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 like the Arizona desert, 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.

From 2009 to 2013 I lived in Cuenca Ecuador and liked it for the interesting architecture, almost complete lack of bugs, and better security than Costa Rica and Paraguay. But I disliked the high altitude there (which has 28% less oxygen and always leaves me short of breath) and it's a little colder and wetter than what I like. Ecuador has no place good for me to live other than Machala (which is where I am now). The altitude sickness I experienced in Cuenca was just too distressing. I have also lived in Cali Colombia, a city of 2 million people. It was a bit too big for my liking but wasn't a bad place overall though the people seemed distant.