My Move Abroad

Having In-Laws of another Culture and Country



My Mother-in-Law, Dona Maria


It is really difficult to get to know the people around you when you don’t speak the same language. You can be speaking the same native language and not understanding each other. Words have meaning, but if you think about it, how many times have you said something to someone who interpreted it entirely differently than you intended? And you had to say, “That isn’t what I...

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Designing + Building a House in Guatemala - Part 5b



Zaqueo hired a third friend of his from his home area named Chicalo. He was to be an “ayudante,” or assistant as they are called when they don’t have a specific trade. Chicalo had only one working eye. The other had been irreparably damaged by a bungee cord accident. I used to work with eye surgeons, and one of them told me, “Don’t EVER use bungee cords, and tell everyone you know they are very dangerous and to throw them out!” She had...

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Designing + Building a House in Guatemala - Part 5a

"Why would anybody want to build a house in a foreign country?"


That’s what I asked my friend who was buying land here in Guatemala. She was looking for a partner, and I thought she was a bit crazy to attempt it. I went with her and her real estate agent to look at land. When she chose to buy this one with an amazing view, I took more interest. I told her I would start making drawings of what she wanted that she could take to an architect to have plans made. The...

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The Road to “Hobbitenango” - Part 4

"What is Hobbitenango?"


Many of my stories involve a place up the hill near us called Hobbitenango, and before I write about building my house here, I must explain what Hobbitenango is. “Tenango” is a Mayan suffix to many of the names of towns in Guatemala, meaning “the place of.” Jocotenango is the place of the Jocos, Alotenango is the place of the Alos, Chimaltenango the place of the Chimals, etc. So this place near us is the place of …. you guessed, the...

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Retired but not Retiring in a Guatemalan Village - some Background

I grew up in the United States, most recently from Northern California, but now in my 70’s I live in a village in Guatemala, five miles away from Antigua, a popular tourist destination and NOT typical of Guatemalan life. One of the things I believe has dramatically changed quality of life for this very poor country is plastic. Another, similar, is disposable diapers. And thirdly, cell phones. Here is why:


Before plastic bags and food containers people...

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Cruisin' the Caribbean: Tips for the Ship

For retirees/expats considering a cruise, here are a few tips I garnered from a recent Caribbean island-hopping adventure my wife and I enjoyed.
It was appropriate that I’d celebrate my 70th birthday at sea, since the older I get the more I find myself ‘at sea’, and the less I understand this wacky world. Be that as it may, the cruise was grand, and I learned a few things about such endeavors that I’m happy to pass on,...

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A large percentage of Mexicans in San Miguel de Allende perceive that all expats (Gringos) living in the blissful hamlet of San Miguel de Allende are wealthy.
This is so far from the truth!
Many  expats, and in particular Americans, live here on their monthly Social Security check.  Most can live exceedingly well while others truly perish and must live like the locals in the marginalized communities.
Best Mexico Movers

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The Greatest Gift!

She was walking hand in hand with her husband that cold winter's day. I was so impressed to see such an old couple holding hands. When I asked her how long have they been married, she offered me a toothless smile and said, "67 years, Señor."

Her gentle words touched me in a very special way on that cold winter's day, so I offered to help the both of them with FREE dental treatment and dentures in my clinic.
From the photos attached,...

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Three simple steps to a life of freedom

In early 2014 my partner Vanessa and I sold almost everything we owned. Vanessa sold her house in the UK, and I sold my small island home in Panama.
NOTE: You can read more about this in my previous "Best Places..." story.

Free at last

We were free. Free to go wherever we wanted, free to live life on our own terms.

Looking back on this decision we now see that it was the first step on a three step journey towards the global freedom we sought.

rv trip usa – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOur first...

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Why we move abroad

Are you unhappy with your life? Miserable at work? Don't like the area you live in?

Or maybe you are yearning for adventure, excitement and new challenges?

The reasons for deciding to migrate abroad are many and varied, but generally they will fall somewhere along the spectrum of two broad classes - push or pull.


Throughout history people have migrated to new places because of difficult or intolerable situations in...

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Best Places In The World To Retire