Imagine living just a 20-minute flight from a world-class island destination…a 45-minute ferry from a tiny haven called the Island of Flowers…or an hour’s drive from an expansive, uncrowded beach that is home to an exuberant expat community.
We first met Laura and Joel (not their real names) a decade ago on the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala, where they were vacationing. He was retired and she was happily working as a network television sales executive. He wanted her to quit her job and move to Mexico with him and she was having none of it.
I don’t mind making sacrifices or shouldering a burden if I know that it’s moving me forward to where I want to be. But I was miserable in my job and I really couldn’t stand my predicament.
My wife, Diane, and I are in our fifth year of living overseas and our third year of living in Mexico--which ranked number one in International Living’s Global Retirement Index in 2017.
For a long time, Cambodia was bottom of the list for tourists and expats visiting Southeast Asia, until about 15 years ago, when the Hollywood blockbuster Tomb Raider was filmed amid the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.
I know that when we began to look more in-depth at Costa Rica as our retirement destination, the reports of living on what seemed to be a minuscule amount of money seemed incredible, and sometimes the information came across as vague.
These days I make my home on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, in a little beach town about 30 minutes south of the vacation hotspot Playa del Carmen. It’s a nice life in a place with plenty of conveniences and natural beauty.
Imagine a place where sunshine is ubiquitous, a high-quality lifestyle won’t cost the earth, and as a retiree, you’re treated like a VIP…you’ll get a red-carpet welcome and be rewarded for your age and experience.
If you’re someone who is looking for the conveniences of a good-sized city close to the beach and the mountains, I may have found the sweet spot for you. Especially if you are a trailblazer—someone who would enjoy the experience of immersing yourself in a new language and culture.
Set in Central Mexico, the Colonial Highlands region has been drawing retirees and other expats for decades. One town in particular has been a favorite, San Miguel de Allende, which is about four hour’s drive northwest of Mexico City.