One of the main concerns of any person looking to retire overseas is the quality of healthcare. Is it possible to get medical treatment as good as what’s available in the U.S. and Canada?
“Rent before you buy.” I’ve been interviewing expats in Panama since I began writing for International Living in 2006, and this may well be the phrase I hear (and repeat) the most. It’s good advice when moving to a new community…whether it’s across the country or across the world.
“You’re out of your mind!” This was one of the milder things people said when I announced that after 30 years of living in the paradise of Maui, Hawaii, I was moving to South America. And at 80 years of age. Alone. Without speaking a word of Spanish.
I’m in an SUV in La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The sun is hot and we’ve rolled down the windows as we drive through town. We go at a leisurely pace, stopping at street corners to obey the four-way stop signs; La Paz is too low-key to need many stop lights.
Internet research and guide books are useful for learning about new locales. But nothing compares to the experience of spending time in them. Sights like terracotta roofs topping white-washed cottages, aromas of fragrant wildflowers or your neighbor’s grilled chicken on an outdoor barbeque (churrasqueira), and the sounds of crashing ocean surf or the lilting trill of your local bird population are all characteristics of Portugal that you could never experience from reading a book.
If you plan to spend time in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands and want to look beyond San Miguel de Allende, consider renting a property in Guanajuato, the state capital. This 16th-century Spanish-colonial city, a World Heritage site since 1988, is beautiful and lively, with a vibrant ambience.
San Miguel de Allende is arguably the best-known Spanish-colonial town in Mexico…and for good reason. It’s beautiful (and beautifully-preserved), it has great shopping for arts and crafts, fine dining, plenty of English-speaking locals, a huge expat community, and it’s relatively easy to reach.
If you’re looking to retire in a lively college town with plenty of activities, you should look to scenic Guanajuato, Mexico. This state capital in central Mexico is a UNESCO World Heritage city, filled with Spanish-colonial buildings.
It might seem strange to say that I’m a beach person, having spent much of my adult life as a desert dweller. But every vacation during those years was to the ocean, because while I loved life in New Mexico, I craved the ocean and needed at least one week of soaking myself in salt water to regenerate.
Day-Glo purple, tuscan yellow, lipstick red, and electric hues I don’t have names for—these are the colors that hug the roads of the Orosi Valley. They are housed in the stories-tall bougainvillea, pendent heliconias, and multi-shaped bromeliads that cover the region, owing to the year-round perfect climate.