Saturday, November 8, 2008

The New Economy and San Ramon, Costa Rica

A new era is beginning. This weeks' United States Presidential election reflected the reality of our challenges, followed by outrage after 8 years of wasted opportunity and finally hope. The folly of living on credit has been exposed. Billions of dollars of personal wealth throughout the world has vaporized over the last few months. Falling real estate values, stocks, retirement accounts, job loss etc. have caused many people to have less.

The houses and property I have bought in San Ramon, Costa Rica have been the best investments I have ever made. The lifestyle they reflect seemed modest compared to the over-the-top lifestyle sought out by many. They now seem smart, healthy and secure. It's hard going against the grain, but at times you must follow your intuition and take the road less traveled.

As we get ready to move into our new house in La Paz, I more fully appreciate my life which is not based on materialism gone wild. I'm thrilled to have no mortgage, $20 a year in taxes and $5 a month phone and electric bills. With no need for heat or air conditioning I'm feeling like I have a small footprint. Behind our house we have an organic vegetable garden as well as bananas, plantanos, avocados, oranges and lemons. My neighbors don't have flat screen TV's, their kids entertain themselves in simple ways, and people's smiles reflect a slower, low stress lifestyle.

Costa Rica, with no military, health care for all and college that is affordable is a country that keeps the poor and middle class secure, healthy and educated. Happiness and balance seem elusive in a hard charging world, but I have learned a lot about life from my San Ramon friends and neighbors. Pura Vida is more than a national motto and I continue to internalize a lifestyle that takes the best from many worlds.

Check out my website for more about San Ramon. It's time to think outside the box since the box has not shown itself to be as strong as promised.

After enjoying Thanksgiving with my family in New York State, I'm looking forward to my next chapter in San Ramon, Costa Rica. One of the cool things is that life in Costa Rica often unfolds differently than planned which keeps you flexible and open ... important qualities in the new world.