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Culture Shock

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

You Might Feel Homesick at First

At first upon your arrival to the new country and during the ensuing weeks you'll probably feel very good. Everything is new. The difference you find in the new environment will be nice. It's a time of discovery. You're the spectator, not the participant. But in time this situation will change and you'll no longer be the spectator but become the participant. At first, there may be some small discomfort such as temporary homesickness while it wears away and you'll probably miss the non-availability of certain amenities which you have been accustomed to.

Tearing yourself from your accustomed environment: home, friends, customs, climate, will generally be deeply felt during the ongoing months. Culture shock will be felt by some. The newcomers will take time adjusting to everything new; others will slide gracefully into their new life and not feel difficulty in adjusting. Acculturation is not easy for everyone. Many retirees will find that they cannot live in their new country as tourists either financially or socially. They'll have to organize themselves and their day to day living if they're to be happy.

The Rorstads experienced no serious problems by way of adjusting. They said: "In spite of no Spanish, it was a relatively easy transition for us. The most challenging aspect was trying to select an area of the Central Valley in which to reside initially. Costa Rica's incredible variety of climates and relatively poor availability of information on climate, housing types, costs and infrastructure made this aspect something of a crap shoot. We stumbled into a delightful situation, but it was mostly accidental. This is an area that would benefit from better information."

They spent the first three months without a car. Taking buses everywhere gave them an invaluable insight into Costa Ricans, the city and environs and resulted in an excellent transition. Exploring quickly revealed cultural are as of commonality (the majority) and highlighted those relatively few areas of differences. According to them, it was not difficult to modify their behaviour to take into account those differences.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.