Spanglish: The Language of Puerto Rico

SpanglishWhat the heck is “Spanglish”?

Tim and I were walking down the sidewalk looking for a quick, inexpensive place to eat. We really wanted breakfast that wasn’t going to cost $30.00 (again). We heard that a local shopping plaza had just the place – local, cheap, and tasty.

All of a sudden, I stopped and stared above the businesses. Tim also looked up puzzled, trying to figure out what in the world I was looking at. It was a large bulletin sign that said:

"Estas Open Para Probar Cosas Nuevas? - AT&T"

Wondering where we were? The place was Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. Continue reading

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To Ship or Not To Ship – Shipping Abroad to Puerto Rico

Should You Ship or Not Ship Your Stuff Abroad?

Shipping Abroad to Puerto Rico I recently saw an article that compared the average house size in USA in the 1950s to an average house size in the 2000′s – it was eye-opening. House sizes in the America grew more than 50% in the last 60 years, while the number of people living in them shrunk.

Why then do we need such big houses? Well, the obvious answer is….our stuff.

Let’s face it – as Americans, we love our stuff. Our entire society is built on consumerism and we work hard to get more stuff.

Like all other average Americans, Tim and I began this journey of early “working” retirement abroad with a lot of stuff. Continue reading

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Healthcare in Puerto Rico

Healthcare in Puerto Rico  Isn’t Puerto Rico’s Healthcare terrible?

That’s usually the first question I hear when I mention that we’re researching Puerto Rico as a relocation destination. After plugging away at Puerto Rico research for a few months, I find that there are many misconceptions about Puerto Rico, like crappy healthcare, horrible crime, scorching hot weather, and just the general idea that Puerto Rico is somehow the slums of the U.S.A.

I have to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth and I honestly don’t know where these ideas are coming from. It is conceivable that it’s due to all the media hype that only focuses on the negative but, frankly, I really don’t know. Continue reading

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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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