John Quam Editor in Chief Howler Magazine Costa Rica

February 2019 Howler Magazine Editorial:  

Costa Rica is NOT right for everyone. Whether it’s right for you is a decision and process that must be looked at from many angles.

So many things to consider! Leaving the comfort of the life you know back home will probably be a culture shock. You embark on an unknown adventure in a place with different laws to deal with. It certainly can be very rewarding, however, being immersed in a different culture and shaking up the status quo of comforts you have become accustomed to. Those comforts are less likely to be readily available here, but that is part of the adventure.

I personally have found that I am less impatient in Costa Rica and have accepted the slower pace of life here. Drivers on the road who just stop and talk, or the really slow drivers who just can’t seem to put enough pressure on the accelerator to make the vehicle zoom a little faster … they are all part of the scene. My biggest annoyance is the banking system — sometimes having to wait a couple of hours to complete a “quick” transaction. However, I’ve come to accept that as the norm as well.

We took a couple trips here and then made a fast decision to purchase.


Our decision to move to Costa Rica was kind of impulsive. In hindsight, I would not do that again or recommend it. We took a couple trips here and then made a fast decision to purchase. The property development company to have its act together at first. After we purchased, it turned out to be far from the case. What we got was not what had been represented and continued to get worse. This can be an entrapment of so-called paradise … a harbor for dishonest business practices, with predators thinking they can hide behind the veil of selling pura vida.

I have given warnings like this several times in my editorials because it’s such an important precaution. Make sure you are making the right moves and dealing with the right people.

Once you have made up your mind, advance carefully. Check out the people you deal with as thoroughly as possible. Ask around for references and google them to find out if there have been issues before. Try to verify the information presented to you is accurate and complete. Enter into your dream slowly so that as your dream unfolds, it doesn’t turn into a nightmare along the way.