The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living

The Expat Chat is a weekday podcast where we interview inspiring expats who have thrown off the constraints of western congestion to enjoy their dream lifestyle in other parts of the world...often for a fraction of their cost of living back home. If you want the travels of Rick Stearn with the freedom of Tim Ferriss this podcast is for you.Subscribe today.
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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living




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Oct 19, 2015

To many a comfortable lifestyle in Corpus Christi Texas would sound like retirement bliss and for Anita and Richard Oliver it had its benefits. Anita was still working as a pharmacist while Richard had retired and enjoyed his mornings walking or catching up with friends. They had the typical house with the typical toys – but something was missing.

3 years ago they made the decision to sell up or giveaway most of their possessions except the house and start travelling. After working their way through much of central and South America they travelled to Europe where they fell in love with the Algarve region of Portugal.

We caught up with them back in Corpus Christi where they were housesitting while waiting for their Portugese visas to be come through.

You’ll find their blog at


What I learned from Richard and Anita:

  1. You don’t need “stuff” to be happy. Both of them found downsizing to be a liberating feeling, Richard called it a relief! They did however emphasize that their approach is not what they would recommend to everyone. If you decide to embark on their journey there is no easy way to go back.You can’t replace 35 years of possessions overnight!
  2. Check out local expat blogs when looking for accommodation somewhere. You will find plenty of fellow travelers who will be willing to share their information on where to stay. Generally the Olivers used AirBNB for up to a week somewhere and looked for cheaper long term accommodation beyond that. They have had a good experience with Air BNB. The only issue they had was quickly resolved by an Air BNB reimbursement
  3. Central American health care can usually be covered out of pocket. Although the Olivers had travel insurance the higher excess meant it was more economical to pay directly for health costs than trigger the insurance.
  4. If looking to get visas to relocate be prepaid for paperwork and the need to be patient. The Olivers aren’t necessarily expecting their Portugese application to be all plain sailing. They have employed a lawyer with the expertise to get their application through quicker and easier but know there are no guarantees with the process.
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