U.S. Expat in Puerto Rico – who’s that?

ExpatWhat’s an expat?

“Expat” has become a common term for an expatriate person and many folks living abroad in retirement consider themselves expats.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word expatriate (verb) as:

"to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one's native country"

This is quite different from ex-patriot – as it is sometimes mistaken for; on the contrary, many expats are not ex-patriots and are, in fact, quite patriotic.

Since I am already an expat once over (Polish expat), I wonder what exactly I would be considered if I moved to Puerto Rico… Continue reading

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Rain Season In Puerto Rico?

rain seasonWhen I tell people we’re planning on retiring in the Caribbean or Central America, the most common reactions I get from folks are these:

“I could never do that, it’s too damn hot over there”

“Rain season is a killer over there”

“I don’t think I could stand the humidity, especially in the summer”

“Oh, it’s way too humid for me, and I wouldn’t like all the rain in rain season”

Continue reading

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Pimsleur Spanish Program Review

Pimsleur SpanishReview of Pimsleur Spanish Program:

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the phrase “gringo go home” or “ugly Americans“. If you haven’t, don’t be surprised if you do wherever you choose to settle abroad.

Although unfortunate, it is sometimes well deserved. It stems mostly from Americans that move abroad who are unwilling to learn their new country’s culture and language. I personally feel that there is no excuse for that and no matter how old I am, I will try to learn the language of my new country.

Tim already touched on some of the options for learning Spanish in his post Learning Spanish for Retirement Abroad and I want to expand on it by offering a review of one of my favorite language programs.

When it comes to learning a new language, experts say you need a combination of audio, visual, and practice. Having learned a second language once already, I know from personal experience how important all three of those things are. I also know that everyone has their own way of learning, so I may be more visual than you, and Tim may learn via auditory stimuli better than me, and so on.

However, we all have to get started somewhere, right? Continue reading

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Why you should get a VPN or Proxy overseas

Why you should get a VPN or Proxy overseasBack in March, 2014 we wrote a post on creating a virtual life abroad. Since then, we covered how to setup a virtual mailbox and get a virtual phone number, so that you can receive packages and make phone calls as if you were “back home”.

This time, I’m going to cover how to browse the internet as if you were back home.

At first, you might think that something like this isn’t important, after all doesn’t WWW stand for World-Wide-Web?

Well, do you stream Netflix? Do you like to watch funny videos on YouTube?  Do you listen to Amazon music? How about HBO or your favorite sports channels, do you watch them online?

If you do, did you know that these services (and others you may enjoy) can be blocked in certain countries? Continue reading

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Climate in Puerto Rico

Climate in Puerto RicoIn this post, I wanted to cover what we’ve learned about the climate in Puerto Rico. It shouldn’t be a surprise that an important part of picking a new home is knowing what you can expect for weather conditions.

In this post, I’ll be looking at the climate in Puerto Rico as i want to gather some data so Joanna and I know what we can expect for weather if and when we move there.

I’ll start with the geography of the island and work my way through the topology, temperature, precipitation, and I’ll finish up with storms the island has experienced (because being from the Midwest, hurricanes freak me out a little bit).

Continue reading

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Money Grows on Trees in America?

Money Grow on TreesDoes Money Grow On Trees in America? NO!

- Warning: beginning of rant -

I’m sitting here seething, totally pissed off this morning. I’ve been reading some threads on reddit and came across one by a pompous, self-righteous, misinformed Brit that has big opinions and really knows nothing of the reality but feels entitled to judge Americans (specifically U.S. citizens) that want to move abroad.

Here is the gist of the post: “I’m tired of the ‘oh so poor’ Americans wanting to leave U.S., whining about the state of the affairs, then moving elsewhere but still demanding their cheetos.” Continue reading

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