Amelia And JP’s Blog

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10 Countries with Affordable Cost of Living

10 Countries Where You Can Live for $1,000/mo (or less)

Inflation and stagnant wages are dragging down the quality of life for millions of people in “1st world” countries. Thankfully, there are more affordable places to live.

The developing world, and even some developed countries, offer a much lower cost of living, while at the same time offering a much higher quality of life full of adventure and new friendships.

In this article, we share 10 countries where a single person can live on $1,000/month or less, and a couple can live on $1,500/month or less.

Each of these locations offers affordable housing, food, utilities, and healthcare, along with exciting cultural experiences and a welcoming expat community.

9 Things We Miss About Colombia

The 9 Things We Miss About Colombia

In our previous blog post, we talked about Our Expat Story and how my husband and I ended up in Medellín Colombia. Sadly, we had to leave Colombia after 4 years due to visa issues.

Baños Ecuador

Baños Ecuador Travel Guide

After having spent almost six years in Ecuador, Amelia and I had Baños sitting on our bucket list for the longest time. Now that we have finally experienced its charms firsthand, we can’t help but wonder why it took us so long to visit this magnificent corner of the world.

From its steep mountains veiled in vibrant greenery to the cascading highest waterfall in Ecuador, Baños offered an adventure that was nothing short of magical.

Our journey to Baños started in Quito. It was a scenic 3-hour drive from the city and about 4 hours from the Quito airport to Baños.

This article dives into our first impressions, cost of living, shopping, restaurants, spas, and outdoor activities that make Baños a true treasure of Ecuador.

Live A Good Life AND Save for Retirement

Live A Good Life AND Save for Retirement

Now that we’re in our 50’s, retirement is becoming more top-of-mind every day.

Well, maybe not “retirement” in the conventional sense because we never plan to stop working completely, but being able to afford a high quality of life in our “golden years” is a priority.

However, we don’t want to sacrifice today’s happiness for a future that may never come. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed” may be a cliche, but it’s one that guides our decision-making every day.

Almost dying has a way of changing your perspective of daily life.

That’s why this article from Entrepreneur really angered me: “What Would You Choose as a Consumer: Living a Good Life or Saving for Retirement.”

Safest Countries in Latin America

Safest Countries in Latin America for 2023

We get a lot of questions about safety abroad so we’re going to talk about the most popular countries in Latin America for foreign residents and discuss how safe they really are, from worst to first.

It’s important to note that safety can vary within a country, and certain regions or cities may be safer or more dangerous than others. While news reports often exaggerate the overall safety situation in a country, it is crucial to consider specific locations and local conditions. 

So, let’s dive into the rankings of the most popular countries in Latin America for foreign residents, based on the 2023 Global Peace Index and the US State Department Travel Advisories. 

Where The American Dream STILL Lives

Where The American Dream STILL Lives

Amelia and I grew up during the 1970s and 80s in the heartland of America. Amelia is from the Chicagoland Area. I was raised on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town.

Our parents told us we could do or be whatever we wanted when we grew up. The sky was the limit and opportunities abounded.

Our fathers had good corporate jobs with good benefits, including affordable health insurance. We were taught that if we got a job at a good company, the company would take care of us.

What they didn’t realize was that they were the last generation to experience that kind of employer loyalty.

Culture Shock

How To Survive Culture Shock in a Foreign Country

Embarking on a new adventure in a foreign country can be both exciting and challenging.

Ecuador, with its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm people, offers a unique experience for expats. However, adjusting to a new environment can push you outside your comfort zone.

Culture shock is very real and it can blindside you when you’re least expecting it. That’s why it’s so important to know about some of the cultural differences that might shock you, and take a few precautions to help you mentally prepare for them.

While our experience is based in Ecuador, these cultural differences aren’t exclusive to Ecuador. You’ll find many of the same issues we described throughout Latin America, and most of the tips we share will help you prepare for a move to other countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Colombia, Peru, etc.

Tacha and Sam in Colombia

Our Expat Story In Medellin Colombia – Journey Of A Lifetime

Both born and raised in Switzerland, we should be the happiest people on earth, right? Not so much! Our wish to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life led us on a journey to explore alternative options.

Join us on our quest to find a place where we can truly thrive and discover the true meaning of happiness. This is the story of our pursuit of the American Dream and the unexpected twist that took us to a different continent altogether.

Passive Income

10 Best Ways to Earn Passive Income (while you sleep)

We used to think that passive income was a myth or at least a pipe dream. And yet, all the financial gurus shout from the rooftops about the importance of passive income streams for achieving financial freedom.

To be honest, it felt impossible to us!

But today, half of our income is from passive income. Well, actually, it’s from pseudo-passive income.

Fully passive income streams aren’t really feasible unless you already have a decent amount of money sitting around with nothing to do.

However, pseudo-passive income streams are realistic and can be incredibly profitable if you have more time than money. They’re capable of earning you hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month with minimal ongoing effort – maybe just a couple of hours per week.

So, let’s discuss passive income and talk about some strategies that you can implement to create a strong passive income flow.

The American Healthcare Crisis

The American Healthcare Crisis Is Worse Than You Thought!

It’s a devastating reality: many Americans are literally dying for healthcare – dying while they wait for it, or dying because they can’t afford it.

We often discuss the dire healthcare situation in the U.S. and compare it to other countries like Ecuador, where healthcare is both surprisingly better and cheaper.

For decades, Americans have been traveling abroad for medical care. The blossoming medical tourism industry is a direct reflection of the absurdities of the American healthcare system.

And we’re not only talking about elective or cosmetic procedures, but necessary medical and dental treatments as well.

How To Leave the United States

How To Leave The United States (or Canada)

Are you looking to pack up your life and make a fresh start in another country? It’s a common dream, and we totally get it!

We ditched the US in 2017, and honestly, our only regret is that we didn’t leave sooner.

The thought of moving abroad was at first quite daunting for us. It seemed like a logistical nightmare, but after we broke it down into small chunks, it was much more manageable.

So, if you’re ready to start planning your move abroad, we’re here to help! We’ve broken down the process into a 7-step guide to help you get focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Cost of Living in Ecuador

REAL Cost of Living in Ecuador for 2023: A Guide for Expat Budgeting

One of the main reasons expats leave home is to save money while also being able to afford a higher quality of life. The low cost of living in Ecuador and other popular expat destinations makes that possible.

In this article, we’ll share how much you can expect to pay for necessities in Ecuador, like rent, utilities, healthcare, transportation, food, appliances, and more.

How To Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog TODAY!

So you want to start a blog. Excellent!

You’re about to embark on a journey that could not only enrich your personal life, but could also open up a whole new world of opportunities.

In this article, we’ll explore the simple 7-step process for starting a blog TODAY!

Why We Chose Olón Ecuador

The Real Deal About Living in Olón Ecuador (Pros & Cons)

Olón, Ecuador is a charming little rural beach town located on the Pacific Coast with a unique vibe that attracts an intriguing mix of people from all over the world.

But, like any place that’s popular with expats and tourists, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, which we share in this article.

Chapala Mexico Expats

Expats Told Us They Love Chapala Mexico!

Welcome to Chapala, a picturesque town located in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. We heard so many good things about Chapala and its authentic Mexican vibe so we were very excited to check it out.

Our adventure began when we stepped off the bus just a few blocks away from the famous malecon, which exceeded our expectations with its size and beauty. The old buildings, fountains, sculptures, and the stunning views of the lake and mountains all contributed to the town’s authentic charm.

Hate it or love it

Salinas Ecuador Pros & Cons

With the rise of remote work, the allure of living abroad has become even more attractive. Many people are venturing out of their home countries, seeking unique experiences and looking for places that offer a high quality of life at an affordable cost.

One of the locales that expats have been flocking to for years is Salinas, Ecuador. Known for its tropical charm, welcoming community, and affordability, Salinas offers an enchanting blend of lifestyle benefits that have been winning the hearts of expats from around the globe.

However, like every place, it comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Colonia Americana Guadalajara Mexico Coolest Neighborhood

Colonia Americana: Coolest Neighborhood in the World! (Guadalajara Mexico)

We were so excited to take our first trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. We decided to stay in Colonia Americana (map) and were even more excited to visit the area after it was named the “Coolest Neighborhood in the World” by Timeout.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo we found on AirBnB and the location was fantastic! We arrived after dark so we were a little apprehensive about walking around since we didn’t know the area, but we felt more at ease when we saw a young woman walking her dog alone. After that, it felt safe for us to find a place to eat.

Medellin, Colombia

Medellín vs Cuenca: Comparing Two Popular Expat Destinations in Latin America

Medellín, Colombia and Cuenca, Ecuador have become increasingly popular destinations for expats, digital nomads, and retirees.

Both cities offer a unique charm, vibrant cultures, and an array of attractions that cater to various lifestyles and preferences.

In this comprehensive blog post, you’ll learn about the many facets of living in these two amazing cities, including the pros and cons of each, comparing aspects such as living conditions, cost of living, infrastructure, and safety.

Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision about which city might be the ideal destination for your next adventure or new home abroad.

Buying Real Estate in Colombia - Juan Camilo Villegas

Buying Real Estate in Colombia: Process & Tips

We had the opportunity to interview Juan Camilo Villegas on our recent trip to Medellín, Colombia.

Juan is an experienced real estate agent and shared some valuable information about buying real estate in Colombia, the unique process, and the essential steps for foreigners looking to invest in the country.

In this blog post, we summarize the main points of our conversation with Juan to help you successfully navigate the Colombian real estate market.

Kristen Crawford Mashpi Lodge Shaman Ecuador

Kristen Shares Her Story About Living In Ecuador as a Single Woman from the United States

We’re often asked if there are single women living in Ecuador, so we’re excited to share Kristen’s story because she is a single retired woman living in Cuenca.

We met Kristen through Amelia’s belly dancing studio when we lived in Cuenca. She is one of those people who lights up a room when she enters it. She never meets a stranger and makes everyone feel welcome.

If you’re a single woman considering a move to Ecuador, you’re certain to appreciate Kristen’s perspective. Here’s her story…


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