4 out of 4 stars
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After a considerable amount of research to find the location best for them, Jim Santos and his wife moved from the United States to Salinas, Ecuador. Using the knowledge gained after living there for several years, he has written Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life. This is an informative and entertaining book that examines misinformation about moving abroad that is commonly accepted as truth. It should be read by anyone thinking about moving to another country.
Are you the type of person who would enjoy and flourish from a move or would you regret it and be miserable the whole time? The knowledge Mr. Santos has presented can help make that decision easier. The information would be most relevant for people who want to relocate to Ecuador but could be easily applied to additional countries. The pros and cons of a move are candidly given. Among other things, the author describes what one needs to do to live cheaply, information about the healthcare system (including options for health insurance), relying on other expatriates, and whether one needs to learn the local language. He discusses how news in the United States seems to reinforce the belief that it is hazardous to live anywhere but in the United States and tells us if there is truth to the belief. Advice on how to stay safe and not be victimized is also given.
Although loving to travel, due to personal reasons, I won’t be able to do much of that for some time. Therefore, I looked forward to reading Mr. Santos’s book and wasn’t disappointed. His writing is easy to follow and very descriptive. He has authored many articles about his life in Ecuador that have been published in several international retirement and travel publications. Subsequently, he has acquired a lot of experience in professional writing, and it shows. In this 151-page book, Mr. Santos frequently cites examples of situations he encountered while living in Salinas to illustrate his point. These stories are frequently filled with humor and compelled me to chuckle from time to time.
One of the dominant themes that I love in the book is to treat others with respect and kindness. This was mentioned on numerous occasions. One can’t expect others to respect them and treat them right if they, themselves, are condescending and unkind. This is true no matter where one lives. I also appreciate the fact that the author encourages the expats to go out of their comfort zone, make an effort to meet the locals, and appreciate the culture of their adopted country. This would increase the chances of having a more enjoyable experience.
I encountered a few minor errors in the book. However, they didn’t affect my enjoyment and were not enough to cause me to lower the grade. Because I found nothing else about the book to dislike, Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life achieves a rating of four out of four stars. Being well written and informative, it is enthusiastically recommended to readers interested in moving abroad. People who enjoy stories about travel may also appreciate it. A few profanities were encountered, so readers who prefer to avoid anything with expletives might want to look elsewhere.
I would like to finish with a quote from the author that struck a chord with me: “We have learned something that everyone approaching retirement needs to take to heart: retirement is no longer just a goal. It is a journey to be enjoyed and cherished.”
Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life
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