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Old 08-19-2010, 01:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
Beautiful pictures. I'm sad to hear the Costa Rica is not all that its department of tourism cracks it up to be. A few years ago (maybe 10) they sent my father a DVD telling about the wonders of retiring there and how your American pension/401k fund would go so much farther in Costa Rica. I guess they must have sent out a lot of those DVDs and a lot of people took them up on it.
You wouldn't believe the amount of Americans that retired there! I was wondering why, but you just explained it. The money probably went far then, but definitely no more!

One of our tour guides said that the locals are not happy about that. He said you have a typical Costa Rican house in a neighborhood with the American houses. Many of these American houses are huge, cause we all know Americans like to supersize. I saw a real estate brochure while there, targeted at Americans, and some of these home/condo prices were well over $1M! The tour guide said there is no way a local could ever afford that, given that they make $10k/year. What's sad is, the grocery store prices were outrageous because of the tourists/Americans living there. So locals that have no money have to pay such high prices because of us The tour guide said the crime exists because people are fed up with having such high costs of living all of a sudden, without any pay raises.

We passed a huge, huge house, with acres and acres of land. Our tour guide was in the car with us so we asked him if he knows who it belongs to. This was in a neighborhood with run down shacks, and all of a sudden you see a huge mansion. He said it's an American hotel owner. What a way to rub it in their face! He had the property gated, with wires on top, since I assume he's a target for theft! I always love hearing a local's perspective, and this tour guide was born and raised there. He said while Americans might be having a grand ole time, they are suffering because of it. So sad to hear.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:32 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
He said while Americans might be having a grand ole time, they are suffering because of it. So sad to hear.
This happens in a lot of different places. In some parts of France; affluent Brits, Germans, Dutch or Swiss have pushed up property prices.
In Aspen, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, try to find the middle class neighborhoods.

It might be retirees, it might be trustafarians, it might just be wealthy dilettantes, but this migrating from trendy spot to trendy spot has been going on for some time. What is especially sad is if these drive-by trophy-home neighbors do not even take part in the community.
We cannot necessarily *equate* a fishing village in Mexico with a little hamlet in central France, or an old mining town in southwestern Colorado, but the situation definitely has economic parallels.

The thing is, what goes up quite often goes down in time.
Housing bubble, anyone?

Sidenote: I only hope that places such as the Galapagos Islands do not become ruined.
People are not allowed to move there, but they certainly visit. To me it always seemed like such a special place, and now it is turning into yet another been-there-got-the-t-shirt destination. (No, I have not been there, and I have no intention of ever visiting. Some places should just be left alone.)
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
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When I was in high school (sadly,not that long ago!), I have always said I wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands. No more! It's now become a tourist trap and a topic on many message boards. I cringe when I see people posting pictures of themselves sitting on giant tortoises or petting the seals. As you said, some places should be left alone!

I say we try to predict the next trendy spot and visit it before it becomes what some of these places eventually become!
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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^^Mak, thats why some times I just pick a spot in the world and go there. I want to be the first guy on the block to do it. SOme trips are dogs but your always learning.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:30 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
I say we try to predict the next trendy spot and visit it before it becomes what some of these places eventually become!
This is the agenda of many entrepreneurs. I guarantee you that there are *some* Costa Ricans who have done very well for themselves during the upsurge in their country's tourism.

On another message board (which shall remain nameless), we once had a guy who represented a well-known guidebook sniffing around asking questions.
He was trying to discover the next trendy place for his readers. People in the industry are constantly, competitively seeking the latest/greatest.

It is amazing how things can change.
There is a natural hot springs that we used to go to in Colorado. Everybody knew about it by word of mouth. We would camp in the hills nearby and walk over there to soak, looking up at the stars at night. That hot springs now has a shuttle, changing rooms, regulations, and its own website.

I don't always appreciate Rick Steves, but I do agree with one thing he suggests: "Find your own back door."

I concur. We can't afford to go jetting off to faraway places every time we feel like it, but sometimes some of the best spots are right under your nose.

Travel does not have to be oneupsmanship, and timing can be everything.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Central California
86 posts, read 152,982 times
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Used to go to Costa Rica all the time back in the nineties. Good surf, pretty ladies and decent prices. Always had a great time. Haven't been back since 1998 so things have probably changed.

I was a biology major in college so going to the Galapogos Islands was kind of a pilgrimage trip for me, just to see all the animals I've read about in school. I would say go there if you really want to see the animals. If you're not interested in the biology, they will be nothing more than desert islands with a lot of birds.

The next new hot spot. Try Colombia! I've never been there but when I bring it up in conversation people don't say "I always wanted to go there" they say "why the hell you want to go there for? You'll get shot" Same thing they said about Costa Rica when I first went there in 1989.

Last edited by Raisuli; 08-20-2010 at 05:08 AM..
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:53 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisuli View Post
The next new hot spot. Try Colombia! I've never been there but when I bring it up in conversation people don't say "I always wanted to go there" they say "why the hell you want to go there for? You'll get shot" Same thing they said about Costa Rica when I first went there in 1989.
heh
We heard similar comments before we went to Guatemala.
I know someone who actually *did* get shot in Colombia, but he'd go back again (his wife is Colombian.)
Our older son came <this close> to moving to Venezuela a year ago--that would have been interesting.

It is interesting to see which places seem to have that 'perfect storm' of ingredients for becoming trendy--and which do not. My husband has done work in both Uruguay and Honduras this past year.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post

I don't always appreciate Rick Steves, but I do agree with one thing he suggests: "Find your own back door."
Love that! We found the most amazing beach in San Diego, with very few people ever being there. Of course, I'm keeping it to myself since this city seems to have the tourists dropped off by the plane and boat load every single day! That's my only escape from them!
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raisuli View Post

The next new hot spot. Try Colombia! I've never been there but when I bring it up in conversation people don't say "I always wanted to go there" they say "why the hell you want to go there for? You'll get shot" Same thing they said about Costa Rica when I first went there in 1989.
My friend was born there and lived there most of his life. He told me to check it out, that it's not as bad as people make it out to be. But, this is coming from a native! My husband gets mistaken for being Latino all the time. Any time we go to a Spanish speaking country, they assume he's one of them. No one can ever guess his real nationality (Egyptian) so I told him he should just learn Spanish since he so much like them anyway. Would make travel that much easier to a place like Colombia!

I get asked if I'm Brazilian all the time. Even by visitors to San Diego, who come from Brazil. I truly don't comprehend it, since I'm from Eastern Europe, but maybe if we travel to South America, we'll fit in!
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: No. Virginia, USA
328 posts, read 476,564 times
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Some really nice pictures there. And the one in the bikini was a bit of the alright too.
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