J and I are constantly sharing our hopes and dreams for our early retirement. For the most part we have been on the same page since the beginning – we agree on what we want and on what we need to do to get there; however we aren’t necessarily on the same page as to where “there” is.
As I’ve shared previously, Bonaire was an early contender for the place we wanted to call home, then Ecuador, then Panama, then Nicaragua stopped by for some contemplation time and then somehow, we’ve arrived back in Bonaire. On paper, they all make sense.
Bonaire has world-class scuba diving, English is widely spoken, amenities are easily accessible, quality housing is somewhat affordable and there is potential for side businesses to make some additional income. But as with everything, there is a downside – increasing crime rates, high cost of living (i.e. electricity, water, gas, groceries), expensive to get to and of course the less-than-easy task in obtaining a residency visa.
Ecuador is still considered a third-world country, but the government is stable and the country holds promise. Residency visas are easily accessible, cost of living is very affordable and affordable beach front real estate is still obtainable. The downside of course, is that it is not Bonaire.
Panama didn’t capture my heart right away. It took some getting used to, but now it would probably steal the show if it wasn’t for the extremely high housing costs in the coastal areas we want to live. It is still considered a third-world country by many, but access to amenities, great health care and residency visas still hold appeal to me.
So, what’s the problem? Well I sort of feel J has already packed his scuba gear and is sitting in his hammock on the porch of our Bonaire home waiting for me to arrive. Me, I’m still at the airport trying to decide what flight to catch.
There is no denying that Bonaire holds a very special place in our hearts and if money wasn’t a consideration, I’d be on the plane in an instant. It has everything we want and more and the pros certainly outweigh the cons, but I’m still struggling with the cons. Actually, I’m freaking out a little.
I’m blaming some of my indecision on the unknown. I don’t know when exactly we can leave. I don’t know how much we can afford for a house until we sell our existing house. I don’t know if the Canadian dollar will be strong enough at the time to afford anything. I don’t know what I want to do or if I want to do anything at all to make extra money on island.
I do know I want to be somewhere warm, live simply, yet comfortably and I don’t want to be stressed out on a daily basis. Is that too much to ask? Time will tell I guess.