Is this life easy?…Not so much…Figuring out visas for Costa Rica…

Mountain views from every highway in Las Vegas and Henderson.

If anyone reading our site gets the impression that is traveling the world results in a life of leisure and the sensation of “always being on vacation/holiday,” we need to do a better job of describing our reality.

There’s nothing easy about it except for those special days we’re by the sea, aboard a ship, or lounging poolside in a tropical location.  And, even those days aren’t what one might construe as always easy.

Just like you, we shop, we cook, we wash dishes, we clean up after ourselves, we make the bed, do the laundry (more days of the year than not) and take care of banking and financial matters.

When one might imagine life on a desert island with the shore lapping at their toes, drinking blue cocktails with tiny umbrellas neatly situated on the rim of the tall iced glass, a local citizen fanning them with palm leaves, one may be dreaming.

Rolling hills and mountains surround the Las Vegas Valley.

Sure, from time to time, we’ve had such experiences, and even for us, they were fun and fleeting and unrealistic over the long haul.  But, that type of lifestyle was never our intent when we began this adventure so long ago. 

We longed for culture, nature, wildlife, and rich experiences that would shape who we are and the remainder of our years. For us, that wasn’t to be found in a blue drink or locals attending to our every need. 

Oh, we’ve enjoyed the meals cooked for us, the bed is made, the laundry is washed, hung to dry, and neatly folded. But, that type of lifestyle leaves us feeling immobile, inactive, and essentially bored with our lack of activity.

Performing daily household tasks adds a certain degree of focus upon which we both seem to thrive. Here in Henderson, Nevada, after months of not shopping for groceries, cooking meals, and cleaning, we’ve begun to meld back into the reality that both of us seem to need to thrive.

Golden Barrell Cactus, shared in this part of the US.

This morning at 8:00 am, I was out the door, driving to Smith’s Market for enough groceries to last for the next few days. Deciding on what to prepare for meals seems to provide me with a sense of purpose and connection to the “everyday” aspects of life that ultimately add to our universal experiences, even while here in the USA, in the land of abundance.

One need only conceive of an idea for a meal, peruse a recipe or conjure up a special meal to quickly find every possible required ingredient readily available at the local market. Even grass-fed meat and organic produce are at a finger’s reach.

In many countries, we had no choice but to alter recipes or decide on quick and easy meat and veg meals based on the available ingredients in local markets. 

In many cases, the small markets had only one aisle of possible options with no fresh meat (frozen only), questionable vegetables, and a mishmash of dairy items. Somehow, in each case, we never went hungry, always utilizing that which was available.

Beavertail Cactus is also ubiquitous in US deserts.

As our readers are well aware, we always figure out household tasks regardless of where we may be at any given time. Of course, there’s all the rest besides managing our day-to-day lives, including figuring out such items as visa requirements, currently on our minds, as we near the time to leave for Costa Rica in 16 days.

Costa Rica may provide a 90-day visa at the airport for US citizens if asked. We won’t forget to ask, I assure you. However, it’s of utmost concern to provide proof of a booked flight out of the country by the 90th day. 

Since we’re staying an additional 24 days while we await an upcoming cruise, once again, we have to figure out how we’ll get approved for the extra days. When calling the Costa Rica Embassy in Washington DC, we got the runaround. They said we need to apply at a local immigration office while in their country.

They won’t accept a booked flight as adequate at the airport if it’s scheduled for over 90 days out if the applicant doesn’t already have an extension. We can’t get an extension until we’re there. Do you see the dilemma?

Segura Cactus.

When inquiring to the property managers for the property we’re renting, they suggested we book a flight out of Costa Rica within 90 days and figure out the rest after we arrive. 

Yesterday, we did this. We booked a one-way flight to Managua, Nicaragua, for the 89th day. If we find we can stay out of the country for two or three days and come back to Costa Rica without incident, we’ll spend a few nights at a hotel in Managua and return to Costa Rica after that. 

Besides, this might be a fun side trip, especially when we may be there during our fifth anniversary of traveling the world, which is on October 31st. We’ll see how it all rolls out once we arrive. 

If we discover we can stay longer by applying at the local immigration office, we’re OK with losing the cost of the non-refundable one-way flight for both of us, which was $128.70. That’s considerably less than we’ll spend if we stay three or four nights in a hotel. We’ve already been to Nicaragua in the early days of our travel.

San Pedro Cactus…please correct me if wrong.

That’s it for today, folks.  It’s Sunday, already 100F (38C) with an expected high of only 108F (42C) with a cooling trend for the upcoming week with high temperatures expected to range from 98F (37C) to 106F (41C). Nice, eh?

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, July 16, 2016:

Tom, situated in his rickshaw as we meandered down the busy streets of Phnom Penh. It was a hot, humid, and a very bumpy ride. For more details, please click here.