Are beaches better than mountains for living abroad?
It depends on who you ask. Everyone has a different idea of paradise. For me it’s living on or near the beach. For Tim, it’s living in the mountains. In either case, for both of us the main priority is living somewhere warm and beautiful. The climate is one of the main reasons we decided to go with Latin America for living abroad.
Personally, I absolutely love the ocean, in particular the Pacific and the Caribbean. It is totally amazing to me that one can swim in such a huge body of water as the Caribbean Sea and have it feel like a bath with water temperature close to 80 F. Incredible!
However, with the ocean comes humidity and there are very few people I’ve met that like humidity – myself included. Many of the beautiful tropical beach destinations I’ve visited are very hot and humid. Nonetheless, it doesn’t deter me from wanting to live there. Something happens in those tropical places – life slows down. It’s almost as if the humidity and the temperatures beat stress right out of me. I am forced to slow down and stop and smell the flowers. Besides, the ocean has its own unique beauty that cannot be substituted with anything else – at least in my opinion. I love it! My choice is beach.
The mountains, on the other hand, have a rugged, natural beauty. Tropical (especially volcanic mountains) are incredibly lush, green, and amazing. I can see why Tim likes them.
Hiking is usually awesome and the temperatures tend to be cooler and more comfortable. In fact, many of the places we’ve looked into do not use AC – like EVER! That’s because the average temperatures are usually around 70-75 F. Humidity also tends to be lower – well, depending on where you are. But generally speaking mountains = cooler and less humid weather. Check out these amazing pictures of the mountains.
So, how do we resolve this conflict of beach vs. mountains for living abroad? We’ve been thinking about it and decided to compromise. We hope to find a destination that is in tropical mountains but within half-day driving distance to the ocean – not asking for much, are we? So ideally, we will be able to get to the beach a couple of times a month and chill-ax, while we live in comfortable cooler temps the rest of the time. This will also eliminate the need for high electricity bills since we won’t be running AC. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Yep, we think so. We are also confident we can find this little paradise of ours – somewhere…
Contenders currently high on our list are:
- Boquete, Panama
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Cuenca, Ecuador
- La Fortuna, Costa Rica
How about you? Which do you prefer? Do you have suggests on which towns would be best for us?