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Travels With Jim and Rita
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Travels With Jim and Rita

Author: Jim Santos, travel writer and host of the International Living Podcast

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Discussing the challenges, rewards, and drawbacks of living overseas. Follow our decision to sell our home and live abroad until the housing market adjusts. Information for the would-be expat, digital nomad, roving retiree, or just plain traveler. Host Jim Santos is a published travel writer with over 200 articles and seven books (jimsantos.net). He and his wife Rita lived in Ecuador for 6 years, and are currently test-driving the roving retirement lifestyle. Jim is also the host of the popular "International Living Podcast".

22 Episodes
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Send us a Text Message.What happens when you combine adventurous spirits with a keen eye on budgeting? Join us as we recount our memorable journey through Panama City and Playa Coronado, where we faced both triumphs and challenges. From the affordable Airbnb stays and vibrant local markets in Panama City to the higher costs and limited amenities in Playa Coronado, we navigated the ups and downs with a strategic budgeting approach. Rita shares her mixed feelings about Playa Coronado, contrasti...
Send us a Text Message.Ever wondered how relocating to a new country could transform your life and open up new horizons for your family? Join us as we recount our chaotic yet exhilarating journey from Mexico to Knoxville, marred by flight delays and lost luggage but enriched by an illuminating interview with Michelle Wedderburn from San Miguel de Allende. Michelle, a visionary healer and community builder, shares her incredible story of moving to Mexico to give her son a multicultural upbring...
Send us a Text Message.What if you could leave everything behind and start anew in a vibrant, culturally rich city? Join us as we wrap up our incredible journey in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This week, we reminisce about our adventures at the bustling Tuesday Market. Our special guest, Phyllis Gordon, provides an inspiring narrative about her spontaneous move from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta and finally to San Miguel. With over 20 years in Mexico, Phyllis enlightens us about her integr...
Send us a Text Message.Embark with Rita and myself on an enthralling exploration of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—where a curtain of darkness from a city-wide blackout veiled our path, yet opened our eyes to the profound lessons of safety and vulnerability encountered while traveling. We're then joined by an extraordinary guest, Colleen O'Neill Mulvihill, whose transition from the adrenaline-fueled life of a firefighter to a serene path as a holistic health and wellness coach paints an inspir...
Send us a Text Message.Nestled in the vibrant heart of San Miguel de Allende, Rita and I have found a rhythm to life that pulses with the local flair—and yes, even an encounter with Montezuma's revenge. But it's the stories that we're really excited to share with you, particularly those from Jennifer M. Sparks, who swapped her rocket scientist badge for a passport to nearly 50 countries. Join us as we explore Jennifer's transformative odyssey from childhood dreams to bulldozer rides in Africa...
Send us a Text Message.Ever wonder how the slow burn of travel can ignite a soulful transformation? Join us, Jim and Rita, as we recount the tales of San Miguel del Allende's sizzling May heat, where our quest for coolness led us to uncover the cultural gems of this historic Mexican town. We're spilling the beans on navigating local markets brimming with budget-friendly fresh produce and each surprising twist in the rich narrative the cobblestones of San Miguel whisper to those willing to lis...
Send us a Text Message.As Rita and I waved goodbye to our Knoxville abode, little did we know that the salty breeze of Playa del Carmen would become our new lullaby. Our latest episode is a tapestry of tales from our sun-kissed days at Sunset Fisherman's Spa and Resort, to the cultural weave of Cozumel where we rendezvoused with Bel Woodhouse, International Living's Mexico correspondent. Bel's perspective enriched our understanding of the island's vibrant tourism and community spirit. We spil...
Send us a Text Message.Embarking on a nomadic lifestyle isn't just a leap into the unknown; it's a dance with new horizons. Join us, Rita and Jim Santos, as we swap the familiarity of Knoxville for the sun-kissed beaches of Mexico and the rustic charm of mountain villages, all while debunking the myth that living abroad is an escape from American life. Our laughter and candor fill this episode as we unravel the chapters of our journey, from the initial move to confronting the complexities of ...
Send us a Text Message.Picture this: you're surrounded by boxes, the remnants of a life you're packing up to explore the unknown. That's the scene Rita and I find ourselves in, and it's where our conversation with Corey Mortensen begins. He's a man who's mastered the ebb and flow of a life lived on the move, having ventured across the globe not just once but several times. Corey regales us with stories from his days on Wake Island to immersing himself in Thai culture, weaving a narrative that...
Send us a Text Message.join us, Jim and Rita Santos, as we unfold the map to a future unchained from the conventional moorings of a stationary home. Discover how we're securing our retirement savings by side-stepping the unpredictable real estate market and why High Yield Savings Accounts (HYSAs) have caught our eye. We're also unpacking the potential of banking in Uruguay, the financial haven often compared to Switzerland, and how it might just be the safe harbor for our hard-earned funds. O...
Send us a Text Message.Embark on a voyage of discovery with the intrepid Maya and Dave, whose leap from the classroom to the vast world has led to a retirement brimming with purpose and adventure. As former educators, their tale is one of financial foresight and embracing a minimalist lifestyle to fuel a passion for exploration. In this episode, they take us through their colorful journey, from the heart-warming reasons behind their initial move to Nepal, to the charm of Ecuador's encha...
Send us a Text Message.Embark with us, Jim and Rita Santos, on a reflective journey through our time on the sun-kissed shores of Salinas, Ecuador. Now, with suitcases almost packed, we're casting an eager gaze towards Mexico. We sit down with Kimberly Kagan-Campbell, our seasoned real estate guide from our Ecuadorian days, to delve into the shifting sands of safety and lifestyle in a place where the air is dense with sea salt and the government's firm stand against cartels. Our conversation s...
Send us a Text Message.Escape with us to the tropical allure of Playa Coronado as Panama enthusiast Diane Maxwell shares the hidden gems and candid realities of expat life in this sun-kissed paradise. Diane, with her wealth of knowledge and decade plus of Panamanian adventures, reveals why this country's charm is more than just its postcard-perfect beaches, offering a no-holds-barred look at the unexpected day-to-day life that awaits those seeking their own tropical haven.This episode isn't j...
Send us a Text Message.Have you ever wondered what it takes to trade a stationary life for one of global exploration? Join us as we chat with Kevin and Bonita, a couple who've made the leap from the comfort of their US home to the exhilarating uncertainties of backpacking the world. Their story begins with heartfelt goodbyes to their possessions, a journey kickstarted in the vibrant city of Barcelona, and the myriad adjustments from downsizing to decoding new languages. Travel alongside us as...
Send us a Text Message.Join our escapade through the vibrant life of Panama as we, alongside seasoned expats Lesa Wollman, Stu Singleton, and their adventurous dog Ziggy, unveil the realities of forging a new path in the historic Casco Viejo. From the bustling streets of Panama City to the serene shores of Playa Coronado, we share the rhythm of everyday life in this tropical paradise. Lesa and Stu's stories weave through the rich tapestry of cultural adjustments, the comforting familiarity of...
Send us a Text Message.Embarking on a life less ordinary, Rita and I, Jim Santos, peeled back the layers of traditional retirement to reveal a tapestry woven with adventure and discovery. Our tale begins with shared grief, leading to a partnership rooted in the love of exploration. When the familiar confines of the United States seemed too small, we chased a dream to Ecuador—a journey that reshaped our golden years. Now, we pull back the curtain on the decision that sparked our move, the real...
Send us a Text Message.Have you ever woken up one day and decided to flip your life upside down for an adventure abroad? Well, that's exactly what we, Jim and Rita Santos, did, and we're taking you along for the ride. Our journey from selling our home in Knoxville to budgeting in the sunny climes of Panama is no ordinary tale. We confront the unexpected—like a simple water leak turning into a full-blown disaster, all while living the expat dream. It's a candid look at the realities of retirin...
Send us a Text Message.Have you ever wondered if the expat life is as glamorous as it sounds or if it's just a series of unexpected trials? Rita and I are here to give you the unvarnished truth, sharing our latest escapades in Panama, where the beauty of Playa Coronado meets the frustration of a broken air conditioner. It's a tale of resilience, as we balance the arduous process of selling our home back in the States with the daily grind of making it in a foreign land. Strap in for a candid r...
Send us a Text Message.Embark with Rita and me on a remarkable expedition, as we reveal the secrets of stretching our retirement dollars in sun-kissed locales. Our latest podcast episode whisks you away to the coasts of Playa Coronado in Panama and then to the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica, where a new visitor policy could signal our next home. Special guests Roy McGinnis and Julie Tallman, veterans of international living, join the conversation, sharing their first-hand impressions of Cost...
Send us a Text Message.As Rita and I wave goodbye to the high-rises and vibrant streets of Panama City, we're brimming with tales to share from our month-long exploration. The city's blend of bustling markets and serene Malicon walks left us with a mix of admiration and longing for what's next. Our latest podcast episode takes you through the sensory delights and urban challenges we encountered, and why despite the allure, our quest for the ideal retirement haven is pulling us towards the san...
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