Fran Answers The Burning Question...

"What In The Hell Do You Do All Day?"


It’s hard to believe but we are now celebrating our second year living in Costa Rica.  Wow, time really does seem to fly by.  Why it seems just like yesterday we were deciding on what to sell and what to bring to Costa Rica.

When we moved to Costa Rica, it was our plan to travel, taking short, 2-3 day, overnighter trips getting to know all about our new home.  But now, as we settle in to our new Costa Rican lifestyle, our zeal to travel has slowed just a tad.  After two years of living in country, we have barely scratched the surface of places to see. 

Perhaps we need to get off our butts and do what we initially set out to do.  Don’t get me wrong, we are anything but bored, in fact our schedules have been so jam packed, we rely extensively on our Google Calendar to keep us organized.

As I think about the past two years, I have talked to quite a few people, many of whom are current expats and some who are “expat curious.”  Most of the “curious” want to know more info about Costa Rica, the culture, living expenses, climate, etc.  They come to us seeking advice because (fortunately for them) they are skeptical of all the BS they read in so many of the real estate type websites. 

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is “what do you do all day?”  My answer is very simple…we do the same thing you would do if you were retired and living on a fixed income!  Some days consist of a lot of nothing while some days we run around like chickens whose heads have just been lopped off.  Until we are eligible for Social Security (less than two years away), we are “funding” ourselves.  That means every penny we spend comes out of “our” pockets.  So while we live in “paradise”, we don’t necessarily live the paradise lifestyle

My typical day starts around six am when I take our dogs Úpe and Ashka for a walk on the beach.    This generally takes about two hours but may take longer if I run into other beach walkers.  After working up a bit of an early morning sweat, I give the girls a good bath because they are saturated in beach sand.  Once they are clean, it’s my turn.  I’ll jump in the pool for a half and hour or so for a well needed cool down. 

Around 10 am I’ll grab some breakfast (fruit and yogurt) and catch up on my email and my beloved Facebook.  Of course there are always chores to do.  Laundry and shopping require my intervention.  God forbid Andy ever decides to do a load of whites!  But to his credit, he has relieved me of one chore of which I am not a fan… the role of cooking.  I really hate cooking and I’m not nearly as good as he is.  So we have worked out a good arrangement… he cooks and I clean.

My afternoons are usually taken up with the occasional errand, some light reading and another jump in the pool.  Did I just say light reading?  Yep, that’s right.  To those who know me know that I am not an avid reader.  In fact anything more complex than a People Magazine usually fails to get my attention.  But lately I have begun to delve a bit deeper into actually reading for pleasure. 

I wanted to buy a new Kindle but Andy suggested I simply download the FREE Kindle App to my mini PC saving me $140.  I did and it is way cool.  I even bought a few books.  How cool is that?


Generally late in the day, we meander back to the beach, this time with our chairs and a box of wine in hand.  Sunset time in Playa Hermosa is spectacular.  We kick back, catch a buzz and meet up with other fans of the sunset.  In short we try embrace the common philosophy of… “Tranquilo y Pura Vida.”  Both of which are pretty self explanatory.

Once the sun has dipped, we head home where Andy then whips up another of his very typical and tasty dishes.  I don’t know how he does it”.  I’m just damn glad I don’t have to.  Shortly thereafter I have the pleasure of cleaning up his mess.


I close out my usual day by falling asleep in front of the TV.  This generally happens around 8 pm but I have been known to crash as early as 6:45.  I call this my pre-bedtime nap.  By 10 pm I’ll stumble into bed ready to begin this sequence all over again.

I am sure our daily life here is not much different than yours in North America.  We just seem to be doing it with a lot less stress.  We’re eating healthier, meeting lots of new people and generally trying to “walk the walk.


While Costa Rica is turning out to be all what we had hoped, it is not perfect.  No place is.

Those of you who really know me know that I am an absolute “neat freak”, to the point that I obsessively "compulse" over really stupid things like dirt, bugs and uneven window shades. 

I still sweep the floor 5-8 times a day because sand is everywhere however, bugs no longer send me into a psychotic rage.   As for the window shades, don’t even get me started.  That can be the subject of it's own, separate web article.

Cohabitating 24/7...

And one last thing you really should be thinking about... How are you are going to handle living with your partner on a 24/7 basis?  I'll tell you this right now, it does get challenging. 

Like most couples, Andy and I worked apart for nearly 40 years.  He has his job, I had mine.  We saw each other usually between 6pm and 6am and (of course) on the weekends.  Now, retired in Costa Rica, we are together almost continuously, and YES, it does get extremely frustrating. 

My advise is to make sure both of you have interests that will give you some breathing room apart from one another.  God knows Andy does, with all his video editing, web design, newsletter writing and his guitar playing, I think sometimes he has any idea that I've been shopping in Liberia for the last 6 hours!

That’s the way it is here.  If you have any thoughts on this issue or any questions, please feel free to drip me a line or give me a jingle on my MagicJack.


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