One of the advantages of the part-time expat lifestyle is the flexibility it affords. There are times in life when options are helpful, and we find ourselves in that place at the present time.
We have kept our home in Indiana during this part-time expat phase of life. Our plans have been to come and go between Indiana and Costa Rica every few months, enjoying both our family in Indiana and Texas, and our life in Jaco and Turrialba, Costa Rica. But events have occurred that changed our plans. And that’s where flexibility came in handy.
First, the pandemic occurred, and Costa Rica closed its borders. No one knew how long that would continue, but it’s been six months now, and Indiana residents are still not allowed back into Costa Rica. We elected to stay in Costa Rica when the borders were closed because we knew that if we left, our return date would not be certain, and we preferred to be in lockdown in Costa Rica where we felt safer. We are grateful that we had that option. The lockdown period was actually a wonderful time:
Many hours walking the compound with its stunning views of the Pacific,
zoom connections with friends,
lots of time to try new vegan recipes,
time for spiritual inspiration and renewal,
piano videos to produce,
and time to edit and publish through our family business.
We learned to appreciate our circle of friends in Jaco who found creative ways to stay in contact, to engage, and to support one another in spite of not being able to be physically present with each another. In the absence of tourists in Jaco, the wildlife returned in full force to our neighborhood, and we enjoyed the toucans, scarlet macaws, iguanas, squirrels, pelicans, herons, owls, and whistling ducks.
We were in the right place at the right time. I love the following song by Daniel Nahmod. It encouraged me many times as I walked in Costa Rica during the pandemic. The phrase, “I’m in the right place at the right time,” just expressed how I have felt.
Second, our family experienced a medical emergency in the United States, and our plans changed again. This time, we were so grateful that we had the flexibility and option of returning to our home in Indiana so that we could help care for our family. Without that option, it would have been much more difficult and expensive to offer the extended help our family needs. We were able to get a repatriation flight to the USA, as well as a same-day result Covid-19 test upon our arrival, so we were able to be on site with our family within 48 hours of our arrival. We will be here in the USA probably through December, and again, gratitude frames our thoughts when we look back upon the series of events over the last few years that have allowed us to be in this place at this time.
It’s not where we thought we’d be now, but we are grateful to be in the right place at the right time.
As I look back on the past six months, I am so glad we had the options we had. When the Costa Rican border is once again open to Indiana residents, we will exercise our next option, and return to Costa Rica, where we will split our time between the beautiful Pacific beach in Jaco and the verdant, stunning mountains around Turrialba in Costa Rica, and our family in the USA. And we will be in the right place at the right time.
Until next time.
Paul, A Part-Time Expat
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