One of the most frequent questions both the Chica and I get from our blogs is: “What do you do all day”?
Typically followed by its cousin: “Don’t you get bored”?
Let me try and answer:
For all intents and purpose, I am retired. I left a successful career in Dallas and, for various reasons, decided to retire and move to Costa Rica.
To answer the question I think it would do well to describe what I mean by retirement.
Basically, I define retirement as the lack of having a job… a structured job and instead, spending time working on projects that interest me as opposed to those that are going to generate the most income. Following my bliss, so to speak.
I do not consider sitting on a porch and whittling all day to be retirement. Although I do enjoy time spent enjoying our incredible view with a cup of Costa Rican coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine at night.
To begin, one of the our budgeting strategies is to live without a vehicle. Vehicles are expensive to purchase and maintain here and that combined with the high gas and diesel prices make riding the bus the right choice for us. The thing about the bus – everything takes longer. A simple ride into town for groceries takes about 2 hours (30 minutes there, 30 minutes back, plus shopping time and aligning with the bus schedule). We make a trip into town 2 or 3 times a week. Because of the amount of time it takes to travel to town on the bus, we try to do as many things as possible while we are there, sometimes making a trip in an all day affair.
One group of my projects is several domains that I am developing websites for. This is something I truly have an interest in and I have come a long way in my knowledge about blogging, WordPress and website building.
In addition to writing on my blog, I have also contributed articles to other websites (some paid, some not), and I am working (slowly working) on a couple of book ideas.
Along with working on websites, I spend time daily working on building my Social Media accounts. With the help of the program Tweet Adder I have built my Twitter profile to over 20,000 followers and my Face Book fan page CostaRicaCurious is 1,600 fans strong. Social Media is important to drive traffic to my websites and once again, it is something I am enjoying learning about and I do not consider it work.
We are much more socially active in Costa Rica than we were in Dallas. Free time is more abundant here and we have developed a large group of friends who enjoy getting together and enjoying life and each others company.
I read for a couple of hours every night and I always have 2 or 3 books going at once.
We have recently moved into a new home that has a nice yard with plenty of gardening spaces. I am enjoying getting my hands dirty and seeing if I can make things grow. Pretty hilarious in that I really don’t eat vegetables. But hey, I have a few different herbs growing and some strawberries growing in addition to the spinach and kale.
We have a TV and cable, but we rarely watch television, instead we enjoy time sitting on our patio and watching the buzzards soar. I know it would be much more glorious to say that we watch eagles soar, but nope, we have vultures (and parrots and hummingbirds and…).
I almost forgot – I hike and jog, almost daily. When we first got here I was 45 pounds heavier than I am today and thanks to hiking I am my new slimmer self (with a nice by-product of no longer needing blood pressure meds to control my high blood pressure).
So, in some nut shells, this is what I do all day.
Do You Get Bored?
My normal quip to this question is: Only boring people get bored.
But really, look above, does it look like I get bored? Add to the list above occasional trips within the country and you have, what is for me, a very active and fulfilling life.