I am a retired, unmarried woman who has recently moved abroad for the first time in my life. One of the biggest surprises I have had during this transition is how many other women there are out there doing the same thing.
I have landed in Cuenca, Ecuador but I have also connected with many other women who are living all over the world. I am talking single retirees here, not military.
You are not alone
I have traveled a lot over my lifetime, both for work and for pleasure.
I have done some of that solo, but more often with groups or going to a place with others waiting for me.
When you talk about making a residential move alone you are talking about having to take care of the business of finding housing and starting a new day-to-day permanent life. Very different. I have a bit of an adventurous spirit, but I am not one to put things in a backpack and just take off.
I did, however, meet a retired Canadian woman here in Cuenca that has traveled by bus with two suitcases throughout all of South America—by herself. I don’t think so for me.
Connecting with others
What has helped me the most was being able to connect with other expats, single and married, on the many Facebook Expat Exchanges.
For example, search “Ecuador Expats” on Facebook. They have them set up in most countries now. Some exchanges are more active than others.
I could ask a myriad of questions, and many other expats were more than willing to answer and give me their perspective about various issues. And I also connected with many other retired, unmarried women who had already made the move and loved it. That really gave me the courage to take that step. It is important to do a lot of research to make this move happen.
Always be aware
I have written other blogs about the challenges that will present themselves, and there are many. I also believe it is critical to be aware of your surroundings when you travel, especially as a woman alone.
There are dangers out there no matter where you go, so you just take precautions like walking on more populated streets and being careful where you go at night by yourself. Check the crime rates of the cities you are considering. Be proactive.
If you have read any of my other blogs, you have probably heard me say I wouldn’t have missed this experience in my life for anything. It is true. It is challenging but has also opened my mind and heart to a whole novel way of living and enjoying this planet.
Let us know what you are thinking and... Bienvenidos!
By: Cathy McKay