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The Pueblo Luquillo Puerto Rico

Our Story: We Pulled The Trigger – Moving to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Here We Come!

We have been researching and researching and researching some more.

I’m, of course, talking about researching destinations for our move abroad. All of it was sprinkled with visits to each of the countries and then more research. But we finally did it, we made a decision and we’re moving to Puerto Rico!

Monserrate Beach Luquillo Puerto Rico

Originally, this was supposed to be a five-year plan but circumstances with work and family have accelerated our decision. Here is the bottom line: life is too damn short to be miserable – wouldn’t you agree?

So, we made the decision to stop our search right here and right now and chose a country out of the ones we’ve already explored: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Puerto Rico. We chose Puerto Rico for many reasons, but more on that in a minute. We, also, decided to put Ecuador on the back shelf, at least for now. Since, we have a very ill family member, we decided that being that far away is just not feasible for the moment.

So, we found a fully furnished and equipped apartment, on the beach, in Luquillo, PR and last week, we flew down there, signed the lease, hooked up internet, and moved half of our stuff. Yesterday, we both submitted formal resignations at our places of work – there is no going back now!

We are super happy, excited, nervous, and scared all at the same time. But we will be documenting the process and our life on the island, to help you decide if it may be a place for you too. We will soon be kicking off a website dedicated to life in Puerto Rico for gringos like us. So, stay tuned for more.

So, here is why we chose Puerto Rico for our new home:

1. No Federal Income taxes and other great tax advantages, see post on Taxes in PR – new tax haven.

2. Proximity to the family. This is especially important to us right now because of the family situation.

3. Local flights – no customs and easy way to get back and forth.

4. Great weather – can I just say it’s 79 degrees in Puerto Rico as I write this and 28 degrees in MI? – see Puerto Rico Climate and PR Rain Season posts.

5. Super friendly people, see our post on Puerto Ricon People.

6. Lower cost of living – perhaps not as cheap as other countries, but definitely cheaper than the mainland – see posts on Cost of Living in Puerto Rico and Grocery Shopping in Puerto Rico.

7. Healthcare and cheap insurance – ahhh, no Obamacare! – see post Healthcare in Puerto Rico.

8. An amazingly beautiful island with lots of Latin flare but still part of USA. Look at the pictures below and tell me if you can blame us – also see Puerto Rico Picture tour.

Puerto Rico
Our new place
Puerto Rico
Our new back yard
puerto rico
More of our back yard….

Enough said. Obviously there is a reason why Puerto Rico is called the “Isla de Encanto” – the enchanted island. I feel that we are very lucky to have this opportunity and will keep you posted on our developments.

Joanna –


About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. Hi Jo!

    I would have chosen Costa Rica over Puerto Rico but that’s just me. 🙂 I am partial because I am a bird lover and my brother has a house near Ojochal. Peace and love and be safe…


    • Hi John!
      Yep, I get it. We liked Costa Rica a lot too but we decided it was ultimately too expensive for us. Panama and Puerto Rico were very close but PR won because…well…it’s U.S. That’s a huge thing for us. So far, we love it!


  2. Hey There! Hope all is well and your are enjoying your new home! Soak up some sun and relaxation for me!!!

    -Kela 🙂

  3. What is meant by “ahhh, no Obamacare!”? Since it is, by and large, for previously uninsured Americans, I don’t see how it applies here. Are you right wing-nuts? For me, it speaks to the credibility of your posts.

    • Hi Dennis,
      Thanks for commenting. What I mean is that we do not have to pay tax penalties for not having Obamacare in PR. Everywhere else, even if you insure locally, you have to pay the tax penalty. Obamacare is not just for uninsured, it is also for self or privately insured and in some cases (as was the case for my accountant) you are made to give up your private insurance and chose an Obamacare plan, which increases the rate greatly and raises out of pocket expenses. And nope, we are not “right wing-nuts”.

  4. I have to say, I feel a little like the cellmate of the escaped convict, you made it out!, Good for you but poor me – especially here in NH. Let’s see, palm trees, sandy beaches, probably 80 degree water – I wonder if the prospect of another winter in MI moved your schedule up. Enjoying your posts as I am aiming for Panama in 2 years.


    • Ha ha ha Rob,
      Yep that’s essentially what it feels like for us too. Escaping this winter is awesome! Panama was one of our top choices and who knows we may still end up there but for now we want to take advantage of the tax savings and local flights to PR!

  5. Welcome to Puerto Rico my wife & I have a finca in Patillas.

    • Hi Rick,
      Thanks! We would love to meet you guys! We have so much to learn but we’re super excited about this new chapter in our lives.

      • There are some nice kiosks (places to eat) in luquillo right off of route # 3. check it out. And you are very close to El Yunque rainforest.

        • Hi Rick,
          Yeah, the area is pretty awesome. We’re familiar with it. We love the Kioskos! Although, some of them are not as cheap as you’d think, but totally delicious! So, Patillas? We’ve not explored there yet. Is it higher elevation? How do you like it?

          Would love to meet you and your wife. We will be in PR permanently on Jan 6, so once we get settled in, we plan on exploring the island more.
          Drop us an email at abroaddreamers dot gmail dot com


          • Patillas in a small pubelo (town) along route 3 on the Caribbean Side of PR but our place is in the mountains in Marin Alto up from lake Patillas route 181.

  6. Congrats on making the jump! Life is indeed too short to be miserable.

    When you get settled in drop us a line, we’d love to meet up!

    • Thanks Britton,
      That sounds great. We would love to meet you guys. Life is a bit nutz at the moment but we’re slowing getting there. 2 more weeks and we’re permanently out off here!

  7. It’s good to learn your decision. Living in Michigan, you’re used to lots of humidity which I’m sure you’ll have in P.R. I will look forward to future posts. ¡Buen viaje!

  8. I am so happy for both of you! We just completed our first year as expats and can still remember being where you are today! If your adventures go like ours did, you will find it even better than you had dreamed!

    I hope we can stay in touch.

    Larry and Lee in Mexico

  9. Exciting times for you! I look forward to reading about your adventures as you get settled in there.
    All the best y buena suerte!