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Advice for solo expact

Baddeck, Canada
Level Contributor
19 posts
Advice for solo expact


I live alone in Canada, and cannot stay another winter. I am 57, and am on a fixed income. I really want to explore and live,learn cultures and perhaps never see snow again!! lol So this is a new adventure for me, I have not really traveled that much before and never for about 5 months which is what I plan. Dec./Jan to mid/end of April. I was told a bit by email of a friend who spent time in Guatamala in the 90's. Sounds very interesting, so I did a bunch of research on the area. Thought I may be interested in places around the lake as opposed to Panajachel?! Santa Cruz, San Pedro, j...can't think of the name right now. Anyway, it all sounds very interesting and intriguing, however I really am a beach, salt water person, but not fond of humidity.

My top priorities are safety, affordable, coastal..ish, and culture.That being said, I have been looking @ Panama, Belize, Nicaragua(?), and Guatamala, Atitalan area, which is not coastal..so??? I'm just researching these and am not sure of affordability at this time. Sooo I am opened to advice, suggestions, and any information I can gather. Peru has also been suggested and also is very appealing. I have not researched it as of yet, been busy with the other possibilities. And to be very honest, I am a tad overwhelmed, to say the least!!

I would be very interested to hear about anyones experiences, locations, thoughts, interpretations, and advice. I will leave this with you, and hope to hear from you at your convenience.



5 replies to this topic
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
51,615 posts
108 reviews
1. Re: Advice for solo expact

In my case even that I have had been in all the countries you mentioned…I do not feel qualify to said almost anything..but that they are great countries with great people…

About MY country Costa Rica…check Nosara…Samara…MontezumaUvita Dominical…all of them great beaches,,,of course we have a lot more beaches..

You can check at the Caribbean side…CahuitaPuerto Viejo…Cocles…Punta Uva …Manzanillo…incredible nice people incredible nice beaches…you just need to rent a bicycle or bring your own...…a lot of nice expats from almost every corner of the world…a lot of nice Canadians like you!


Edited: 14 August 2014, 17:29
Baddeck, Canada
Level Contributor
19 posts
2. Re: Advice for solo expact

Awesome, thanks for the input...really appreciated!!!! :)

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Advice for solo expact

I think you posted your questions in the wrong forum. You posted in the San Pedro, Costa Rica forum and not the San Pedro, Guatemala forum. This is a forum about Costa Rica, so let's stick to that.

If you are really a beach/salt water person, you have lots of choices in Costa Rica! There are more than 100 beaches and your choice will depend on what you are interested in doing/seeing/experiencing, your budget and whether you want to stick close to "home" or do some exploring. Some beach locations are beautiful and great but can be a bit isolated and difficult if you want to travel around and explore a litte.

There is a great public transit system in Costa Rica and you can take the public bus pretty much everywhere. You could also consider renting a car now and again to do some exploring.

The more popular tourist spots can be pricey, so consider that when looking at destinations. The time you will be here is the most popular time for visits and, in general, prices will be higher.

This is a good resource for beach areas: anywherecostarica.com/destinations/…beach

This for National Parks: www.costarica-nationalparks.com or www.cost-rica-guide.com

For distances and travel times: www.yourtravelmap.com

The Costa Rican tourism bureau: www.visitcostarica.com

Edited: 14 August 2014, 18:04
Kingman, Arizona
Level Contributor
2,718 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: Advice for solo expact

The beaches in NW Guanacaste are the least humid and get the least amount of rain.

This is the reason I live here and love it here .. If you rent a place just few hundred meters off the beach, rents can be as low as $300 - $400 per month plus utilitiies.

We are close to the international airport in Liberia, code LIR and there are non stop flights from Boston, NYC and Toronto whichever is easier for you to access.... come on down and explore!

Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
Level Contributor
4,796 posts
109 reviews
5. Re: Advice for solo expact

osh - you are certainly no alone in your desire to live somewhere less expensive and warmer. That said, repatriation is not something that you can readily determine by reading about it. Everybody has a different experience and only you will know when a location feels "right." Even then, was seems "right" while on a short trip, often turns out to be the opposite once people make the move.

In my many years as an expat in Costa Rica, I have seen hundreds of people come and go. Often, they lost what little they had saved. Frequently, they also lost some of their health and long-term relationships. If I had to place a number on it, I'd say that 90% of would-be expats do not make it past the two-year mark. Many are forced to stay longer because they are unable to sell their houses. Just of the top of my head, I can think of two expats whose houses have been on the market for 12 years! I have friends who have been trying to sell their homes for five and six years, respectively.

My advice has always been the same. Do some initial research online, narrow it down to a few locations and in various countries (if they are appealing to you). Book a flight, travel to the location, stay for a week, travel around to see what else is around your chosen location. If you like it, return back home and make arrangements to stay a few months. Rent a house or apartment and try the new life on for good fit. Don't do anything rash.

Be honest about your weaknesses. Life abroad often comes with fewer responsibilities than back home. For many, that beer at sunset quickly turns into five beers at sunset. Those sunset beers then turn into lunch beers (because, hey, what does it matter?) and sooner or later, somebody is drunk early in the morning, every morning. Others find the easy access to drugs appealing. Or they find that they are suddenly extremely attractive to young women.

Naturally, there are quite a few who "make it." None of those who I know moved without a whole lot of research.

In other words: Take your time and don't get blinded by your own positive bias. Like anywhere, there are negatives. And as always, your demons travel with you.

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