At first, it was every two months. Then once a month. But that wasn’t often enough for Larry Snyder. So in 2008 he packed his bags, and he and his German shepherd, Hans, took a one-way flight to Medellin, Colombia.
“I started traveling to Colombia with my girlfriend Beatriz—who’s now my wife. She was making frequent trips for her clothing business in Florida. My work as a nurse in the Coral Springs E.R. meant I could schedule six days back-to-back and then take eight days off,” Larry says.
“Of course, I enjoyed being with Beatriz, but I really fell in love with Colombia. The lifestyle is excellent. The people really go out of their way to make sure you are happy—at restaurants people cook me samples of all their foods to try…they make you feel at home. And in the parks there are bananas and mangos just waiting to be picked.”
Beatriz started her own clothes manufacturing company in Colombia and Larry had an online business offering continuing education to nurses—something he could run from anywhere. So he went back to America and cleaned out the house.
As a registered nurse, Larry knows about health care and hospitals. “The hospitals here use the same equipment and machines as in the U.S. But the cost of tests is a fraction of what it is back home.”
Likewise, the drug companies don’t charge an arm and a leg for medications. “My wife’s cholesterol medication is $2 for a 14-day supply. Medicines here are so cheap and made by the same drug companies that are in the U.S.
“In America, everything is so expensive. Here we had a problem with our refrigerator and called the maintenance guy. He came on a bicycle with his tools strapped to the back.
He was at the house for two hours to fix the compressor and it cost us $7, including parts. I had a dead battery in my car and a guy came on a bike carrying a car battery and jumped my car for $2.50,” Larry says.
Life in Colombia reminds him a lot of his childhood in South Bend, Indiana. “Every neighborhood has its own market, bakery, bar, church, school and meat store. And people who live in a given area patronize the stores in their neighborhood. This is how it was when I was a kid, before the superstores,” Larry says.
“Of course, here in the larger cities we have the superstores, so Colombia offers the best of both worlds.”
Editor’s note: Larry gets to live wherever he wants because he has a job he can do from anywhere. You do, too—even if you don’t know it yet. Find out more here.