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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Nov 12, 2015

If you love inspiring stories of people who don’t let limits stand in their way then you’ll love today’s interview. Gwen McCauley suffered the loss of her first husband in an accident 40 years ago. Looking to escape for a while she booked a holiday to the Algarve region of Portugal, and fell in love with the place.

35 years on at a stage when many people are looking to settle quietly into their senior years the 60 something made two life changing decisions – she was going to relocate from Ottawa to Nova Scotia, Canada and she was going to step up her visits to the Algarve. This year, at the tender young age of 68 Gwen will be spending half the year in Nova Scotia with a full 6 month winter in Portugal where she has an apartment lined up and more work ahead as a restaurant critic.

We spoke with Gwen in Nova Scotia where we discussed living in the Algarve, and how being on a pension is no barrier to living the life you want to lead.

You can follow Gwen’s travels at her blog


What I learned from Gwen’s interview:

  1. Don’t let age be a barrier! Gwen is approaching 70 but is getting more adventurous as she gets older. Traveling and getting out into the world can build confidence, especially if you are reaching a stage of live where it becomes easy to put up the shutters.
  2. You don’t have to commit to a permanent move. Gwen has developed a nice combination of expat and inpat lifestyle having moved to Nova Scotia in the last few years. She isn’t having to give up what she loves about Canada and has expanded her group of friends as a result.
  3. If getting a visa extension in a Schengen country keep in mind that the extension only applies to the country in which you get the extent. Don’t extend a visa and expect to go further afield once you have it
  4. If you love what you do then you don’t need to retire. Gwen enjoys working as a writer and between her blog and her restaurant critiques she keeps herself active and busy.
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