This month, Fran and I were invited to
speak at the
International Living Conference in San Jose Costa Rica.
The event took place at the Marriott Hotel and Resort, located near
the airport in the town of Alejuela. While we were only one of
several speakers, much of the advertising International Living was
doing to promote this event seemed to focus on our move to Costa
Rica. How cool was that! If we weren't the humble souls
you know us to be, all this hype and recognition may
have gone to our heads!
Our new friends at International
Living simply asked us to tell our
story on why and how we chose Costa Rica as a place to in which to
retire. If you are interested, here is
a copy of our
Note... viewing this
file requires PowerPoint 2007 or above. For those of you not
aware, International Living is a magazine that provides information
to those seeking to invest or live as an expatriate.
On opening day, Fran and I were the
first presenters following introductions by
Dan Prescher and his wife
Suzan Haskins. We were given 30 minutes in which to tell
our story, which had us concerned. How in the hell were we
going to fill all this time in front of a group of 200 + people, who
were paying $5000 (see sidebar) a couple to be here. That had
us quaking in our flip flops.
For weeks I have been slaving over my
PC, trying to create a succinct, visually appealing presentation,
that clearly told our story. Just three days before the presentation, I
showed it to Fran.
APPROXIMATED COST TO ATTEND EVENT
BASED ON TWO ATTENDEES @ 4 NIGHTS
$1700 - Conference Fee
$900 - Hotel
$200 - Four lunches @ hotel
$400 - Four dinners @ hotel
$1500 - Airfare for two
$300 - Misc expenses
It was anything but succinct. I
had over 60 slides with crap flying in from all directions.
The complexity of trying to orchestrate our words with the
animated slides would have required the dexterity of a cardio
After Fran witnessed this graphical
debacle and watched me trying to cram all these slides into 30
minutes, the voice of reason screamed out... SIMPLIFY! Fran
suggested that I cut the presentation down to 5 basic slides.
Tell them Who, What, When, Where, and Why. I had to agree.
In the end, the presentation wound up being 11 slides coupled with a
Here I am, in our
hotel room at 5:30 am, the morning of the presentation,
making final tweaks. Can't I leave well enough alone?
As it turned out, we said everything
we wanted to say and in exactly 30 minutes. While I
worked from a script, Fran jumped in and literally "winged" her part
of the presentation. We played off one another perfectly.
I was the bloviating voice of adventure while Fran was the calm
voice of reason. Together, our "ying and yang" approach worked
I have to admit, we sort of kicked ass!
Well not sort of... we did kick ass! That was
substantiated right after the presentation and for the rest of
the event when we were besieged with questions and comments from
many of the
International Living did a
great job orchestrating this event. The venue was
perfect except for the sub-zero temperature in the main
meeting room. It was so cold, the restaurant could
have used it as a meat locker.
On Wednesday and Friday, there
were vendor sponsored cocktail parties where speakers and
attendees gathered to toss back a few vinos y cervezas while
schmoozing. Fran used this opportunity to show off her
killer tan by wearing her new sundress. However, it
wasn't much later that she ran back to our room to get her
There were a ton of other
presenters at this event, all being allocated approximately
30 minutes in which to present to the group. For
the most part, everybody did a superlative job.
was one presentation that was a complete crash and burn.
Fortunately, I was already familiar with this company's high
quality and professional expertise. So their
less than stellar presentation did not effect me. When
given the opportunity, I told my fellow attendees "NOT to
judge this company's product/service based on their
We especially enjoyed having
the opportunity to sit down, one on one, and talk to many of
the attendees quite frankly about their motives for wanting
to retire overseas. Many seemed motivated out of fear and
concern regarding the financial future of the United States.
Some seemed motivated by red versus blue politics.
Some are just seeking a slower, more tranquil lifestyle.
While Fran and I are not
experts, we are able to offer opinions on what motivated us
and how we got to where we are today. It all boils
down to one basic premise...
your HEAD and not with your HEART!
I thank again all the folks at International Living
Magazine for allowing us
to tell our story. We had a great time and hope to
participate again in the future.
All the photos can be found here on Facebook.
COSTA RICA MARRIOTT
THE MEAT LOCKER
KILLER TANS X 2
DAN PRESCHER - HMFIC