Our move abroad is getting more real every and we are taking it one step closer by dipping our toes in the water and flying to Costa Rica for a "dry run".
Ryan and I left this morning with 9 suitcases, packed to the hilt, to head south and start setting up our life in Dominical. I have been patiently waiting for this day for weeks and I have an overwhelming mix of nerves and pure excitement rumbling in my stomach.
Life after our move
After we sold our home and moved out, things have been stagnant in terms of seeing physical progress for our move to Costa Rica. Life settled down, we worked over time to make up for lost hours during our move, we moved in my parents’ apartment, and I tried to make this new life feel "normal" for Milena who had a difficult time with moving out of the house. That girl loves stability.
While it can be frustrating having to wait to move, I have loved living at home again. It may seem odd for an adult to enjoy being back under their parents’ roof, but I moved out a week after I graduated high school and haven't been back since. Waking up and sharing a cup of coffee with my mom, picking up my sister from school, sharing a glass, or two, of red wine with my parents at night and seeing Milena’s relationship with them grow has filled me with so much love it could bring me to tears.
Our busy lives can cause us to not spend spend enough quality time with family and these past two weeks have provided me with some much needed one on one time them. My family and I are very close and I hope this month of living at home will help make up for the time we will be apart while we are in Costa Rica.
Besides sharing quality time with my family, Ryan and I have been getting more of the tedious and less fun details together for the move. Like getting our finances squared away for when we are out of the country, dealing with our cars which we unfortunately leased and can’t get out of (a major downer), finding a car to purchase in Costa Rica, opening a Costa Rican bank account and figuring out when and how we are shipping down our pets. It’s a lot but we are making progress!
When are we leaving?
So we’ve made the grandiose announcement, sold our house but haven’t made it to paradise yet… when the heck are we leaving? It's a question we’ve been asked over and over again, but we haven’t settled on an exact date but rather plan on leaving the first week of October. Initially we wanted to leave September 21st, but weather plays an important role on when you can fly with pets. Airlines will not fly your pet in cargo if either destination has temperatures exceeding 85 degrees. And since we live in an inferno called Texas, we have to patiently wait until October to ensure the temperature will be low enough.
We had to be flexible and move our plans back a bit but we aren’t disappointed or stressed. This stress-free mentality has been one of the most invigorating aspects of this move. We have no schedule or deadlines and do what we want and what we feel is right. How amazing is that?! We aren’t tied to a mortgage, a 9-5 job, school breaks, etc... The Costa Rican lifestyle of Pura Vida is already blending over into our lives and it’s a refreshing way to start off this journey.
Expat dry run
Moving with a toddler and two pets creates a whole slew of concerns we need to think about so Ryan and I thought it would be best to bring down a lot of our belongings before our official move with our kiddos.
Milena loves stability, like most toddlers, and our past vacations have made us aware of some changes that make her more stressed and things we can do to make her more comfortable. We are wanting to make this transition as seamless as possible and have her enjoy her new life in Costa Rica. She already has to say goodbye to her bedroom, but now she will be leaving behind her bed and a majority of the people she knows. During our trip we are going to head to the baby store to purchase a bed for Milena and a few toys that will be set up for her when she gets down there. Her happiness is my biggest concern for this change and I want her to enjoy this new adventure as much as Ryan and I will.
Also, we want our pets to already have food and beds in the house so they can relax after their first flight. If you know our dog, Dallas, you’ll know he is a hyper and anxiety driven Labrador and our cat, Zuko, is a mini-panther with a moody temper so I want them both to be as comfortable as possible.
Its going to be a fun weekend getting everything ready, and it's also Ryan’s and my first trip alone without Milena. This momma is a bit sad and worried to be leaving her behind. We are together 24/7 and I know I’m going to miss her sweet hugs and goofy laugh like crazy. However, I won’t lie and say I’m not looking forward to a few days alone with Ryan to wind down and maybe drink an Imperial at the beach.
Instead of visiting Costa Rica as a tourist, I am going to be viewing the country as my new home and envisioning what our new life is going to be like. We are only a month and a half in from when we made this harebrained decision to move abroad and become expats. There are times when I question everything we did. It's completely out of the ordinary, scary and nothing is certain but I do know one thing, it is going to be one heck of an adventure for our traveling trio.
Travel brings people closer and I know it will bond our family as we experience a new culture and life in Costa Rica. So cheers to becoming expats in Costa Rica and kicking off our new adventure!Costa Rica.