I am exhausted, but I didn’t want to crash before getting some of my thoughts written down. There’s a lot to process. Yesterday and today we visited schools in the Monteverde area. Both were excellent and we will have to wait in order to find out if there are available spots at the Monteverde Friends School. We spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and I began looking on Airbnb for housing options for when we move here. It’s exactly 6 months until we plan to make our big move. Chris and I have spent the past few days talking about where we can see ourselves living and we’ve driven around a lot to get a feel for the different areas. We came to the conclusion that we have slightly different criteria for how we would choose where to live. Chris has been saying he wants to have a view and with a sunset ideally. I told him this was unrealistic because of the fact that we are looking for basic housing options at affordable rates. My desired housing situation has been to have a place with neighbors nearby, yet also where we have space to let the kids play in the yard without me worrying about their safety. Yesterday was the first time we talked specifically about these requirements and why they matter so much to both of us. We agreed on the fact that we wanted to be relatively close to the schools as well.
Since beginning this blog less than a week ago, things have been happening rather quickly. We signed a lease to rent our house and now we are in Costa Rica looking at schools and housing options. We figured we first had to rent out our house, second had to visit and apply to the schools here, and third needed to choose a place to live. We have been told that, once accepted, the schools help international families find housing in the community. Technically we could have paused our planning process at the “second step” because we do not yet know which school our kids are going to.
One defining trait about me is that I tend to be action-oriented, referred to by some as impatient. I told Chris this afternoon that I really wanted to explore more of the housing options because that is the last big decision we have to make once we return home.
Today was a wonderful example of the advantages of being an anxious person. Anxiety tends to fuel me and I become a task master. If you recall from my previous post, I like to get s*** done! This afternoon I sat for an hour, which is an incredible amount of free time for me to have, and searched for Airbnb places to stay in this area beginning in August. I started by sending messages to potential hosts. After doing so, I started to consider some places that were priced a bit higher than we wanted, a bit further away than we wanted, or even not available for the time we wanted. I just kept sending messages explaining our desire to rent for a year and hoping someone might consider renting…and for a much lower rate than the typical Airbnb nightly rates.
Within an hour I got a response. The host thanked me for reaching out to request to rent his cottage for a year and then offered his house instead! He explained how he and his wife were hoping to spend a year in the US. I had to read the message twice before I realized what he was saying. I already liked the description of his property, but to be offered an entire house was especially appealing. I read the response to Chris aloud and then I immediately responded and let him know we would love to chat more. We were staying only a few miles away anyway. He and his wife invited us to swing by and we spontaneously hoped in the car and drove over. This extreme enthusiasm for meeting new people is something special that Chris and I both share. Before getting in the car, I already felt really good about this visit. I love how intuition works.
It was probably less than a mile, down a bumpy dirt road, and we had arrived at the house. We parked, climbed out of the car then saw the gorgeous view of the Nicoya Penisula and the Pacific Ocean. The couple came out to greet us with smiles, as if we were old friends arriving for a visit. We introduced ourselves and soon made our way inside their home. They showed us around and there was plenty of space for our family, and even an extra room for me to have as an office to work remotely from or for us to host friends and family in the future. Already our week had been moving fast, but to suddenly be talking about renting a home for a year was beyond comprehension. It was like being swept away by a strong current, exciting and thrilling, yet a bit terrifying to be moving so fast toward the unknown. We agreed on a rental rate without conversation. In fact, they asked us what rate we had in mind and when we responded they said they had briefly discussed it and came up with the same rate. There were several other houses on the property, all family members. The house was on a farm and we ventured up to the top of the hill behind the home to where the host’s mother lived, her name we later found out was Lucky. We were told that she was one of the original Quaker founders in Monteverde. As we approached her home, she came to the front door to greet us with a warm smile that immediately conveyed incredibly welcoming and comforting vibes. I know Chris and I were both trying to take in all that was happening as we walked up to the farm house. The kids were tugging on our arms, getting knocked over by the farm dog, whining about leaves in their crocs, asking for shoulder rides and truly tagging along for this wild ride. Something very powerful was happening and it was disguised by a very ordinary walk with our kids. It was as if we were supposed to be there. I had a split second when I mentioned to Chris how much the farm reminded me of being on my grandmother’s and great grandfather’s dairy farm in NH.
As we stood outside chatting with the family, the sun was setting and the Western Sky was truly surreal, but not because of the view. Things were coming together so quickly, yet simply. We soon walked back to our car and said our goodbyes after exchanging more contact information. We got in the car with our two hungry kiddos to go into town for a quick dinner. Chris and I had no words for one another. We both admitted that we could not yet process everything. I mentioned to Chris that maybe it would be best to acknowledge that we were being handed exactly what we had both wished for. Within a few minutes we were back to going through the motions of parenting, trying to get the kids seated at a restaurant. There was not enough time for profound thoughts to be shared yet. Chris asked the kids what they thought of the visit to the house and our daughter responded by explaining that the lady who answered the door at the farm reminded her of my grandmother. Chris and I looked at each other with disbelief in our eyes. I asked her if she had heard me say the same thing to Chris while at the farm and she said she had not. She is always listening and it is very possible that she heard me. Her innocent comment served as another reinforcement for me that there was something special about the home on the hill that we were fortunate to discover today.
I think we have found a place to live in August.