I've been a busy bee, for months now, researching researching researching. I've looked into basically all of our options, from cities in the US to countries on nearly every continent. I just keep coming back to Costa Rica. Our second choice is Panama, but since it borders Costa Rica, we plan to explore Panama as well. Until our pensionado visas are approved, we will have to leave the country every 3 months, anyways. I suppose we could always end up moving to Panama, in the future, but we're definitely putting down roots in Costa Rica first.
I could blog about our decision for hours and fill pages upon pages, but it would probably bore you all. So for now, I'll leave you with my short list.
One thing not listed, but definitely worth mentioning, is that on one of my random Google searches, I happened to stumble upon a lovely lady named Emily, an American expat and writer of the Travel Mother blog. She, her husband, and two young children (close to the ages of our boys) have been living in Costa Rica. It has been fantastic to be able to shoot questions at her and receive honest responses from someone who has mostly the same priorities as us. She also pointed me to some helpful facebook groups. She may be the one who pushed me over the edge when I was debating between Panama and Costa Rica, in fact. I think it's comforting to know, going into it, that there are other native-English speaking families there, who could show us the ropes, so to speak, if needed. Not to mention... she is also currently raising the first canine addition to our Costa Rican family. Visit her blog if you have time! You won't be disappointed.
We are still just waiting on a few things with the VA and the Army so that we can go home to visit our family, bid our goodbyes, and finally start living our new life in Costa Rica!