When we lived in NYC, we used the four basic methods of inner-city transportation: foot, subway, bus, taxi. Here in the Greater Puerto Viejo area, your basic travel options are a bit broader: bike, moto, bus; car, golf cart, ATV, horse, surfboard and the occasional ox cart.
Yep, if you've got a yen for island living, we can't think of any island that delivers more than this one.
Lucy Culpepper's children were ages 6 and 9 when she and her husband decided to take them on a yearlong scouting trip.
I'd name Panama City, Panama, and Medellin, Colombia, as two of the best places in the world to think about retiring right now. At the same time, these two cities couldn't be more different from each other. You might even call them the retirement haven yin and yang of each other.
If you enjoy reading stories about the sea and sailing ships, you understand that, to do that, you need a special vocabulary. Read Joseph Conrad tales, for example, and you need to know that petty, poop, port and prop have specific meanings quite apart from what they might conjure up in another context. Similarly, when you move overseas you may need some new vocabulary.
You want to retire overseas, for instance -- to that sublime stretch of beach or sun-dappled colonial village -- but your significant other says "no way, Jose." Whatever can you do?
When we pictured ourselves living in Costa Rica, we pictured, well, I'm not quite sure, but it certainly wasn't living in a house that looked like it might be in Florida or Cali.
You may be surprised to learn the two biggest expenses often faced by expats. Most of us think of rent. Or food and entertainment. Or taxes maybe. But in my experience, many expats spend more on two other expenses.
When making your own plan for retirement overseas, the starting point -- the key to the success of the adventure -- is to be honest with yourself as to what kind of lifestyle you're after.
Over the last 11 years of living throughout Latin America, we've missed lots of things we had back in the States. Just one example... roasted red peppers packed in olive oil. Eight brands in the supermarket back home... none in the first two countries we lived in.
The Internet is a wonderful thing. From a small condo high in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains, we can view properties for sale in Omaha, Nebraska. During winter, this is the perfect way to see properties in Omaha if you no longer own a parka and mukluks.
f you've got a little money to invest, what should you think about doing with it? My unequivocal response to that question, which I receive from readers every day, is: Buy real estate overseas. An investment in a piece of real estate in another country is the best, smartest thing you could do with your money right now. How can I make that statement with such confidence?
Of course, weather is a subjective thing. For reasons we've never been able to understand, some people actually prefer snow and ice. Others, again for reasons unknown to us, long for the kind of weather you find inside a sauna.
We expats and retirees overseas come a long way since the cozy, cafe society of Ajijic in the 1950s.
My advice on the idea of grease payments, if, as many seem to, you interpret them as something other than a straight 'bribe,' is, again: Don't pay them. But don't be offended by the suggestion of them either. Treat them as minor matters. And move on.
Ask any Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica resident "How many times have you moved since your arrival?" and it goes something like this: "Five times in the past year," "twice this month," "I've lived in 18 places since i got here" and so on.