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Monkeys or money?

15 December 2008 229 views 4 Comments

We’ve got a little quandary going.  Our general Costa Rica plan was to move to part of the Central Valley (aka CV), live for a few months and then consider moving to the Caribbean coast.  The when regarding moving to tropical beach paradise monkeyland was ambiguous – it might have been 6 months or a year.  I didn’t think we’d have to make any sort of decision til we got there, but that’s not the case.

Last week, someone we met and have kept in touch offered us their house for 6 months.  It’s on the Caribbean coast and the price is unbeatable.  The problem?  No high-speed internet at home.  So we’d have to use dial-up for email, and when I have to upload/download files, I’d need to run out to a wi-fi hotspot (probably at a local b&b).  It’s not convenient and really puts a dent in my ability to work at 5am like I intend to.  Or search online for ideas or research.  (though I guess that’s not the end of the world – we did live with dial-up before, but CR dialup is like 1/2 the speed of US dialup)  But the price is incredible.  We’d have quick access to gorgeous beaches, see monkeys regularly and we can test drive life on the Caribbean without a commitment.

Otoh, the CV has its attractions, though more for me than Trish, who is a total water chick.  (the kids are happiest on a beach)  But … there are many more people in the CV, which would give me more opportunities to network and find website/design clients.  There are more in terms of commerce & services, which I guess would make for an easier transition.  And … there’s a ninja school.  I’m DYING to go to ninja school with M (& eventually J and the tbd #3)(and Trish, if I can convince her it’d be worth learning how to walk on dry leaves without making a sound).

I don’t want to think about it too much, since I’d rather go with the gut than make some ultra-logical decision based on pros & cons.  But I don’t want to make things harder for us by reducing our possible income.  The last thing I want to do in CR is worry about money.  And after seeing Into the Wild I want to follow my heart but think logically enough to not do something really f*cking dumb.  I know I’m going to bust my ass to keep the cash flow going and I *think* it would be easier in the CV and with high-speed interwebs at home.  But … there no beaches in the CV and much fewer monkeys (if any).  So this is quite the quandary since the dream is tropical living with flora & fauna.

This has been on my mind for days and I finally came up with a possible compromise last night – what if we only spent 2 weeks a month on the Caribbean?  We want to spend time at the beach anyway, and the cost is less than 10 days at more affordable b&bs.  So that might work out, with life in the CV with monthly semi-vacations.  What do y’all think?


  • Summer said:

    Oh, tough call. A mini vacation to the beach sounds good, but how much more would you have to work afford both places?

    Summer’s last blog post..Raising Kids Without Religion

  • Arp (author) said:

    Not completely sure – my income is dependent on finding clients, though I will be working with peeps in the US as well. I suppose being available is more necessary to deal with peeps in the US since peeps in CR would be more forgiving of not getting an email for a few days.

    The crazy part is that combined (assuming we stick to our max CV rent of $500) the two places would be a bit more than … half our current mortgage. Which sounds great, but I didn’t plan on earning the exact same amount there. I’m expecting my income to drop to about 1/3-1/2 what it is now (ie from ditching the day job).

    Still, since we want to go to the beach anyway, that rental costs as much as a week in cheaper b&bs. So it may make sense regardless – I’m not averse to spending 2 weeks a month at a beach!

  • Saratica said:

    What did you decide? I vote beach. The CV will always be here!

  • Arp (author) said:

    We decided on the compromise – 2 weeks a month for 2 months. The main issue is I want our cashflow to be stable before we head down for an extended time, and the idea of having to leave the house every time I needed to do work beyond emailing is a total turn-off. Once our cashflow is steady we’ll look at an extended time there. Like the CV, Cahuita’s not going anywhere ;-)