The key to finding the right fit for your new life overseas is having a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like that new life to look like.
I recommend taking that advice literally.
All these many years I’ve been researching and reporting on the world’s top options for living well and retiring better, I’ve used the following suggestion to frame the conversation:
Ask yourself, I’ve said, what you’d most like to see from your bedroom window every morning when you wake up…
Then look around the world for where you’re able to afford that view.
But it doesn’t have to be your bedroom window.
My View In Panama City
Back in Panama City for the first time in nearly a year-and-a-half, Lief and I are again installed in our Avenida Balboa apartment.
Each late afternoon, after the day’s work is finished, I sit on the balcony of that apartment with a glass of wine. Spread out before me is the Bay of Panama. I count the number of ships waiting their turns for passage through the Canal… watch lights come on in the high-rise apartment towers of Punta Paitilla and Punta Pacifica… and enjoy the passing show of bicyclists, joggers, and strollers on the pedestrians-only Cinta Costera that runs alongside the bay.
That’s the view of Panama City that I carry with me… and that I miss when Lief and I are elsewhere.
My View In Los Islotes
At Los Islotes, it is, in fact, the view from our bedroom window that sticks with me. In one direction we see the Pacific Ocean… in the other the mountains that form the spine of this Veraguas coast. We’ve laid in bed watching dolphins swim in the sea before us while the sun rises over the hills behind.
My View In Paris
When I think of being at home in Paris, it’s the scene outside the kitchen window that comes to mind first… and it’s not so much the sights as the sounds.
Preparing meals, washing dishes, even mopping the floor, I’m kept constant company by the laughter of the children of our building running and skipping on the cobblestones of our courtyard and by the cheerful “Bonjour! Ca va?” of our neighbors as they greet each other passing through.
Just outside our courtyard is the heart of central Paris. The Seine is two blocks over. On the other side of the river are the Louvre and the Tuileries… and from its banks you can see Notre Dame in the near distance.
Meantime, inside our courtyard, daily life carries on simple and sweet… as it has for more than 300 years.
That permanence—both of iconic Paris write large on our doorstep and of everyday Paris within our walls—gives me comfort.
Founding Publisher, Overseas Opportunity Letter