FAQ’s

HOW DID YOU PREPARE TO BECOME LONG-TERM TRAVELERS?

The decision to travel involved a lot of heavy thinking and discussion as well as massive amounts of time spent researching travel as a viable lifestyle.  Once we made the decision we spent a year to:
1) assess and put our finances in order
2) assemble and notarize or apostille copies of documents we might need (birth certificates, college transcripts, background checks, etc.)
3) address issues of taxes & voting
4) talk to our doctors and dentist, update vaccines and shots, arrange for worldwide health insurance coverage
5) slowly and methodically go through the process of getting rid of our possessions
6) lease the house long-term with a property management company

HOW ARE YOU TRAVELING?

We dropped off the last of our stuff and two cars with our son and flew from Denver, Colorado to Cancun, Mexico on the 19th of September, 2012. Since then we have taken first class buses, second class buses and chicken buses, collectivos, taxis, shuttles, tuk tuks, ferries and boats. Once we arrive in a city or town we do most of our travel and errands on foot, occasionally flagging a taxi or tuk tuks if it’s late at night, raining or we’re carrying a heavy load of groceries.

WHAT LUGGAGE DID YOU TAKE?

LESS REALLY IS BEST and if we could reduce the load further we would.  We each have a 24” hard shell suitcase with spinner wheels and a backpack. At some point, we’ll probably trade in the suitcases for lighter weight soft sides simply because of weight issues. Spinner wheels are great for smooth surfaced sidewalks and roads but, a lot of times in Mexico and Central America, nothing seems to be smooth… We carry all of our electronics, medication and documents in our backpacks and keep that with us while in transit.  The backpacks also come in handy for two and three-day short trips when we can leave the majority of our stuff behind.

WHAT ELECTRONICS DID YOU TAKE?

We each have our own Dell laptops, kindle e-readers, I-pods, and cameras. We’ve used cheap disposable phones in both Guatemala and Honduras but haven’t quite decided if an international phone is worth the expense. There are several different online programs that we use to keep in touch, entertain us, simplify our lives, organize and backup our records, etc. that we may write about later. Right now, these electronics seem to cover everything we need.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR HEALTH INSURANCE AND MEDICAL PROBLEMS?

We researched several international travel insurance companies and bought an annual policy from Global Medical Insurance (IMG). The policy has a high deductible ($5000) and one of the conditions is that you have to be out of the US for at least 6 months a year. This plan will cover us in case of a major illness or catastrophe and we are just paying out-of-pocket as we go along for our medical, dental and prescription needs. Health care (doctors, dentists, labs) is very reasonable once you leave the US and we’ve been pleased with the professional and knowledgeable people we’ve encountered so far. Also, our costs for doctor’s visits and prescriptions have been less than what we were paying in the US for insurance premiums and copays.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS? 

We each have a list of our medications with the brand name and generic names and what the medication is for (this includes vitamins, over-the-counter meds for nausea, cold symptoms, pain and fever, etc). In Mexico and Central America we haven’t needed a written prescription to refill our meds but, what we’ve found helpful is to take the box label in to the pharmacy which includes the brand/generic name (which differs from country to country) and the strength.  Most of the pharmacies we’ve been to have internet access and will look up the medication name and availability if you ask. Sometimes they can order a medication in, get it from another pharmacy or substitute it with a “similar” medication.  Also, a lot of over the counter medications and creams are stocked behind the counter (probably because of the cost) including ibuprofen, eye vitamins, good lotions… It never hurts to ask.

56 comments

  • Robert and Jenni

    Hello Anita and Richard, 1st I’d like to thank you for doing your blog on Portugal, it by far is the best out there for information on what it takes to retire there. Like the two of you my wife and I sold everything, packed it all up and left the USA in 2015 for Thailand. We currently live in Chiang Mai which is wonderful 😉 and a great base to explore SE Asia. But our gypsy wind is blowing and we feel the need to find another base to explore another part of the world which we are now thinking is Portugal, possibly around Porto. The steps you provided on extended stay Visas helped us build a plan and we have booked a trip there to spend a few months there this Sept. We are also looking at Spain and Croatia. As you well know it is all the “Visa game” that really in the end makes the decisions (The Portugal embassy in Bangkok is being very helpful with expat Visas according to our Venezuelan friends! Let’s hope 😉). Besides Agoda and other hotel sites do you know any good local Portuguese sites to rent long term for a month or so? The AirBnB deal isn’t what it used to be. Also, any recommendations for an immigration lawyer in Porto? We are planning to sit down with someone and get all the nuts and bolts information it will take to move there long term. Thanks again Robert-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robert and Jenni! Thanks so much for your kind comments and we’re glad that the info we’ve provided on living as a resident in Portugal has been helpful for you. It sounds like we have a lot in common since you too have shed the things from your old life and made the big leap into a new one. We’ve just picked different areas of the world to explore although SE Asia is still on our list!
      As for longterm rentals – AirBnB is still our go-to site for longer term rentals. We always ask for the monthly rate and it’s surprising how much cheaper it can be. You can also haggle a bit back and forth, especially if it’s the low season. Another alternative is to arrange for accommodations for a few days and then do an on-the-ground search with rental and property agents when you arrive.
      We have a lawyer that we can recommend who’s based out of Lisbon but, to be perfectly honest and looking back at our experience, most of the steps you can do yourself if you’re watching your Dollars, Euros or Baht. Of course, there’s nothing like a handhold through every step which is what we got when we retained him. Since we didn’t know anyone else who had been through the experience of being a US citizen applying for a Portuguese visa, Duarte proved to be an excellent choice. His full name is Duarte Ornelas Monteiro and his email is dom@lugna.pt. Feel free to mention our names as we still do business with him (most recently a will leaving our car and bank account to our son and our tax report) and he’s become a friend of ours.
      I’m going to copy and paste this note and send it to your email too along with a link to my email. If you find yourself in the Algarve area, we’d love to meet up with you and trade travel stories! Anita

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  • Hi Richard and Anita. I have enjoyed following your blog for several months and I can’t tell you how much you have inspired us! And gave us courage! We just retired and sold our house as of March. We’re spending April to recover and plan our future. We have a flight booked for May and will spend a month in the Algarve region. We have now officially become roving retirees and our plan is to spend at least a year exploring Europe, jumping in and out of that pesky Schengen zone. We plan on using Airbnb and also hope to do some house sitting along the way. We’d love to meet you and other expats in the area, if possible. I do have a question if you or any of your readers could answer. What are you doing about your phone service? I looked at the ekit but it looks like they charge quite a bit for texting and phone calls. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Best regards,
    Becky and Larry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your comment and we’re so glad that our story has resonated with you. And congratulations on your retirement and decision to pursue a totally different lifestyle. Retiring early, traveling full-time for three years and now part-time, this lifestyle has been the best decision we’ve ever made!

      I like your term, “roving retirees” and think your plan of traveling through Europe (in and out of the Schengen zone) is going to be a lot of fun. There are so many amazing countries nearby and just a short flight away that taking your time, traveling slow and living locally will be an amazing experience for you. We love AirBnB and use it whenever we can – we also enjoyed our experiences with housesitting.

      We are using a local phone service, MEO with a Samsung unlocked phone. For a small charge per call, we’ve been told that we can use this service anywhere in Europe and I know it worked when we were in Spain a few months ago. The sim card can be exchanged to a T-Mobile sim card when we visit the US. In Portugal there’s also Vodaphone and NOS for local services and I believe they have about the same benefits. To be truthful, up until we moved to Portugal we managed just fine using Skype as our main service. Skype has a subscription service (about $90/year) where you can call any phone in North America: US, Canada and Mexico. We also have a Skype # where people can call us or leave a message. This is handy as not everyone hangs out in front of their computers and we can talk to our family anytime as well as contact our bank, accountant or other businesses occasionally. You can also purchase credit and make calls to a multitude of countries as desired. However, maybe we’re old school, but we do a lot of our communication by email and, unless we’re expecting a call, forget our phone about half the time! Kind of a nice tie to break as far as I’m concerned! 😁

      We’d love to meet you while you’re here in the Algarve. Once you arrive and have an idea what you want to do, give us a shout out and hopefully we can meet for coffee or lunch.

      Welcome to the golden years!

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      • Thank you for your lengthy and informative reply! You two are the best at responding to your followers and I know we all appreciate it!

        You are the reason we decided to start our adventure in the Algarve. After the whirl that has been our life the last few months we need some serious down time. Can’t wait to lay on the beach and read a book and have no agenda. And load up on some vitamin D (hey, we live in Seattle).

        We have a condo booked in Tavira for May 12 to June 9. I know it’s on the other end of the Algarve region, closer to Spain, but I’m sure we’ll be exploring the entire are and will certainly get to Lagos.

        We’d love to get together and hope we can arrange something when the time gets closer. Thanks in advance for any other questions I may pepper you with!

        Becky

        Liked by 1 person

        • We love Tavira. It’s a beautiful little city and you’re sure to enjoy it. And, by US standards, it’s not that far from Lagos! We’ll be out of the country until the end of May but would love to meet you while you’re still here in June. Enjoy your downtime, soak up that Vitamin D and for sure, let’s try to get together in June!

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          • Thank you so much! We will!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Becky and Larry St.Clair

            Hi Anita and Richard. I assume you’re back from your trip by now? We’d love to meet you if possible and we’d be willing to travel to Lagos. We have plans on June 6 (a cooking class!) and we leave on June 9 but otherwise we’re pretty flexible. I guess you have my email so just contact me when you feel rested after your trip. Thanks!
            Becky and Larry

            Liked by 1 person

            • Your email was timed perfectly. We’ve been back for a few days, washed a mountain of laundry, had houseguests from Curacao (we were there 3 years ago) for the weekend and are now are taking deep breaths! Hope you’re enjoying your time in Tavira and I really hope that you’ve have some time to explore around the Algarve as there are some pretty little villages and cities up and down the coast and, of course, some gorgeous beaches too. It’s a great place to kick off your travels. Yes! Let’s meet up. Things are very flexible for us as well up until the 8th so lunch and some conversation anytime works out great. Did you want to come to Lagos and see a bit of the city or … ? We’re looking forward to hearing about your plans for the next chapter in your lives. This is a great time to be travelers and Europe is an amazing place to start!

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              • Becky and Larry St.Clair

                Wonderful! We’d be happy to meet you in Lagos somewhere as we have a car rented. Does Sunday or Monday work for you? Just let me know and we’ll be happy to work around your schedule. We’ve only spent a little time in Lagos so we’d love to look around more. Thanks again!
                Becky

                Liked by 1 person

                • Let’s get together by email and work the details out. I’m sending a note to your email *the_stclairs* now with some ideas. Let me know if you don’t receive it. Looking forward to a meet up!

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                  • Becky and Larry St.Clair

                    Hi Anita. I haven’t received an email yet.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Hi Becky– Nothing? Hmm. Re-sent again… but here’s a copy & paste: Sunday works out great for us and we can plan on lunch anytime. How does 12 or 1 ish sound? There are a number of restaurants that serve traditional Portuguese dishes as well as a few Indian restaurants and good Japanese/Chinese offerings too. Lots of restaurants to choose from and the outdoor seating lets you people watch for added entertainment!
                      Since you’re a little familiar with Lagos you might remember seeing the carousel which is on the main street coming into Lagos that parallels the marina canal. We can meet there, pick a place for a drink and even move on to another for lunch if you’d like. There may be street parking nearby (good for 2-3 hours only) but our preference is the underground parking garage which is just a little ways past the carousel.
                      Let me know if this sounds like a plan to you. Then we’ll figure out a way to make sure we recognize each other! 😊 Anita

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    • Husband&Husband

      We are considering our retirement and our biggest concern regards healthcare. From the US we will retire on our social security at age 62/63 My spouse has type 1 diabetes and it seems that private insurance isn’t available. I also have read that after 90 days residency you can apply for the national health program. I assume we will have to have travel insurance initially but will be responsible or all his diabetic supplies, test strips, etc.. Is the national program available to non EU people who become residents there? Any insight you can provide will be appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • People who aren’t from the US don’t understand our obsession with healthcare or why it’s so outrageously expensive in our country. In fact, that was one of the big reasons we decided to leave the country when we retired early because we couldn’t afford to pay for a policy on our own. You will need travel insurance initially and then can sign up with a private insurance company (we use Medis but there are others) when you move here. You can start to use it after 3 months and there’s no exam, no questionairre and no pre-existing exclusions. We pay roughly $50 USD/month per person. Once we met with the SEF (Portuguese Immigration) and obtained our residence cards, we signed up with the National Health System and were assigned numbers. As far as we understand it, we are eligible to use the National Health System just as a Portuguese citizen would do. (The waiting list is long but you do eventually get there!) So far we’ve been quite happy with our private insurance – we pay a copay but we get right in to see our doctors and also specialists. We do use the National Healthcare # to get discounts on our prescriptions. It’s a complicated subject and we hope this answers your question. Congratulations on starting a new chapter soon and enjoy those “golden years.” If you make it to Portugal, make sure to drop us a note!

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  • Thank You Anita & Richard.
    I too would like to retire there. Do you know any realtors that can help me find a place?
    Thanks
    Paulo

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can give a heartfelt recommendation of our property managers/realtors, Fred and Doreen Lloyd who helped us find our place and manage the apartment we rent. We referred a couple of our friends to them and they’ve been pleased with their help, too. (In fact we joked we might have to ask for a commission!) They can be reached at doreen@algarveapartment.co.uk or they have a web page at http://algarveapartment.co.uk/ . Just let them know that Anita & Dick mentioned them. Several friends have had luck with renting short term rentals through AirBnB and, if you belong to Facebook, typing in longterm rentals Algarve in the search box will bring up web pages. The best time to look for a place to rent/buy is during the low season, September to May when the Algarve isn’t overwhelmed with tourists. One last thing to keep in mind is that the rental pool isn’t multiple listed: you may have to work with several different agents to view the one or two property listings each has. Good luck! 🙂

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  • Hello Anita & Richard. What made you decide on Portugal?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Paulo. Thanks for stopping by our bog and also for commenting. And you’ve asked the million dollar question! There are lots of answers but the simplest one is that Portugal “felt” like a place where we could live for as long as we want right from the start. The weather in the Algarve is moderate year round with temps that are easy to live in both summer and winter and there’s over 300 days of sunshine. We both wanted to live near the sea and here in Lagos we have an ocean view and can walk to the beach in less than 5 minutes. English is spoken widely, the cost of living is much cheaper than in the US and quality health care is very affordable. We’ve talked more about our reasons for moving here in-depth as well as jumping through the hoops to get our resident visas and you’ll find much more information under the heading, “Moving to Portugal” at the top of our blog. Hope this answers your question and maybe you’ll find additional info on things you hadn’t even thought to ask! But, if you have more questions, feel free to ask. You’re talking about our favorite topic, Portugal!

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  • Great Blog! We are planning to something similar starting in April, 2017. In fact our starting point will be Portugal. We have been doing a lot of research and one area that concerns us is health insurance and we have been looking at IMG. I am 65 and my wife is 59. You stated that Richard has dropped his IMG since he is eligible for Medicare which i am too. However it is my understanding that Medicare does not cover us outside of the US. What plan did he sign up for? Any help on health insurance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Steve and thanks for stopping by our blog and commenting. Congratulations on making the decision to travel and live abroad. We can tell you without any reservations that we’ve never regretted our decision to “give it all up” and in fact feel that we’ve gained far more than we gave up! Our lives are both fuller and richer.
      Ah, but there’s that pesky matter of health insurance. We both carried IMG insurance while we were traveling full time and, despite the fact that we never made a claim, our rates kept climbing each year. Richard’s plan covered him in every country but the US which was solved once he turned 65 years old and became eligible for Medicare. You’re right, though, Medicare only covers recipients located in the US. Once we received our resident visas in Portugal, we signed up for a private health care plan (€45/month/person) and are now covered in the country where we spend the greatest amount of time. Richard is covered in the US (Medicare) and now Portugal and we’ve decided to pay his costs elsewhere out of pocket if a need arises during our travels. Since I still have 5 more years before I can qualify for Medicare (like your wife) I’ve elected to keep my IMG plan (which required a health exam) even though it is prohibitively expensive because it covers me everywhere in the world including the US.
      It’s a complicated answer and an even more convoluted solution. I wish I could give you a better answer. Many of our friends that we’ve met along the way have simply elected to pay out of pocket or “go insurance-naked.” Definitely a tough choice and, if you come up with a more elegant solution, we’d love to hear from you!

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  • Hi Anita and Richard, I have never been to Portugal and I am wondering if you can recommend a place where a single woman may stay for a month? I do not drive and anyway prefer to walk and take public transport. I love museums and gardens, food and the sea 🙂 And if she can’t speak Portuguese? Though I guess one can learn. I spent 30 days in Istanbul last year and didn’t have to speak much Turkish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mary. We could go on and on about Portugal and what an awesome country it is to travel in and I’m so glad to hear you’re interested in a visit. In the Algarve Region, where we are currently based, English is widely spoken due to the high number of Brits and European tourists for whom English is a common language. (In fact, English is so widely spoken that I’m mortified to admit that we’ve procrastinated learning some Portuguese due to sheer laziness.) We’ve also had no problems traveling to other areas in Portugal as there is always someone who knows some basic English and you’ll find tourist info businesses will be fluent.
      As for places we’d recommend with good public transportation and museums our first recommendation would be Lisbon which has the bus, metro, sea, multiple museums, etc. We’ve not yet been to Porto but from what I hear it’s also a pedestrian friendly city. And of course, Lagos is easy to navigate around by foor or by taxis, buses and a train that goes up and down the coast. It has miles of coastline and the sea but few museums.
      The best times to travel to Portugal would be anytime but June, July and August when the prices along the coast and especially the Algarve can triple. We’ve found some great and reasonable rentals in Portugal through AirBnB and have a property manager we can recommend if you’re interested in the Lagos area.
      Hope this helps and let us know when you make the trip to Portugal. Face to face meet ups are always fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  • ME BE in Panama

    Love reading the blog, keep ’em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I just found your blog today. I’ll have to give more of your posts a read! We’re a couple starting our year off starting this august, and travelling for the entire year, South America before Christmas and then heading to Europe for the remainder of the year. If it works out we would like to live abroad when we retire for real. We are considering a trip to Morocco because we have to watch our days in the Schengen zone. The goats in the trees look really interesting! Great Pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by our blog and we’re so glad you enjoyed browsing through the posts. Deciding to travel has been the best decision we ever made and we’re enjoying living in Portugal now so that we can continue to explore Europe at our leisure. Part of the fun of traveling is the actual planning and research and then comes the hard part of making the choices – there are so many fascinating places to visit. If you make it to Portugal let us know!

      Like

  • Hola Anita & Richard, we’re on the downhill run of our 9 week trail of Boquete, Panama. We’ve enjoyed so much of the culture here and can easily picture ourselves settling into a comfortable retirement here. However, the rental market has become very tight (we’ve been told a group of 200+ people following their pastor down here) within the past year.
    Our second expat destination is Cuenca, Ecuador and we’ve decided to give it a harder look, especially costs of quality rentals as compared to Boquete. Do you follow/recommend any blogs from Cuenca? Thanks for any suggestions. Mariah & By

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boquete was a very popular expat destination a couple of years ago when we were in Panama and, even then the prices were rising and (IMO the housing prices were outrageous!) I think your plans to check out and compare different destinations in Central and South America are a great idea so that you’ll find a place that’s a good fit for you. After all, look where we ended up 🙂 ! And do I have a great blog for you written by an online and facebook friend of mine, Dyanne Kruger who’s lived in Cuenca now for about 2 years. Her excellent blog can be found at http://www.travelnlass.com/ and has all sorts of great info. We also have an acquaintance who’s a realtor there that I can put you in touch with. I’ll be interested to hear what you think! Anita

      Like

  • Hi just spent all morning enjoying the reading many of your posts! We loved reading a lot your experiences.
    We immigrated from the U.S. To Vancouver Canada in 2005 and never looked back.
    We did take a year to experience, albeit not as extensive, world travel and being nomads.
    Like yourselves,,the experience was memorable and life changing. We are now back HOME in
    Vancouver but will plan to leave once again in a few years for shorter trips.
    Letting go, living with less, allowing open minds, too, have enhanced our enjoyment and joy of living.
    We especially liked your entry on Merida where we lived for four months falling in love with its people and places.
    The very best to you both!
    Here is my simple blog, not as extensive or as well written as your enhanced entries but a start.
    I have not decided if we will upgrade our free blog yet or whether the story will continue on the pages of a blog.
    Thanks again and we will be following you!
    http://www.rallanach.wordpress.com

    Ron and Ben

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by our blog and your kind words. It’s always great to meet people with a passion for travel, learning and new experiences in their own country as well as foreign places. “Letting go” is a great feeling and can really put into focus the things that are most important in life as well as what’s extraneous. I enjoyed reading many of your blog entries and your well written descriptions of Merida brought back a lot of great memories. Wishing you the best of luck too and great times whether at home or on the road! Anita

      Like

  • Great blog! I’m the publisher/editor of the Ecuador Coastal Newsletter.com (http://www.ecuadorcoastalnewsletter.com), and I would love to re-post a portion of this. It would have full credits to you of course, and would push readers to your site for ‘the full story’.

    ¡gracias y salud!

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  • Wonderful what you are doing. My husband and I plan to travel long term once our pets pass on. Just wondering how are you dealing with staying in Europe for an extended period of time due to the schengen visa rule of 90 day limit?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question Kimberly about that pesky Schengen visa and its 90-day limit! Originally we had planned to move in and out of the Schengen area in 3 month intervals. That is, travel in the zone for the 90 days then leave and spend 90 days in non-Schengen countries such as England, Scotland, etc. before returning. However, the more we traveled in Portugal, the more we fell in love with the area and … spoiler alert! we returned to the US a couple of weeks ago to gather our documents and apply for a residency visa for Portugal which, once it’s approved, will allow us to claim Portugal as a residence (working toward a permanent visa) and continue our travels in Europe with Portugal as a base. We’ll be writing about our decision and the process in a few more weeks. Fingers crossed! As for your plans, congratulations! We’ve been traveling full-time almost 3 years and still think that this is the best decision we’ve ever made. Anita

      Like

      • TabogaIslandHouse

        Good day! I and my husband will be doing (hopefully soon) what you are currently doing – traveling and ultimately getting our Portugal visa. We sold everything in the U.S. and moved to Isla Taboga, Panama 10 years ago and are now ready for new adventures! Wanted to receive emails when anything new is posted to your blog. However, when we hit “follow” there was nowhere to enter my email address. Would you be so kind as to advise on how to accomplish this? Also, really looking forward to seeing how you experience the “visa process” first hand as every one has a different story to tell. Ciao! Jeannette & Thijs

        Like

        • Congratulations! This is a momentous decision even though as expats you’ve gone through some very similar preparations 10 years ago when you moved to Panama. We’ll be writing about the Visa process for Portugal and hopefully we’ll have a better idea after August 27th as we will be presenting our application to the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in Washington DC. Only a few days to go … I think you’re set up to follow our blog as I received a notification that a new subscriber (you) had been added. I’m not sure what happened but if you find that you’re not receiving our posts (right now we’re posting every other Saturday) we’ll follow up with our WordPress site. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to write with questions or comments anytime! Anita

          Like

  • Wow! A really inspiring story Anita and Richard.
    I hope that I can do the same as you real soon. I am currently woking, but planning on be a nomad or a lifelong traveler.
    Hopefully you will be travelling to Romania soon! I live in Bucharest now, and I am pretty sure that you will love the city and Romania as well.
    If you come, please email me at laura@familyvacation.com, I would be very happy to give you insights and tips about where to go our or what to visit in the city or country.

    It is a must visit!

    Be great,
    Laura Oana

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our blog, Laura as well as your lovely offer to give us some local insights and information when we visit Romania, hopefully in the not-to-distant future. Good luck in your preparations to become a long term traveler. We say it often but it’s still the best decision we’ve ever made and we’re excited to hear about others getting ready to see as much as they can of this amazing planet!

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  • Hi Anita and Richard,
    We are preparing to do the same as you guys in the next year, although I think we’ll begin in SE Asia. Tell me about your experience with the IMG insurance. Have you been happy with it? Did you go with the Silver or Gold plan?

    Also, which documents have you had apostilled? Have you needed them in your travels/getting visas, etc? Did you guys bring extra passport photos in case you decide to stay longer in a country?

    Thanks in advance,
    Amanda & Dan

    Like

    • Congratulations on your decision to make long-term travel your life-style! It really is the best decision we’ve ever made and we’re hoping to continue traveling for a long time.
      Our main concern with insurance was what to do when we returned to the US for visits and that was the big reason we chose IMG when we first began our travels. This year (our 3rd to use it) Richard decided not to renew his policy as he is now eligible for Medicare in the US. I will carry my policy but, truthfully, I’m not sure that it is worth the money. We have made no claims, choosing to pay for everything out of pocket and, even though Richard has some health problems, health care is much cheaper outside the US. To insure or not – It’s a real dilemma…
      As for the apostilles – that again was something that probably isn’t necessary and we’ve never used the documents that we had apostilled. Our thinking was that they might be necessary for teaching English as a second language but they’ve not proven necessary. Furthermore, most of the documents are date-stamped and we’ll have to go through the process (and expense) once again if and when we decide to apply for a residency visa in a foreign country.
      We do have a couple of extra passport photos in the event that our passports are lost or stolen. We usually carry only a color photocopy with us as we go about our sight-seeing and leave the originals at our apartment or hotel to decrease the chance of loss or theft.
      We’ll be interested in hearing from you as you prepare for your new life. Please stay in touch, Anita and Richard

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  • You guys rock! It’s great to see some kindred spirits. Safe travels.

    Like

  • Whatever you’re using for FB, we all certainly appreciate it!!!!!!!! Your friends back in Corpus Christi, Texas!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  • Great advice on pursuing prescriptions. Re: your phone, I had great luck using the eKit phone. Have used it on five continents with no problem, pretty good rates. Could get a signal up to five miles off the coast.
    Hope you can make it to the Falkland Islands — charming anomaly worth the long ride.

    Like

    • Thanks for the recommendation about the phone. I hadn’t heard the name “eKit” before so I checked it out and it sounds like what we’ve been looking for. As for the Falkland islands, they sound great. Our bucket list is getting longer and longer! Anita and Richard

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