The Movable Feast of Expat Life Goes Mobile Again!
April 27, 2014 by admin
I have been a Happy-Camper Expat in Montevideo, Uruguay, since November, 2013, and I still have a month left on my six-month visa. But, the weather’s getting chilly now and I’m ready to head for the Equator. Winters here are windy and about like South Carolina’s, but that’s too cold for me. I’m heading up to Peru on May 1st, to spend a week in a Lima hostel; then bus to Cuzco for another hostel week, before landing in Paz y Luz (Peace & Light) Yoga and Healing Retreat in Pisac, Peru, only 50 minutes by taxi from Cuzco. All three spots are familiar to me from a previous visit.
I have made so many good friends among the locals and my fellow expats, that I look forward to a great reunion in November. Many of us are Snowbirds and head back to our U.S. or Canadian homes. When I lived in Florida, I watched everyone else doing that. Now, it’s my turn! I will go to the States to visit my family, but their summer is full of travel and foreign visitors, so I’ll catch them after school starts. This gives me the leisure to wander overland through the Andes and Central America, perhaps Mexico and Texas, all the way to Colorado. I plan to explore the West, which I often fly over.
Being an Expat is great! As I explained earlier, “ex-patriot” isn’t as EX as it sounds. This is a nickname for people who live overseas from their native home, often in retirement, seeking affordable living in safe countries with high standards of living and healthcare. Uruguay is among the more expensive, as many costs are the same as at home; but it’s wonderfully cosmopolitan and very clean and beautiful. I’ll be keen to compare the expat life of Ecuador, which is probably at the top of International Living’s recommended list for extremely economical living. Then, there’s Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua to check out, as well.
When I was there, in 2004, I wasn’t thinking about offshore retirement and the expat concept, perhaps, hadn’t become so mainstream as it has now. As our economy gets tighter and healthcare gets more expensive, many Seniors are now seeking ways to live their dream in peaceful countries, which truly lay out the welcome mat for us. Uruguay is a small country, with a population of a little over three million people; half of whom live in Montevideo. They are glad to have us settle here and will make the paperwork very reasonably easy. However, folks like me can have our time here with no paperwork, if we don’t need to extend our visa; though we miss out on local’s discounts for healthcare and transportation.
Perhaps, the most telling proof that this country works for me, is that I haven’t become eager to move on; as I do in many of the countries that I visit. A week or two, and that’s enough! Not so, here! I’ll miss this place, for sure! But mostly, I’ll miss all my new friends.
Woops! I’d better get ready for my final Sunday Luncheon meeting at the Club Banco Republica. It’s a half-hour bus ride between Ciudad Vieja and the fancy subdivision of Pocitos, right on the beach, where we always have a meet-up. You never know who will show up! How many of us do this in our stateside hometowns? None, that I know of….and yet, it’s such a simple thing.