*The following city guide was written and submitted by Matt H.
Ciudad Juarez is the largest city in the state of Chihuahua and was previously known as Paso Del Norte (pass to the north in Spanish). Located on the United States border across from El Paso, Texas, it is an important trading post between Mexico and the US.
Eastern Europe…or Latin America?
It’s a question many aspiring location independent entrepreneurs find themselves asking. Many throw Southeast Asia into that mix as well, making it even more difficult.
But let’s talk about the two extreme ends of the spectrum. South America and Eastern Europe. These two places could not be more different. Latin America is warm and sensual, compared to the coldness and rigidity of Eastern Europe
In Walt Disney’s 1945 animated film The Three Caballeros, José Carioca, a cigar-smoking parrot, famously asks Donald Duck if he’s “ever been to Bahia.” Donald replies that he hasn’t, and proceeds to get a bashing from Jose for having not done so. You’ll deserve the same verbal abuse if you decide to leave Salvador, Bahia off your travel itinerary.
Alright, let’s get it out of the way; I know what you’re thinking.
“You’re 25 years old. What do you know what dating is like for retired men in South America?”
It’s a fair point – having never been a retired man in Latin America, I’ve never dated as a retired man in Latin America.
But, something I haven’t mentioned before is this: two of the best friends that I have met while travelling Central and South America who I’m still in touch with are single, retired men. The first is an ex-military guy from the Yukon that I met in Colombia. The second used to run a Bed and Breakfast in Ireland before retiring to a small city in Mexico (as a matter of fact, I visited him last week).
I’ve often entertained the idea of living in Lima.
The girls are sweet, the food is excellent and it boasts a reasonably low cost of living by Latin American standards.
During my recent trip, I decided to check out the real estate. I wanted to see how much it would cost to rent an apartment in Lima, and how difficult it might be for a foreigner without residency to accomplish such a thing.
Here’s what I discovered:
At this point I feel like a poster boy for Central and South America.
I’ve written so many positive things about the region that I’m sure I’ve painted quite a rosy picture in the minds of some readers.
But here’s the thing.
Latin America is not a great place to live. Most westerners looking to relocate will be better off choosing Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia, especially if they are in their early 30s or older.
I could probably come up with 100 reasons why it’s a bad idea to live in Latin America.
But ain’t nobody got time for that.
Instead, here are just a few of the frustrating things likely to send you on the next flight home.
Whenever I’m in a new city in Latin America, there’s only one thing on my mind:
Is this somewhere I would like to live?
You see, I have a somewhat odd life plan at the moment. I want to do extended stays (3 months or more) in the region for at least the next few years.
This makes me a bit different than the average backpacker who can gather all the information he needs from Lonely Planet.
I’m forced to dig deeper.
So, without further ado, it’s time for another one of my Latin American city showdowns. In this post I will be comparing the “City of Palaces” (Mexico) with the “City of Kings” (Lima) to determine which is the better city for an expat to live in.