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Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Animals, Birds, Costa Rica, Culture, Moving to Costa Rica, Retirement | 12 comments

Costa Rica – Year One in the Books

Costa Rica – Year One in the Books


Happy One Year in Costa Rica Anniversary to Us!

Anyone who knows me, or knows Jen for that matter, can attest to the fact that I procrastinate… mucho; now that I am living la Pura Vida the symptoms of my illness are even more pronounced.

Case in point, I am just now getting around to writing a post to celebrate our first anniversary of living in Costa Rica – a most important post. Jen had me proof her post, on the same subject, last week – and in proofing her post I was able to eliminate several of the ideas I most assuredly would have had for my own post.

Sometimes it is difficult with both Jen and I having separate blogs, because we  are typically present at all the same functions and experience many of the same things together that one would want to blog about. The great thing though is that we can experience the same exact thing and we both have a different take on it – usually a much different take. Another thing that makes the separate blogs work is that after experiencing something worth writing about Jen will pound out a blogpost immediately and publish it quickly while I may not get to it all.

Except this post – I will write this post. One year is a cool milestone so I need to write something – and something different than what the Chica wrote.

Things Learned in a Year

So, I have decided to just jot down some random stuff that I have seen, heard, done and experienced in the last 365 days.

Here we go….

Most Tico’s seen riding on a motorcycle at the same time

Four – Husband driving, toddler sitting on the gas tank cradled between the fathers legs, mother behind the father with toddler número dos being held to her hip. All sin helmets.

Number of snakes seen “In The Wild”

I hike anywhere from 5-7 miles a day, so I cover a lot of land and surprisingly, I have only seen 3 snakes. Granted, I am at an elevation of 4600 feet, a little cold for our cold-blooded friends.

Seen alive – 1 (non-venomous) Seen dead – 2 (1 non and 1 venomous)

Number of pounds lost

I stopped weighing myself about 6 months into our adventure, but it is safe to say I have lost at least 40 pounds. I achieved this through daily hikes and a better diet. Don’t let the diet thing throw you off, hiking really allows me to eat and drink what ever I want, and I do what I can.

Fat and Skinny Greg

Number of Miles Hiked – Over 1300 (allows me to eat my new favorite food)

New Favorite Food

Costa Rican cuisine will never win any awards. The typical food here lacks imagination and is OK. Not awful, not great, just OK. However, I have fallen in love with the worst possible food; chicharrón – pieces of pork, similar to ribs without the bones, fried and usually served with fried yucca. I love this new food group.

Note to the haters – say what you will, I will continue to eat them.

Number of ants seen – 1 billion, más o menos

Number of ants killed – A couple of hundred thousand

Month in which it no longer mattered if an ant was in my food – January

Number of scorpions seen alive – 4

Number of scorpion stings

I suffered the one scorpion sting for our family for the year – I guess you could say I took one for the team. Lord help us all if Jen had been the one to be stuck with the stinger.

I would tell you the story but you will just tisk-tisk me for leaving my shorts on the floor over night. Yeah, yeah I know – lesson learned and I don’t do that any more, but I do have a nice pile going on the guest bed.

Best Costa Rican Mass Produced Beer – 


Things I miss from our old life

Surprisingly I do not miss much at all; not so surprising the answer is, and not necessarily in this order:  Fine Dining – hell, middle of the road dining even, Craft Beer, and Live Music from music greats.

Thing that hasn’t gotten old but I fear will

Seeing (hearing) parrots fly by our home every morning, afternoon and night. Mostly Crimson Fronted Parakeets and White Crested Parrots. I think it will be time to leave the country when instead of saying, “ooh, a parrot” we say, “god, they sound so annoying.”

Most Annoying Aspect of Living Here

Costa Ricans LOVE THE LOUD – whether it is incessant beeping of a horn, the 7am karaoke of my neighbors, 80’s music blaring somewhere, unmuffled motos and quads, and cars blaring either advertisements or that your water is about to be shut off – it is loud. Then there is  the sounds of the animals – roosters, dogs, cows, dogs, and those damn parrots… oh, wait!

My Favorite Wildlife Picture 

Ok it is a tie, so you get 2.


Keel – Billed Toucan at La Paz Water Gardens


Blog 003

A Flock of Crimson Fronted Parrots – Seen in the Hills of Grecia

My Favorite Non Wildlife Picture

La Paz Waterfall

The Last Water Fall at La Paz Water Garden


Some Blog Stats for the year – for those who might be interested

Total page views – 45,000

Best Page View Day – 3,895

Total Posts – 42

Strangest Search Phrase used to Find my Site

“Do oil and water mix”

Most crazy phrases I can figure out why Google called up a certain page on my site. This one? Your guess is as good as mine.

Longest Search Phrase Used to Find my Site

“if someone says something to you and you don’t understand, you can say, no entiendo or __________. if someone says something to you and you don’t understand, you can say, no entiendo or __________.”

Yes, they typed it twice.

Most popular postSetting up your iPhone in Costa Rica – a really awful early attempt at providing information, but people want to know. I should really rewrite it. I won’t.

My Favorite Post

Tico Culture – Blending In

It is certainly not the best thing I have written, but I still crack up when I re-read it, which I do on occasion.  The truth of my gringo’ness just get’s me every time.

All in all it has been a wonderful year. We have made some great friends, learned about the culture, and yes we have learned some Spanish. We have both become healthier and are very happy with our decision to this thing that is just a bit outside the norm. We have seen some great sights and the wildlife… wow. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

So, on to the next.

Views – 6457

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Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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  1. That was a funny piece big guy. Loved it.

    Great to have you guys near!

    Lets go to Sierpe mid to end of July and have some fun there!

    • Thanks Peter Your Neighbor. Yes! Sierpe!

  2. Nicely done. Honest, refreshing, and funny. So true about different takes on the same experience. I enjoy reading both yours and Jen’s. I’m glad you are happy here and continue to write about the gringo-tico cultural differences and how we can make it fun for all. BTW – for a fine dining experience, go to Deevena in Play Negra (save your pennies. It is worth the drive (bus?) and the money!

    • Thanks for the kind words Carole Jean! And the food recommendation. Yep, if it stops being fun then it will be time to move on.

  3. We’re so happy that you’re happy!!!!! And because I’m that much older than you are that I can get away with saying it, you’re much hotter since moving to Puravidaville. Muy guapo!!! Keep on truckin’ (or hiking, as the case may be). Congratulations!

    • Haha Thanks Debi – you are too kind.

  4. Another thank you for your sense of humour and the interesting stats of a year in Costa Rica!!! One question, re the ants, are you in a country setting or town?
    Looking forward to more of your excellent writing style, and by the way, very nice pics of you and the Chica!! Until the next time.

    • Thanks Elizabeth! We are up in the hills away from Grecia, however it is a developed area. The ants are a problem throughout the country though. The ones I am referring to don’t sting and are small. They are just everywhere. It kind of goes in cycles, we will get a lot of ants, treat for them, and then they will comeback in a month or so.

  5. I got a real kick out of this piece! Love your stats. Still don’t know why the parrots aren’t flying to my side of the street. It’s obvious the ants know where we live, so why not parrots? I (as someone old enough to be your mama) have to agree with Debi — lookin’ bueno!

    • Haha – well, at least you have the ants… they are cool, right? Thanks for the kind comments (and reading!)

  6. Congrats on your one-year anniversary!! That’s a biggie 😀 Sorry about the scorpion sting though :/

    • Thanks Dana! The scorpion is just part of the adventure. We are having a blast. Thanks for reading.

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