As attorneys in Detroit, my husband Kurt and I worked excessive hours. But we always had a plan to retire early to paradise. We traveled extensively around the world in search of that paradise and Costa Rica had what we were looking for.
With a low cost of living, picture-perfect white-sand beaches, friendly locals and fascinating culture, Southeast Asia are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, they still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas. Imagine never having to buy a new coat or pay for home heating ever again. Untouched by our idea of “winter”, each of the countries in Southeast Asia delivers warm, tropical weather and the chance for beach-side relaxation all year round. For many expats, it’s paradise found.
“How can two people who have lived their entire lives in Colorado, move so far away?” That was the reaction from family and friends when my husband, Wes, and I announced our decision to retire overseas. We felt it was a good time for us to have a new adventure. I’d been working for over 30 years as a library employee and Wes had been retired for over a year and was growing weary of the cold Colorado weather. We were in good health and we had worked hard and raised our family when our peers were out exploring (we married young).
I was hurtling down a mountain, on a narrow two-lane road, surrounded by jungle…while avoiding the deadly scratches of a terrified animal. How did I get here? Let’s go back to the beginning. I had traveled to Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast to check out the expat communities there.
When you think of Salinas, on the southwestern Pacific Coast of Ecuador, you picture big crowds and lots of water activity under a hot summer sun. But this is not the only side of Salinas. It is one of the most popular beach destinations for Ecuadorians and an increasing number of North American “snow birds”, but us year-round residents get to experience something wonderful—Low Season!
The five-island archipelago that makes up the nation of Malta offers a mix of historic Europe and modern international culture. Just south of Sicily and about 300 miles off the coast of Tunisia, these Mediterranean islands give visitors the very best in sunshine and cyan-hued waters. Expats in Malta enjoy a relaxed, low cost lifestyle, which is made even easier by the fact that most natives speak fluent English. They entertain themselves by attending the many festi (feasts) hosted on the islands, exploring the natural beauty of their home, or going out for a meal in one of the many diverse restaurants available to them.
Growing up in Oregon, I spent the summers at our beach house on the ocean. For most of my life, I’ve lived inland, away from any coastline. So every vacation, my first preference was to go somewhere with an ocean. When I decided to move out of the U.S., top of my list was sun and sand. I found that and more in my new hometown of David, Panama. Although not directly on the coast, David is close enough that when I start craving sand between my toes, a short drive takes me to the beach and the wonderful salt air.
An Irish passport is a good thing to have. If either parent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then no matter where you were born, you’re entitled to Irish citizenship. Even if both you and your parents were born outside of Ireland, but one of your grandparents was born there, then claiming citizenship is simple.
"Our days are so different from how they were in the States," says Jennings Wright. "Everything is more relaxing here and work often just feels like fun." After many months of travel, searching for a new and exciting place to live, Jennings (51) and her husband Chuck (56) chose Nicaragua for its low cost-of-living, natural beauty, and welcoming people.
Corozal sits on the expansive Bay of Corozal. This traditional Belizean family town is a throwback to the 1950s, with residents that are friendly and a pace that’s laidback. A growing number of expats are choosing to relocate to this region, appreciating the simple, serene, and relaxed Caribbean lifestyle. A major attraction is the reasonable cost of living...