Laying under a palm tree on a tropical beach is a fantasy many people only act out during vacation or retirement. Sure, we would all love to live in paradise long before our twilight years, but, so the thinking goes, it’s far from feasible. Not so.
In fact, more and more hard-working North Americans have begun to redefine their life parameters and are moving abroad to exotic locations before retirement. How? By opening businesses that support their lives abroad in the country of their dreams.
Channeling their deepest passions into successful businesses overseas, these inspiring business owners manage to thrive financially while living on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
After working for over a decade in the restaurant industry in Washington DC, Katherine Dukehart took the plunge and moved to the small Caribbean island chain of Bocas del Toro in Panama.
Today she owns El Ultimo Refugio, consistently a top guidebook pick, which combines her stateside roots with spicy Caribbean and Latin flavors. The restaurant sits on a dock built over the sea…and the established tourism industry in Bocas del Toro supports many other international restaurants in Bocas Town on Isla Colon.
Sunanda Mehra dreamed for years of trading her Toronto city lifestyle for a warm weather island paradise. Today she, too, lives the life of her dreams in Bocas del Toro with her husband and two children.
In 2002 Sunanda opened Om Café using her mother’s special Indian recipes, bringing traditional Indian cuisine to Central America. The restaurant is one of the most popular in Bocas and she recently expanded, opening a waterfront café and cocktail lounge named Maracuya.
When they first visited Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, Tim and Tyler Marsh had no idea that they would one day run the premier surf school in the entire country. The two brothers grew up on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Surfing was in their blood.
As many island kids do, they relocated to the mainland for higher education and established successful careers in California. They traveled across the globe from Bali to Jamaica to surf when time allowed.
They longed to one day establish roots in a peaceful beach community where surfing could become more integrated into their lives.
Then they found Nosara. Tim quickly realized he would need to return to the States and continue his career in order to finance his lifestyle. He was nowhere near ready to retire. Rather than delay living their lifelong dream, they recognized the need in the community for a surf school.
Fifteen years later they live in a beautiful, tranquil community surrounded by family and friends and run a successful business in Costa Rica doing what they love: surfing.
Combining passion with courage these business owners took a risk in pursuit of their dreams. They are living proof that the life you want does not have to wait until retirement, it is entirely possible now.
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