I’ve been on the road for 4 years now trying to find the best countries to retire cheap and here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The world is a big place. Things that are so important and newsworthy in North America aren’t all REALLY that big a deal. (Things like gender politics, elections and crazy new tech gadgets still occupy my mind, but it doesn’t play such a big role in my psyche anymore.)
  • I love travelling. I also hate not having a home.
  • People are strange, both good and bad. I’ve made some great new friends like my hosts in Cebu, and a yoga teacher from Germany.
  • That it’s easy to lose weight just by eating less. I’ve lost 15lbs in 6 months, just by not snacking and drinking less. There wasn’t any calorie counting. I just ate the same portions at street stalls as the other patrons.
  • That there are a lot of travellers who are traveling just to “find themselves”. One guy I met had sold everything at 25 years of age and has been on the road for 5 years.
  • That I hate squat toilets. I can use them, but I hate them. I also learned to appreciate the fact that public toilets in North America always have toilet paper.
  • I don’t need a bunch of stuff to make me happy. I sold all my toys, from motorcycles to a Fallout pip boy and never have I missed them.
  • That you should always have a travel journal. Even though I share tips and articles here with you on BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com, I have lots of private (and usually boring) thoughts too.
  • Muslim countries aren’t all that repressive and horrible. The women seem happy and I wonder about how biased I got from western media. Shariah law exists but in Kuala Lumpur you have to be a Muslim for it to apply.
  • I miss red meat (especially steaks) but I don’t need it. Please go for steaks with me in Alberta!
  • That eggs in Asia are delicious and we are doing it wrong in North America.
  • That mass transit works. Coming from a city where mass transit is stuck in the dark ages and inefficient I never really grasped how great a city that has it is.
  • It’s important to speak multiple languages. English is still the predominant travel language in most of the world. My Cantonese is useful , and I’ve learned Spanish. I wish I spoke French, Thai and Russian. You really cannot connect with people as if you can’t speak a persons native language.
  • That hookers can have a heart of gold. Watching one working girl spending hours gently taking care of a passed out backpacker on Khao San road really opened my eyes.
  • That I need to keep travelling just to eat delicious food.
  • My blog is making money. I’m making about $1 a day. It’s not much but I’m still surprised it’s working.
  • I like hot days and don’t miss snow. Maybe a little snow would be nice, but not freezing my butt off while waiting for my car to warm up.
  • I don’t love the constant 30 degree heat, it would be great if it was 20 something degrees.
  • I started my blog and my trip trying to find the perfect place to retire cheap, but I still haven’t found it. I’ve started returning to places I love though.
  • That my friends who stay in contact with me while I’m out of country are the ones I I’m really appreciative of. (You know who you are, my lovely bunch of pals!)
  • I’ve had and passed a kidney stone. They suck. I never want to drink mineral water again. And that any country I retire in had better have good health care.
  • That I’m still me when I travel. I hate camping. I don’t care how nice the views are, I’ll take an air conditioned room versus any glorious nature view.
  • That cameras do not work in hot hot heat. My camera craps out if I expose it to the blistering sun too long, and all the batteries die.
  • Sunscreen. I never want to be as peeling and sunburnt ever again. Oceans are much hotter than cities. They may feel all nice and cool but secretly they are burning you into a red peeling itchy crisp.
  • That the world isn’t logical. It just is! Just deal with it.
  • That 20 something girls traveling from around the world act like 20 something girls in North America.
  • I started my trip, with so much stuff that I didn’t need. I’m down to 1 carryon worth of stuff.
  • I no longer hate Monday’s. Not having a schedule or work is indeed awesome.

I hope this article helped you with your introspective quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)