Location A or Location B?

One of the reasons Brett has asked that I not reveal our future location is that once we do, we always change our mind. Well, guess what? We are once again questioning what we believed a month ago was a firm decision on where to go plus a back-up location.

Since I posted earlier this month that we’d made a decision, we have been going through a process of maybe Location B instead of Location A would be the better choice in the long run? The two top locations on our list share many positives which led us to once again looking more deeply at both. They both feel like a good choice for us (for different reasons) and we know we could be happy in either place. Location A had been feeling more right for us than Location B for a while, but now Location B is making its move.

Here are some of the positives both places share:

  • We have spent time in and enjoyed both cities.
  • We have friends in both cities.
  • The visa process for both locations is fairly easy and straightforward, and we have more than adequate income to qualify.
  • We love the local cuisine in both locations.
  • The languages spoken in both places are both one of the easiest for an English speaker to learn (not that it’s easy for us). We wouldn’t have to learn a separate writing system, for example.
  • Public transportation is good in both locations, and it’s very possible to get around by walking. A car would not be needed to live in either city.
  • The cost of getting from Location A to the U.S. and vice versa is a bit more expensive than getting to Location B. But, the process of travel to and from both locations is straightforward.
  • Both places offer good healthcare, although Location A is better overall. Location B offers better dental care.
  • The cost of living in both locations is very affordable. Some things cost more in one place, other things cost less. For example, rent is approximately 17% less in Location A, but utilities and other costs are much higher than Location B. Taxes in both areas are low to non-existent.

Each area of course has positives that the other doesn’t have, including the weather, more and better travel and cultural opportunities, and so forth.

Over and over we keep asking ourselves, What are we really looking for? We know no place is going to be perfect, but it feel like there is one factor we haven’t thought of that would make either Location A or Location B the better choice for the long term. For now though, we are extremely grateful to have two good, solid choices in front of us and the time to make the right and best decision for our future.


16 thoughts on “Location A or Location B?

  1. Interesting…having two great choices is not a bad problem to have, but I can see where it would be tough to choose. I have a question though. Is this location meant to be permanent, or are you planning to stay there for a short time and then move on? I would say since you and Brett like to be nomadic, maybe try Location A first and stay for 6 months (or however long you want) and then try Location B for the same length of time and then make a decision, IF this is meant to be a permanent move. Of course, since I don’t know where the locations are, maybe you’ve already spent time in either or both.

    When I have a difficult choice to make between two options, I come up with a ranking system where I rank each attribute based on how important it is to me. Then I determine which option has the most attributes that are important to me and that is the one I choose. It sounds like these two options are pretty similar though, but giving each attribute a rank could help you break the tie, so to speak.


    1. It would be quite difficult to move from one location to the other because of the visas involved. We could do it, but it would involve a stay in the U.S. between the two locations, or quite a bit of travel within the two different location in order to procure the visas. So, it’s best that we make a firm choice between the two. But, it is hard as both are great places that call to us!

      We have ranked their attributes and they really come out equally, although Location B does pull ahead in one area – elder care, which is why it has currently moved ahead of Location. Both have good services in place, but B offers a bit more.


  2. As I read your post, my thoughts were along the same line as JJ. Maybe live half a year in one spot and then half a year in the other. OR….maybe in your heart of hearts you’re really not ready to settle down long term yet and need to be nomadic for awhile longer??? I’ll be following along wherever. 🙂


    1. As I explained to JJ, the visa situation means moving from one to the other to try them out would be difficult. And which one to do first? Setting up housekeeping in one location would also require more of a financial investment, and would be costly if we decided we prefer the other location. So, a decision will be made.

      We haven’t talked about traveling full time again; there’s a feeling that we’re ready to settle down, and traveling full time with Kaipo would be impossible.


  3. You still have time to let this sit, so to speak. Maybe the answer will simply come to you. Or, if it doesn’t, and for example these are two cities in Mexico, you can try one out and if you don’t like it move to the other one.


    1. We are very fortunate to have this time to really think things over and choose which location will ultimately be the best for us. We’re lucky we love both of them.


  4. This does sound exciting to have two good options. Perhaps you could contact your friend(s) in each location to get up to date information on your most important criteria. There may be things rumored that could shed some light on your ultimate decision.


    1. We stay in contact with our friends, and are connected to the cities in other ways as well, more so now that both are on our radar. I admit to ignoring the politics in both places, mainly because I’m currently so sick of politics that I could scream! Not a good excuse, but here we are.


  5. Well, as you know ,
    I picked my eventual retirement location and bought a tiny house there. I am now having second and third thoughts. I picked somewhat in middle of state but I am also now considering the northern part of the state where I am from and where one kid lives as well as extended family, and the southern part of state near where another kid lives. I have decided just because you pick one location doesn’t mean you won’t spend time in another attractive to you location. Life is flexible.
    I will probably be in the northern and central parts (tiny house) during the heat of summer, and southern part during the coldest part of winter. I hate cold weather. If your locations are within the same country, or nearby countries, it might not be a stretch to split time at both places with one place being your main “home” and the other where you visit for extended weeks. I guess that would depend on VISAS required,
    depending on lengths of stay, and I don’t have to deal with that. My holdup with trying three different locations is probably the same as yours, expense.


    1. Brett and I were just talking about this this morning; that is, which location would serve as a better base for other travels, and both of them have advantages and disadvantages. We are starting to lean however to Location B, for many other reasons other than travel. It’s is more affordable, a good thing for the long haul; less expensive for us to get to the U.S. to visit our children; and a more welcoming and more relaxed environment overall. We think that a location where our money would go further would be best.


  6. I know Brett doesn’t want you to share the location, but maybe if you listed a list of 5-6 possibilities (including the two in question) your “public” (aka your blog reader fans) could weigh in with thoughts and maybe some of the feedback would be helpful to you. And we would still not know what you chose until you are ready to share.

    I have to admit I am dying of curiosity. 🙂


    1. That would be a fun idea – and we’d definitely get some interesting feedback. I think though that we’ve narrowed down what’s holding us back from making a decision – the missing piece, so to speak – and once we figure that out the right choice will come into focus.

      I apologize for stretching this out, but it’s been a tough decision for us and Brett wanted us to get it right first.


  7. I can’t wait to hear the two places you are considering!!!! It’s a mystery! I think as we all get older,travel might get to be less of an issue, and grown children would be needing to make the trip instead of other way around,so I’d probably be looking at costs of living,more than the travel possiilities.And, how much you’ll love living there if you DO have to slow down travel at any point. Still,I am sure the planning and pondering is a fun adventure in itself.. I hope you can share with us soon!!!!!


    1. I’m glad we had our full-time travel experience when we did because there’s no way we could do that now, for many reasons. We still plan to travel, but it doesn’t grip us the way it did in the past. We’re ready to settle down a bit and put down a few roots again. And yes, it will be easier in some ways for the kids to come and see us versus the other way around.

      How much we’ll love living in the place we choose has played an important role, and we’ve been looking more deeply at local culture, weather, expat community, etc. to help us decide.


  8. It’s wonderful to have your search narrowed down to 2 locations! I’d suggest trying to visualize your life in both locations after the excitement and novelty of being in a new place wears off (2-3 years in general). What would be the place which has the culture you feel most connected to? IMO fitting into the culture is paramount for enjoying life in a place in the long term. Having friends helps, especially in the beginning, but eventually one has to find a real personal connection with a place to be able to live there long term. I know this from my own experience.

    in the early 2000s, a lot of people moved to Costa Rica looking for a low cost of living. Do you remember those years? Here we are a decade and some later and Costa Rica is not considered affordable anymore. These days I don’t hear much about people moving to Costa Rica but I do hear a lot about people moving back to the US because it’s not worth it anymore. Things can change in any place and can change rather quickly. Which brings me to the politics of all.
    Nobody likes to talk about that, however, the reality is that at our age, we’d rather have a fairly stable government with some good principles of governing already in place where we live than a volatile governing that can easily slip a whole country into civil unrest. Having a stable government and a strong legal system ensures regular people can live peacefully and safely. Things(peace and safety) that money can’t buy. For youngsters, it may be fun to live a flamboyant, risky life in a faraway location, however for me I’d rather stick to a place that is calm and predictable. And I have a feeling you’d prefer the same thing.

    Take your time and choose wisely, you’ve got plenty of time to ponder. As you know, there is always going to be a trade-off. I know you are thorough and mindful and you’ll pick the best for you and your circumstances. And. of course, I can’t wait to find out what you picked. When you are ready to communicate it.😃


    1. We could happily live in both places, and yet one definitely feels more ‘right’ than the other, coming down to culture and a few other things we are recognizing will be important in the future. One location is definitely more heartfelt, and the pull there is strong as well. So, the discussions continue.

      Politics are important, but I’m ashamed to say I am so sick of politics in this country that I haven’t dug deeper into the other two. I have a surface knowledge, but that’s all. Both locations however, are safe, and calm and predictable – that was a key consideration for both of us – although we know that can change. But for now, both would be good places to be.


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