“We need a Plan B! Can you help?”

“We’re hoping to relocate to France’s Languedoc region. But we realize it’s always a good idea to have a ‘Plan B.’ Should things not work out for our top choice, we’ve have narrowed our second choice to several Latin
American destinations, specifically: Cuenca, Ecuador; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Ajijic, Mexico; and Medellin, Colombia.

“After 20 years living in Montgomery, Alabama, we’re looking for something other than hot and humid. We currently live in a nice, quiet, and peaceful neighborhood. And, while we’re fairly adaptable folks, this is something we’d like to find in our overseas haven.

“Our budget is US$3,000 a month. And, we’d like to get by without owning a car. We’d appreciate your input on which of these locations you’d recommend as our back-up plan–and are open to any other suggestions.”

James B., Alabama

Of your list, Cuenca is probably the best option. San Miguel can be expensive, and you’d more than likely need a car. You could walk around downtown fine, but it’s a limited area. Ajijic is spread out along the lake, so again, a car would be beneficial. And, Ajijic is heavily populated with expats, so you wouldn’t get much interaction with locals. Medellin could work as you can walk many places easily in El Poblado, and taxis are easy and inexpensive. On a budget of US$3,000 a month, you could do fine in any of these four areas (though San Miguel may be a little more expensive). Ajijic was always, and should still be, fairly inexpensive.

As you’re drawn toward Europe, you could also consider the Abruzzo area of Italy. Italy can be inexpensive on the food side, and real estate in Abruzzo is a bargain (probably less expensive than Languedoc). Of course, summers will be hot. But you have skiing in the nearby mountains in winter. And, if you stay near the coast, it shouldn’t get too cold (probably similar to Languedoc).

Continue Reading: Envigado, Colombia

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