The Dilemma of So Many Photos . . .

First Plan Was Everything on this Website

Even though WordPress websites have photo galleries and I could put all my photos on the website – my original plan – so far they do not have the flexibilities and quality options that I have with my SmugMug.com photo gallery which recently purchased and incorporated Flickr where I also still have a small class-related gallery. https://www.flickr.com/photos/charliedoggett/   I will eventually close it, even though free.

Currently I Have 2 Large Online Photo Galleries

Now back in my first 12 years of retirement in Tennessee I chose to use the online photo gallery called Pbase, which the Nashville Photography Club used. Images I sold in galleries and arts & crafts fairs are there in 5 categories plus all my travel photos by trip, and others. It is a great database type program with lots of sub-sub-gallery possibilities, etc. but not quite as user-friendly or as visually attractive as SmugMug which I chose as my new photo gallery after moving to Costa Rica and comparing several online galleries, thus came   Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA,  which has had only Costa Rica photos thus far.

Move Both Galleries With Website & Blog or Not?

This year when I decided to move my website AND blog to WordPress (from Joomla & Blogger), I really wanted to move all my photo galleries here too – the luxury of everything in one place! And WordPress has that option! But I quickly learned that the more photos I put on this site, the slower it runs! And that is with me reducing the size of most photos since the web does not need large files, but then they are not good for you to download and print if you want. While I upload full-size photos to SmugMug & Pbase that are not only good for you to download and use but they are big enough (except some zoomed in birds) for you to use the SmugMug “BUY” Button and order prints, wall art, etc.

Thus I changed my mind and decided to not move my photos to the new website. Though I will continue to use photos on the site & blog (web-sized), since photography is central to almost anything I do or write about.

One Gallery As a Linked Part of the Website

So on the top MENU of this site is the 3rd item GALLERY,  which is a link to my SmugMug Gallery that I want to become my only gallery. And what about the hundreds of photos still on Pbase? Well I started with some of the Family History photos as inefficient little galleries within this website’s articles, adding to the slowdown. Then I decided to move all of those to the SmugMug gallery which is created to handle a volume of pix. That means I have now started my first non-Costa Rica gallery inside my Costa Rica gallery!  🙂

Just Added Family History to My Photo Gallery

It is called Family History Photos and currently has 4 sub-galleries:

Only the first two sub-galleries are moved now from Pbase and they are both a part of the web pages Family History that includes much more like cemeteries and stories from WWII, etc. While the other two sub-galleries will eventually have their own web pages and likewise include a lot of other information! So lot’s of work still to do here. Keeps me out of trouble!  🙂

More Non-Costa Rica Galleries Coming!

Then I anticipate at least two more non-Costa Rica sub-galleries on SmugMug:

  • My Pre-Costa Rica ART PHOTOS  (In 6 Categories)
  • My Pre-Costa Rica TRAVELS  (64 Trips by dates)

These too will be related to and linked from pages on this personal website. Eventually it will seem like my whole life is reported somewhere on this website. I cannot explain why I have a passion to do this, but somehow I am driven to complete it all long before I die. It is like my passion for nature, travel, photography, stories, my family history and reporting on it all here!

 “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

—Vincent Van Gogh

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

 

 

Building A New Info-Rich Website

One of my regular activities when not traveling and photographing nature has been to work on the total rebuild of my personal website while continuing to build a collection of Blog Posts or Articles about being “Retired in Costa Rica” which is now at the same location of my website, charliedoggett.net.

I moved my personal website that was Joomla-generated and continuing to give me technical problems to an easier-to-use WordPress.com hosting service. And since WordPress.com started as a blogging platform and is considered by many to be the best for blogs. I transferred/moved my blog from Blogger.com to WordPress. The blog part transferred everything but the subscriptions so that I still have my blog history of the big move to Costa Rica and now with many more ways to find articles about different subjects I have written on, though most are under “Nature” and the “Places” I have discovered here. But there are some  practical articles about actually moving here, residency processes, healthcare possibilities, and even some more mundane daily life issues for the followers who are considering a move here.

In addition, as with my old website, there are many “static” (WordPress label) pages about me, my adventures, family and  family history as aids to those writing and researching their own family history related to my family lines. i.e. I have several family cemetery inventories with photos, lots of old family photos and reports on family reunions, etc. I also have extensive research recorded on my Uncle Earl Doggett whose plane was shot down in World War II.

For both fun and to get to know me better I have an extensive About Page full of details and fun “Life Stories,” “Biographies,” “Schools,”  “Doing Good,” “Art Lover,” “Photographer,” and more! And a lot of fun and interesting history is wrapped up in my extensive research on the ship or Frigate Charles Doggett in the 1800’s with ties the Mutiny on the Bounty, the nickname of “Old Glory” for the American Flag, the American Civil War, Nashville, and South Sea Island adventures! As I approach the end of my life I will have it all documented or reported on right here on this website and along with the failures and disappointments, some great experiences and accomplishments to help me see that my life did have value. And maybe a tiny bit of inspiration for someone.

So, for a boring, rainy day you might want to explore my website which is still being built. The Header Menu or Top Menu could be divided into these three sections:  (1) BLOG,  (2) LINKED PAGES, and  (3) STATIC PAGES

BLOG

  • Home – has an excerpt from the most current blog post and I may add some more introductory information there later. I have 8 or so favorite Costa Rica Photos that pop up in rotation here full screen which was how I wanted people to enter my website.
  • Blog – This is where all my blog posts reside in reverse chronological order, most current on top, going all the way back to my June 2014 emphasis on “The Costa Rica Decision Process” where I debated the pros and cons online and made the decision to move here publicly on this blog. The drop-down menu has “Categories” (WordPress term) and sub categories to help you find the articles of your interest. Plus the right sidebar or right column has several ways to search for articles by category, tags/subjects, and by date.

MY 2 LINKED PAGES

  • Gallery – My Costa Rica Photo Gallery, “Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA” is my pride and joy and located on SmugMug.com which simply has a better presentation than I can currently get within my WordPress site. That could change later and reside on the website, but for now I encourage you to see my images of Costa Rica and for birder friends I have quite a collection of about 270 Costa Rica bird species that is growing! Plus more birds from neighboring countries!   – – –   For those familiar with my old Pbase photo gallery, it is still up now with all my past commercial and Tennessee photos, travel photos and family photos. But I am slowly moving them to this website in the simple galleries and slideshows that my template provides here, which will help liven up my family and travel articles and will be the new residence of my historical photos, in time!
  • Bookstore – Since before my time in The Gambia I was trying out different online photo book publishers as a way to preserve my many photos which otherwise got lost in closets, computers, or scrapbooks. By around 2003 I settled on Blurb.com as my book publisher of choice, mainly because they provided me with a free “Bookstore” of just my books that continue to be available for order indefinitely. Here you can see the many subjects and trips I have produced books on and even “Review” every page of every book on your computer. Pretty cool! No pressure to buy!   🙂 These books and the above Photo Gallery are the only places for my photos.

“STATIC” PAGES

  • Travel – is where all my many pre-Costa Rica trips will be reported with those photos from Pbase.com, but more than that, with pages on places I lived and about my jobs in these places and just about everything else that doesn’t fit somewhere else on the website!   🙂   I have not started this page yet.
  • Family – I have started with Family History pages and will work back through both my family or origin and family of marriage, probably first with photos, but just barely started at the time of this post writing.  Only Family History now.
  • His Spirit – In some ways I no longer want to be considered “religious, Baptist or Evangelical,” but maybe “a man of faith” or better yet a “Follower of Christ.” I try to explain this here with more writing than photos, though it seemed to be the best place to report on being a missionary in The Gambia, West Africa, thus one of my most exciting adventures is recorded here with lots of old photos or copies of print photos and some of my best stories! It is still in progress, but a lot already here!
  • About – Biography, personal interests and hobbies, and the beginning of a collection of “Life Stories” that I hope will be both entertaining and inspirational. I am still in process of writing these!  🙂  It is my personal history and hopefully not too much ego!
  • Contact – Your basic online contact form and all my addresses and one phone number. At the strong encouragement of WordPress, I removed my email address from this page which they say spammers and bad guys know how to harvest. The form will give you a response on my email and you can collect it that way.   🙂

I’ll try to make future blog posts shorter!

But I felt like I needed at least one thorough explanation of my new website/blog combination. You got it! Contact me with any questions and I try to respond quickly to all comments on blog posts.

Interesting Link

Why we need to break down the barriers between us and nature. 

An article on the BIRDLIFE website.  I have to include a little nature in all posts! The birds require it!    🙂

Giant Swallowtail

The Giant Swallowtail is a fairly common butterfly here and even in the states, but I haven’t shown one in a good while, especially the under-side like the photo above. The topside of this fellow (below) is the more familiar black and yellow shown here on the same butterfly photographed above! Yeah, I know, they look different as do the top & bottom of many butterflies. Read about Giant Swallowtails on Butterflies and Moths of North America.

 

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to our world… but then it flies again, and though we wish it could have stayed… we feel lucky to have seen it.       ~Unknown Author

 

A New Blog Feature in this New Website

You can hover over the top Menu Item “Blog” above for  Category Sub-menus that will drop down. Go down to “Nature” and its submenu “Butterflies” to see all the blog posts I have made about butterflies since 2014. In this case, 6 pages of butterfly posts! Some old posts are mixed subjects with too many photos. Now I am trying to stay focused on one “category” (WordPress term)  at a time with no more than 2 photos per post and a short, easy-to-read post like above. And you will see that there are many other “Categories” to follow if interested, with “Birds” being the largest and more are being added. And of course you can click on “Blog” Menu item and see all the posts in reverse chronological order or most recent on top.

All of the posts are also searchable in the right hand column or right sidebar by tags, categories, or by date. This makes my blog posts the main focus and main information found on my website now with multiple ways to find old posts. This is the strength of WordPress hosted websites, being blog-focused with many ways to utilize collections of posts.

You will also find a lot of “static” (WordPress term) or non-blog pages which I will tell about in another blog post.

Feel free to explore your interests now within the blogs through the pull-down menus or search boxesI am having fun creating little articles about my interests, especially when I can share nature photography from my new home country of Costa Rica!  

Rebuilding my Web Presence in One Location

The new Home Page image at charliedoggett.net now under construction
MY WEBSITE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PHOTO & INFORMATION RICH

I have just started rebuilding my website, meaning if will be skimpy for awhile as I learn the processes inside a WordPress Website. But I will bring to it most of the content from the old website, just presented in a better way I hope. There are several family history and cemetery articles that can be helpful to those doing family history research, along with personal stories and history and about my photography. Much of my content has been and will continue to be information for people doing research on several topics. Plus as a personal website it will continue to be partly about me, documenting my life and pointing to my interests.

MY BLOG WILL MOVE INTO MY WEBSITE
WordPress began as a blogging program and they excel at blogs. They say they can move my blogger.com blog into a new WordPress blog. We will see how they mesh. I believe that will strengthen both the blog and the website and basically blog posts become articles on my website that can be organized in categories or similar subjects as a seamless part of the site.
THEN I MOVE MY PHOTO GALLERIES INTO THE WEBSITE
WordPress has many good gallery templates and attractive presentations as well as organizing tools, though possibly not as many features as my current SmugMug Costa Rica Galleries, so it will be my last move and maybe most difficult. Though WordPress has tools to move my SmugMug galleries into WordPress and I think the same from my older PBase Gallery. Hopefully I will then have all my photos together and well organized. Plus they will be easier to use or link to in both the blog and website articles.
CONSOLIDATED
Maybe that is what it will be – consolidated – or everything in one place! And I hope more beautiful! I have been using Joomla for my web design and it is complicated and difficult to use and a lot of things I simply do not like about it. I like my web host, a friend in Nashville hosting out of his house in addition to his regular job. But now I will use one of the WordPress Hosts call DreamHost and will supposedly have more help, more plug-ins, and more possibilities! Though they host businesses and commerce and I could try to sell photos, I will not. I’ll keep my CafePress Shop and if WordPress adds 3rd party vendors of my photos without any production on my part, then maybe. But I am not in business!
ANOTHER FUN HOBBY
And maybe the best part is having another creative outlet for this strong desire to always be creating something of beauty or value. The creative part is fun! The technical stuff drives me crazy as the last few days trying to get my domain name moved over has. I almost changed my domain name to Retired in Costa Rica which will continue to be the overarching theme, but decided that I needed to stay with my domain name used since 2000 in The Gambia.
AND A NOTE ON LINKS TO MY PAGES

If you have any links to my family history pages, the Nashville Hardgrave Cemetery page or Uncle Earl’s WWII page, etc., then you will need to relink after I get the new site up and running. Links will be different.

AND SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THIS BLOG
You will most likely have to resubscribe to the blog once it is on WordPress. I will let you know in advance.
¡Pura Vida!

Starting a School Blog Yesterday

Escuela Colina Azul
A Private Elementary School Nestled in the Mountains of Atenas, Costa Rica

Belinda, the teacher in a local private school here who helped me get my Cedula renewed, talked to me about having wanted to maybe start a blog with her 6th Grade Computer Science class and asked if I would come tell the class how I started my blog and if they could do one on the same platform, blogspot.com. I was happy to help and went yesterday afternoon. With the school’s projector I showed the class my two blogs and explained the purpose and the importance of keeping posts short and simple, (though I obviously don’t always follow my own rule!).

But, instead of showing them how to blog on the Google platform that I use, my research showed a better place for both them and their teacher, designed just for schools with proper security, spam-free, advertising-free, etc. It is called


Belinda has a young student-teacher who was excited to hear about this and of course wants to set it up which is helpful for the regular teacher!  🙂  The class will have a class page the teacher can post homework on, blog assignments, messages to parents, etc.  AND each student has a blog page which the teacher will have some control over, but students from other schools and countries who are on edublog can comment on their posts and visa-versa. I showed them some samples of 6th Grade blogs and read a short story written on one blog by a 7th grade boy.

I browsed through some posts of other 6th and 7th graders and it was great! At least I thought so! And if I have a little bit to do with the 6th graders at Escuela Colina Azul getting started with blogging, I’m happy! And if you work with a school at any grade level, check it out at https://www.theedublogger.com/     It is a subsidiary of WordPress, but it is free for schools and students/teachers and their teacher website has a lot of good teaching resources.

Belinda also teaches 6th Grade English, thus the blogs will be in English and a tool for both her English class and her computer science class (same students – all the 6th graders in a small school). How cool! And almost all of her students are Ticos! There is another private school that is mostly foreigners and more expensive. I really enjoy being involved in the local community like this when I can. Old people and foreigners can still contribute sometimes!  🙂

Escuela Colina Azul Website  

Or go straight to the school photos

AND THIS IS COOL:
Story of a rare American 2nd Grader at Escuela Colina Azul.  On Mom’s blog.

And my Spanish teachers David & Corinna have there son Nicola in 3rd grade here! It’s a new school for me and I like it!  

OTHER BLOGS FROM ATENAS or COSTA RICA

This Month’s List from Atenas Today Newsletter (Not all blogs are from Atenas! And by listing I am not recommending! Most I have not seen.):

We are providing a list of blogs that might be of interest to our readers. By providing this
information, we are not endorsing or accepting responsibility for any content found therein.
Please contact us if you have any other blogs of interest that you would like to share. These are
alphabetized for your easy reference. Please advise if you find that some blogs no longer exist.

Biolley Buzz   bcrcoffee.com
Bunky Bartlett   http://www.bestofcostarica.org
Carole Connolly   http://carolejeanscostaricacapers.com
Claudia Leon   http://photoleraclaudinha.smugmug.com/
http://straightline-cmkl.blogspot.com/
Charlie Doggett   http://costaricadecisionprocess.blogspot.com/
De La Pura Vida Costa Rica   delapuravida.com
Dennis Easters/Pure Life Development   http://www.atenasrealestate.cr/index.php/blog
Diane Miskell   http://dianascostaricablog.blogspot.com
Going Like Sixty   http://goinglikesixty.com
Julie and Rick in Costa Rica   http://julieandrickincostarica.blogspot.com/
Marietta Arce   http://marisundays.wordpress.com
Mi Chunche   michunche.com
Nadine Hays Pisani   happierthanabillionaire.com
New Life in Costa Rica   http://www.anewlifeincostarica.com/nuevo_vida/
Paul Furlong motorcycle blog   http://eyeneo.com/
Pura Vida Mommy   puravidamommy.blogspot.com
Rubiatica   rubiatica.blogspot.com
Shannon Farley   http://enchanting-costarica.com/
Somewhere In Costa Rica   http://somewhereincostarica.com
Su Espacio   http://www.suespacioatenas.blogspot.com/
The Real Costa Rica   blog.therealcostarica.com
The Very Worst Missionary   theveryworstmissionary.com
The View From Here   theviewfromherecr.blogspot.com

New Blog in Español Added: Aprender Español en Atenas

No blog here yesterday. I am setting up another blog in Español because as my September 2 blog said, I really need to be using what I am learning with multiple Spanish learning efforts. Since I live alone and write a lot, it makes sense to write more in Spanish since I am not talking with people all day every day. It will be difficult and short for awhile, but hopefully will help my language learning! The title is Aprender Español en Atenas, linked here for your language experience. At least I won’t be so long-winded in a language I’m learning!  🙂

In my second post there I refers to a local book some university students put together on culture and language as the first in a series. This one on music, Dances of the Sun and Moon. I just reviewed it for Goodreads and basically a good idea for teens and young adults, but I will not be continuing the series. See my review for why.

My “Target Audience” for this English blog has been and will continue to be mainly friends and family in the United States, though stats show it is being read all over the world by about 150-200 persons a post!  🙂  It is about my retirement in Costa Rica and the other main audience is people who are thinking about retiring here which is a growing audience and by people already retired here!  🙂

The new Spanish blog is for Spanish-speakers, particularly in Costa Rica, whom I hope will help me in my journey to learn the language. It will NOT be a translation of this blog or visa-verso!

This English blog will continue to be what used to be my “Adventures” blog and “Nature” blog all in one. I’m including some “Spiritual” in this blog but may still restart or continue my old Spiritual Blog, “His Spirit Blog” since it is a more targeted subject and thus maybe audience. Not sure yet.

Pura Vida!

How I Know I’m in Costa Rica

Peacock photographed at Rescate Animal Zooave – More about it tomorrow.

ELEVEN REASONS I KNOW I’M IN COSTA RICA

  1. The first week I used the washing machine and microwave with my Spanish-English Dictionary in one hand!
  2. People write emails of concern when I go 4 days without a blog post. (And Thanks!)
  3. I use Google Translate to write out questions and directions for bus drivers and taxi drivers before I leave for a trip! And still they don’t always understand me!
  4. Then when I still get lost or have trouble finding my bus stop there is always a friendly Tico to help me out. Like today a worker from Zooave stood out front with me to make sure I got on the right bus back to Atenas – Then when the bus zoomed by without stopping, he called the cab for me since after an hour I was tired of waiting. Still don’t quite have Tico patience yet!
  5. I’m averaging about 5 miles of walking per day with much of it uphill and feeling great!
  6. Have I mentioned that everything is in Spanish and I am still in Beginner 1.1 Spanish? Unlike the tourist towns where it pays locals to know English, a farming community has no motivation to learn English. (Can you imagine a farming community in Tennessee learning Spanish because a few migrant workers live there?) So communication is still the biggest challenge!
  7. I’m eating more fresh fruit and veggies than ever in my life and feeling great!
  8. I’m in shorts and T-shirt all day every day while sleeping under a comforter with the windows open at night.
  9. I already have two visits from Nashville scheduled on my calendar and I’ve only been here 4 weeks! And I’m excited about both! Though a little nervous about the first group that includes two Nashville restaurant owners who want me to take them to one of my little farm town restaurants. But . . . I think they’ll like it!   🙂
  10. The word I hear most often from the maintenance man here is “manana.”
  11. Today a letter was slipped under my door addressed to “Senor Charles Doggett, Apartado #3.”
I gave up on my Iolo System Mechanic support for my latest malware problem and went online to Geek Squad (since my new computer came from Best Buy with the geek service – I used Live Chat since calling them even with an 800 # is an international call.). They were wonderful! The poor guys spent 3 hours on my computer but everything is back to normal again. Think I wills stay with Geek Squad! And renew after my one year free subscription expires!
I’ll catch you up some more tomorrow and hey! Life is still good!

 

10 Reasons to Go to Costa Rica

One View from a Rainforest Trail
In Corcovado National Park by Me

10 Reasons to Go to Costa Rica is one of the later posts on Chris Howard’s “Living in Costa Rica Blog” could almost all be my reasons for both visiting and moving there. I would just substitute nature photography and affordable living for the zip-lining and surfing.  🙂  Check out his article and continue to watch his blog which is probably the best one on living in Costa Rica! Or if you just want the 10 reasons, I’m copying here:

1. To find happiness

Costa Rica has been ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, based on its high quality of life, good life expectancy rate and small ecological footprint. The country abolished its army in 1949, and it’s been one of the most peaceful countries in Latin America for the past five decades. The main saying in Costa Rica is “Pura vida” which means the good life – something that people say all the time, with big smiles on their faces. Often when you ask people how they are, they respond with “Pura vida”. It’s inspiring, infectious and incredibly heart warming to spend time in a country that has so much invested in being joyful. The rest of the world could definitely learn a thing or two from Costa Ricans’ approach to life.

2. Eco tourism

I’ve never been to a country that wears its green credentials on its sleeve as proudly as Costa Rica does. The country is one of the top eco-tourism destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why: over a quarter of Costa Rica is protected land, the government is very active in conservation efforts and the country plans to become the first carbon neutral nation by 2021. Costa Rica’s eco commitment doesn’t seem like tokenism: the local people and guides we met were genuinely enthusiastic about conservation, most hotels have watercoolers to encourage guests not to buy plastic water bottles, and there are recycling bins almost everywhere you go.

3. Birds

Costa Rica has a whopping 900 species of birds, from the incredibly beautiful green-and-red resplendent quetzal (which I was lucky enough to see while zip lining through Monteverde Cloud Forest) to glorious scarlet macaws and 54 species of jewel-coloured hummingbirds. In just over a week of travelling through Costa Rica we saw dozens of species, including the elusive great potoo, the pretty northern jacana and four species of herons. I’ve been teetering on the edge of becoming a birder, but Costa Rica was the trip that took me to the other side: I’m now a committed twitcher.

4. Wildlife

Costa Rica is staggeringly diverse when it comes to wildlife. With half a million species, it’s home to 4% of the world’s total species, which is quite something for a relatively small country. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the planet’s most biodiverse nations. Expect to see butterflies, frogs, (incredibly cute) sloths, snakes, loads of monkeys, anteaters, caimans, bats and iguanas. More rare are the cats: jaguars, ocelots and pumas.

All over Costa Rica there are opportunities to encounter the country’s wildlife, whether it’s going on a canal cruise in Tortuguero National Park under tunnels of trees (which felt like being in the Amazon), or a catamaran cruise with dolphins in Manuel Antonio National Park, or walking through the misty Monteverde Cloud Forest. The best thing is that Costa Rica’s amazing animals are everywhere: monkeys hanging out in the trees outside your room (or even inside your room), sloths sleeping in trees next to the highway and crossing the path next to the park entrance and raccoons coming to watch you eat a post-hike snack in the car park.

5. Forests

What I loved most about Costa Rica was its magical forests, where time seemed to stand still the air was alive with the sound of insects and birds and everything smelled like green. Much of the country is forested with either humid, tropical rainforests and misty, cool cloud forests, which you can explore on guided hikes and by walking on shaky suspension bridges.

6. Zip lining (and other adventures)

Costa Rica is an adventure lover’s dream destination. Just about everywhere you go in the country there seems to be some kind of adrenaline-inducing adventure on offer, from white water rafting to zip lining through forests. My favourite adventure was cayoneering in the Lost Canyon near Arenal volcano, which involved abseiling down sheer rock faces and scrambling through the canyon and jumping into cold poolsunder a cover of huge trees.

7. Beaches

Costa Rica has two coasts – the Pacific on the west and the Caribbean on the east – lined with over 1500 kilometres of beautiful beaches, with sand ranging from cappuccino to icing sugar, flanked by palm trees and rainforests. My favourite beach was in Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific side. Not only was it a perfect beach, with a long stretch of white sand and palm trees for shade, but to get there you have to walk through a forest where you can spot sloths, birds, lizards and monkeys – so you get a wildlife walk and beach bumming in one.

8. Turtles

Tortuguero National Park, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, is the Western hemisphere’s main nesting site for green turtles: during the nesting season (April to October) there are as many as 700 turtles laying their eggs on a 30-kilometre stretch of protected beach. You can hire a certified guide to take you to the beach at night to watch turtles nesting – a truly magical wildlife experience which feels like watching a dinosaur in action.

9. Volcanoes

Costa Rica sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire (almost a Johnny Cash song) – an area of high volcanic activity. The country has 122 volcanoes, of which four of active. The most famous of Costa Rica’s volcanoes is Arenal, which was active up until 2010: it hasn’t spewed lava since then, but it does smoke constantly (which makes for great photos). Around Arenal and some of Costa Rica’s other volcanoes you can go hiking and mountain biking on lush hilly slopes and (my favourite) soak in hot springs. There are hot springs all over the place in the area around Arenal, and many hotels have their own hot springs, or you can go to ahot spring resort and spend an evening swimming around in pools as warm as a bath, drinking pina coladas (highly recommended).

10. Surfing

Surfers love Costa Rica: the swells and breaks are great, water is warm year-round and the surf is good on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides. There are plenty of surfing schools and retreats lining the coasts, especially on the Pacific (where you can find the best waves during the rainy season from May to November.

This blog post was originally published on Duff’s Suitcase.  This article, 10 reasons to go to Costa Rica, was originally posted on the Getaway Blog by Sarah Duff.

 

— o —

Another reason I am so seriously considering the move is that I plan to expand what little online business I have to give a better supplement to my meager pension and I can do it just as easy from Costa Rica as I can from Tennessee. In fact I have just enrolled in an online class to help me build a strong online business that really works. We will see! But I’m believing it will happen and will include a lot more than me just trying to sell my nature photos. So that could be my eleventh reason to move!   🙂   Two weeks from today I go on the tour with Chris Howard. I’m excited and now I’m now looking for reasons why I shouldn’t move. I’ll share my list later, but so far more positive than negative. The two-week trip will probably be the decider.

Background for Moving Overseas

HISTORY OF A TARZAN WANNABE
Dancing in The Gambia on a 2009 return trip, photo by Jill

I’m a person of adventure since childhood, always wanting to live in a jungle or rainforest, as a teen to be a medical missionary in Africa, not making the medical part and a marriage that didn’t do missions, I continued to dream. After divorce and early retirement, God gifted me with a 3-year job in The Gambia, West Africa. My favorite job and place to live ever! But mission board politics and philosophy was such that I wouldn’t re-up for another 2 or 3 years and retirement there was not practical because of horrible medical services and the unstable and corrupt government.

SO I TRIED THE CONCRETE JUNGLE

 

My Condo Downtown near State Capitol, Farmers’ Mkt.

Living 10 years in downtown Nashville in a condo and loving it! I traveled as much as my meager income would allow, including three trips to Costa Rica along with trips to Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, Brazil, Tanzania and this year to Panama. The problem was I could not afford these trips I loved so much and was spending my very small savings. Plus I saw “the handwriting on the wall” in my condo of mostly mobile young adults in an aging complex that was going to start costing more for big repairs like roof and parking lot and I needed to “really retire” and not parent young adults. 

THEN I MOVE TO A RETIREMENT VILLAGE
My Cottage at McKendree Village, Hermitage-Nashville

Two years ago I picked the only one I could afford in an old suburb of Nashville, put my condo on the market, sold it in one week, and made the big move to an independent living cottage (2 bedroom house) in a beautifully forested neighborhood of senior adults, where I took up local birding, and making photo books of my experiences. I really like McKendree Village where I now live and if Costa Rica doesn’t work out, I will stay here. But I soon discovered that there are other expenses and my active lifestyle and love of eating out left me almost no money for travel. I was using my equity money for one or two exotic trips a year and that was not wise. Plus the management here was targeting or getting too many elderly in poor health, even in independent living, making me feel like I’m living in a Nursing Home as I trip over walkers and wheel chairs in the dining room. I still ride my bike 50 miles a week, walk a lot and do my adventures, but the money will run dry and the community is not one for my active lifestyle. Sooooo . . .

My photo, Resplendent Quetzal,
While on 2010 Bird Safari, Costa Rica
NOW I’M MAYBE CORRECTING MY LAST DECISION:
I started researching online about retiring in places like Panama, which I thoroughly enjoyed visiting last January and could live in. One thing led to another and I’m now big into checking it out now and refocused on Costa Rica. I know, I’m like a kid just out of college starting all over again and somehow that invigorates me!
 
A RECORD OF MY DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
One of the things I’m reading online are blogs from people who live in another country and they are sometimes helpful. So today I decided to start this diary of the steps I’m going through that might help someone else and give me an interesting record of what I went through, whether I move or not. This is in addition to 3 other blogs I write. But this will either have an ending or maybe be turned into a Costa Rica Blog. We’ll see!