South America? Uruguay?
As we watch housing costs and inflation continue to rise across the country and especially in Austin, we worry about our ability to maintain a satisfying life without constantly struggling for ever-increasing pay. We realized we were faced with being forced to move somewhere rent is less expensive — whether or not it’s a location with the particular amenities we find valuable. So, rather than select some random U.S. town in which all other costs (food, utilities, etc.) remain the same or increase (transportation) except our rent, why not an interesting foreign city — and one that comes with possible financial benefits, to boot?
Our trip to Colombia sparked these thoughts. We’ve both wanted to live in another country during our lives. I’d largely written that possibility off, but between seeing the affordability of South America and the rising costs of living in the U.S and not really wanting to work harder and longer to maintain the same quality of life, it’s started to seem more reasonable as an option. We’re in our 40s without kids. I’ve worked remotely for a decade or more. In fact, I held the position I hold now while living in Austin, New York City, New Orleans and San Antonio. Being two hours ahead in Uruguay won’t make much of a difference.
Colombia’s even less expensive, but acquiring a visa to stay longer than six months seems to be a bit difficult. Uruguay, however, has a much clearer visa process and, while not dirt cheap like Colombia, is still considerably less expensive than U.S. towns, especially those of comparable size.
Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay, is also rated as having the highest quality of living in South America.
When it really comes down to it, we don’t require much to be happy. Beyond the basic amenities (easy access to medical and veterinary care, pharmacies, groceries and the like), I like to have a local coffee shop to visit on the regular. Misty likes going to greenspaces or trails to go hiking with the dogs. We’d be happy to go without a car, if possible. That all seems possible — with quite a bit more to distract us — in Montevideo.
Currently, we’re scheduled to fly from Atlanta to Montevideo on August 17-18, 2022. We have an Airbnb in the Aguada district near the National Parliament until October 31, by which time we should have decided upon longer-term lodgings.