It’s been nearly two years since we’ve started living in Costa Rica.

Phase 1: Complete!

Phase 2 is to live in Portland half the year (the good half) and come back to Costa Rica for another half of the year (the other good half).

Portland has a long, wet winter. This may be why the residents of Portland, still in shock from nine months of rain, frolic and play in the sunshine with gusto, for it is the one brief period of the annual seasonal cycle when they can show off their tattoos and drink in the sunshine.


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I love Portland in the summer. The weather is a treasure.

The Huntress Clan is planning to live in Portland for July, August, and September, and then when the weather turns, to fly south for another summertime.

Costa Rica starts the high season in mid-December. All the way through June, the weather here is outstanding. Tropical. Lush.

Typical January weather in Costa Rica.

So now that phase 1 is complete (move to Costa Rica, have a baby, become permanent residents) we are ready to implement phase 2: move twice a year.

In late June (maybe this year, maybe next) we want to transition up to Stumptown, live there for a few months (maybe in a fifth wheel camping trailer – we ARE aiming for the Gypsy lifestyle, after all), and give our kids the cultural education that only an urban metropolitan center can give.

OMSI. The Children’s Museum. Cedarwood Waldorf School. All the wonderful and interesting educational opportunities that we can’t offer to our children in the campo – we can provide, so long as we alternate between the urban lifestyle and the jungle.

While living in Portland, I’ll be able to work from my daily coffice, taking the MAX train to a new cafe every day. We can have picnics in the beautiful gardens and parks of Portland.

And then when the weather turns, we go Tropical, and come back to Costa Rica.

It’s funny, after my recent April Fool’s joke, I realized something telling about myself.

I still think of myself as American.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I was startled to realize in retrospect that I wrote that blog post (and indeed, I continue to write on this blog) as a Portlander instead of as a Tico.

The prank had jokes in it only a Portlander would get. Many of my Costa Rican friends (most of whom have known me only as a Costa Rican) were really confused by the April Fool’s joke, because I was writing from a perspective (ahem) foreign to them.

I assumed that after getting my Costa Rican cedula, I would magically think of myself as a Tico first, shedding my American identity as a frivolity of my past.

But that’s not realistic; I’m always going to be an American. Being an expat American doesn’t change that, very much.

But I can modify it significantly by going Gypsy.

So now, the Huntress Clan is going to plan for the full-out Gypsy phase. We’re looking at fifth wheel trailers, and collecting baubles and trinkets to sell in kingdoms far away.