Alfredo and Yvonne Villoria were just another fast-paced, career-minded couple in Los Angeles. But money-making wasn't enough. "We felt that something was missing," says Yvonne. "In 1976, we decided that 1980 was the cut-off year. In 1980, we would leave the United States. All we were doing was chasing the dollar. We wanted more. We thought there had to be more to life than just working and owning things.
The cost of elective procedures such as dental and cosmetic surgery is cheaper in these four countries than in the U.S., even when you take the cost of travel into account.
"Don't worry, you won't have a problem finding a place to stay," said my friend as we drove into General Villamil Playas (commonly just called "Playas"), the closest beach town to Guayaquil. "The hotels here never fill up." He should know. He owns a condo in Playas and drives there easily in just over an hour from his home in Guayaquil to spend weekends and holidays at this beach town on Ecuador's southern coast, named by some as the "sunniest beach" in the country.
Photography was always my passion. But I hesitated making it my "job" because I did not want to ruin the joy it brought me. I was one of those people that thought art was a hobby, not something that could sustain me. So I went off to college, got a Bachelor of Science (in psychology, sociology, and anthropology), and emerged into the "real world" with a career in social services.
"Sometimes we just shake our heads in disbelief that we actually own a home right on the beach in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen," Paula Irvin says. "It’s absolutely amazing!" Hummingbirds zip around the bright-red feeder hanging from the balcony. "They always come at this time—just as the sun begins to dip into the ocean and the other birds start calling to each other a goodnight song," says Paula. Paula and her husband Randy blissfully watch this evening routine...
The very thought of moving abroad seems like such an adventure, doesn't it? The world is full of so many intriguing locations. Which country would you choose? Which city? If you actually pull the trigger and relocate, then the adventure truly begins. Everything is new, exciting, interesting, frustrating, and exhausting all at once. You're meeting new friends—maybe learning a different language—adapting to a foreign culture, and exploring surrounding areas.
Ecuador has an abundance of restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. Here, our guys on the ground give you their friendly recommendations of five of the best places to eat in Ecuador.
By now, you know that I advocate acquiring dual citizenship. Dual, even multiple citizenship, for Americans has been upheld as a legal right by the U.S. Supreme Court in several cases. A second passport is solid insurance against tyrannical government. And although Switzerland has been smeared as a haven for tax dodging and money laundering, of all passports, the Swiss is one of the best. It offers visa-free travel to many countries. However, acquiring Swiss citizenship is difficult, usually requiring years of residence to qualify, and even then may be subject to local canton approval.
Tucked away 150 miles east of Puerto Rico, you'll find one of the Caribbean's most beautiful jurisdictions—St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts is the larger and more populous island, but I prefer the less hectic pace of life in Nevis. With densely forested mountains, brilliant tropical flowers and crystal-clear waters, there's plenty of reasons you'd want to own a home on Nevis.
It was Christmas vacation 2009. I turned on my computer and clicked on Yahoo where a headline caught my attention: "The Top 10 Places in the World to Retire." I had never heard of the number one city listed, Cuenca, Ecuador. But as I perused the other nine cities, I found something wrong with each of them. They were too hot or too cold, or hot in the summer and cold in the winter, which was just what I wanted to leave behind in Chicago; or they were too far from the U.S.