Home » costa rica, music, reflections, travel

It’s funny how things can just fall into place

21 January 2009 170 views 5 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not into ‘luck.’  I don’t believe much in ‘fate’ either.  But I can’t explain the change in our lives since we made a commitment in summer 2007 to move to Costa Rica.  Business picked up.  Consequently we were able to afford our scouting trip.  We fell in love with CR and came back with a single, defined purpose: making our dream real.  And knowing that it was more than possible.

Two weeks ago, we found out about a rental, which we have now secured.  A gorgeous property in our 2nd favorite place in Costa Rica (Atenas – #1 is Cahuita, but business/internet prospects there are much more limited).  The house is fully furnished and the rent was 30% less than the maximum we’d budgeted for.  Now this rental wouldn’t have been possible without friends we made during our trip, which came aboutdue to a simple effort to meet an unschooly family or two.  They were nice enough to be our eyes and check out the property, and let us know that it was well worth it.  It’s great that we have a place to stay for an extended time, but it’s even better knowing that we won’t be alone.

Now as we get closer to the move, I’ve started worrying about money.  This is mostly brought on by non-paying clients, some of whom are having difficulty due to the economy.  Figures that the move would happen in the midst of the worst financial situation since the Great Depression.  Whatever – I’m not the only one who has to deal with it, and I will make sure that my business flourishes.  Networking will be easier by living in the Central Valley and becoming involved in various communities (and without a day job to suck up time).  The choice is simple – I either do whatever is necessary to live well or not.  I’m NOT returning to the US because of money.  Maybe because we genuinely don’t like CR, but not for any reason that might smack of failure.

Today I got a nice reminder that things have been happening for our benefit.  6 months ago I wrote about earning some licensing money for music I made.  I knew royalty time was coming around again and hoped that the news would be good, but I knew that it could easily be zero.  Well, I did start this paragraph off with the words nice reminder so you know the news was good – this time, the royalty check is enough to cover 6 months rent!  I really, really like this intellectual property thing, being able to generate income well after the work is done.  I’ve been on music-making hiatus for ~2 years now and I’m psyched about getting back to doing something I love.  Ah – there’s so much to look forward to, and it does not involve spending 40+ hours a week away from Trish & the kids.  Life is good.


  • Summer said:

    That’s awesome!

  • Arp (author) said:

    Thanks! I can’t express how gratifying it to get paid for something that I did for myself. I’ve written crap that really wasn’t for myself (do a search for ‘arphaus’ at http://www.beatport.com to hear), and the stuff being licensed includes one of my personal favorites. There were more buyers this time, and a loop seems to be used in something involving Gene Simmons :-P

  • Sarah said:

    Good job, that’s satisfying! When I lived in Manhattan I knew a couple people that were really supplementing their incomes with songwriting royalties. I don’t know why I never tried it out. As a writer I should have produced more by now, but I expect plenty of quiet time to write in Costa Rica. I still have to write the story of how I met my husband in Costa Rica over seven years ago on a solo vacation and moved in with him the next day, not to return to the U.S. for a year. The stories I could tell, but I won’t…not yet. Anyway, I actually laid awake in bed last night worrying about money, specifically how we were going to make a living in CR. I think all the terrible economic news here just rubs off on us and with so many losing jobs here, it’s hard to imagine it being any easier in CR, but there is a very strong middle class in CR and they will continue to need services such as yours. We spent a lot of money on a web designer in SJO that was just awful, never did what he said he was going to, just a very flaky dude. Gringos tend to appreciate other gringos offering services for that very reason so perhaps you could target them as a clientele, advertise in the Tico Times etc. And I’m sure you know there are lots of expats in Atenas with small businesses and websites. I’m sure you’ll do fine. As for us, our hope was to build and rent cabinas but the tourism is down quite a bit, and an article in the Chicago Tribune today said the economy is likely to stay bad for 4 years or more and Americans could find themselves worse off in 4 year than now. I’d rather be somewhere that grows more of its own food and has a good climate than here.

  • Sarah said:

    Oh, and our heating gas bill this month was $200. We can’t afford the US anymore!

  • Arp (author) said:

    Are you musician as well, or lyricist? I haven’t figured out writing songs with lyrics yet – all my stuff so far has been electronic with the occasional vocal sample. I’m sure your story will be interesting. A lot of expats have interesting stories, but I suppose that’s par for the course when people are into leaving their old lives behind for something completely different.

    The money thing is really the major roadblock for people. The internet opens up a whole realm of possibilities and I think working location-free will explode over the next few years. The economic news doesn’t help, but plenty of people survived the Depression and not having money won’t kill anybody. I feel pretty positive about my prospects in CR since I’ve hardly done any networking here and will finally have the time & interest to meet people and get involved in life. It’s kinda hard to do juggling 2 jobs & all.

    I don’t think people realize that what goes up must come down, and things are going to be tough for a while. Anyone thinking the real estate market will pick up in a year after several years of explosive growth is nuts. I hope your home sale goes through so you can move on into the life you want.

    And I’m NOT going to miss our heating bills at all. I’m a bit relieved that gas prices have dropped so much in the past few months, but the speed at which they dropped should be a cause for alarm. It’s not normal at all.

    Of course the whole ‘crisis’ is BS since anyone paying attention would have seen it coming. Of course, tons of folks made their money and ran be the s**t hit the fan.