For the average vacationer, the hardest part of the adventure is the logistics. The destination is a no brainer, but the right carrier, transportation, and accommodations can be a real headache. Hassles at the airport, excess baggage charges, and crummy seat assignments, can dull your senses.
When my wife and I decided to retire in our mid-50s, the cost of living was a big factor in choosing our perfect destination. We didn’t have buckets of cash stashed away—just our meagre savings and proceeds from the sale of our home and other assets.
One of the first things people say when they hear my wife and I have lived in Latin America for 16 years is, “You must be fluent in Spanish.” I have to admit that we are not, but I don’t feel too bad about that. Here’s why.
As a resident of Panama for the last decade, I’ve seen this country grow and develop. It’s become a place where getting around is easy…all the better for us to be able to explore everything that this country has to offer.
Europe: the home of beautiful history, stunning landscapes, fascinating cultures, and iconic landmarks. It’s likely that when you think of traveling to Europe, you probably start to see your money disappearing before your eyes.
If you’re contemplating moving to a Spanish-speaking country, then learning to speak Spanish really has to be on your to-do list. But here’s the cool part…you don’t have to learn tenses or be able to read Spanish literature. You just need enough to get by.
When artist Cynthia Hass Bishop met her now husband, Fred Bishop, she had an important question for him: “Would you consider living outside the U.S.?” “When I was 10, I told my parents I wanted to go the University of Mexico City,” she says. Exploring has always been in her blood. And Panama was on her list early on.
As I approach retirement, I realize that I will want my day-to-day life to be convenient. And, for me, having the option of walking to and from the places that supply what I want and need will be important. It will be crucial to live in a city where I can find the daily necessities and minor luxuries within walking distance of where I live.
On my recent trip to David, Panama’s third largest city, I heard a common refrain from expats there. Whenever the topic of Boquete, a small mountain town about 30 minutes up the mountain, came up they’d say: “It’s too cold. Too small. And there are too many gringos.”
“Our lifestyle is more relaxed here. We don’t live to work but the other way around. The cost of buying a home, living comfortably in the country, and eating good food is lower here compared to the U.S.,” says Laura Springham about rural France where she, her husband Keith, and their son Patrick moved almost two years ago.