2018: Traveling Full Time - Chapter One

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

What Have We Done?

It was January 2018 and we had just spent five weeks in our casita in Costa Rica. It was our eighth trip to this curious little country and we felt more at ease each time we visited. And the longer we stayed, the more comfortable we felt. We didn’t want to leave.

There is a clubhouse for the residents to use for potluck dinners, game night. There is even a woodfired pizza oven for pizza night!

The Vistas del Lago community at Lake Arenal is terrific. People are involved, supportive, enthusiastic. We all have at least one thing in common; a deep appreciation for this quirky little country, stunning views, the sense of community, beautiful and varied weather, a simpler life. Apparently each of us believed it was the right thing to do... enough to plunk down a good sized chunk of savings to buy a lot and build a home there. Now that’s commitment, building in a foreign country. You can call it planting new roots, or investing in our retirement, or strategically putting some money outside of the US, the list goes on. All we knew was we were glad we had taken this plunge.

Should we move there permanently? What about our kids; won’t they miss us? Heck, some of them we only see 2-3x per year now. What if grandchildren start materializing and tug at our heart strings to stay in the US? Well, that’s a long way off… none of our four kids have that plan in motion. Now is our chance.

What of our home in Lake Oswego Oregon? It’s a very comfortable townhouse in a tony neighborhood where we can walk to everything we need and everything else is within a three mile drive. It’s perfect. So why would we want to leave? I had been pushing for leasing out our home for one year, spending time on the road in the RV and several months in Costa Rica. Let’s do this! We’re not getting younger and I really don’t want to say later in life that we could have done this, or could have done that. Let’s go!

After that five weeks in early 2018, I finally got Kathy convinced we should do it. We spent months downsizing and selling off furniture we were not in love with. If a year goes by and we figure we should move back to the creature comforts of our US home, we could then go shopping for new or newish furniture. Storage units are expensive, so why pay a $100 or more per month for a bigger one or second one, when we could bank the money we collect selling some of these things and then buy something “new” on the used market when we return.

In order to get started on this journey, during April 2018, we jettisoned everything we didn’t absolutely “need” to hang onto. A local property management firm was hired to market our home for lease. Within a few weeks a tenant came forward and we were committed to move out of our perfectly good home to live in less than 100 square feet of intensely cooperative space.

The aisle in this RV is about the same as a 737. Same for the bathroom… and there is a shower in there too. We even have overhead compartments that open like on an airliner. Except there’s no fitting a carry-on bag up there because they are only 10 inches deep. Well, that’s not entirely true… the large compartment in the very back is 39 inches deep and 68 inches wide. You could sleep a small child up there, two even … it’s just big enough to accommodate Kathy’s crochet supplies and my beer growler.

NEXT: 2018: Full Time Travel - Chapter Two

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