder and the process was relatively smooth
  • comments about the resources now available to a home builder in Costa Rica
  • comments about how many people are talking about The Zone back home
  • comments on how many people there are vacationing in The Zone
  • how packed the hotels and vacation rentals are
  • guesses as to what the next 10 years are going to be like here
  • the reality (or not) of the international airport going into Palmar Sur (majority – NOT)
  • the effect of the highway being paved between Quepos and Dominical

There was a palpable feeling of “we are at the tipping point” here.

The facts that alcohol consumption

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Guys In The Zone Real Estate is Closed – Sort Of

“I heard that you guys have decided to dissolve your real estate office. I hope that is a positive change for all of you involved.”

“It most profoundly saddens [wife’s name] and me to learn you had to shut down Guys In The Zone. I am sort of at a loss for words other than to say your exit from the commercial side of Uvita is a great loss to the community. We understand the range of emotions you likely are experiencing now, as we too, have had a similar experience a few decades back. We wish you well in whatever new adventures life offers you in the future and we hope to see you still in the area upon our return at the end of Oct.”


Ben & Rod - Guys in the Zone
Rod & Ben – Guys in the Zone

Rod & I have indeed decided to close Guys In The Zone as a real estate agency here in Uvita. I’m profoundly moved by the response we’re getting from friends/clients as the word gets out.

However, I’d like to clarify a point or two here. This change is a good thing. With the downturn in the economy, Rod & I were spending quite a bit of time showing property, and very little time actually in business transactions – the life blood of a commissioned real estate company.

Rod was/is a die-hard lover of the business of real estate. I recommended on a couple of occasions that he go and hire on with one of the agencies that were getting leads from their page 1 of Google ranked web sites. He was a bit reluctant to do this.  He really enjoyed what we had as a partnership and he loved the idea of us surviving and coming out the other side of the down time with this business that he loved.

Well, life happens, and so Rod is now working over at Properties in Costa Rica, and very happily doing so, I might add. He is busy with people truly interested in acquiring property here in the zone, and they are, no doubt, enjoying the fact that they somehow managed to find the best realtor in Costa Rica. So Rod finds himself supporting his family and doing so in the industry that he loves.

As for me,

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The “Toucan Test”

Crocodile north of Jaco Costa Rica

I have a thing I do on a personal level that I call my “Toucan Test”. It is my personal test for determining whether I’m becoming jaded to Costa Rica’s uniquely raw and wild beauty. It goes like this: when I see a toucan, do I take note of it? In other words, do I react with a “ho hum, just another toucan” – or do I still marvel at this extra-ordinary bird that defies design logic here with appreciation?

Crocodile north of Jaco Costa Rica
This is just one of the guys hanging out and keeping cool, just north of Jaco.

Earthquakes are a

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Getting Health Insurance in Costa Rica

Photo of a stethoscope for the article on health insurance in Costa Rica

I am 53 years old and have just gone through the process of applying for private health insurance. There are two types of health care in Costa Rica. One is socialized medicine. All residents of Costa Rica are required to pay into what is called “caja” (KAH-hah) insurance. This runs me about $25 per month. … Read more

Use Your Brain

Use your brain

I subscribed to a new blog on my Kindle last night.  I am now paying .99 cents a month for content that can be seen for free by going to www.sharpbrains.com I am willing to make this investment cuz, as many of you know; I am finding that there are brain changes afoot at this … Read more

Interested in Costa Rica real estate as an investment. They primarily live somewhere else, but they own property in Costa Rica for the asset appreciation potential as well as possible rental income. Some just buy and hold (land-bank). For developed properties, the investor has a vacation home to visit as desired.

Migrators spend a regular amount of time in Costa Rica during each year.

Re-locators are those that are looking to move to Costa Rica from wherever they are. They will live full-time in Costa Rica.