Yes, it’s true. My life is just about to begin again at the fantastic, and completely optimistic age of 76 and counting. After a lovely month here in Golden, Colorado, near Denver, with my darling family, I’m launching a new career in a new country, where I know no one and don’t speak the native language – Spanish. Not a problem! I’ll make new friends and take language classes. It won’t be much different from changing countries every few weeks on my around-the-world travels, except that I’ll be looking for a more permanent home base.
A few days from now, I fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend International Living Magazine’s conference, Fund Your Life Overseas, designed to teach retirees how to live and work offshore much more economically than is possible here in the United States. For 35 years, IL has been helping seniors settle in countries where their social security will stretch further and where health care is as good, or superior to, what is found here at home. By now, they have also identified careers that can be done by computer from anywhere in the world….. a beautiful beach in Thailand or Belize…for instance, and that is the theme of this meeting I’ll be attending next week.
Fortunately, I don’t need to work but am keen to see how to earn money from things that come naturally to me, such as writing: blogging, advertising copywriting, travel writing and book production; or taking pictures as I go: stock photography; or selling things that I’m passionate about online through an ecommerce version.
That would include items which have proved essential to me as a world traveller: flight suits/jump suits (that 1970’s beloved style, which I have always adored), now roaring back into fashion. BUT, I must locate or invent a drop-seat version and find those styles suitable to women over 21. Other essentials are the exact-right-sort of belly bag to carry the brains of your operation: passport, credit/debit cards, checkbook or register, cash and, most important, lipstick. You wouldn’t believe how many badly-fitting belly bags are out there! This goes for the no-nonsense, small, backpack that substitutes for a purse on the road. I don’t want to look like a schoolkid, but I do need the space for my laptop, my journal, my Kleenex, current reading material and all other essential travel stuff.
Plus, every time I schlep my suitcase and carry-on bags to and fro, I mentally design the kind of luggage cart that no one has made yet: one with a wheelbase like a stroller or baby carriage, instead of the present kind which puts all the weight on your dragging or pushing shoulder. This seems like a no-brainer to me, along with drop-seats on your jump suit…. but manufacturers seem not to have woken up to this. Anyway, these are the items that my fictional ecommerce site would carry if I decide to go that route.
Now, where am I headed on this Reinvention Phase of my life? To Uruguay, down on the Atlantic Coast of South America, just a tad north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s a wonderful country and very high on International Living’s scoreboard of great places for expats to settle. Modern; European; much less expensive than the U.S.; high standard of medical care; quiet political situation, with parties taking turns in office; well-educated population; Spanish-speaking but a fair amount of English spoken in the cities. Uruguay’s long coastline forms the “Italian Riviera of South America,” where Brazilians and Argentines flock in summertime and rentals are so high that people snap up any properties for sale as great real estate investments.
I was in the beautiful old town of Colonia del Sacramento in 2009 and I completely loved it. Trees grow across the cosy streets, meeting in a green canopy and casting backlighting over the small downtown. Vintage cars sit in front of little cafes with tiny tables in their center and upholstered, old-fashioned car benches for a couple to eat their meal in private. Rusty old Model T convertibles, serve as flower boxes with riots of red geraniums in bloom. It’s very charming. So, I’m expecting similar surprises throughout the whole country.
We’ll soon see, as I land in the capital, Montevideo, on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, after a few days in the old hometowns of Clearwater/Dunedin, Florida to wrap up all business on the way south. Stay tuned!