By Ivo Henfling
When you move to Costa Rica, you will be making new friends in Costa Rica and I can assure you’ll enjoy so many different people from different places, different backgrounds and different interests. Most of us leave the family back home and though communications through email, Skype and Facebook are easy now, you will be away from most friends and family. Most of the friends you have are those you grew you grew up with or from the baseball team or the parents of your kids friends. And now you have to start all over.
Most of us come here with the idea of making friends with the Ticos. Let me tell you a secret: you’ll have a hell of a time to become buddies with the locals. I am married to one, and another Tica before her and I still don’t have Tico friends, even after living here for 30 years. Oh, if you invite the locals to your house, they’ll all come, don’t worry about that. But they will hardly ever invite you back. Sorry, mistake, they DO invite you back but don’t tell you where they live. Most will not get any further than the acquaintance stage.
There are of course exceptions and I know it’s not good to generalize, but it is a well-known fact that it is difficult to become friends with the locals. This is not a complaint about the locals (before anyone gets mad at me), it’s a fact you need to know if you plan to move to Costa Rica.
Why is it so hard to become friends with the Ticos? To my opinion it is mainly because they are very family oriented. Everything they do is done within the family. They feel comfortable with their family and not so much with outsiders. I have met hundreds of locals over the years and we get along very well. They are great people, very friendly and enjoyable people. We enjoy each other’s company in the bar, in the restaurant and at work. But we won’t invite each other at our homes. I did for a while, but then I never got invited back and stopped trying. All this is part of adjusting to your new environment and you need to learn to live with it.
So now you just arrived in Costa Rica and you are renting a home or you just bought a property, through a preferred GoDutch Realty agent of course. Because if you did, for sure this real estate agent will connect you with all the important and not so important people in your new life in Costa Rica and even introduce you to all the clubs you'd like to. You will only feel lonely in your new country if you want to feel lonely because it is very easy to meet interesting people. You will find out very soon that most foreigners who live in your new community are interesting people and all have a story to tell.
There are many foreigners living in Costa Rica and you’d be surprised how many of those can become very interesting friends and even better than the ones you had at home. That is because most of us don’t have any family here, our friends become family. Especially at certain holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July you’ll find plenty of interesting people willing to join in and do something different.
And that is another thing I have added to my list of what I like so much about Costa Rica: the great friends that I have. In fact, being a real estate agent makes it almost impossible to attend to every party and meeting I get invited to and even less invite them all back all the time, I’d become an alcoholic. I don’t make enough money to throw parties for a couple of hundred people all the time. So here I want to apologize to all of you for not always going to your parties and happenings and thank you for your friendship.