So we have one week left to go until we leave our San Diego home for our new life in Costa Rica. We have been making a lot of progress as far as getting all the necessary paperwork we will need to gain permanent residency once we get there. It has been an interesting process due to the fact that we were born in different states, married in another, and yet live in another. All documents including birth certificates, marriage license, and “letters of good conduct” have to be notarized if they do not have a state seal and then signed by the Secretary of State( aka Apostilled) in their state of origin. Lucky for us, as of December of last year, the hague convintion passed between Costa Rica and the United States so we no longer needed to pay to have all the documents authenticated by the Costa Rican consulate at our embassy! Whew!
Now the thing that’s got me up at night is hoping that these documents don’t expire before we can start the application for residency. Why that would have me worried is becuase the Apostille expires 6 months after it was stamped and we cannot submit an application until we actually have a 1st degree releative in our family, and she’s not due for another couple of months. We are giving ourselves a little cushion as far as time, but we are counting on her birth certificate for the last piece of the puzzle. Luckily you can google almost anything these days and I found a couple of bits of information from a woman who’s done this whole song and dance before.
As far as packing and consolidating our stuff we have been doing pretty good. We’ve had two garage sales, the first being more successful due to the “big ticket” items going first. I’ve constantly had stuff selling on Craigslist since the end of December, and that has been by far the most money making route to go. I’ve sold everything from 1960’s Schwinn bikes to houseplants to Heely’s roller shoes to handbags and snowboards.
We decided we are going to get a storage unit for our items that we can’t part with and may ship down in a container at a later date although we are trying to unload as much stuff as possible. I have found this part rather gratifying in some way as I’ve never been the type of person to need to much “stuff”. It is hard to decide what to part with, what to store, and what needs to travel down with us. We are inventorying everything in a spreadsheet in the case that once we get there we decide we want to ship down certain items and leave others.Here’s a rundown of the current list of things we will be storing in our unit:
We’ve been switching any bills to paperless and have forwarded all our mail to a P.O. Box until we have a more permanent residence in Costa Rica. Oh yeah, we don’t know where exactly we will be staying at yet, but that’s a personal decision we’ve made because we’re the type of people that like adventure and have a problem signing a lease “sight unseen”. We plan on staying at a hotel for a couple of days or with a friend who lives in the area while we check out properties. There are some beautiful places at great rates online, so we feel like our chances of finding a great home to accommodate all of us plus my mom for a few months near the city are good.
The pregnancy up to this point has been going great! I am currently 25 weeks preggo and everything is flying by much quicker than with Eli. Aside from the typical heartburn and uncomfortableness of being bigger than I normally am, I’m feeling great. On my last doctor appointment I scheduled a final visit right before I leave to have my glucose screening as well as get a copy of my medical records. When Ricky was in Costa for his “recon mission”, he got a couple of references for OB/GYNs and everyone recommended the same guy, Dr. Adam Paer. I called his office last week but due to my current lack of Spanish speaking it didn’t pan out well with the automated options menu. Luckily after I emailed his office from the contact us portion of his website, the doctor himself responded to me personally a couple of hours later! He explained that his secretary does not speak English so to call his cell phone when I get to Costa and he will schedule an appointment then! WOW, I’m already liking this Doctor!
So now the plan for the next week is to finish packing up, move stuff to the storage unit, have a baby shower/going away party with all of our friends, and tie up a few loose ends. On Wednesday morning Eli and I will be flying to Oklahoma to stay with my parents for a week. Ricky will be driving the Escape (we are selling his van to a good friend) with Judah and all of our luggage to meet us after his 27 hour road trip. We decided it would be more economical to fly us seeing as how Eli and I need many more rest breaks than Ricky and Judah alone would. Also, the additional space it creates by eliminating the stroller and car seat alone make it worth it. We will then leave Judah with my folks and drive to Dallas for another week to spend with our family there. We fly out of Dallas on the 13th with a direct flight to San Jose and will have TONS of luggage with us! After we find a home and get settled in my Mom will fly out with Judah around a week before my due date to be there for the baby’s birth.
We are SO excited to finally start this next phase of our lives! When people ask me why we are going to Costa Rica the first thing that I usually say is that it has been a dream/goal of ours since we started seriously dating over 12 years ago. It has only recently become something we could make a reality due to the fact that we have downsized our way of life and can maintain an income virtually anywhere there is a communications network. We both love the unhurried lifestyle of living in a smaller Country and getting back to the bare bones of living off the land. It will be a simpler way of life and we expect and welcome the many changes it will bring.