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Dec 13, 2008 11:00 AM

In which country would you (a Hound & more) like to retire?

On the thread about countries with good eats, Veggo mentioned retiring to Mexico.

Where would you like to retire and why? Consider food as the main criteria, but also language, people, mountains, beaches...

If I wanted to cook less and eat out more, I'd retire to Mexico, Vietnam, or maybe Italy. Nice people, on the ocean, great foods - both in restaurants and in the markets. Mexico would be the easiest: Italy is a bit pricey and my Vietnamese is not that good.

If I wanted to keep cooking almost all the time I'm not traveling, however, the US might be best. The land of frozen wonton and rice wrappers, most cheeses, good but inexpensive wines, nori & wakame, aburage, most fruits and vegetables, most rices, most spices, mowt meats (albeit not enough goat, mutton, and organ meats), and so much more.

So, again, where would you like to retire and why?

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  1. Arce' di Pescantina Verona Italy " centro historico " sul Adige
    Already on the plan.Bought the house and land 20 years ago.Spent the first ten making it
    "ours",recent ten for vacation fun and the house exchange.
    <30 minutes to Lago de Garda,Valpolicella and Verona central on my bicycle
    My European roots and ties are very long and strong.That said two of the four places in a tie for second choice would be Mexico and Vietnam.The other two are Argentina and Chile.Too old to butt up against the politics of South America,own property and live there.
    Fluent french and english won't serve enough needs and my vietnamese is weak,leaving
    out the north of Vietnam where the climate wouldn't kill me in a week.
    Also have a house on the Maryland eastern shore that isn't 100% out of the running.Hard
    to compete with the selection/variety of things in the Mid-Atlantic states.So much,so near.
    What we are opting for includes some near family,food,beverage,farming,hunting,fishing
    and the arts not too far away.
    Both of us have family all over the world.45% in Europe,45% the southern hemisphere,
    10% N America and the the islands so we have in work and play tried on many places
    from the inside.All good,just not as good for us forever.Now down to 2 keepers,will likely
    divide the time based on the not so obvious stuff as we go along.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lcool

      I would probably be happy to retire in my own fine country of Canada. Good standard of living, lots and lots of variety. All the fine American/Canadian junk food, large numbers of immigrants from all over the world opening up grocery stores and restaurants all around me, good relatively safe produce and proteins, clean water, reasonable wine. I have to have a lot of variety, and while I would love to spend more time in many places (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, China spring to mind) I would be sad to not have the great variety and range of foods I can get right here at home. I would have to find a way to travel a lot though!

      I'd also love to be in Northern California for the same reasons, great produce, great variety, great wine. Plus you are so close to one of my favorite things in the world, the beautiful Sequoia tree groves.

      Freedom 45! Trying to convince hubbie this is the way to go... work is over-rated! I like my job, but there are just so many things to do and see, I'd really love to get started for real.

      1. re: moh

        moh, been wondering where you were. Yes, as a friend once said, "This 'aint the rehersal".

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Sam, this is a timely thread. I've been slowly increasing the amount of work I am doing, and while it is great to be active again, I miss all the free time to indulge in special interests! So much food, so little time. Carpe Diem indeed...

        2. re: moh

          moh, you have me sold on canada. (and glad to see you back, too!)

          1. re: moh

            There is a big cause of unhappiness here though, called the horrific winters (I live in Montréal, otherwise a lovely place). Not that I need somewhere tropical; just somewhere cyclable year-round. Most of France would be fine, and a place where long-distance sweetie (in Europe) and I would have a fluent language in common. Not necessarily in Paris, but somewhere I could easily access the capital from, via rail.

            I love Italy as well, though sweetie doesn't speak Italian and there aren't enough rooted immigrant communities. When I was studying there I really missed the choice of foods I found here and also in France. Returning to Perugia after 20 years, it was pleasant to see many immigrant-owned restaurants food shops and businesses not relevant to this board, but that is an exception for pleasant, medium-sized cities.

            And let's be frank, as we get older, healthcare is also in issue (though I see good food and lots of fresh vegetables as an important healthcare issue). Healthcare is much better in France than in Italy, unless you can pay. But it is not certain to what extent there is reciprocity between the Canadian and French systems.

            Unlike Moh (who is a local wonder), I don't consider our wine prices reasonable...

            I'd also prefer Europe because of the many destinations in Europe and around the Mediterranean basin to which I could easily travel without using planes. I don't drive a car, so there are many places in North America I can only access with great difficulty.

            1. re: lagatta

              "There is a big cause of unhappiness here though, called the horrific winters (I live in Montréal, otherwise a lovely place)"

              Hee Hee! I was trudging to work this morning during the second of 2 horrible winter storms this morning, and I was thinking, "gee, I'm going to have to warn Cimui about the redunculous winters here... maybe I should revise my choice and go with Hawaii and Northern California". But from Cimui's post below, I'm getting that Cimui would like all this snow for skiing and snowboarding. We are certainly getting our winter wonderland this year!

              Cimui: sounds like we have very similar interests! Vermont is also a place I would consider living in. Fortunately, I don't appear to be lactose intolerant, and I would eat a lot of Vermont dairy products.

              Lagatta, I would agree with your comment about wine prices not being reasonable. North American wine prices are a little depressing. What I meant by my comment that we have reasonable wine is that we have an excellent selection of available wines from all over the place, and there is a wine culture here in Montreal that is a lot of fun to explore. There are a lot of places where wine is not reasonable (for example, Korea isn't so great for wine).

              Vancouver perhaps might be a better choice as far as Canadian cities go. Great asian food, good wine scene, wonderful fish! And not so much snow, but good access to snow sports. The only things that make me hesitate are the crazy house prices and the lack of a great French food scene, including all the great raw milk cheese we have here in Quebec. Oh yeah, I might also miss sunshine.

              1. re: moh

                Well, I hate skiing and snowboarding - not very accessible in town anyway, and I don't have a car. I like cycling, and just stopped with the heavy snow and ice.

                About the only friends who do have cars are those who have the type of jobs that keep them insanely busy 7 days a week, if not we are a bmw (bus métro walk) plus of course bicycle bunch, including some who could well afford cars, such as tenured professors.

                For you, Vancouver would have the benefit of being closer to your country of origin; it is the opposite for me. I can get to Western Europe in a few hours by direct flight from Mtl, though air travel really isn't sustainable. Oh how I'd love to be able to eat wonderful Asian seafood every week though.

          1. Our lakeside log cabin in Downeast Maine for the summer and spend the rest of the time visiting the kids. Bounce from Seoul to Phuket to Austin ( with 2 more kids still not settled). All are hounds and a chance to spoil the grandkids. Pay back time. Still own land in New Mexico for our yurt too.

            Bahia is tempting as is the Adriatic and Aegean.

            1. Sam, I have retired 3 times in the last 12 years. I'm ready for Mexico again, but a plum position with ACIAR is open in Australia....(not for me, maybe you!)
              With mixed feelings and a lot of emotion, I have turned down offers in the last 2 years to manage large scale agricultural projects (rice, palm oil, fish farming), in Kenya, Thailand, and Indonesia, because of the current global sensitivities toward the US, and more compelling is my unwillingness to do business in environments I judge to be absolutely currupt.
              So my German lady-friend's invite for the holidays at her home in Mexico is a siren song...for the moment.
              I think I know too many places to eat in the Yucatan. And when I have reunions with my hermanos in Cozumel, it's 3 days of baked redfish, suckling pig, baby goat, and lots of rum.

              P.S. The butterfies and honey and huitlacoche in Michoacan..the waterfalls in Chiapas..the Eucalyptus in Guanajuato..the sierra mardre to the pacific..the churches in San Miguel de Allende..."Popo" on the drive to Puebla for chiles en nogada..shrimp in Veracruz hanging over both sides of your plate...the pineapples and swimming hole in San Blas...opals in Magdalen...La Paz...Holbox island. I'm just warming up...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                Ahhh, hermano, in any case we're in it together.

                1. re: Veggo

                  One sister of mine lives down that way.Says the butterfly situation isn't so wonderful.
                  Excessive wood cutting?yes/no
                  Would the mods go nuts if some of us slipped into spanish?I think in french or italian,
                  spanish isn't near the stretch that english is if typing is a major chore.

                  1. re: lcool

                    Icool, your sister's observation about the migration of the mariposas to Michoacan is tragically true. 20 years ago, tree limbs would crash to the forest floor, from the weight of Monarch butterflies. Not any more. The thinning of the forests allows too much cool air to pass through at night, in what was a blanket of stillness and dead air (in a good sense) not long ago. 3 degrees of chill is as devastating to butterflies, as 3 degrees of warmth is to a coral reef. Tragic, and hard to unring the bell.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Veracruz remains a distinct fantasy, especially in direct answer to where to live based on food. After taking a few cooking classes from chefs from Veracruz, I was mighty indriged at the variety of food from this coastal state
                      that flanks seven other states. Ah, to be there, to eat, to see the terrain...

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Ditto, though I'm going to be making my first trip to Veracruz in Feb. 2009

                  2. Ah, Sam, what an intriguing question. I think that industrial agriculture is heading south pretty soon. North America is not looking good. I think I'd go to Chile.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Chile has been a model agricultural economics case over the past 20-25 years or so. Industrial, rational, predatory, science-based (to the degree that ag econ is science), free market, and increasingly green and fair trade.