The Easiest Way to Plan a Trip to Ecuador

The Easiest Way to Plan a Trip to Ecuador

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February 26, 2014

Just this month, I took an editorial trip to Ecuador to scout out what opportunities it offers to you today. I’m happy to report that it still has everything that you could look for in retirement and more—beautiful, temperate weather in the highlands and hotter weather toward the coast; warm, friendly people (expats and locals Read more...: The Easiest Way to Plan a Trip to Ecuador

A Wonderful Lifestyle in Berlin, Germany

A Wonderful Lifestyle in Berlin, Germany

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February 25, 2014

John Sklute, a retired English professor from California, has lived just about everywhere—from sunny Spain to spacious Sweden. So when he says that Berlin has a special something, you know he's done the legwork. John's love for Berlin started when he spent a summer there in 1994 and fell in love with a local. The relationship didn't work out, but John's passion for Berlin never waned.

What Do Retirees Overseas Do All Day?

What Do Retirees Overseas Do All Day?

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February 16, 2014

But nature abhors a vacuum, and I know of no one here simply staring out the window wondering how to spend their time. During four years of living in Cuenca I have been amazed to observe the many creative outlets foreign residents dream up to be active and productive. Free from the yoke of employment (although many expat-run businesses have sprung up) folks are starting foundations and volunteering, learning Spanish and teaching English, tending animals and growing food, traveling in Ecuador and far beyond its borders.

6 Reasons Why You Need a Second Passport

6 Reasons Why You Need a Second Passport

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February 7, 2014

If you believe that spreading your political risk beyond one jurisdiction is the single most important thing you can do today, then obtaining a second passport and citizenship in another country is a critical part in achieving your goal. This is because it's a fundamental step toward minimizing the political risk of being subjected to the whims of any single government. The political diversification benefits that come with obtaining a second passport are universal and prudent for anyone in the world to obtain...

An Expat’s Worst Spanish Mistake—It Was All Part of the Process

An Expat’s Worst Spanish Mistake—It Was All Part of the Process

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January 24, 2014

John Brenner, a Minnesotan in his late 50s, was traveling in South America looking for a new place to live. The next leg of his trip was from Bogotá, Colombia to Lima, Peru. He was joined by three others, also Lima bound, whom he had met in the Bogotá hostel where he stayed. After an all-night bus ride they reached Ecuador's border, where they crossed on foot. Once in Ecuador the four had a stroke of luck.

Dream About Your New Life Overseas…Then Do It

Dream About Your New Life Overseas…Then Do It

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January 8, 2014

Not long ago, I received a note from a high-school friend I haven't seen in many decades. "Did you follow a dream to South America?" he asked. "Yes," I replied, "but I'm not finished. I'm still following my dreams." The thing is, I don't know where my dreams will take me. I have a very full bucket list of places I want to visit. Who knows how long I might be seduced into staying in any one of them?

Panama’s Highland Towns – One Popular, One Unknown

Panama’s Highland Towns – One Popular, One Unknown

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January 2, 2014

In much of Panama, sultry tropical days average 88F...but there are places where you can experience more temperate weather. Think mild and breezy—up to 10 degrees cooler (or more, when the sun's not out). Places where rain will be your biggest concern...where there's no hail, or snow, or hurricanes either. The most popular is the mountain town of Boquete, located in the Province of Chiriquí.

The Spirit of Christmas in Ecuador

The Spirit of Christmas in Ecuador

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December 25, 2013

It is Christmas morning, and my wife Cynthia and I are celebrating the joyous occasion with our daughter’s family in New Jersey. Tomorrow we fly to North Carolina to do it all over again in the home of our son. When we moved to Cuenca, Ecuador three and a half years ago we had no grandchildren. In the space of 19 short months we experienced our own private “baby boom” and today we have three (and counting?).

A Tuscan Christmas

A Tuscan Christmas

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December 24, 2013

Back when my husband and I started to have children, a dear friend began giving us beautiful Christmas village houses every year to collect and someday pass on to our children. Every year, as we unpacked the village, one building at a time, we would imagine what it would be like in a place like it. We would place the china characters carefully, connect the cobblestone paths, and talk about what the crunch of the snow sounded like on Christmas Eve. When it was set up perfectly, we would turn out the lights and the amber glow would pour from the windows and lanterns casting an ethereal radiance befitting the holiday season.