Musings about early retirement with no fixed address

Category: Early Retirement (Page 1 of 5)

Mosquitoes Suck The Fun Out Of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is filled with tree-line streets and European-style architecture. The large city has numerous parks and top notch museums. Prior to our visit, it seemed like a place that we would really mesh with. The timing of our visit could not have been worse however, as it coincided with unprecedented and relentless swarms of mosquitoes. These parasites made it basically impossible to enjoy any of the green spaces, and most of the time, it was hard just being outside at all. The indoor activities we found were not nearly enough to offset the otherwise miserable outdoor conditions.  

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Mendoza Leaves Us Wanting More

Situated close to the foothills of the Andes, Mendoza is Argentina’s top wine producing region. The metro area of 1,000,000 is mostly flat and very green with lots of trees. It’s considered a jumping off point for exploring the nearby mountains. There are a number of separated bike lanes and running paths around the city that we constantly saw being used. But for a relatively large urban area, we didn’t find that much to do.

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Valparaíso Keeps Things Interesting

On any list of the best street art cities in the world, Valparaíso, Chile ranks near the top. This colorful port city is overflowing with street art and graffiti. Nestled into the steep hills on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, it’s full of old funiculars and great viewpoints. We encountered a ton of  wildlife, which was a pleasant surprise. Several earthquakes and a major wildfire also kept things interesting.

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Mountain Views And Summer Fun In Santiago

Santiago is a metropolis nestled into a large valley in the foothills of the Andes. It’s an interesting mix of high rise apartments, neglected old buildings, and fancy new construction. Many of the building facades are filled with graffiti and street art, especially in the downtown. There are a number of pedestrian only streets and the thrift store scene is off the charts. The views are almost universally great with giant mountains in most directions. The tallest of which were still snow-capped despite summer temperatures. 

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Falling In Love With Mexico City

It’s hard to overstate just how fantastic Mexico City is. The enormous Mexican capital has so much to offer. There are enough things to see and do that even after staying 9 weeks, we still left without crossing everything off our list. It’s the largest city in North America, but it’s not a concrete jungle. Full of great parks, large trees, abundant museums, historic churches, and distinct neighborhoods, it’s easily one of the best cities we’ve visited. We both fell in love with Mexico City.

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Querétaro Embraces Its History

Downtown Querétaro is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the area is made for slow strolling. There are many pedestrian-only streets and multiple squares that are a wealth of activity. Many small-time vendors pack these streets selling a variety of items, most commonly clothing or jewelry during the day and food at night. Old colonial buildings with large courtyards are everywhere and churches are common. Querétaro is one of the most popular tourist destinations in colonial Mexico.

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Guanajuato Is A Photographer’s Paradise

Guanajuato is a colorful city sandwiched into a narrow valley in the mountains. Most of the houses are painted with bright hues, making it a photographer’s paradise. There are countless winding lanes, city viewpoints, and fun places to climb above the downtown. Despite being a popular tourist destination, Guanajuato still retains its friendliness and charm.

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A Month In León – Mexico’s Leather Capital

León is a city of 1,700,000 and the fourth largest in Mexico. But it doesn’t feel that big. There are few high rises and no areas with concentrated population density. Instead, the houses sprawl out along the arid plateau, filling up the space toward the nearby mountains. Situated at 6000 ft above sea level, the elevation helps keep the weather more temperate compared to the coastal areas. León is not a big international tourist destination, but it gets its share of local tourism. Specifically, shoppers in search leather goods, which are the specialty here.

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Athens Blends Elegance And Grit

Athens is a classic city with some dirt under its fingernails. It’s filled with breathtaking marble antiquities and parks with awesome viewpoints. But despite the elegance of the ancient ruins, there’s an overall grittiness that we hadn’t found elsewhere. Excessive traffic noise and ample graffiti create a rougher and more chaotic vibe than found in similar-sized cities. Luckily, the many museums and pedestrian only spaces help to keep it from getting too overwhelming. Athens is also Europe’s hottest city, so avoiding the scorching summer heat is highly recommended.

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Escaping The Ordinary In Tirana

Tirana embraces urban chaos with a smile. Many of the buildings in the Albanian capital are colorful or eccentric. The local markets have an abundance of fresh produce and local cheese. Vehicle traffic is insane, but there are also many pedestrian friendly areas. The language is all but impossible, yet almost everyone we met was extremely welcoming and accommodating. Tirana is nothing if not interesting.

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