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Fifty years ago, if at retirement age you spent a few months in Paris…then moved on to Lisbon for the winter…settled for the spring in Italy…and then steamed down to Panama and Argentina…you were probably either wealthy, eccentric, or running from the law. These days… you’re just a run-of-the-mill vagabond retiree.
Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.
Sunsets over the Seine, croissants on the terrace, and lunch or dinner at the corner brasserie…life in Paris is as good as it sounds, and you can try it out for a lot less than you think. Just ask the folks living a “roving retirement,” many of whom make the City of Light a yearly stop.
What do monkeys, orchids and modern art have in common? You’ll find them all on Ancon hill. At 654 feet high Ancon is an island of natural beauty in the western part of Panama City. Formerly part of the Canal Zone, it’s now a protected area of secondary forest. Flowering Bird of paradise grows on the roadside and tawny-eared neque (think a rabbit crossed with a squirrel) hop into the undergrowth as you approach.
In 1968 the Beatles were big in the charts. It was the year Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, the Green Bay Packers won the Superbowl, and the American middle classes took home 53% of the nation’s wealth. Fast forward to the present and while the Packers are still a team to be reckoned with, and the Beatles still sell albums, the amount of the nation’s wealth that the struggling middle classes now take home has dropped to 45.7%.
With cries of “you’re too young to retire” still ringing in our ears, we handed over the house keys and flew away from Vancouver, Canada, in search of a new life. Sixteen months and 22 countries later, we are still enjoying our lifestyle as happy vagabonds. Our adventure is also a mission to explore the world in search of the perfect retirement location.
You’ve made plans, set tentative dates…you’re almost ready to take off on your three- or six-month European tour…the next step is a roof over your head. But the short-term rentals offered online can be sickeningly expensive. Fully furnished and ready to go they may be, but with prices often multiples of those you’ll find on the ground, there are better ways to look.
Eleven years and dozens of countries after selling their California house to travel the world, Trish and Marvin Scott say they have never regretted their decision. “We look for places off the tourist track. We’ve set up households in 20 countries, and currently we are living in an old communistera apartment in St. Petersburg,” says 70-year-old Marvin.
Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Often that’s what I pay for accommodation when I travel. But I’m not roughing it. I’ve been in unique and unforgettable places around the world. I’ve made friends, met interesting people and learned new skills. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated the system. But it’s entirely above board.