It has been just over four years since my husband and I moved to Costa Rica. We packed up our two cats, lots of clothes, and a few nick-nack items and away we went. We had three suitcases, several large duffel bags, and a couple of hiking backpacks (those have really come in handy here, they are great for going to the farmers market and loading up with goodies, makes it much easier to carry everything) and away we went. Within those four years I have been back to the US a total of three times and my husband has never been back.
Before the big move you will have a couple of types of friends and family. You have the ones who say they are happy for you and can’t wait to come and visit you. Then there are the ones that say you are being selfish and only thinking of yourself. Still, there are some who say you are going to hate it and be back. You also have people who will tell you that they will keep in touch no matter what. Now, we do have a US phone number through Skype. I pay $30 a year for the number and $20 every three months for the service. We get unlimited calling to and from the US. I had one friend that I really kept in touch with and she kept in touch with me. She has since passed away this year from cancer. I had best friends who said they would call and never have. I have called them and they never returned my calls. This will happen to you also. Be prepared.
It is one thing to have them on Facebook and for them to comment on something you post. It is a whole other ball of wax to even get a simple message from them. I get very few. But it is OK. I know they have their lives that they have to live, they have work, they have kids. My child is an adult now and moved out. We are retired. But do prepare yourself for this if you move to a foreign country. I pretty much knew it would happen. I have made more friends along the way, some have become like family to me here. I am grateful to be here in this beautiful country. But never believe someone when they tell you that they will come and visit you after you move.
Oh, and don’t forget about the guilt they will put on you for not going and visiting them in the US. Hello! We moved down here for a reason. I really don’t want to go back. My husband doesn’t either. You will get all sorts of people telling you that you need to go and visit them. They will try to lay a guilt trip on you about not seeing your family, not being there for a special occasion, or something else. Don’t let it get to you. Seriously, if they wanted to see you in this beautiful place they would. Now, I do have many friends that I know can’t afford to come down to visit. They have kids and can’t afford to fly all of them and take a few weeks off work. This I do understand. But they need to understand also that we are on a fixed income and can’t just pack up and go back whenever they want us to. We are still investing in our little home fixing it up. Are we being selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. I spent years working two and three jobs at a time getting nowhere fast. This is my time here. If you want to be a part of it, great! If not, that’s OK too. Until manaña, Pura Vida!
On a side note I will say that I have made many wonderful friends along the way, many who have become like family. I do not regret moving here at all and love it.