September 9, 1989 was my first full day in Costa Rica.
I came here because, following my year in Kenya, Costa Rica seemed more manageable (read: closer to the United States, both geographically and culturally) than my originally-planned year in Japan. (A bit of backstory can be found here, for any what needs it.)
In other words, I came to Costa Rica more because of what it was not, than because of any particular thing that it was.
I'm not sure I actually knew much of anything about Costa Rica when I arrived, except that it was in Central America, and that the language was Spanish (of which I spoke 10 words).
I certainly didn't expect to stay, settle, marry, divorce, have children here. Not that I had any idea about where, when or with whom I might eventually do those things, but I most definitely didn't think it would be here.
When people ask how long I've been here, and I tell them, they always ask if I "like it here," or remark that I must like it.
Which is funny. I guess some people do have strong feelings about where they live, but I tend to like some things about any given place, and dislike others, and you just live where you live. The various circumstances of my life to date being what they are, I happen to live here.
In today's world of relatively affordable air travel and email and VOIP and blogs and digital cameras and whatnot, the distance really isn't the thing. The culture is different, sure. Sometimes that seems like a non-issue after all these years, and sometimes it doesn't.