Michael's story
I'm a Texan so I'll be very straightforward and honest with you. I was tired of the USA's stress, schizophrenic society, and oppressive government that was getting worse every year. So I packed my business and moved to Costa Rica which was very pretty but very polluted. Also the women were snobbish. (I'm single). (click here to read about Costa Rica). So then I moved to Paraguay for 4 years. I liked it there much better. Cheap to live there, clean air and food (mostly grown there), medium sized capital city (500,000), tranquil-minded people. And there's little possibility of involvement in the next global war. Paraguay is a no-importance forgotten country, which is the beauty of it if you want tranquility. (Click here for perspectives on other southern countries.) But because Paraguay has a really long hot summer, the land is flat and uninspiring, and there is no beach (just a lake), there has been little interest shown by gringos in moving there. Since July of 2009 I have been in Cuenca and like it for the interesting architecture, almost complete lack of bugs, and better security than Costa Rica and Paraguay. But I dislike the high altitude here (which has 28% less oxygen and always leaves me short of breath) and it's a little colder and wetter here than what I like. Paraguay was much less pretty. Ecuador has no place good for me to live other than Cuenca and the altitude sickness I experience here is distressing. Click here to see my site on Paraguay. Before I moved from Ecuador to Paraguay I lived in Cali, a city of 2 million people in Colombia. It was a bit too big for my liking but wasn't a bad place overall.