10 Reasons Why Living Abroad Is Better than Staying in the United States

Some people have been giving us a hard time lately, accusing us of “bashing” the United States because we often talk about things that frustrate us about living there.

The U.S. has changed a lot over the past 30 years, and life has become more difficult for many. Things are more expensive, there’s more uncertainty, and people seem to be at odds with each other more than ever.

Life can feel so stressful!

We decided to leave the U.S. back in 2017, and honestly, our only regret is not doing it sooner. Our lives are a whole lot different now than they were when we still lived in Denver, and the changes are all for the better.

Now, let’s dive into the top 10 reasons why living abroad has been a game-changer for us compared to staying in the U.S.

Watch Our Video About Why Living Abroad is BETTER!

Top 10 Reasons Why Living Abroad is BETTER!

There are A LOT of reasons why living abroad is better, but these are our top 10. If you have others, please share them in the comments below!

Reason #10: Better Weather

Imagine not having to shovel snow or rely on air conditioning!

Where we live now, in the mountains close to the equator, the temperatures are consistent and comfortable year-round. There’s no extreme heat or cold, and even though it does rain, it’s not all the time.

It’s like enjoying spring every day with temperatures in the 70s F (around 21°C). How amazing is that?

See Also: Weather In Ecuador & Best Time to Visit

Reason #9: Easier to Make Friends

A group of Unconventionals at our meetup in Cuenca Ecuador on July 30th, 2023.You know how in the U.S., it often seems like it’s all about what you do for a living? When you live abroad, there’s a sense of global community and support.

We’ve made friends from all over the world, bonding over common interests with people who also live abroad.

Plus, the locals love meeting folks who choose to live in their country, especially if you’re learning their language!

See Also: Expat Social Activities in Ecuador

Reason #8: Don’t Need a Car

Owning a car is so “American,” isn’t it? But here, we’re saving around $1200 per month without one.

Public transportation is fantastic, and taxis and private drivers are abundant. Plus, we walk several miles each day running our errands so we get lots of exercise.

It’s so much more affordable, less stressful, and far healthier than owning a car.

See Also: How We Save $1,200/Month by Ditching Our Cars

Reason #7: More Time to Enjoy Life

Our weekends used to be consumed with errands and work seemed never-ending, but those days are behind us.

Living abroad has opened a door to constant exploration, fun, and new experiences. Every day feels like an opportunity to discover something new, whether it’s a local market, a hidden beach, or a fascinating cultural tradition.

We don’t wait for weekends or vacations to enjoy life; it’s become our everyday priority. The joy of trying new things and immersing ourselves in different cultures has transformed our routine into an endless vacation.

It’s a lifestyle filled with excitement, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Reason #6: Safety

Despite what some might say, we feel safer here in Ecuador.

There are no random mass shootings, and most crime is petty theft, domestic, or gang-related in areas we don’t visit.

Latin America might have a reputation for danger, but our experiences and research show otherwise. In fact, the U.S. ranks near the bottom of our list of Safest Countries compared to Latin America.

See Also: Safest Countries in Latin America

Reason #5: More Tranquilo – Not So Stressful

Say goodbye to the relentless hustle and bustle that often defines life in the U.S. Here, we’ve learned to slow down and soak in life’s pleasures.

The culture encourages spending more time relaxing, savoring meals, enjoying the company of friends and family, and appreciating the little moments.

Gone are the days when we felt a constant urgency to get a mountain of tasks done in a single day. Instead, we’ve embraced the local philosophy of “Tranquilo,” finding peace and joy in a more unhurried, contented approach to life.

It’s a refreshing change that has greatly reduced our stress and enhanced our overall happiness.

Reason #4: Better Mental and Physical Health

Living abroad has led to a transformation in both our mental and physical health. We’ve shed some extra pounds, but more than that, we’ve learned to let go of the need to control every aspect of our lives.

Challenges are no longer obstacles but adventures waiting to be experienced. Even small triumphs, like conversing in Spanish or understanding how to navigate the local systems, feel incredibly rewarding.

Embracing this new lifestyle has taught us to trust the process and savor the journey, leading to a much richer and more fulfilling experience.

Reason #3: Better Healthcare

One aspect of living abroad that’s really amazed us is the quality and accessibility of healthcare.

Gone are the days of waiting weeks for a doctor’s appointment or paying exorbitant fees for medications. Here, we can see a doctor within a few days, and labs and tests are available super fast.

Doctors take their time with patients, offering personal attention and even house calls. The equipment and procedures are current, reflecting modern medical practices.

And the best part? The costs are 70% to 90% less than what we used to pay in the U.S.

Quality healthcare that doesn’t break the bank has added a whole new level of comfort and security to our lives. It’s a benefit we truly value and one that often surprises our friends back home.

See Also: Our Ecuador Healthcare Experience

Reason #2: Lower Cost of Living

Who doesn’t want to live well without spending a fortune? That’s exactly what we’ve found abroad.

We’re enjoying a lifestyle that costs roughly a third of what it would back in Denver, Colorado.

Within three years, we were able to pay off all our debt, and now we’re comfortably saving for retirement. The consistency in costs means we can plan trips, dine out, and indulge in hobbies without the constant worry about finances.

It’s not about living cheaply; it’s about living richly without the hefty price tag. The financial freedom and peace of mind we’ve found here have added a new dimension of joy to our lives.

We pay a lot less for a much higher quality of life, and we’re incredibly thankful for that.

See Also: Cost of Living in Ecuador

Reason #1: More Freedom

The concept of freedom takes on a whole new meaning when you step away from a life tied to jobs you don’t enjoy, just to afford health insurance or the high cost of living.

For us, living abroad has opened the doors to real, tangible freedom. We’re no longer confined to the 9-to-5 grind (or 8-to-6 or 7-to-7); we’re thriving on our own terms.

We earn enough from our YouTube and blogging business to afford not just a comfortable life here, but a high-quality one.

Our schedule is ours to create, allowing for spontaneous trips to the movies on a Monday afternoon or the flexibility to travel as we please.

It’s about doing what we want, when and where we want, without the constraints that once held us back.

It’s more than just a perk of living abroad; it’s a profound shift in our lifestyle that feels empowering, liberating, and deeply fulfilling.

Final Thoughts…

We’re not alone in this journey. We’ve heard from so many people who have left the hamster wheel behind and are living their Unconventional Life abroad.

And you can join them!

Living abroad may even allow you to retire early or pursue something you enjoy, even if it doesn’t pay as well, because you need so much less money to thrive when you live in a lower-cost-of-living country.

If you’re intrigued and want to earn WiFi income to feel truly FREE but aren’t sure how to start, we’ve created an Online Income eCourse to show you how.

It’s packed with the tricks we’ve learned during our mostly online/remote working careers to help you get started quickly and fund your life of time and location freedom. Check out the details and enroll here…

We’re living proof that there’s an exciting world beyond the borders, waiting to be explored. Why not take the leap?



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JP Stonestreet
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

2 replies
  1. Christine Hanks
    Christine Hanks says:

    Another wonderful blog entry! They’re always so well written, informative and full of links to more info. You guys are the best.
    We are planning our move to Cuenca
    Chris H.


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