I've been following you for awhile. I understand your focus on costs, the day to day expenses and day to day necessities.
Would it be possible for you to add your activities and those that you interview? Many people reading your reports come from high activity/stress and are wondering - what do these people do all day?
Other areas I would be interested in are ex-pat communities or groups in the areas you visit links in the post for more information about the area you are talking about.
I generally minimize what people do in other countries for many reason. Mainly because readers hook onto comments and overvalue them.
Tourist sites promote tourist attractions, they are a dime for 10,000 of those types of travel sites..
What generally is 100 percent true of people living in the places I live is they have an over-abundance of spare time. Therefore, they can do whatever they want. People do about the same things in all locations as they did at home.
What they do more is:
2. Talk with friends more.
3. Work less
What is available in Tela, that is not available in other locations is the ocean.
There is an expat community here that seems to revolve around the Restaurant called the Bungalow, or Norms, the food is excellent, and Norm is the perfect person to help people to find an apartment.
I do not wish or want to promote tourism, or being a tourist with tourist attractions. Tourist attractions are good for about two days. For example, Tela has what is said be be the number two Botanical Gardens on the planet.
PLEASE do not move here for that reason....
The overwealming myth is that you need to be rich to travel or live overseas, the truth is you can live cheaper outside your developed country. This is why I must prove it, and try to stop the myth, this dream is easier than living in the USA, Europe, Australia or Japan.
I like your new interviews with what I call "budget expat retirees". I travel to the so called "third world" quite often. A lot of people are concerned with health care and medical emergencies. I have had to emergencies - 1 in Cambodia and 1 in Costa Rica - and was more than satisfied with the care I received from English speaking Doctors and medical staff - no waiting either. A little research into local health care and expat medical insurance programs will put most people at ease. And maybe an emergency evacuation policy also.
There are many more countries becoming "expat retiree" friendly. There's a country out there for everyone. Things to consider - taxes, cost of living, public safety, transportation, utilities and breaks for retired people.
Keep us updated with more places!!
Andy Says.....Proving people can live for under 500 Dollars per month in Tropical Paradise ...
That's Crazy !! Why spend $500 a month and also have to spend $$ on food and health care and public transportation when you can just sneak into the USA like The Presidents Aunt Zietuni of Kenya and get FREE public house, A welfare check approx 1,000 a month,Food stamps $$ 300,,a free hip replacement $25-50,000 and door to door public mbta car service from the city due to your bad hip....Now that is Paradise my friends that is the American dream...
Liz!!!!! The nicest lady in Tela!! We were also lucky to meet Liz when we were in Tela. She was such a big part of our Tela memories. She does have an amazing apartment and a million dollar view.
Liz, if you see this, thank you so much for being so nice and welcoming to us when we were in Tela. We think about you all the time.
Did you purchase your Wireless Internet Modem there? And what was the cost?
It was about 50 USD or 850 Lempiras for one month and 5 GIGS of transfer, the great part was I did not need to buy the Modem, the one from Guatemala worked. I am thinking there is a universal one that will work.
Add the cost in countries you know please here:
Thanks Andy for the info.
So you purchased the modem in Guat? How much?
Nice place there and cheap to live. I hope to go there someday.
Is this woman and the other local expats leaving the country (or CA-4 consortium, I suppose) every 180 days?
I know on Lake Atitlan they have people arrange the Visas, and the expats do not have to leave every 180 days. The four countries thing that allows people to come to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador as a group is causing a problem. The distance for a Visa run is too far, but personally I want people to stop trying to live forever in destination and choose 3-12 countries per year to live in, this solves the visa problem, and they do not get exasperated with one culture.
Some people are Ex Pats or semi Ex Pats and prefer one region or country over traveling 3-12 countries per year. When I was younger I did my world traveling, now I have health issues and keep busy here, as well I am a resident, so I do not worry about "Visas", nor do I have anyone, tramitador nor lawyer nor "local friend" do anything for me that I cannot do for myself.
If one does not speak or understand well the local language, by all means ask long term Ex Pats, experienced travelers and local friends for help and guidance, people you have met face to face or know from previous visit to area, not on Internet BB's or forums.
When I do travel in Latin America, I often find to locate a nice and affordable hotel or lodging, I use the classified..clasificados section of local newspapers in Spanish and/or the Yellow Pages..páginas amarillas in print rather than the Internet or "LP" which we long term Ex Pats laugh at often
If I had the money would probably move to New Zealand tommorow and stay!!!!!!
Anyway, live on way less than 650 USD a month, includes some personal luxuries for myself
I enjoy being with independent travelers on a budget, I despise being around "cheap" people always seeming to be counting their money..called Tacaños in El Salvador and Guatemala, in fact is embarassing to me and my local friends.
I suppose I was just wondering what Liz and her peers were doing, and if that question came up.
I read that expats in Honduras join the $9 club on SpiritAir and fly to FLL from Tegucigalpa for ~$100 (roundtrip?). Say it's easier (and cheaper?) than traveling to Belize for them.
People fly to San Pedro Sula which is a lot closer than Tegucigalpa with Spiritair.com.... I do not know about this 9 dollars club, think of great value for someone who lives in Fort Lauderdale the base for Spiritair.com.
There promotions do not include taxes, they are about as up front as Ryanair.com.
What does Liz do for fun... hmm, I am not sure. I met her at the Lempira Hotel with a guy by the name of Zack. David and Nicole two French Canadians are making a tourist hotel there and Liz was painting a Mural. David and Nicole are big Harley Davidson people, not my ball of wax, but they are nice people.
They talk a lot about their Chef, I turn my brain off when people talk Tourist Priced food, I can be at home and have that. I on the other hand am eating great Tortitlla Harinas here with Habana sauce that is a WOW, for 50 cent U.S.
What does Liz during the day? I will try to ask, she says she walks to the beach every day, but she is white as piece of white paper.
Life in Tela for an Expat must revolve around locals, there is not enough Expats here say there is a colony. I personally walk to the Central Park twice a day, then walk around on the boardwalk on the water. Sometimes I walk down to Davids Hotel the Lempira and talk, but this is nutty, they work, make noise and are the American culture moved here, they want to make money ,make money, make money. I am into talking and conversing with friends, not talking about making money.
Liz on the other hand is just having fun, she had a simple life and can do what she wants, she is not involve in this make money life that could be better done back in Canada. If I wanted the stress of running a Brick and Mortar business, I could make more money in the USA, and not have to deal with the culture here.
Live life is what Liz does, the same as she would in Canada, she has a better climate quality of life, and does the same things she does in Canada for one tenth the cost of living.
Being rich is always beneficial, she is Rich here, while she would be almost poor on the same budget in Canada. This is about leveraging your money or budget to increase the quality of life.... but do what we enjoy the exact same as at home.
Spirit Air...go for it, some complaints about service and charging for carry on luggage, hub is Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA check them out https://www.spiritair.com/Reservations.aspx, I may fly from GUA to LGA in September if I get a good deal. Taca www.taca.com is usually more expensive FROM C.A. to USA. Also the Panamanian Airline Copa FROM C.A. to USA has good service www.copaair.com often specials online off season travel.
Tourist arriving to any CA4 country, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua usually gets 90 days,
Those staying over 90 days must apply for an extension at Immigration Office of country you are to stay in, or goon to Mexico or Costa Rica by landor air and return 72 hours for new 90 stamp. Simple as that.
For example if entering CA4 in Guatemala:
(Also the same for US, Canadian and EU, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan citizens, no "visas" required for 90 day stay.)
Visas are not required by British citizens to enter Guatemala and can visit freely for up to 90 days. If your stay in Guatemala is longer than 90 days you should go to the General Directorate of Migration in Guatemala to apply for an extension to the 90-day rule. If you would like to clarify any other information on entry requirements you should contact the Guatemalan Embassy in London. Washington DC, Ottawa etc.or any CA4 consulate or embassy nearest your home.
Your passport must have at least six months’ validity before travelling to Guatemala. CA4
Central America Border Control Agreement.
Guatemala is part of the Central America Border Control Agreement (CA-4). Under the terms of this agreement, British tourists may travel within any of the CA-4 countries (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala) for a period of up to 90 day, without completing entry and exit formalities at border Immigration checkpoints. This period begins at the first point of entry of any of the CA-4 countries. Fines are applied for travellers who exceed this 90-day limit, although a request for an extension can be made for up to 30 days by paying a fee before the 90 days limit expires. If you are expelled from any of the four countries you are also excluded from the entire CA-4 region.
There is a US$30 (or Quetzal equivalent) airport departure tax which is normally included in the price of the ticket. An additional security tax of US$3 is payable at the airport. For internal flights there is a five Quetzal per person travel tax, which is also payable at airline check-in desks.
When crossing into Guatemala by land border, there have been numerous reports of customs/immigration officials charging an "entry fee". This is illegal. By asking for an official receipt for your money you may find that the "fee" is dropped.
Travelling with children
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at Guatemalan immigration, please contact the Guatemalan Embassy in London. Washington DC, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada etc.
In the 1980s and up until about 2003 I was a working Ex Pat and most of the Ex Pats I knew, the permanent ones, not snowbirds nor PTs, worked, from teaching English to working in tourism to owning a small business, most all of us legal with residency.
I admire those who find their niche and stick out through thick and thin. Returned to Central America to livein 1985, we had no Internet, cell phones, Skype, magicjacks, calling the USA or Europe was expensive then, now 10 cents US minute on my landline or cell 24/7, when friend brings back my magicjack from US later this month calls to US and Canada will be free, phone set plug in, dial, no software plus I will havemy own private US number.
You young uns are fortunate
it was safer all around back then, people, native, ex pat and traveler were closer, we usedthe oral tradition and if one had a 'beef'it was face to face, mano a mano, no hiding behind a puter screen, I got a black eye once, shook hands next day with the "victor" and became brunt of jokes for a month!!!! Just like 'growing up' on mean streets of NYC
Spirir Air charges for everything..This is why fares cheap.
But if you follow Andy's Bible then you will think for your self, and wear 5 shirts 5 under pants 5 socks 5 pants,a toothbrush in your pocket, camera bag is free so stuff that with you other things and when you get on the plane pull out your wafer thin nylon duffel bag and go into the bathroom and disrobe and pack saving 35 dollars+ and put in overhead bin.
that makes the deal, or do like Andy, and just leave clothes and items you need with a friend if you see them once a year or more.
To Chuck Wow, I live here in Central America, so would leaving from GUA Guate City, which is 1500+ meters above sea level and downright chilly in the morning, wonderful idea!!! I buy used clothes in USA at Goodwill anyway, will wear 5 pairs of everything when I board Spirit Air and bring a thin plasic bag to pack aboard. The only other thing I will have is a book to read. Will return with some luggage, but worth it. Thanks.
And don't forget the vest with all the pockets and the overcoat with all the pockets! And also the oversize Wellington Boots you can stuff full of smaller goodies.
Will keep an eye out for you. Don't forget to undress and pack before you get to Customs.
I think I will send this video link to my Dad in Iowa, Thanks again!
Your comment, "and having an over-abundance of spare time" is what I always dreamt of while growing up but it's definitely NOT for everyone as so many people are more content with a regular schedule and daily routines. I prefer inventing my life each day I wake up and do whatever or do nothing depending on how I feel. And people living simple lives outside their countires of origin or even in more rural less costly enviroments where the cost of living allows them such free time have so much in common. This is one reason I am baffled on how much friction and conflict, even gossip style that is fairly common of expats and travelers living abroad?? Any ideas anybody other than the less positive attributes of human nature??
If you are active like I am, know few ex pats anyhow, and do not drink (boozing magnifies your character defects, boozers tend to hang around bars, lions dens for me, since I am no lion tamer..well anyway 20+ years ago hung around the gringo bars when I was idle, got me nowhere fast, everybody put down everyone else down behind their back.) you'll not have time to gossip much. Pretty much human nature, every subculture has a pecking order, when our group of homeless vets many years ago in Miami USA got food stamps and benefits we rose high on pecking order of homeless. Envy, greed and jealousy, been there, done that. Today I take an inventory every night, try to best of my ability to cope, help others less fortunate if possible, be kind.
and (includes my own comment on article)
Thanks so much for this, its posts like these that make me wonder why more people are not out doing the same thing!! Ah to live in such paradise with out all the gross fees and fat tourists would be a dream. What is the water there like? I can't tell is it a paradise blue or just plain old ocean? Not that it would matter, to be able to create beautiful art all day for my job and have the beautiful view Liz does would be good enough for me! Besides is that a pool I see in the photo below her?
Thanks for the great inspiration Hobo, I will be leaving the 'working world' soon and headed out on my own trip -first the US and next the world!!
Re: Comment from LC
"Thanks for the great inspiration Hobo, I will be leaving the 'working world' soon and headed out on my own trip -first the US and next the world!!"
Good luck traveling the world, aside from Canada (I went to 'Protestant Public School' in Montréal 1961-62, nice break after 9 years of Catholic Private School in Virginia USA..and I had a first generation Jewish Mother and Agnostic Dad from New England, 1963 and 64 was public school in small town Va. easy.
In 1964 hitched to Laredo, Texas from Va. via New Orleans, in Nuevo
Laredo, Mexico took the first class bus to Mexico City (del D.F.) to visit an Aunt from Montréal who had relocated there with her French Canadian husband, manager of a Canadian owned firm in Mexico City. I was 18 years old, fascinating. In late 1969, after a stint abroad in South East Asia, which I do not count as travel, I was drated into service, I was able to return to Mexico and to Central America, where my Uncle was then working in agriculture, learned the basics of Spanish but had to return to States late 1971 and work, was not able to travel again until 1980 to 1983, to both Eastern and Western Europe, language, culture, no problem since my Mom born in Germany, raised in Poland, escaped with my Aunt and Uncle 1940, went here to El Salvador with citizenship papers, then immigrated to USA and Canada, I was born in USA after World War 2, baby boomer and yeah was a
pre hippie bohemian, post war V.N. had problems, finally was able to leave
the USA in 1985.As for your quote on the so called working world, you will see in some developing countries like El Salvador where I live people working 9-10 hours a day just to survive, this weekend I purchased arts and crafts for my upcoming trip to the USA, first since 2002, a friend of mine, a Salvadoran who lived 21 years in Sweden brought me to teh village in SUV, there we encountered one of the workers from a remote rural village who sew the hmmocks and other items by hand, 9-10 hours a day $4.50 USD a day cash, you do the math. We offered the lady a ride home, but before taking her home we stopped at a Supermarket at teh large town enroute and I bought her about $9 USD worth of groceries, her village is on a dirt road, her and her 4 sisters and 3 brothers live in a shack concrete with a tin roof, some of the children came out, no shoes, the smile on their faces were worth a million dollars to me! If you wish, before you start your travels to the Real World, not the 'third world' I can send you a long list of web links where you may find low or no cost volunteer ops worldwide,
people far more important than any detination, in my opinion.
below is a humorous bloq done in 2008 by a surfer dude from USA visiting El Salvador, we met him down at the Beach, only 36 km. from capital city of El Salvador, this bloq is funny, real and has some beautiful photos, I myself cannot afford to carry resentments, anger, rage, envy TODAY. Sorry have no comments on politics nor religion, nor shall I.
Am following your bloq on Google, here is the bloq from El Salvador, laugh and the world laughs with you, frown and people avoid you, many days here in uhhh..'pardise?' gotta smile in public, act as if.....a lot of coping. I am an Ex Pat in Latin America and Europe about 26-27 years totl I forgot how long...
The El Salvador "we know and love" Never lose your sense of
Hoping to see some of you in either NYC or Montréal PQ in early
October. Advise. Donald Lee.
i have now magicjack so can call anyone free in US or Canada, I will give you a one hour seminar on living, working and volunteering overseas, this site hobotraveler.com has a tremendous amount of advice, photos and articles, links, just gotta search, also Wiki Travel for your target country, city, town or region will gt you started..Google.
Bon voyage, gute reise, buen viaje, safe journey.
Donald Le, Ex Pat, Survivor, no mo, no less
'Humility is simply being teachable'
I visited Tela beach in 1994 and fell in love with it. I want to return or about 6 months and I'm interested in apartment near the beach, in an expat area if possible. Do they have furnished apartments? Can anyone tell me the best way to go about this? Thanks.
If someone requires to find an apartment in Tela or anywhere in Latin America, very simple
Fly down to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala,Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, etc. and start looking on your own, do not take the first place that you are offered, look around at several places, if you do not speak Spanish, befriend an expat who speaks advanced Spanish or a native speaker to go with you, there are 3 price levels in Central America
1. The lowest rent to natives, as they are local and may have either family, business or social connections with the landlord.
2. Higher prices to foreigners, 100 of wannabe ex pats or semi ex pats (those who stay 6 months during the 'high' or dry summer season) arrive to the country on a tourist stamp, which to me, if I was renting, anywhwere in the world, I would of course charge a tourist (offically in the country, upon entry, by immigration law in any country in the world, unless you have a business, residence visa or work permit issued by that countries Consulate or Embassy, you are a 'tourist', not an 'experienced traveller' you can use that monniker on websites and forums one upping newer travellers or wanabe ex pats). A tourist is transient, has no ties to teh community, so there is no trust that the tourist will break the rental contract and go elsewhere at any time, in Maine, where I lived when I was young, heard a rental agent tell irate tourists complaining about summer rental prices..."IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE WINTER HERE, DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SUMMER PRICES"
So be polite and try to bargain, having a native with you will be a big plus and you will avoid any misunderstandings.
3. Rentals to Spanish speaking foreigners who have been resident in the community or country for some time, having local and long term ex pat friends and connections, when I rented the apartment
I reside in some years ago I had to show my residence card (carnet de residencia), give local references and as well, the landlord called my Embassy to verify I had an income (pension) from my country.I pay the same price as locals, no contract, but 1 month security deposit
4. If you are a PT or Perpetual Traveler, staying in one place less than 3 months a time, try to find apartments or budget hotels where you need not sign a contract nor leave a 1 to 2 month security deposit, there are many such hotels and lodging places to be found on the travel journal and hotel sections, country by country on this website www.hobotraveler.com/ and listings on www.hobohideout.com/
The Internet or via a local Real Estate Agent (usually an American or Canadian grifter or grafter in places such as Antigua, Roatan and Utila, perhaps Tela now as well, Granada, costa rica and Panama and now Ecuador is being ruined.
Buena suerte y buen viaje. Travel to your target destination, start by renting a hotel room that suits your budget and go from there. saludos.
I lived in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico for three years. This is a small town (pop 15,000) near beaches. I rented a 2-bedroom apartment with some furnishings and dishes for $230 US/month. With utilities including phone, electric, and dial-up internet my apartment was less that $280. My expenses with food, entertainment etc. were another $300/month.
In this same Mexican town I knew of a retired US Navy sailor. His pension was only six or seven hundred dollars a month, so he had to live on a tight budget. He rented a room in a house with communal kitchen and bathrooms for only $120 US/month. He made most meals at home, but would go out every day for a cheap lunch at a restaurant or a beer in the local pub most evenings. About once every six months he would hop on the first class bus, and take several days to do a run up to the Texas border. He'd stay overnight, and then make the trip back with his renewed tourist visa, visiting a few cities along the way and making a vacation out of his visa run. He really enjoyed his life, had enough money to cover his living expenses, and seemed pretty happy.