Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mi Destino/My Destiny in San Ramon, Costa Rica

This will be my 6th Christmas season living in San Ramon, Costa Rica. Wow...I have grown, changed, been at emotional highs and lows ... and truly spent my years 45-51 experiencing things that I never imagined for myself. I'm thankful to the Ramonense (San Ramon natives) for taking me in and making me comfortable in this special town and country.

While the differences began as English/Spanish, snow/sun, expensive/inexpensive. I now feel the subtler differences... the ones that take awhile to get. Living in the present is a spiritual pursuit in the 1st World, while here it is intrinsically a part of life. A comical and sometimes difficult reality is that it's hard to make plans with people for days or even hours in the future. Punctuality and efficiently productive days are not a big part of the culture. When I walk down the street I shake hands with all my men friends and kiss all the ladies. This takes priority over rushing to accomplish and puts a smile on my face. Another way of saying this is... San Ramon and Costa Rica are more about being than striving. For most of us 1st World folks, this has the potential to create a happier and healthier life.

In the USA I had a series of banker, vegetarian restaurant owner, CFO of a high tech company, restaurant reviewer for a newspaper, diamond sorter. I was born in Brooklyn, New York...graduated with a degree in International Politics from University in Albany and have lived in Ithaca, NY for over 25 years.

I spent the first years in San Ramon, Costa Rica renting a $70 a month apartment and living without car, phone, tv, all the accoutrements of my 1st World life. I walked the streets learning the language and little by little became a part of the scene. And I had my share of angels helping me make a life here. Pablo and Mary at the cigar store, Jimmy Lee the chiropractor, Sylvia (my landlady) and her family. Alonso and the folks at El Buho (now Rincon Poeta) and all the others who kept me here when the loneliness and the sometimes seemingly insurmountable daily challenges would have led most sane people to leave and go back to the comfort of their known life.

Now, over five years later, I have traveled Costa Rica from the Osa Peninsula to Guanacaste and been in every country in Central America. The nightime streets of Managua or San Salvador hardly resemble the Pura Vida of Costa Rica. San Ramon is clearly where I belong. For the last 2 years I have had a girlfriend and partner Janet with whom I own a home and other properties around San Ramon. You can visit our website at to learn more. Feel free to contact me.

Costa Rica is a culture centered around the family while the USA feels like the ultimate expression of the individual. Having Janet here has connected me in a deeper way in San Ramon. This being Thanksgiving, I am thankful for how my years in Costa Rica have helped me to appreciate and connect with my own family. Now that I've given a little background on myself...I'll be regularly adding new postings, sharing my experiences and reflections on life in San Ramon and Costa Rica

Pura Vida

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