Living Like Royalty in Cartagena, Colombia

First thing this morning, I stepped out of my apartment building and crossed the street to meet my personal trainer at the beach. After I finished my 20-minute routine, I rounded out my workout with a refreshing swim in the ocean. By the time I got back to the apartment, our live-in cook had prepared a delicious, healthy breakfast of patacon con queso (fried plantain and cheese).

This is the start of a typical day for me, and all possible because I live in the beautiful city of Cartagena, Colombia. Here, an average person can live like a king, enjoying privileges reserved for the rich and famous in the U.S.

I can’t begin to describe how helpful it has been for me to go from juggling a job, three kids, and a house, to having a couple of maids helping me with healthy meals, laundry, and more. The average cost of a live-in maid is just $250/month.

In my own time I booted up the computer in my home office, to begin the work of the day (but I wasn’t too busy to take a break when the manicurist arrived for my weekly mani-pedi).

Thanks to the internet, I was able to structure my business to work remotely. Some days I’ll grab my laptop and take a short trip to the historic Old Town. Sitting at La Brioche in the plaza, sipping coffee while I work, is an enjoyable change of pace. I love people-watching and taking in the antics of the happy, merry-go-lucky Colombian people as they go about their day.

Thanks to the low cost of living, expats in Cartagena can afford luxuries that they only dreamed of back home.
Thanks to the low cost of living, expats in Cartagena can afford luxuries that they only dreamed of back home.

One of the major benefits of an online business is that all of my clients are based in the U.S. and pay me in U.S dollars. In the last 12 months, the strength of the dollar has doubled, meaning, if you earn in dollars, the cost of living is about 50% what it used to be in Colombia.

Inexpensive labor, beautiful scenery, and low cost of living are just some of the reasons why I’m enamored with the Cartagena lifestyle. One of my favorite hobbies is scuba diving. Here, you can jump on a high-speed boat for under $30 and within 30 minutes, arrive at one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. The reefs are stunning, and wonderful for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s one of my favorite weekend plans, hitting the islands with a group of friends.

In just one year, I’ve had a complete physical and emotional makeover as a result of my lifestyle in Cartagena. Not only do I look great, I feel amazing and have more energy than I’ve had in a decade. It’s an incredible, magical city which I highly recommend to anyone.

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