I literally typed in “Paradise” into google and clicked on images. I saw beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees, a couple of hot girls, and some minions. Next I typed in “Gringos.” I saw a bunch of sombreros. Sombrero logos for Mexican restaurants, white people in sombreros, and a couple of hot girls in sombreros.
From these two searches I would put some white, attractive people in sombreros on a beach, under a palm tree with a beautiful waterfall in the background.
To me that says Gringos in Paradise.
I know some gringos sell all their personal belongings and go to live in paradise. That sounds really awesome and more people should do it. It does seem a bit financially risky … but like they say: “If you’re gonna be poor, you might as well be poor in paradise.” Or maybe no one says that, but they should. They really should.
Once in a while I meet someone who does something kinda “crazy” and decides to turn those daydreams into reality.
Case 1: The Family
I know a family that did just that. They lived in the Pacific Northwest. I won’t name the name of the town but it rhymes with preyattle. While they loved their town and their family, the wife suffered from seasonal depression. The grey season became too much. One day I saw a facebook post from this family, saying they were moving to paradise. That decision was the first step of the plan. They hadn’t figured out the logistics, but there they were making their plans official and publicly.
Step one: Make the decision
They made it official. They said to all their friends and family this is what we are doing. By saying it out loud and telling people about it, it became real. It became a solid decision.
Step two: Sell and downsize
The next thing I saw this family do was list their belongings for sale. I saw links to their craigslist ads and posts for items for sale. This allowed them to raise the money to get and live for paradise for some time before they needed to figure out cash flow. You will need money and to get rid of about 70% of your possessions.
Step three: Book that plane ticket and rent
Next they booked that plane ticket and found a place to rent in …. PARADISE! This step is pretty self explanatory…
Step four: Paradise
Here is where I started to get a tinge jealous. Following the “great move” were pictures. Lots and lots of picture posts: amazing beach pictures, showering in waterfall pictures, swimming with sea turtle pictures, palm trees, sunsets, and a smiling family that looked genuinely happy.
Step five: Livelihood
This particular family found pretty cheap housing and since most of the activities in paradise were free (warm, sandy beach time), but still they had a family to feed and shelter. Their savings weren’t going to last forever. One thing I saw was that Paradise itself was providing a way as revenue. They started a blog and an instagram. Almost immediately it seemed that they had tons of followers. Thousands of followers. They wrote ebooks and sold them for cheap to their followers. They also started an etsy store of beautiful, unique jewelry. With the way the world is connected online now, they seemed to be making a decent living this way. I don’t know that they became wealthy but they were comfortable and happy.
I’ve followed this family’s journey for a few years now and it seems opportunities started to present themselves just by their lifestyle. Last time we talked they said they wanted to write a book about their experience. I asked them “What was the most important step in this journey?” They said “The first step, making the decision.”
Case 2: The snowbirds
This couple followed mainstream lifestyle. They worked hard, raised their kids, and had a good retirement fund. They spent a few years in retirement before they decided to have a bit of an adventure.
They wanted to start a business abroad. Specifically in a warm, tropical village. They had enough capital to move and start a business. They didn’t need to sell anything and kept their place in their hometown and lived between the two places.
I’ve known this couple my whole life. I grew up with their kids. They never striked me as wild-haired type, but they proved me wrong. It showed me that no matter what stage in life you are it’s never too late to become a gringo in paradise.
Who says you can’t live in a tree house in the forest, a hut next to the beach, or a tiny house in countryside. It’s the voice of doubt. You really can do anything you put your mind to. There is no easier era to do this than now. The internet has changed things. It’s opened doors and we can share all we learn with each other. That’s the way the world is evolving. One by one people are catching on that you don’t have to play life safe. In fact it seems riskier to play things safe these days. Start a business, move, be adventurous. Or maybe just get that pixie cut you’ve been thinking about all these years.
But whatever you decide remember to prepare yourself for adventure: which includes both hardship and joy. It’s never too early, it’s never too late.
Get up and go!