Where I Might Be Meant to Live – II

Where Perhaps I’m Meant to Live – II

Back from a week-long vacation in Oregon. Tree took me to see an old-growth forest and the Oregon coast, both of which are spectacular. I decided it was a good time to review my list of the places I am thinking of ‘walking away to’, based on comments from readers and some of my own research. With my earlier list I said:

I’m going to find someplace natural, someplace warm and peaceful, probably near forests and ocean beaches, perhaps build a cabana or a yurt, live mostly off local and home-grown foods, and reconnect with uncivilized life, with my instincts, with my senses and emotions, learn to pay attention, live in now time, play, reflect, explore and learn about the local ecosystem, and just be present. And from that stillness, I’m going to imagine and write about what’s possible.

You’re welcome to come and visit, and stay as long as you like.

It also occurred to me (slow learner, remember) that if I were to migrate semi-annually to two places, I could solve two problems: being closer to more of the people I love (at least half the year) and staying warm by summering in the North and wintering in the South. My first cut at rating the places I identified in my last list against my eight criteria uncovered no places with more than a 70 score, and a large number of places with scores between 60-70 — too close to call. With a semi-annual migration, I can bump up the scores of temperate-zone places.

Here’s my updated list, ranked by score, with Northern (May-Oct) sites in blue and the Southern (Nov-Apr) sites in green (those in black text are warm all year):

Area Warm
(2x weight)
to Love
(N. NZ)
•••• •• •• •• •• •• •• 90
(W. Aust)
•••• •• •• •• •• 85
Vancouver Isl
(W. Canada)
•• •• •• •• •• •• 85
Oregon Coast
(W. US)
••• •• •• •• •• •• 80
(E. Aust)
•••• •• •• •• •• 80
(Pac Ocean)
•••• •• •• •• 65
Nicoya Costa Rica
(C. America)
•••• •• •• •• 65
(C. America)
•••• •• •• •• 65
Curitiba – Santa
Catarina (Brasil)
•••• •• •• •• 60
(S. Europe)
•••• •• •• 60
Caledon – current
residence (E. Canada)
•• •• •• •• 55
Nature Coast
(SE. US)
•••• •• •• 50
Other Tropical Areas
(Amazon, Thailand,
South Pacific)
•••• •• •• 50

One of my big challenges now is the immigration laws of the countries I want to walk away to. Few of these countries allow you to immigrate as a retiree unless you are very wealthy. For Australia, you need to bring into the country and leave on deposit A$750,000 (about CA$600,000), and that allows you to stay for four years with one four-year renewal option. For the US, a Green Card costs US$500,000 (about CA$700,000). For NZ, it’s NZ$10,000,000 (about CA$6,000,000). Although it’s hard to get information, it appears EC countries have similar rules. The idea of having to “buy” residency rights in another country, even when you have sufficient pension income from your current country of citizenship, is offensive to me.

Costa Rica, Belize and Brasil offer retirement visas, which can easily be extended to permanent residency and citizenship; the proof-of-income requirement is modest (pension of $2000 per month or so).

Temporary ‘visitor visas’ are more viable, but they require that you maintain ‘permanent’ residency and citizenship elsewhere. For Australia, you can stay up to one year. For the US, you can stay up to six months, renewable for additional six month periods. For NZ, you can stay up to nine months in any eighteen month period, so my plan of staying six months out of each twelve is a non-starter. All countries also require proof of sufficient funds to support yourself.

So it looks as if I’m going to emulate a lot of Canadians and spend six months of each year getting away from the cold winter climate. Except I’m going to do it all twelve months of the year.

Getting closer.

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11 Responses to Where I Might Be Meant to Live – II

  1. Dave Pollard says:

    Hmm… the cells of the table in this post look fine in Safari but wonky in Firefox (borders missing). Anyone know how to fix that?

  2. Gerard Joyce says:

    Flying between homes every six months sound like a good way too burn fuel and perhaps will become too expensive as supplies dwindle ?I think you will find it will destroy the “connection” to community you desire.You might find it more satisfying to make a go of one place and truly investing in it .

  3. mrG says:

    Although this whole escapade sounds less like Saving The World than it does Fleeing From Responsibilities, may I propose a compromise solution? Yes, it is the ex home-lair of the futurist Jacque Fresco, complete with helicopter pad, and if operated like an arcosanti I wonder perhaps if it might qualify as a foreign business office and local economic plus, and thus not, technically, a mere vanity emigration.

  4. You are getting closer. Personally, I vote for the Oregon Coast, because then we might actually get to sit on the beach sometime with the rain falling on our heads and drink steaming coffee out of mugs and laugh big belly laughs at it all! Great work, Dave–we’re rooting for your soul to find rest and shelter, wherever in the world that is…

  5. David Parkinson says:

    Why not a permanent perch on the Canadian west coast, and a yearly overland jaunt to Mexico? Tons of people out here do that.

  6. vera says:

    Dave, the locational dots are barely visible in Firefox this time. Last time they were fine.Are you saying (going off last sentence) that you would stay 6 months in one warm country, and 6 months in another?About Oregon coast: spectacular, and wonderful dry summers. (Winters, the less said the better.) But in my experience, the coast is problematic if you want a warm beach for hanging and swimming. Even swimming in the little sheltered lakes in the dunes will freeze your butt, and the ocean? Fuggedaboudit. Last I tried, I got froze just running up to the water from the winds blowing… then one quick dip and a frigid scramble back; no desire to ever repeat.

  7. EJ says:

    I agree that it would be difficult to maintain or build community of you are always on your to somewhere else or worrying about whether you can stay awhile longer. Continuity and commitment build communities. Also you don’t want to get stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time due to natural or other disaster beyond your control.I too am baffled by your last sentence. Getting away to where?

  8. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks for the thoughts and comments everyone. Re: the last sentences, I’m talking about getting year-round summers by spending May-Oct in BC/OR and Nov-Apr in OZ/NZ.

  9. asdf says:

    Nelson BC & Nelson NZ? <– Check em’ out.

  10. asdf says:

    http://www.truefilms.com/archives/2009/03/living_with_the.php“This series is the best exposition of a minimal-technological lifestyle that I have ever seen. It is far more revealing than most anthropological documentaries. Here, two white guys go native. For three months they live with a Papua New Guinea tribe that still adheres to traditional hunter gathering mode, using bows, stone and bone tools. Unlike most visitors, including anthropologists, these guys eat only what the tribe eats; indeed, they eat only food that they help find and process. They learn to make their own traditional tools and weapons. Seeing this process we get a very good sense of what is involved in living “in harmony with nature.” It’s tough. Each week the visitors give up more of their gear until they wear what the tribe wears, which is not much. The filmmakers record their own bumbling attempts to learn how to survive in the forest as these members of the Kombai tribe do, and via their education we get a fantastic view of tribal life.”

  11. Ken Stokes says:

    Aloha Dave!Delighted to see Hawaii’s still on your list!Oh, and, the offer to help you plug into our Kauaian community still stands.BTW, you can travel back and forth to Hawaii by boat (~5 days OW), if that helps you think through the “ecological footprint” of your roving.Ken

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