It was New Year’s Eve 2012 and the view outside my window was perfect. In the darkness, I could just make out the rolling Italian hills, dotted with brick houses with terracotta rooftops. A lone bell tower rose from a small, ancient church into the sky. And as the bell tolled midnight, the sky lit up with fireworks from three different directions.
For some time now, I’ve silently wondered if I am the only one who winces at the frequent admonishment to “go big or go home.” Why, I muse, would folks smart enough to abandon a large working environment want to replicate that? Why is millionaire status still flaunted as the pinnacle of success? Or home ownership the epitome of the American Dream? It all seems so…well…20th century.
Combine your creative talent with the craftsmanship and designs of another country and you could find an opening for an interior design business. In Jacó, on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, Lynn Gensemer, 56, of Chungo Interior Designs, eschews expensive imported furniture and fixtures from the U.S. in favor of working with local craftsmen to create custom designs.
Despite his many years working as a car-insurance salesman in Portland, Oregon—and making good money— Caelan Huntress always considered it a temporary gig. Today he has thrown out the cubicle, tie, and daily commute…and taken his sales skills online. He lives and works from his home in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone—a region on the southern Pacific coast, near the border with Panama. The beach is 45 minutes away. Shopping and quality medical care is just 15 minutes down the hill. And the verdant green mountains of the interior are an even bigger draw.
If you want to set up business overseas, you will most likely consider doing it by yourself. But if you don’t have the language and you’re not familiar with the country itself, this can be a daunting prospect. A solution could be partnering with a local.
Over the last 30 years, IL has helped many readers fulfill their dreams and move overseas. Below we profile three couples: Lifetime Members Anna and Joel have been living blissfully on the tropical island of Roatan for the past four years; Derek and Lesley have just quit their jobs and are leaving Canada in an RV, in search of Paradise; and Scot and Kristine have recently opened a new resort on Little Corn Island off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.
Like many other expat entrepreneurs, Mallina opened Gaia to provide something she missed from home. Find out how she did it...
Bob Mandel is constantly on the move in PuertoVallarta, hustling up donations for Make-a-Wish Mexico, organizing charitable events like golf tournaments and parties. As he says, “There’s always a pile of wishes waiting to be granted.” On the daywe spoke, he had 56 requests on his desk. Remarkably, not a single wish has ever been declined.
Our journey overseas started in Las Vegas in March 2007, when we attended our first International Living conference. My husband, Daniel, was keen to go, but I had no particular expectation; we were just curious. We had sold our business a few years before, and were looking for our next opportunity.
In 2000, Marvin Golden convinced his wife Barbara to take a work sabbatical. Just for a year, he told her. His plan was to travel through the U.S. and to Mexico.