Would you believe it, it's been two months since I landed in Costa Rica to start the new chapter in my life and finally get to spend some well-needed time with my family and our new house. Time has seemingly gone by quite quickly as a result of getting accustomed to a different way of life and setting up new routines. It's bizarre to think that I'm no longer working that typical 9-5 job that I had been so accustomed to doing for so many years of my life - this is a refreshing change. I sometimes find I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real; I mean seriously we've been working on this plan for so many years it seems a little strange that we're finally here even though it's a couple of years behind schedule (thank Covid-19 pandemic).
A lot of things have happened in the past two months, almost too many things to talk about but - some good, some bad but all in all it's all part of the experience. In the past two months, we got our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room cabinetry built and installed which is amazing - we no longer need to be living out of suitcases and totes. We've also managed to make our house feel cozier by hanging some of the artwork and photographs that we had shipped from Canada. It's starting to feel like home sweet home. Another amazing experience we had was a recent trip to Central America's version of Costco (PriceSmart) to stock up on some well-needed supplies, like meat, paper products, cleaning supplies, and a few other necessary items like tools and snacks...(Yes, we can get many of these items elsewhere, even locally but there is something oddly comforting about walking into a "familiar" store and seeing many familiar and higher quality products than what we have been accustomed to seeing closer to home). We also took a little road trip to one of the world's 5 Blue Zones which is located in Nicoya, Guanacaste -we were not in search of the secret to living over one hundred years old, instead, we were on the hunt for nurseries in order to start getting some more landscaping done on our property - what a success our hunt was! We bought 25 plants including palms, flowers, shrubs, and some ornamental grass. When it comes to some of the bad things that we experienced it can be summed up in a few words - new house problems...We continue to encounter leaky sinks, weird electrical issues, and for the past few weeks a leaky roof which I mentioned in my last blog post. Some of these issues can be attributed to the "quality" workmanship and know-how of the plumber/electrician that worked on our house from the get-go, the issue of the leaky roof is a bit of an enigma in terms of who may have cut corners which resulted in poor workmanship - was it the roofer that installed the patio roof? was it the welder who built the metal pergola structure? was it the window people who installed the large patio doors? I'm not sure we'll ever know who is at fault, all that we know is that this issue needs to be fixed. Thankfully, it's all warranty work and our builder recognizes that but sadly he can be pretty slow to the pump to get things going to make the necessary fixes. We're already two months into the rainy season, and the rains will only get more intense so he needs to act fast - time is ticking before the really big rains come, and also before our first guests potentially arrive.
I think my wife and I can both admit that we've each had a few moments of "what the hell have we gotten ourselves into" but thankfully we are both strong and both understand that we can't and won't simply walk away in spite of the issues that continue to present themselves. It's all part of the journey, but at the same time all we want is to have our damn house back - we want to be able to reset the guest bedroom and feel "moved-in" once again (shortly after we discovered the leak in the bedroom ceiling we moved everything out of that room in order to prevent stuff from getting water damaged, so once again the house is somewhat in shambles). The best part, once the guest bedroom leak is fixed, the builder will be performing the same fixes to the master bedroom as an act of preventative maintenance (thank god - because we don't want to have to go through this again) so we might be in the state of "construction messes" for another month or so at least.
On a different note, over the past two months, I've been able to dedicate some time to really get going on my Spanish lessons. Well, I say lessons, it's really just Duolingo but I've been impressed with the quality of the learning and I'm getting better and better as the days and lessons go on - to the point where I am starting to be able to have some small conversations with workers coming to the house. It's a relief as I wasn't sure how well I would do at trying to learn a new language while in my forties.
Is retiring in your forties worth it? hell yes...there is not a day that goes by where I'm not thankful for being so fortunate to be able to do this, and most importantly having a loving wife who supported my decision all along - and for all of the work that she has been and is doing to help us realize this dream!
Here' are a few photos of some of the stuff we've been working on around the yard.
Taking measurements every couple weeks to see growth progress!