As a busy carpenter and contractor in his native Canada, Steve Quinn relished his regular trips to Costa Rica to relax and unwind on the beach. After six years of short visits, he decided to make this beach lifestyle permanent. He took over a beach bar and restaurant in Tamarindo, a funky surf town on the country's northern Pacific coast. He's leasing the property for three years, with an option to buy, which is a great way to test the waters without committing to purchasing property right off the bat.
With almost perpetually sunny weather, glittering stretches of Mediterranean coastline, and a relaxed, easygoing lifestyle, Spain has long been a favorite playground for Americans on vacation. But plenty of business-savvy Americans are extending that vacation into a way of life, and making a prosperous living here, too. In a country where even the Prime Minister struggles to speak English, locals are only too aware of the need to improve, meaning native speakers can easily find work as English teachers and translators.
About a year ago, I woke up one morning in Chicago and realized that another endless day stretched ahead of me. Another day of the same routine, the same monotony, running in the rat race, racing as fast as I could to get...nowhere. Cliche, I know, but I woke up knowing that unless I made a substantial change, I would lose my zest for life.
"Wait, what? Don't move to Argentina, you can't speak any Spanish!" Everyone reacted the same way when I announced I was moving. My Spanish education consisted of one class I took for a few months when I was 11 years old.
I discovered the potential of ecommerce 14 years ago when I started my online maternity store...from my kitchen table. At the time, I was searching for a business that offered me the freedom to work from anywhere and the flexibility I needed to care for my young children after my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I found it in ecommerce. In its first month, my first site brought in $7,000. I was ecstatic. And it grew from there. I turned my online business into a multi-million-dollar business in a short amount of time.
Cynthia West bounced through the door vibrating with the news she was about to tell her husband Robert. He listened with mounting glee as she explained her medical company's plan to inject some younger blood into the workforce. They were offering an early retirement package—one that would give Cynthia "an avenue of escape" from her high stress, 10-hour-a-day job in Silicon Valley. She grabbed the opportunity. Though Robert, 62, was working part-time...
I work in Paris, France with plenty of free time to explore this amazing city with my kids, because of my career. As a copywriter, I work about five hours a day, three or four days per week, and I can think of no better place to live. “Hey look Mama! It’s the Eiffel Tower!” “Hey look Mama! It’s the Eiffel Tower!”
Today I got up at the crack of noon. It's not something I do every day, but it's a luxury I relish after those late nights out with friends in my new home of Altea—a stress-free, seaside village on Spain's Costa Blanca.
When Costa Rica got its start as an expat haven more than three decades ago, it was all about retirees. But over the years, the great weather, stable government, and low cost of living have also attracted those too young to retire (or those who never want to). And they've found plenty of ways to support themselves—and their families—while living in a tropical paradise.
I haven't had a "real" job—you know, one of those 9-to-5 office gigs—since 2008. But I earn good money. Enough that I'm able to travel the world, save for retirement, and dine at nice restaurants without ever breaking a sweat about my bank account. You see, in 2008 I quit my office job so that I could wander through the Middle East, Asia and Australia for a few years.