Retire To Medellin, Colombia

What Am I…Crazy? I’ve Been Called Worse

Years ago, when my son was young, I was the leader for his Boy Scouts troop. Working with the boys, I realized that none of them had been more than a few miles beyond the Pennsylvania town where we were living. So I decided I was going to take them to New York.

So I took 65 10-year-olds to Manhattan. I lost only three or four of them.

Seriously, we had a great trip. We toured all over the city.

Recently, I got an e-mail from one of the boys who made that trip with me. He wrote to tell me:

“I’ve just graduated from NYU. And I realize it was all thanks to you. I went to a school I wanted to go to in a city I really love, all because you showed me I could. If we hadn’t made that trip years ago, I would have been too nervous to move to Manhattan to go to college all on my own. But you helped me to see there was nothing to be afraid of…”

That’s my goal in writing to you now. My hope is that four or five years from now, maybe sooner, I’ll get e-mails from some of you reading this thanking me for showing you that, despite what you may have heard or read, Medellin, Colombia, qualifies as one of the best places in the world to restart your life.

I tell you with confidence that you can do it, because I’ve done it. I’ve been living here full-time for two years. This city has allowed me to reinvent my life completely.

I first came to Medellin four years ago with a friend who asked me if I wanted to tag along with him and his wife who were coming here for vacation. At the time, I thought, Colombia?! Why would anyone want to go to Colombia?

But I came along. The trip was one of the most important turning points of my life.

Back in Pittsburgh, I’m a landscape architect. I have a firm that works with the rich and famous…professional athletes, big-deal CEOs, etc. I’m not walking away from that. I’m in touch with my clients up there all the time. I’m still running my business.

But, at the same time, I’m reinventing my life. That first trip to Medellin two years ago, I fell in love, both with the city and with one of its daughters, a beautiful woman named Michelle. We’re going to be married soon. Then I’ll have five children–my two in the States and her three here. Talk about a life change.

But I’ve never felt better. I’ve never been happier. Never felt younger. Old friends back in Pittsburgh, when they see me, tell me I look better than I have in two decades.

This is a beautiful city. And, yes, it’s safe. I’m getting to know it at a very local level. I’m becoming part of a local Colombian family. I’m being welcomed and supported.

At a time when I could be thinking about winding down my life, I’m restarting it. I feel very, very fortunate to have discovered this special city, and I want you to know that, if you, like me, decide you’d like to make this city your home, you can do it.

You can do it.

Ed Bayer

P.S. From Kathleen Peddicord:

Retire to Colombia? Why would I be recommending that an average retiree consider launching his new life in retirement in Medellin, Colombia, of all places? What am I…crazy?

In fact, I’ve been called crazy (and worse) for years…for decades. People called me crazy when I first recommended Costa Rica as a retirement haven nearly 30 years ago. They called me crazy when I recommended Belize a few years later…then Roatan, Honduras…EcuadorPanama

Now those destinations are recognized and appreciated as the world’s top retirement havens and home, each one, to many thousands of expat retirees who’ve taken my crazy advice over the years.

I don’t mind being called crazy. To me, crazy is just another word for forward-thinking. Eventually, the rest of the world will catch up…as they have in Belize, Ecuador, Panama, etc.

Meantime, I’ll keep beating this drum. Medellin, Colombia, qualifies as one of the most appealing, most comfortable, most interesting, and most affordable places in the world to think about reinventing your life. Don’t take my word for it (remember…I’m crazy). Come on down to Medellin to take a look for yourself.

Continue reading: Reasons To Retire To Casco Viejo, Panama