I happened upon this article tonight as I was slogging through what appears to be a slow news day (dow under 8000? Yawn.) It is about a city in the middle of Mexico (San Miguel de Allende) that has a healthy American retiree/expat community. Nestled in the mountains at about 6800 feet, this city apparently has all the modern conveniences and temperatures in the 60's and 70's year round.
As I read the story, I wrestled with my own longstanding desire to live--for some period of time--as an American expat. I've never really thought hard about where it would be--but I've always thought it would be warm and near the ocean. One of the biggest advantages to putting in 21 with the USN is that I have the freedom to walk away from everything--and I mean everything--and go rent an apartment on some boulevard, rue, plaza, piazze, or strasse--if the spirit moved me.
I have this very romantic sense of what life would be like in such a place. I'd live simply, spend most of my time writing and drinking espresso, and smoke a lot of cigars. I'd eat pretty well, as I would likely want to pick a place where my greenbacks went pretty far. I'd probably not own a car, but I would own a bike. I'd do my very best to learn the local language, and I'd take on a very Hemmingway-esque approach to life. I'd probably start drinking again, and I'd do it well.
Now of course, I could also live the expat life with the Kitten, though it would be a very different life (say goodbye to the cigars, for instance). It would be a good less Bohemian, but also a good less lonely. I'd probably not write as much, but I would have more fun.
Maybe that's where I'm headed someday---work a few years, get the Kitten's kittens off to school, then head to Malaysia or Mozambique and try our luck.