Before we actually retired and moved to Costa Rica we lived in a “dream retirement “world where all the stuff we were going to do, learn, and experience was accomplished just because we said it was so. When dreaming aloud all these things that we would do, I would always add the following sentence to the end of the thought, “we won’t have anything else to do”.
I am going to spend 2 hours a day learning Spanish. We won’t have anything else to do.
I am going to start working on writing a book. We won’t have anything else to do.
I am going to really dig into photography, learn my camera and practice composition. We won’t have anything else to do.
I am going to get into the best shape of my life. We won’t have anything else to do.
and so on, and so on……
Let’s do the Time Warp, Again
Well, we get to Costa Rica and the reality of daily life sets in and, just like in my working life, if you don’t plan it, it ain’t going to happen. While we really don’t have anything else to do time IS stretched out here.
We don’t have a car so a trip to town for grocery shopping will take a minimum of 2 hours, then there is the inevitable relaxing that must take place after such an excruciating excursion.
Dinner is another function that takes quite a bit of time, for several reasons:
Prepackaged food is a thing of the past. We are eating so much more healthy, which means, more preparation time because nothing is coming out of a box or a bag. My freezer is bare; everything is on the counter or in the fridge and ready to be combined with other items to make a yummy meal.
They don’t wash themselves… anymore. Gone are the days of just loading and unloading the dishwasher. Our new dishwasher, ME, hand washes and dries the dishes a couple of times a day – poor, poor me. Actually, I don’t mind this new duty – the trade off is Jen does the cooking. If you have ever sampled Jen’s cooking you will agree with me that I am getting the long end of this stick.
There are not any restaurants within walking distance of our home so when we go out to dinner we must travel by bus or have a friend with a car pick us up; this can add 30 minutes to an hour to the time it takes to have dinner.
Especially with friends, it just take longer here. It is one time when I really appreciate Tico Time. You are allowed, by wait staff, to actually eat, enjoy and converse without constant interruption and without the rush, rush of the server trying to turn his table….hell we are the only ones in the restaurant many times. So, dinners out can easily take 2 hours or more.
Despite the added time all these things take here, the reality is that I have so much more free time than I did in my working life. What is missing is the structure and necessity to get things done and is one thing I will need to work on if I intend to accomplish any of the, great many, things I want to get accomplished.
I would love to hear from those who are retired and specifically have retired to a foreign country on whether you dealt with this issue and how.