“You know what?” my new friend said. “You need to tell this to young people.”
We were having coffee during one of the networking breaks here at the Fast-Track Ecuador Conference, and my new friend was much like me… much like the majority of our attendees… nearing or at retirement age and finally ready to have the overseas adventure she always wanted.
“I’m glad I have the chance to explore moving abroad, especially if it saves me money,” she continued. “But honestly… if I’d known about all the possibilities in my 20s or 30s, I’d have done it back then, and brought the kids.”
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this during the conference, and I suspect it had something to do with David and Wendy DeChambeau. Both had made presentations to our attendees—David about starting his restaurant business in the northern Andes town of Cotacachi, and Wendy about the challenges and rewards of moving abroad with children.
The DeChambeau boys, Jesse and Justin, are 9 and 11 years old, and they’re going to a local school, playing in the park with the other kids, roaming around the village, and generally doing (safely) what kids used to do in small-town America… only in Ecuador. And while Wendy had her concerns about moving them out of the U.S., she found that the rewards—including the incredible life experience and the exposure to other cultures and ways of life—far outweighed the many obstacles she’d imagined and the few she’d actually encountered.
It got a lot of people at the conference wondering… if they’d known about the options for living abroad when they were just starting their families and careers, would they have made the leap themselves?
For more than a few of the attendees I talked to, the answer was “yes”… and my new friend was even more emphatic.
“You owe it to young people back in the States and Canada to let them know that this lifestyle is available to them,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine for us older folks to take advantage of all the adventure and savings, we’ve earned it.
“But young people need to know that they can start businesses out here, like David and Wendy and Alison Talbert and Sarah Dettman. And they need to know they can live a simpler, more natural life like John Curran and Patrick Robinson down there in Vilcabamba.
“And they need to know how much their kids will benefit from the experience… like those DeChambeau boys. They’re little angels, and they’re going to be smarter and more worldly by the time they’re in their 20s than most of their friends back home will be by the time they’re 60.”
I couldn’t disagree. Living abroad is one of the best strategies there is for making a retirement nest egg go as far… and as happily… as possible.
But young people and people just starting families could obviously benefit from the same lower cost of living, expanded opportunities, and sense of adventure.
“What should we do?” I asked my new friend.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing… but talk to young people as well. They’re out there, they need good economic and lifestyle options, and you have lots of them. Make sure they know it.”
I told her I’d see what I could do… and about that time I saw the DeChambeau boys lining up at the snack trays set out for our networking break. Waiting patiently. Smiling. Being polite. Saying “please” and “thank you.” In two languages.
“Maybe,” I said to my new friend, “you’re on to something here.”
Editor’s note: Don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it to this year’s Fast-Track Ecuador Conference… the Fast-Track Ecuador Package is as good as attending the conference—without having to leave the house. We recorded every speech and seminar (over 14 hours’ worth). We collected every presentation, conference workbook and hand-out given to conference attendees. In short, we captured the entire conference for you. And if you order your complete Ecuador package today… you get a discount of $150…