Retirees Living Abroad

The idea of Grandma moving to another country is a little scary. Even unthinkable. Once upon a time, women never traveled alone. Well, it’s a brand new day.

Today, both men and women of all ages choose to live abroad. Women travel alone or with a group, and feel perfectly free to move about the planet. Information is just a click away, and groups abound for short trips or excursions that can last for weeks or months.

Women who are experiencing the pains of “dollar stretching”, may find that living in a more affordable country is both a pleasure and a relief.

First Things First

Choosing the country you wish to explore starts with a short list. What appeals to you? Are you interested in your ancestry? Looking for art galleries and museums? Or picture yourself lying on the beach?

By using keywords, you can come up with a list in a short time. Write down the pros and cons and then finalize it to two or three places.

Europe, Asia, Central and South America are good places to start. After you choose the country you wish to consider, and before you pack your bags, find out all you can about the rules, habits, everyday goings-on, and legal issues of becoming a resident. Research carefully.

1. What is the area like? A large, busy city? A beach town? College town? Fishing or farming?

2. What are the people like? Open and friendly to visitors/newcomers? Cosmopolitan? Down to earth? Skeptical?

3. What are the housing options? Apartment, house, hotel. Costs are often cheaper overseas than in the states. Know what you are getting.

4. Legal and financial concerns. What’s required of you for visiting, moving. How to do banking/money exchange. Where is the nearest office for information and legal documents?

Moving Along

  • Visit the area more than once. Go at different times of the year. If there is a “tourist” season, watch for changes during the season and “off”. Observe what’s happening – what are citizens doing. This may include traffic, entertainment, food, rent, sociability of citizen.
  • Connect with a group or organization that specializes in visiting and/or living in another country. You can find them online.  Their body of information can help you make critical decisions, and may save you a lot of grief.
  • Research the legal and practical issues of living in the country on its government website. Cost of living is important, along with cultural and social practices.
  • Talk with family and friends. Explain what you’re doing and why. Answer questions politely. Even though this is your decision, others may be concerned. But at the end of the day, it’s your choice.
  • Access your present situation and make careful decisions. Don’t be in a rush. There will be many changes and patience makes for a smoother move. Anything you’re not taking needs to be sold or re-homed. That list could be very long. Have no regrets.

Senior Women On A Budget

The cost of living abroad is often cheaper than living in the US. It depends on where you want to go, and what you prefer. Comparison shopping is the way to go here. The websites that write about living abroad can give you facts and figures that are current. Make sure you understand social security, Medicare, other forms of insurance – health, travel – and all costs involved. Rent usually doesn’t include utilities. It may not include repairs. Will you have a car? Public transportation is readily available and cheap.

My own journey has been interesting, informative, and often puzzling. I plan to travel over the next couple of years, living in one or more countries outside the United States. I get newsletters from more than one organization that specialize in living and traveling abroad. I also attend conferences. They cost a little, but are chock-full of current, relevant information. The last thing I want are snafu’s.

I love Canada, especially Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise, and visit there every year. I have family in Calgary and have made new friends in the area. Go where you are comfortable.

Thank you for visiting my website. Please leave a comment if you have questions, ideas or want to share your experiences.

Judy

Senior Women Traveling Alone

There was a time when a woman would never consider traveling alone. Security issues were too scary. Women who embarked on even “close to home” excursions were accompanied by family member, husbands or a female companion. Safety was always the priority.

Not so anymore. Things have changed drastically in the last ten to fifteen years. Today, not only do women of all ages move about the planet, but information abounds for planning a trip. Getting help is just a keystroke away. There are groups, organizations, and hospitality companies that serve the female traveler with newsworthy suggestions and amenities.

Seasoned travelers are more than willing to share the joys and disasters of their own experiences, and they would encourage you to read their comments, blogs and testimonies. To get a real feel for a place, you need to understand the local customs, and engage with the people. Handling everyday situations usually requires that you just ask someone. This includes how things work, local transportation, good shopping spots and directions to places of interest.

The Purpose of the Trip

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Is there a place you’re always dreamed of? Do you seek a spiritual pilgrimage? How about a connection with your ancestry, a leisure/study venture, or have the urge to climb a mountain? The truth is, you can go for any reason or no reason at all.

Women do travel completely alone. A little fear and anxiety is usually gone when they realize the local people are friends. At the same time, single women often join a group of other women with a shared purpose. Maintaining independence is the idea. You can stay together, or venture off by yourself for a while. It frequently happens that people sight-seeing together may not share the same interests.

Let’s say your purpose is to enjoy the sights and also take a class. You will probably be part of a small group of people with similar interests. Friendships have formed from these kinds of trips, though the participants may be from different countries with vastly different backgrounds. Road Scholar ( the new Elderhostel) has many offerings that may be for a day or two or a week or more, for both adventure and learning. You can also spend a week at Oxford, pursuing a short study of one of several topics.

Preparation

Before you buy a ticket or pack your bag, research the area you’ll be visiting. Buy a couple of books, surf the internet and talk to someone who’s been there, if possible. Some surprises aren’t all ooh aah. Find out about health concerns, food preferences, money exchange and safety concerns. These should always be on a traveler’s list – for men and women.

The time of year you choose to go may be critical to the success of your vacation. Weather is just one of several considerations. In some locations, the very best offerings for a vacation occur during one season of the year. If there’s something in particular you don’t want to miss, prioritize this. Fall foliage, the whales swimming south in spring, music or art festivals, and local fairs have a time constraint, and booking in advance may be essential to your ultimate enjoyment.

Modes of Transportation

Getting there from here has some options. Car, train, ship, airplane and walking are the usual choices, but it may come down to money matters before you make that final decision. It depends on where you’re going and what kind of trip this is. If you have your heart set on a trip overseas that will require meals and a place to stay, it could be costly. Add a plane ticket and the budget may be stretched to bulging.

Group travel doesn’t eliminate any of the expenses, but it does offer discounts. A tour company booking a dozen people in a hotel will get better room rates, and you may get breakfast with that. This may – or may not – be the same for the transportation. Do your homework and find a good match for your money situation. Hostels offer reasonable comfort and security. AirBnB has a variety of options, including some private apartments you can rent by the night for reasonable prices. You get what you pay for, of course, but if you can forego some extra amenities, it’s available.

Single supplements are worth talking about, because it’s a growing trend for hotels to offer accommodations at a “singles” price. Once, the single traveler paid the same price as a couple for a room. However, with the increase of persons traveling alone, it’s good business for the hotel to make this gesture. If it’s not posted, ask.

Speaking of Money…

The very subject of women and money is huge. Earning, saving, investing, spending and worrying if you will have enough is a constant in some of our lives, especially seniors. Two of the best ideas for funding your travel urge is to

  1. Figure the expenses down to the last cent (close as you can).
  2. Look carefully for “affordable” trips or excursions and see if they offer scholarships.

Once you start to travel and meet peple, you will gather a treasure chest full of ideas for future plans and vacations. Start a savings account just for travel, eliminate a few other expenses if you can, and keep a journal of suggestions and ideas. Have a great time.

Last Minute Tips

Traveling with a group gives you an experienced guide, who not only knows about the location, but also clues you into the do’s and don’t’s. They also help when there’s a more serious problem, like illness or accident.

River cruises are popular, and may offer the option to stay ashore a few days to do more sight-seeing. You can catch up with the group by train or car somewhere downstream.

Consider booking car service to the hotel instead of taking a taxi. The difference in price is usually worth it.

There are a million other tips you’ll pick up as you travel and, by all means, check out these websites.

https://www.women-on-the-road.com

http://www.journeywomen.com

http://www.sixtyandme.com

http://www.roadscholar.com

Google your own keywords and Happy Traveling.

A beautiful day.

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