Last week I saw some old friends from Costa Rica for the first time in 20 years. That made me realize that at some point this year I will have spent more time living abroad than in the UK.

I have lived in Panama for the past two and a half years but spent 25 in Costa Rica. Most of my children and grandchildren live there. My wife is Costa Rican. I lived in San Jose for about as long as I lived in London. So if I have any spiritual home, I would have to say it is Costa Rica.

Consequently, I felt it was time to post something about that country. It is a beautiful place with – percentage-wise – about the most physically attractive people you could hope to find anywhere in the world. San Jose is a noisy, chaotic, smelly Third World city but I love it. It used to be a quiet little town but is now very cosmopolitan. Away from the city, Costa Rica is now one of the world’s favorite holiday destinations, for both beach vacations and eco-tourism.

As an immigrant, the country received me with open arms and I will always be grateful for that. Unfortunately, the influx of immigrants has been so great that in the last 15 years the country my kids grew up in has largely disappeared, at least in the urban areas. The change has been dramatic, both in physical and social terms.

With more people now reading the blog on both sides of the pond, I shall endeavor to post more about life in Central America as well as life in England many years ago.