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An Expat Talks about Living in Mal Pais, Costa Rica

Jan 14, 2019


Mal Pais, Costa Rica

An expat in Costa Rica compares what she expected life in Mal Pais would be like compared to the reality. She had hoped the move would renew her marriage and it has!

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Mal Pais

Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

I dreamed of a stress-free environment but I didn't really know what that meant. I had worked my whole adult life and was always very busy. I expected to come to Costa Rica and just stop being so busy and enjoy the present. My biggest dream was to renew my 42 year old marriage. I dreamed that this new environment would provide a long lasting Costa Rica honeymoon stage and it did!

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

Almost all of my expectations were met. My husband and I fell in love again. The weather and beauty contributed to that. We both improved our health and made many friends. However I like to be busy so I did online work, I completed my Bachelor's degree and started a Masters program. I took up painting and cooking. I can't just sit around all day but many parts of our day does involve just enjoying nature and the beach. I'm a better healthier happier version of myself in Costa Rica.

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How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

There is some stress but it is manageable. Our biggest stress at this time is ANTS!. We moved further inland to a funky place on a big lot. The ants are relentless. The second night in our new place we woke to ants in our bed. They bit our faces and were in our hair. Yikes!!! We slept outside that night and had a few mosquito bites in the morning as well. We were tired the next day and found some decent solutions to our unwelcomed house guests. It's a constant battle with insects.

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Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

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Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies.

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Support your favorite restaurants in Mal Pais as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

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An expat in Mal Pais, Costa Rica provides a detailed culture shock report that offers a great example of someone who has learned to roll with the punches that come with expat life in a somewhat remote location. Covers everything from mosquitoes, to finding products from the local grocer, to getting your laptop repaired. And don't for get about the fruit bats and monkey poop!

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