Amelia And JP’s Blog

Live Abroad, Earne Online Income, Retire Early

Our blog is dedicated to helping you Live Abroad and attain a higher quality of life for a lower cost of living.

Grab our free Live Abroad Toolkit by signing up for our newsletter.

Cumbaya Ecuador Pros & Cons

Cumbaya Ecuador Pros & Cons

Cumbayá is one of Ecuador’s most popular expat cities and for good reason! It has a lot of modern amenities, including excellent healthcare, shopping, and restaurants!

It’s a suburb of Quito and functions as a bedroom community for many people who work in the city center. A good comparison in the U.S. would be the Denver suburb of Cherry Creek.

We lived in Cumbaya for almost 2 years and loved it, but there are some downsides. In this article, we’ll share the pros and the cons to help you decide if it is a good fit for you.

Photo of a retired couple walking on a beach.

Can I afford to live in Ecuador on Social Security?

Ecuador is a popular destination for retirees, particularly for Americans and Canadians. The low cost of living and warm weather year-round are among the main reasons why people choose to live in this beautiful country.

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “Can I live in Ecuador on my social security income?” So in this article, we break down the cost of living in Ecuador and give you an idea of what your life might look like on the average social security check, which is just over $1,700 per month (as of August 2023).

Photo of of an arched stone bridge and old buildings in Toledo Spain.

Countries That Welcome U.S. Expats (and the Realities of Moving there)

In light of the current political and economic situation in the United States, many people are contemplating the idea of moving abroad.

With so many options available, the decision of where to relocate can be overwhelming and confusing.

An article from The Travel, 10 Countries Welcoming US Expats, popped up in our news feed and we were intrigued. There were some countries on their list that we hadn’t researched yet.

We dug into the specifics of these 10 countries to learn what types of visas they have, the pros & cons of living there, and how realistic it is to move there.

Loja Ecuador Pros & Cons

Loja Ecuador Pros & Cons for Expats & Tourists

Nestled within the picturesque landscape of Ecuador lies Loja, a city that has increasingly captured the attention of both tourists and long-term residents.

Having lived in Ecuador for several years, we finally made it to the city for a deeper exploration to discover why so many people recommended we spend time there.

In this article, we provide an overview of this beautiful Andes mountain city and cover both its strengths and its areas for potential improvement.

View of Positano Italy and the Mediterranean Sea.

6 Realistic Ways to Finance Your Life Abroad

Are you dreaming about moving to another country, but you’re not sure how to finance it? You’re not alone. It’s literally the most common obstacle we hear from our viewers.

A lot of people ask us, Can I get a job abroad? Or how do WE afford to live abroad?

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to fund your move and new life in another country. In this article, we share several options that you can start working on today to take control of your finances and fulfill your dream of living abroad.

Photo of Amelia And JP sitting on a bench at El Castillo in Medellin Colombia

How to Escape the Toxic Hamster Wheel (like we did)

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save for retirement? Do you dream of working remotely or retiring early? Are you feeling stuck in the toxic hamster wheel of life in the United States?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for a way out, and in this article, we’re going to share our experience and show you how to escape the toxic hamster wheel like we did.

Photo of El Castillo in Medellin Colombia

Countries We Eliminated From Our Plan B List for Residency

A couple of weeks ago, we shared our top 10 countries on the Plan B List for second residency. We’re US citizens and permanent residents in Ecuador, and now that our dogs have passed, it’s time to expand our list of places we call home by adding a third country to the mix.

Selecting a third destination isn’t easy. There are lots of incredible options to choose from, so we had to eliminate some countries that you might think are perfect for us.

In this article, we share our criteria for choosing a 3rd residency and explain why we eliminated some very popular countries that might still work well for you.

Photo of the Medellin Colombia skyline during the day.

Working Remotely From Colombia – A Perspective From A New Expat

In this guest post, Daniel Arthur shares his journey from office job to remote worker, which allows him to live his Unconventional Life in Colombia. Here is his story…

My remote work journey began long ago, several years into my career, and shortly after graduating from college. I’ve been working remotely for over twenty years, long before it became popular.

Back then, there were only three options for folks who wanted to work from home. They consisted of people who owned their businesses or were self-employed, freelancers, or W-2 wage-earning employees who worked for companies who valued their employee’s contributions to the company, invested in their success and career trajectory, and were sensitive to their employee’s overall quality of life.

I was very fortunate to convince my employer back in 2007 to agree to this arrangement. My experience could be a model for current and future expats wishing to work abroad.

Picture of a couple checking in to an AirBnB.

AirBnB Alternatives for Digital Nomads

As numerous cities worldwide enact stricter regulations or outright bans on short-term rentals available on platforms like AirBnB, VRBO, and Booking.com, long-term travelers and digital nomads are feeling the crunch.

The recent near-total ban in New York City is just the tip of the iceberg with similar regulations already enacted in Vienna, Florence, Paris, Berlin, Bali, and other popular destinations.

While platforms like AirBnB were once the go-to solution, offering affordability and a chance to live like a local, the surge in extra fees, decreasing customer focus, and gentrification have travelers exploring other avenues.

Scenic view of a coffee plantation in Panama with a mountain and blue sky in the background.

Living Among the Coffee Bushes near Boquete, Panamá

I lived a comfortable life in the United States, enjoying a cabin in the woods. I had a nice kitchen and good friends nearby.

Yet, in 2020, I grew concerned with the politics and cost of living and decided to look elsewhere for a new life. I took tours of Panamá and Mexico to explore going south.

I chose the Republic of Panamá because it required the shortest time to secure a Permanent Visa. Hurtling through the skies was brisk. Far from brisk was dealing with airports and QR scanning codes. I arrived intact but exhausted—I slept 11 hours the first night.

Yet, if you had told me I would be living in a yurt at 5,260 feet above sea level on a tropical mountainside among coffee bushes, I would have asked if you were crazy.

Aerial view of Porto, Portugal old town on the Douro River.

Finding a Plan B: Top 10 Countries to Consider for Secondary Residency

Ecuador has been a favored destination for years in the expat community, but for many, the rising crime rates since the pandemic have put a damper on its appeal.

If you’ve crossed Ecuador off your list, any of the 10 countries we cover here could serve as a good Plan B, especially if you’re not retired yet. They each have a variety of visa options and a lot of great things to offer, including higher safety ratings.

Picture of two hands with wedding rings.

My Unconventional Marriage In Colombia: Celebrating Marriage Across Borders

In September 2017, I met my lifelong partner in the most unconventional way. We met online through a language-learning mobile app called Tandem.

I suppose it isn’t unconventional to meet someone online, especially in these times! Many successful couples have met online, formed an immediate connection, and subsequently married four years later.

We took the conservative approach to marriage in the beginning. About the three-year mark in our relationship, we contemplated marriage. We decided to delay it to allow us to complete our academic endeavors. I was finishing my Master’s while my partner was completing his Bachelor’s.

Amelia And JP Peguche Waterfalls Ecuador

Unexpected Perks of Leaving the USA

Our return to the United States was a stark reminder of what our life used to be like before we moved to Ecuador.

We were stressed about so many things: Cost of living, work life balance, inflation, gas prices, politics, and healthcare.

According to the World Happiness Report, the United States ranks at number 16, but for us, that’s a hard statistic to swallow.

Picture of Josh, Kalie and their daughter in Portugal on a blue sky day.

Why Josh & Kalie Moved to Portugal

I get asked this question a lot: Why Portugal?

Obviously there are a variety of reasons that someone chooses to move somewhere, whether that’s in their own country or abroad.

There are a lot of great options for places to move abroad, but we are extremely happy to currently be in Portugal.

Blue dome of the New Cathedral in Cuenca Ecuador at night.

Exploring Cuenca Ecuador: 10 Things That Make This City Unique

Cuenca, Ecuador is not just a city; it’s an experience that combines history, culture, and a vibrant community into one captivating package.

If you’re considering a visit or even a move, there’s much to know about what makes this place unique.

From the local food and architecture to the day-trip adventures that surround this Andean city, here are the top 10 things we miss most about Cuenca that stood out during our visit there.

Altitude Sickness

How to Avoid & Treat Altitude Sickness in Ecuador

You might be drawn to the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of Ecuador, especially in high-elevation cities like Cuenca (8,500 feet / 2,560 meters) and Quito (9,400 feet / 2,865 meters); however, you may experience a unique challenge: altitude sickness.

Similar conditions are found across various mountain cities in Ecuador and throughout the Andes, so if you’re planning a trip, you may be wondering how to prevent or treat it.

This guide provides you with insights into the symptoms of altitude sickness and offers practical remedies and preventive steps.

With this knowledge, you can ensure your visit or move to Ecuador remains both comfortable and enjoyable.

Cotacachi Ecuador Mural

Cotacachi Ecuador Pros & Cons

Nestled amidst the majestic landscapes of Ecuador, Cotacachi emerges as a destination that’s loved by travelers and expats alike.

Whether you’re intrigued by its affordability, captivated by its culinary delights, or drawn to its tranquil beauty, Cotacachi promises an experience like no other.

Before you embark on this journey, let’s dive into what makes this place truly enchanting, and also touch upon a few aspects that might require a bit of acclimation. Here are the pros & cons of Cotacachi, Ecuador.

Colorful aerial view of a resort on the Black Sea in Arkutino Bulgaria.

10 Retirement Visas with Low Income Requirements

Have you ever dreamed of retiring in an exotic location where the cost of living is so low you could enjoy a lavish lifestyle for a fraction of what you’d spend back home?

In a previous article, we explored 10 countries where you could live on less than $1,000/month. However, some of you commented that these countries often have retirement visa income requirements that are higher than $1,000.

So, in this article, you’re going to read about 10 countries with affordable retirement visas, having income requirements of $1350 or less per month, and several are under $1000/month! Plus, none require a hefty deposit into a local bank.

Keep in mind that these visa requirements often fluctuate. They may have changed already! The income requirements also vary based on currency exchange rates, which fluctuate quite a bit.

We highly recommend working with an immigration attorney who’s up-to-date with all the latest laws and can assist you in navigating the process.

Happy couple looking out over the ocean in Europe.

Geographic Arbitrage: The Financial Secret to an Unconventional Life

Geographic Arbitrage isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a financial strategy that has the potential to revolutionize your lifestyle.

Rooted in the age-old economic concept of arbitrage, this practice allows you to maximize your purchasing power by living in one location while earning income from another.

In this post, we’ll explain the basics of geographic arbitrage, and explore how it can be a cornerstone for your Unconventional Life.

How We Paid Off All Our Debt

How We Paid Off $60K of Debt in 3 Years by Moving Abroad

Here’s an alarming statistic: nearly half of all Americans are getting sucked further and further into the whirlpool of debt.

Not too long ago, that was our story too. But today, we’re writing a very different chapter of our lives, one that’s debt free and set on another continent, far from the United States.

Wondering how we got here? Here’s our story…

 

Get the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Toolkit, which we created to help jumpstart your dream of living in another country.