The most frequent question that I get since I retired to Costa Rica is "so what's it like living in Paradise?". I was always hesitant to answer the question because by agreeing to answer implied that I agreed with them in that Costa Rica is really "paradise". That should really be 2 separate questions. "What's it like living in Costa Rica" and "Is Costa Rica really "paradise?".
I was reluctant to answer at first. "Let's give it more time" I would say. After living here for almost 2 years I feel that I am now qualified to answer the "paradise" question.
First, let's discuss what are the popular & general ideas of "paradise".
No wars. Plenty of sunshine, but not too much that it can lead to drought. Lots of colorful birds and interesting wildlife. Toucans & sloths! Lush vegetation and lots of tropical plants and flowers. Warm climate where one can wear flip-flops every day, go for a swim, or have an outdoor BBQ any time of the year. Have the tranquility of the ocean & a beautiful deserted beach. Breath pure rainforest air-no pollution. Lots of waterfalls. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables all year long. Lots of peace & happiness! And living stress free. So far, so good!
However, it's also true that there is petty crime such as theft, or you can get a spider or snake bite and die. You can drive your car off the side of one of the many mountain roads that make up Costa Rica. It's not as inexpensive to live here as it once was-yes I'm talking about you Electricity & Gasoline. There are real estate scams. People die in car and motorcycle accidents. These things shouldn't happen in "Paradise".
Is Costa Rica "paradise"? After taking it all in and experiencing life here I can confidently say that it's as close to "paradise" as one can get.
So now, when people ask me "Hey Paul, so what's it like living in Paradise?" I can actually tell them it's pretty darn good!