As the world becomes more interconnected, the idea of retiring abroad grows ever more enticing. Jim and Rita Santos, a couple who once took the leap to relocate to Ecuador and now plan to travel the world, share their journey on their latest podcast episode. It's a tale that intertwines the excitement of new experiences with the practicalities and challenges of expat life.

Retiring in a new country comes with its unique set of adventures. The couple walks us through the initial steps of their transition, including the selling of their home in Knoxville, which didn't go as smoothly as hoped due to market conditions and unforeseen mishaps, like a water leak that could have turned disastrous. They talk candidly about budgeting in their current visit to Panama and how they've managed to stay close to their financial targets, despite some surprises along the way.

The episode goes on to discuss a topic that is on the minds of many potential expats: safety. Jim, drawing from his decade of travel writing and insights from his book, "Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life," offers a nuanced perspective on what safety really means across different borders. He dissects the influence of cultural context and media on our perceptions of safety, sharing anecdotes about their brush with petty theft in South America.

Blending in with the local customs is not just about fashion—it's about survival. The podcast reveals the Santos' strategies for avoiding tourist scams and emphasizes the importance of local knowledge and savvy to navigate through potential risks. They touch upon the importance of being part of the community and not just a transient tourist, to truly enjoy and stay safe in the adopted country.

Before concluding, Jim extends an invitation to the listeners to join the conversation beyond the podcast, directing them to his author page for a deeper dive into slow travel and the twists and turns of life. The Santos couple's story is a testament to the enriching experiences that come with taking the road less traveled.

For many considering a similar path, this episode serves as both a cautionary tale and an inspiring narrative. It encourages a balanced approach to the thrills of expat retirement—being open to adventure but also prepared for the realities that come with it. Jim and Rita's experiences in Panama offer valuable lessons for anyone looking to make a similar life change, providing insights into the true meaning of safety, community, and living well in retirement.

The beauty of the couple's journey lies in their willingness to share not just the picturesque moments but also the trials that come with uprooting life as they knew it. It's a story that resonates with the spirit of adventure, the pursuit of a dream, and the practical wisdom gained from a life lived boldly beyond borders.

Click here to listen to the episode on "Travels With Jim and Rita"