As a child, I dreamed of living on a farm. I wasn't much interested in tractors and combine harvesters, but the thought of a life that revolved around animals thrilled me. Alas, my parents both grew up on farms in the Midwest and had no interest in running one of their own.
"I've always believed that work should be something you enjoy and love," says Joanna Gillan, who funds a life of freedom and travel with her website dedicated to the study of ancient history. "If you do something you love, no matter what your background or experience is, it will always be successful."
Sprawled along a valley between towering green mountains, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a multi-cultural and vibrant city. It offers museums, fine arts, restaurants of many cuisines, modern malls—and some great places to live. Here are just a few examples from three of Quito's most popular neighborhoods.
Kristin Simmon-Lowman has found she can live her life just as she desires in Ecuador. "I'm a routine person," she says. "I spend eight hours a week taking Spanish lessons and that's something I enjoy a lot. Also, I teach English twice a week to 11- and 12-year-olds through a local education program, Uno a Uno," she says.
Retiring to Costa Rica was an easy choice for me and my wife, Jackie since we had been vacationing there for several years and loved the simplicity and natural beauty of the country. We also decided that the best option for us, initially, was to rent rather than purchase our home.
What I love best about living in Atenas, Costa Rica, is how peaceful it is. The capital city of San José is only an hour's drive to the east. But whenever I have to go there, like just the other day, I always breathe out a big sigh of contented happiness when I turn off the highway and onto the main road into Atenas where we live.
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning." Those are the famous directions to Neverland—a magical place, overflowing with adventure, where you don't grow old.
Even though Costa Rica is only about the size of West Virginia, it has a variety of climates and landscapes to suit every taste...and a choice of locations to suit every budget. One of the most popular areas of the country with expats is the Central Valley.
I'm addicted to House Hunters International. I used to spend hours watching people pick out their dream homes in exotic locations at a fraction of the cost of living in the States, never realizing that one day I would be one of them.
It's no secret that the coast of Ecuador has some of the lowest-priced coastal properties in the world. Still, cash is king in the real estate market here, and not everyone can take advantage of the bargains to be found.