Should I Stay or Should I Go?

So, I’ve been doing a lot of researching regarding a place to live, should Maurice and I decide to move out of country. Most of the countries I’ve investigated are located in South America, which is seeing a boom from U.S.A. retiree’s because of their low cost of living and ease of immigration,

I had to toss out most of the popular spots, such as Brazil and Costa Rica, or Columbia due to their higher cost of living. Panama had to be eliminated too. I’ve narrowed the South American countries down to Ecuador and Uruguay.


City of Cuenca, Ecuador

Ecuador has a lot going for it. A person can live there easily for under $1,000/month and can live extremely well for $2,000/month.

Dining out can cost from $3 – $5, so many choose to dine out regularly because it can be cheaper than cooking at home.

I got conflicting information regarding crime. Some say it’s bad, others say it’s okay. Expats are more likely to experience more crime, since they generally have more money.

Medical care is good and inexpensive.

Moving there is easy, with little restrictions. The easiest way is to own property, however, it’s not necessary. Primarily you can move there if you have a steady income of about $1,000/month.  Currency is easy there because they use the U.S. dollar

Ecuador Gay Rights

Two big negatives are that Ecuador does not have marriage equality and they don’t allow same sex couples to adopt. One of them can adopt as an individual, but not both.

Other than marriage and adoption, Ecuador’s gay rights are far superior than here:

* A Gender Identity Law, approved this year, allows Ecuadorians to state their gender identity instead of the sex assigned at birth
* Ecuador includes both sexual orientation and gender identity in its constitutional prohibition against discrimination. The law states:

All persons are equal and shall enjoy the same rights, duties and opportunities. No one shall be discriminated against for reasons of ethnic belonging, place of birth, age, sex, gender identity, cultural identity, civil status, language, religion, ideology, political affiliation, legal record, socio-economic condition, migratory status, sexual orientation, health status, HIV carrier, disability, physical difference or any other distinguishing feature, whether personal or collective, temporary or permanent, which might be aimed at or result in the diminishment or annulment of recognition, enjoyment or exercise of rights. All forms of discrimination are punishable by law. The State shall adopt affirmative action measures that promote real equality for the benefit of the rights-bearers who are in a situation of inequality.

*A large gay scene has developed in some of their major cities.

Two additional negatives are that Ecuador is still a macho culture and many still view homosexuality negatively.


Panoramic view of seaside resort in Uruguay

Uruguay has a whole lot going for it. It is much less third world than Ecuador, so it is a little pricier, though still cheap.

It is less corrupt than any of the other South American countries. Crime is low, but expats are also targeted more often.

The BBC gives Uruguay glowing reviews as a place to live.

Uruguay Gay Rights

I don’t even know where to begin. Uruguay has excellent gay rights laws across the board. Listed as most gay rights in South America, but actually much more equality than the U.S. and most of the world

* Marriage Equality
*Anti-discrimination laws in employment
*Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services
*Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)
*Fundamental right to Gender Identity
*Fundamental right to sexual orientation
*Right to change legal gender
*Gender identity recognition in identity card

I copied the list above easily off of Wikipedia, but I validated them through other sources. The only major thing that did not make the list is adoption for same-sex couples.

Given the glowing reviews about Uruaguy, you may wonder why I’d still consider Ecuador. It’s the money. It is cheaper there. Also, being a little more 3rd world is enticing to me. I’m sure it will not for Maurice.

More Options

I’ve only briefly combed through some of the European countries. I know some places in Ireland have promoted themselves as an ideal place to live, rather than living under a Trump presidency.

Countries in Europe that have excellent gay rights laws include Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and more. I will do plenty of research on some of these countries, but I know their cost of living is much higher. At least for most, anyway. Spain is also in consideration since we’ve been offered a place to live for free for awhile.

There’s no guarantee, yet, that we will be moving, though it is still under serious consideration. If there’s anything that will hold us back it is family. If we do decide to move it won’t be in the next month or two. We’ll probably have to live under a Trump reign for at least a year. Hopefully that will be quick enough to move before he builds his wall to keep people from leaving.

I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, however, I try to look on the bright side. It will be exciting. I think I’d enjoy this no matter who is in office. I’ve allowed myself little spontaneous excitement in life. Maybe now is the time to change that,

8 comments on Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. I once looked into Sweden, since I had traveled there and really liked it. However (and not surprisingly), Scandinavian countries have problems with Seasonal Affective Disorder, owing to the long nights in winter. If that affects you, you might want to reconsider it. (My husband is rooting for Montenegro, which we have also visited.)

    1. Yeah, I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD, but it does affect me. I will be looking into these. I’ll be sure to pay special attention to Montenegro

  2. If nothing else, I appreciate the mini-education you’ve provided. I’m pleasantly surprised at Uruguay 🙂 As for the rest, only time will tell. I reassure myself that I speak a few languages and have friends in many far-flung places, but I remain hopeful. I’m a dreamer, an idealist, I believe in miracles.

  3. Like Joey wrote, I too appreciate the information about the countries, and I found it fascinating. When it all comes down to it, I want you and Maurice to be happy and *safe*, and able to afford wherever you decide to live. I’m extremely proud of you for being proactive – you truly inspire me! I also love how you’re looking on the bright side of all this, and that you find the possibility of this new life exciting – that’s the way to do it!

    Lots of love from your,

    Captain Sicky

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the guided tours tat I gave. I’ve been doing a whole lot of research and it still sounds like Uruguay is on top of the list. We have a lot to do, including getting money, before we have to firmly make our decision. I’m truly excited at the opportunity to do some exploring, rather than just a political protest.

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