From the balcony of her two-bedroom condo in Tamarindo, Kathy Bowen enjoys a panoramic view of the palm-lined Pacific coast. “This is where I spend most of my mornings, right here, reading or doing puzzles, or just listening to music and enjoying the view.”
For Linda Pothoff, every day in Nicaragua is an adventure. You can find her horseback riding on the beach, or perhaps catching a ride on a catamaran and drinking Mai Tai cocktails all afternoon. On Tuesdays she goes to water aerobics.
“My quality of life here is excellent,” says Marlene Kimball of her new home in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. “I love the peacefulness and the tranquility. I’m able to eat clean foods, breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a culture that is not materialistic.”
Coming from the Pacific Northwest, Bill Dejardin and Judy Lutz were used to rain and gray skies throughout the year. “The weather in the northwest can be depressing,” says Bill. “Fall, winter, and spring can range from 20 F to 60s F or the occasional 70s F.”
"When I decided to move to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I’d never been to Asia,” says Preston Jewett of the decision that changed his life for the better. “I didn’t even know what countries bordered Thailand when I first thought about it."
My favorite day of the week is Friday in my country town of Atenas—although since moving to Costa Rica, every day is pretty good. On Fridays, I pile all of my five dogs into the car and head early in the morning for the farmers’ market, followed by a lively off-leash hike on a forested mountain trail near town.
A perfect climate was a major requirement for Brandy and Bob Gregory when they sought their overseas retirement home eight years ago. They found their ideal weather in the highland town of Boquete, in western Panama.
In the southern U.S., summertime heat and humidity drive people indoors into the air conditioning. That means enjoying the outdoors is a no-go for much of the year. And utility costs can go through the roof.
For Ray and Michele Martin, the year-round temperate climate of Costa Rica’s Orosí Valley leaves them with no need for heating or air conditioning. Temperatures stay in the 70s F most of the time, which means that they can get out on their farm all year-round.
Tucked into a secluded nook in the ancient Bayon temple, with benevolent stone faces smiling down at me from every angle, I felt overwhelmed at finally being in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, after years of day-dreaming of a life of travel. I remember thinking I should pinch myself. But instead I soaked up all the atmosphere I could, knowing this type of adventure would shape my future for years to come. Barely a year before, I could scarcely have imagined that I’d travel right across Southeast Asia—on my Social Security money alone. One morning early in 2015, I woke at dawn to get ready for a 10-hour shift as a shuttle driver.