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Moon Living Abroad in Costa Rica Paperback – October 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Living Abroad
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Third Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598805304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598805307
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

When Erin Van Rheenen was three years old, her parents moved the family from their native Oregon to Nigeria for a two-year Peace Corps stint. Since then Erin has been fortunate to live outside the U.S. for extended periods of time—in Ireland, Ecuador, Mexico, and Guatemala. She answered Costa Rica's call in 2002 and found a second home where she could put down roots. Currently, she spends time in both California and Costa Rica.

Erin earned a B.A. in Latin American literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a masters in fiction writing and English literature from the City University of New York. She has published essays and stories, won the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society prize for best new novel, and taught writing at City College of New York and in the San Francisco County Jail.

More About the Author

When she was three years old, Erin Van Rheenen's parents moved the family from Portland, Oregon, to Lagos, Nigeria. This two-year stint would be the first of many extended stays abroad--from Quito to Dublin to Oaxaca--culminating in her move to Costa Rica.

Besides authoring and updating Living Abroad in Costa Rica (livingabroadincostarica.com), Erin also recently created Costa Rica Trip Ideas (itunes.apple.com/us/app/costa-rica-trip-ideas/id443519829?mt=8), an itinerary-based app for mobile devices, and wrote a bilingual children's book about a manatee (zonatropical.net/manatee.htm). She has contributed to many guidebooks, along with publishing stories, articles, and essays in venues such as Fiction, Internazionale, and the Los Angeles Times.

She earned a BA in Latin American Literature from UC Santa Cruz, an MA in Fiction Writing from CUNY New York, and has taught writing at CUNY, at a private high school in San Francisco, and in the San Francisco Women's County Jail.

Photos of Erin by David W. Smith.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Perfect for finding out everything you need to know!
Kathryn Flaherty
Immigration laws changed in 2010 and again in 2012, so be sure to check with the nearest consulate to be sure you have current information.
Ruth Halcomb
If you are considering a move to Costa Rica, this book should be on your required reading list.
Hawaii 5-0

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dick Jordan on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Author Erin Van Rheenen says that Moon Living Abroad in Costa Rica "will show you the nitty-gritty of life...working, shopping, banking, buying or building a house, dealing with immigration, and arranging for the best healthcare." And a quick look at the Table of Contents shows that's exactly what the book will deliver.

This isn't a guidebook that merely paints a romantic picture of living cheap in a palapa on the beach. Instead, it's loaded with lots of practical information about getting yourself, your kids and your pets into the country, finding a place to live, getting a job and and financing your new lifestyle, obtaining TV and Internet service, making phone calls, and receiving and sending mail.

Movie buffs will appreciate the "Suggested Films" list which includes ones familiar to me (such as Endless Summer and Jurassic Park) as well as others that I've never seen, like Caribe, a 2004 film which was the first from Costa Rica to be submitted in the Academy Award competition.

If you went to Costa Rica thinking that's where the "real" Jurassic Park was located, after spending a few days in the capital city of San Jose you might say, as Erin overhead one tourist remark, "I want to get out of the city [and] see the rest of the island." While the Caribbean lies on the east side of the country, and the Pacific on the west, Costa Rica isn't an island floating about in the sea--it's a big chunk of Central America connecting Nicaragua to the north to Panama to the south.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Halcomb on May 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Erin Van Rheenen's Living Abroad in Costa Rica belongs on the shelf along with works by John Howells and Chris Howard. It's an important book, especially for those considering a move to Costa Rica or planning an exploratory trip with an eye toward moving there. While it was "discovered" as an expat haven over two decades ago, people are still enthusiastic about moving there.

Costa Rica is a unique country, having no army but with a serious emphasis on education and taking care of the planet. It's also a friendly place, but as Van Rheenen points out, cultural differences do exist. Ticos, as they call themselves, are friendly and welcoming, but their politeness may prevent them from saying "no" to an impossible request.

The book has what people need in planning a trip with places to stay and sample 10-day, two-week and one-month itineraries. The high season, December through April is also the dry season, so your trip will cost less if you put up with rain. Speaking of rain, there can be a lot of it, falling hard, though rarely lasting all day.

A visit to Costa Rica is likely to begin in the Central Valley, specifically, in San Jose. About 100,000 expats live in or near the capital, San Jose, which has a population of about 350,000 and many cultural advantages such as the National Theater, the symphony and several museums. Getting around the city, however can be a challenge.

Van Rheenen cautions newcomers not to rent a car at the airport. "You've just flown in, it may be dark, you're tired, and you may never have driven in Costa Rica before. This is not the time to start learning." Streets are without signs, and ordinarily friendly Ticos are competitive behind the wheel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By costa rica baby on June 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been our go to book for the last few months. we have not moved yet but will be in a few weeks. Lots and lots of helpful tips on preparing to move even some on our pet dog. I am sure that we will be using this book when we get there as well. I have bought a few books on the subject and this by far is the best one.

Ps We are a family moving with a dog and a six month old. This book helped with everything so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hawaii 5-0 on December 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be informative and up to date, as it was reprinted (with text changes) in October 2010, and that's the version I have. If you are considering a move to Costa Rica, this book should be on your required reading list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Flaherty on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is awesome. Perfect for finding out everything you need to know! I definitely recommend it to everyone and anyone seriously thinking about moving abroad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anton Abroad on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book touches on just about every aspect of life in Costa Rica and everything one would want to consider before moving. Though it is vague in some regards, resources with more specifics are given. Two thumbs up.
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By Koko on April 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Beautifully readable (unlike most travel guides) and is more informative, interesting, and valuable than any of the so-called travel guides. This is the best resource I've ever read. Thank you goes to the author!
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By P. Minchew on February 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I also bought the hard copy. It's a great source of information, suggestions. Answers just about any question you might have.
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