Among the enlightened and civilized places in the world—the places I and most other expats choose to live—the basic freedoms of speech, action, and movement are pretty much the same, and for the most part guaranteed by the governments of those countries.
It’s been a few months since my wife, Suzan, and I have been in Ecuador. After living in Cotatachi, high up in Ecuador’s northern Andes, for eight years, we moved to central Mexico to be closer to our three-year-old granddaughter. Logistically, is was a no-brainer.
I've grown to love packing for travel. Which is odd, because I really don't like the act of traveling itself, at least not on airplanes. For normal folks like me, who most often travel in coach, airplanes are simply cramped, overcrowded, flying buses.
I remember when the “self-help” trend really took off, and bookstores (remember those?) featured entire "Self-Help" sections. Suddenly you could find your true mission in life, become more confident, promote your business, be a better parent, improve your eyesight, get a better job...you name it, you could help yourself do it with the right book.
I spent the morning texting with a friend in the States recently. I have the kind of phone plan that provides unlimited text and data between Mexico and the U.S. and Canada, so I'm able to indulge this modern addiction from my current home in Central Mexico at no additional cost.
Passing through the U.S. for a State-side International Living conference recently, I made a stop at a tailor shop to get some emergency repairs done. The tailor turned out to be from Mexico…she’d moved with her mother and daughter to the U.S. some years ago to, as she put it, “get ahead.”
It’s great to have step-by-step guides, especially for big and potentially complicated tasks. Moving yourself out of your home country to a completely new and different culture…and language…certainly qualifies as a big and complicated task.
I've often said that Ecuador offers expats and retirees some of the best bang-for-buck affordability in the Americas. But it's not simply low prices that earn it that title in my book. "Bang for your buck" means getting top value, and Ecuador is simply an unparalleled value in so many ways.
Back in the day, my wife, Suzan, and I enjoyed scuba diving. It’s one of those sports that can take you to some extraordinary places, and we spent some idyllic days and nights under water in quite a few of them. We were mainly recreational divers.
You hear a lot from International Living about the high-quality, low-cost healthcare enjoyed by people who have moved abroad. I’ve been taking advantage of that money saving aspect of expat life for 15 years now. But something happened recently that drove that point home to me again.