10 Things You Need to Know if You Want to Escape to South America

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Mon, Jun 29 - 11:00 am EDT | 2 years ago by
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    A lot of people dream about it: getting away from it all. Going to live somewhere simpler, maybe warmer, possibly cheaper, or just exotic. Beautiful beaches, great art and music and culture, gorgeous women; or just the chance to travel and totally change your surroundings.

    San Francisco beach, Piriapolis in the Uruguay Coast
    Photo Kseniya Ragozina / Getty Images

    I did it, about twelve years ago. And since that time I’ve had all kinds of people asking me about what it’s like to be an “expat”, living as a North American down in South America. If you do things right, it can be great. But in all the years I’ve been here I’ve also seen a lot of people move down here, struggle with problems they hadn’t imagined, and then finally leave back for home.

    So how do you do it right?

    In some ways, it might be easier than you think, while in other ways harder. Usually, the parts people assume would be difficult are not that hard, but it’s the more abstract stuff that can trip you up. So, here’s what you need to know if you want to escape to South America:

    1. Make Sure you Pick the Right Place

    There’s a lot of countries to choose from. So what you’ll want to consider are things like how good the local economy is (stronger economies means products won’t be as cheap, but really poor economies means it’ll be very hard to get basic products and services), how stable the government is (Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. are a disaster, while countries like Uruguay and Chile are very stable), what the crime rates are like, what the weather is like, what the local culture is like, and how easy it is to move.

    I strongly recommend Uruguay, which I’ll be using as our case study.

    Uruguay has a strong economy, so prices tend to be higher than in other Latin-American countries, but you can get a lot of the goods and services you might be used to in North America or Europe. The government is very stable, there’s no danger of any kind of insurgency or revolution, and crime rates are among the lowest of the entire continent. The weather is not quite as hot as Brazil, but you get ‘summer weather’ about 8 months a year, and even in winter it never gets down to freezing, and there are great beaches if you’re into that. The local culture is very European in style, well-educated, and very modern. The politics skew strongly to the left (they have legalized marijuana, gay marriage, and abortion; and Uruguay is the only South American country that isn’t strongly religious), but you don’t get the kind of ultra-Marxist crackpot governments that you see in Venezuela or Argentina. And getting residency here is easy, though it involves a good deal of paperwork.

    2. You Shouldn’t Try to Make it Just Like Home

    Life here will be different than in your hometown. If your whole point was to go somewhere different, you shouldn’t forget that the second you arrive. I’ve seen a lot of expats move here and end up living in little McMansions in suburbs or even private estates full of foreigners, and generally not interacting at all with the local scene. That’s a big mistake. Focus on how this place is not like the ‘old country’ and you’ll be miserable; focus on what’s great about it and you’ll do fine.

    Get into the differences. Embrace the local food, the local ways of doing things, live downtown in local neighborhoods, and keep treating it like an adventure. I live in a house that looks nothing like a North American house would, right in the heart of the city. I’m about six blocks from the city center in one direction, about six block from the beach in the other direction. I can walk to almost anything I need, and buses and taxis are reliable and cheap here, so I don’t need a car. There are a dozen great local eateries within a three block radius of my place, and old-fashioned bakeries, laundries, corner stores, even a local barber. Every Friday the street across from my block turns into a farmer’s market. Every weekend the local bar puts soccer matches on the TV, and the local Carnival drummers come out onto the street to practice. You wouldn’t get any of that living in some expat enclave.

    3. You Don’t Need to Speak Spanish, Though You Probably Should

    If you choose to live in one of the better-educated countries (like Uruguay) and in a larger city, you won’t actually need to learn Spanish. Countries like Uruguay are full of people who speak at least a little English, and their tourist-economies are set up so that they facilitate the non-Spanish-speaker. I know people who’ve lived here for years and have little to no Spanish at all.

    On the other hand, by not even trying to pick up the native tongue, you are potentially cutting yourself off from a whole bunch of situations that otherwise make life both easier and more pleasant: making significant friendships with locals, attending cultural events, and generally getting around without concern. You don’t have to start out speaking perfect Spanish, but if you make the effort to learn, there’s nothing like immersion to help you learn quickly. If you plan to be here long-term, put yourself in situations where you have to learn more of the language; it’s harder in the short run but a lot better in the long run.

    4. Some Things are Much Cheaper, Some More Expensive, Some Don’t Exist

    Beer costs less than $2 a liter. A bottle of really good wine can be as cheap as $5. A night at the movies for two might run you $20 tops. An amazing steak dinner can be yours for around $10, and a really top quality meal at a high-end restaurant for two might cost $35. A filling bar meal could go for $5. You can get straight across town in a cab for $18. Anything locally made, or any service, will be way cheaper here than in most cities in North America. You can get superfast unlimited internet (we’re talking 50+ Mbps) for $30 a month and wi-fi is plentiful.

    On the other hand, electronics and appliances will easily cost twice as much. Cars are absurdly expensive. And there’s a 60% tariff on most imports, so between that and shipping expect to pay twice the ticket price on anything you order online. Some of the things you might be used to from home (baked beans, sriracha sauce, ales, KFC, chinese/thai/indian/vietnamese restaurants) just don’t exist here. There’s McDonalds and BK and Subway, but don’t expect any other familiar fast foods. No Starbucks either, but the cafes here are so awesome you won’t miss it.

    5. Real Estate is Cheap

    It used to be even cheaper. Property values have been steadily rising for the last decade. But you can still buy property, in the city or the country, for a really amazing value. I live in a two-bedroom house (in a decent downtown neighborhood) that cost $80,000. Before that, I rented a seventh floor massive two-bedroom, two-living-room, two bathroom (with jacuzzi) high-rise apartment in the heart of downtown for about $600 a month (it would be a bit more expensive now). You have to shop around a bit, because prices for buying and renting can vary wildly, but generally this is a great place to get real estate.

    6. Having a Family Here Can be Trickier

    Uruguay is a great place for kids, and children can generally adapt to new environments faster than adults. I know some expat kids who speak perfect Spanish while their parents barely manage to string together a sentence. But the public education system is crap, and a good private school can cost about $1,000 a month. The public health care is also crap, and decent private health care costs about $65 a month per person. Homeschooling is technically illegal, but I know of expat parents who homeschool their kids and as long as the kids are actually getting an education the government doesn’t seem to notice or care.

    7. Government Efficiency and Customer Service Don’t Exist

    Speaking of government, expect long waiting periods, lines, ridiculous paperwork, and terrible service at almost all government offices. The more you can avoid dealing with the government here the better, but unfortunately you’ll have to do so on many occasions, and when you do you have to just accept that the service will make your local DMV look like a model of efficiency in comparison. What’s worse, private businesses aren’t much better: like in some European countries, the idea of American-style ‘customer service’ is not a concept South American businesses really understand. Be prepared for surly waiters, supermarkets with only one till open even in the peak hours, pharmacies that make you deal with three different people to get some aspirin, and lots of places where the employees act like they’re doing you a favor by even letting you speak with them.

    8. Don’t Plan to Earn Your Living Here

    Unless you’re one of those hippies who doesn’t mind living on ramen noodles while earning a pittance teaching English to locals, there aren’t very good prospects for foreigners to actually work here. Even very skilled jobs will pay a tiny fraction of what you’d earn in North America. And generally, starting your own business isn’t much better: you’ll go broke paying taxes while drowning in red tape. If you come to live here, you’ll want to be getting income from outside: living from a pension or investments, or doing some kind of job online (like, say, being a writer for a political website…). There are always exceptions of course, in very specialized fields or really clever business plans, but for the most part people I’ve met who expected to earn a good living actually doing something here ended up disappointed.

    9. Build a Social Network Quickly

    One of the biggest differences between people who make it here and people who don’t is in having a social network. Get in touch with other expats. Join a soccer club, or if you’re fancy the golf/tennis/yacht clubs. Connect to a local church if you’re religious; or become a Freemason (there’s a great English Lodge here, and we’re always looking for new or joining members). Take classes or volunteer. There’s tons of options; Uruguayans are a club-joining people, and you’re likely to find a club for just about any interest. Be sure to try to make friends and contacts wherever you go. When you first get here, you’ll feel very isolated, and if you don’t reach out and build a new social network, you’re not likely to have a good experience.

    10. Make a Plan to Stick Around for at Least Two Years

    You can’t expect to move down here and get used to everything overnight. The first couple of years are by far the hardest, and there’s bound to be times in that early period where you’ll strongly question whether you made the right choice. So try to make a commitment to staying at least that long, because if you don’t you won’t be giving it a fair shot. A lot of the things you aren’t sure about are likely to resolve themselves after a while, if you’re really meant for expat living; and by your third year you’ll be way more used to how things are done around here, and you’ll feel more at home.

    Those are the main points to keep in mind. Feel free to ask any questions you like in the comments below! I’ll try my best to answer them.

    Kasimir Urbanski doesn’t write on a specific subject; he’s EveryJoe’s resident maniac-at-large. A recovering Humanities academic and world-traveler, he now lives in South America and is a researcher of fringe religion, eastern philosophy, and esoteric consciousness-expansion. In his spare time he writes tabletop RPGs, and blogs about them at therpgpundit.blogspot.com.

    Click through the gallery below to see some of the sights in Uruguay.


    Beach

    This is not one of the prettiest beaches in the country, believe it or not; it's just the one that happens to be six blocks from my house.

    Source

    Downtown Montevideo

    Source: The Couch Sessions

    Montevideo's Old City

    Source: Slightly Astray

    Uruguay Homes

    Why try to live in an American-style house in the suburbs when you can live in a house like these?

    Source: Gulenvemurat

    Local Bakery

    You could live two doors down from this.

    Source

    Food & Drink

    Local bars serve cheap beer, great food, and excellent coffee.

    Source

    Farmer's Market

    In Montevideo, you don't go to the Farmer's Market, the Farmer's Market comes to you.

    Source: Fotos de Montevideo

    BBQ

    A typical Uruguayan “parrilla” BBQ restaurant. You can get a large steak with fries or salad for about $10. The beef is some of the tastiest in the world.

    Source: Matador Network

    Soccer

    You can watch a soccer game in the Estadio Centenario, where the very first World Cup was held (and won by Uruguay).

    Source: Elarchivoene

    Carnaval

    Montevideo has the longest Carnaval season in the world: it lasts 40 days. Brazil's only lasts six.

    Source: Noticas de Cruceros
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      • Bordeaux Vixen

        i really enjoyed this article! could you expound on why you chose to live abroad in the beginning?

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          Thanks. I was actually just visiting, but I liked the place so much that I tore up my return ticket and stayed.

        • Bordeaux Vixen

          weren’t you worried about sustaining an income or were you already working remotely?

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          I was working remotely already.

        • Bordeaux Vixen

          nicely done!

      • Synthia LaFontaine, Ed.D.

        Thank you for the article, it is well written and informative, very beneficial! What is the level of racism? We are a mixed couple looking for a progressive community…

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          Synthia: this is a tricky question. Uruguayans pride themselves on being very tolerant. The government is incredibly progressive: strong on civil rights, gay marriage, etc. etc. Uruguay was actually recently classified as the most gay-friendly country in South America.
          But when it comes to race, what you won’t find is the same KIND of racism as you might sometimes unfortunately find in the U.S. or Canada. Instead, what you get is some strange ‘cultural racism’. There’s still a lot of stereotypes, especially about races that are very uncommon here (Asians, East Indians, etc.), there’s also what might be called ‘passive discrimination’. Race is in some ways very connected to class here, as people with darker-skin (from Indian or African heritage) generally also tend to be from the lower classes, while the middle and upper classes tend to be very white-skinned. So what you get sometimes is social clubs full of people who in no way would think of themselves as racist, but don’t have a single dark-skinned person there (or even funnier: have the one “black guy” who they’re totally inclusive to but treat as a curiosity).

          On the whole, it is unlikely that you would face any “direct” discrimination/racism, or harassment; but you’d have to get used to (or be shocked by) some of the language, jokes, or the sense of being a curiosity. Uruguayans are INCREDIBLY friendly and welcoming to everyone, but because of the culture difference they often don’t even realize they’re saying or doing things that they personally would never consider ‘racist’ but that to someone from Canada or most parts of the U.S. would seem incredibly ‘politically incorrect’.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          I’ll note too that Uruguay has some unusual demographics compared to most of Latin America: Uruguayans have almost no natives (all the local Indian tribes were wiped out in the 19th century by the Spaniards), and so are more European (Spanish and Italian mainly) but you also have large Jewish, Armenian, Eastern European, and Swiss/german minorities. Montevideo also has a population of somewhere around 10-15% ‘African-descendant’ population, who are the descendants of slaves who escaped from Brazil (the last country in the region to outlaw slavery) to Uruguay (one of the earliest to outlaw slavery). The largest expat communities are from the U.K., U.S./Canada, Germany/Austria, France, and more recently from India (because Tata has a large business interest here).

        • Synthia LaFontaine, Ed.D.

          Thanks for such a thoughtful and complete answer! I understand.

        • Billprimostaff

          Totally agree, groups will have a token foreigner or non standard person, and will use nicknames that in the US would be unacceptable to use, but are here use with endearment.

          An getting a nickname if probably the best way to gauge if you are part of it.

          A slim guy will probably get a nickname like Flaco, a fat guy as Gordo, any squint eye person as Chino (even if they have no Asian in their ancestors), and so on and so on.

        • Helen7231
      • Meredith von Lasher

        This article made me feel very sad about my own country, Argentina. You mention that strong economies have higher prices in Latin America, but sadly… prices in my country are even higher than the examples you gave, some even twice those prices in dollars, and yet our economy is a nightmare.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          I feel sad about it too, Meredith. Buenos Aires is a wonderful city, and Argentina as a whole a very nice country, but being terribly mismanaged by imbeciles.

          Some things are a lot cheaper in Buenos Aires than in Montevideo, though: non-imported clothing, a lot of restaurant dining, etc. Some of that is just because it’s a city and country that’s ten times bigger than Montevideo and Uruguay.
          I go to Buenos Aires twice a year, though, and this last visit (in April) I was totally shocked by how much worse things had gotten in only 6 months.

      • Laura

        You just made a perfect description of my country. I agree with almost all of it. I find it pretty freezing in winter though…

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          It feels that way to Uruguayans, I’m sure. And since a lot of houses in Uruguay aren’t insulated and don’t have indoor heating, it can even get pretty cold for us expats in the heart of winter. But the ‘heart of winter’ here lasts about 4 weeks. If you’re from the Northern U.S. or Canada, ‘winter’ means as bad as -30C (-22F) weather, sometimes for MONTHS. Here, it never gets below freezing.

      • Billprimostaff

        I love you man, but could you tell me where the amazing steak dinner place for 10$ is? Or the 2 $ liter beer is sold. Some of the data you provide is misleading.

        I don’t see this guide working out for someone with higher standards.

        I’ll get in more details tomorrow.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          The steak dinner: an entrecot with fries or salad at the Maraniada, for example, costs 340 pesos ($12.50 US). Or you can get the whole big platter full of bbq meats (theoretically for 2 people, but you hardly ever see 2 people capable of wiping it out) with fries for $29 US. Do you know how much a platter of wood-fired barbeque would cost in North America?
          And how much does a bottle of Pilsen cost at the store these days? 69 pesos, which is about $2.50.

        • Billprimostaff

          Fair enough man, but that is if you go out of the neighborhood grill and only have the steak. I will have to try it to check if it is amazing. The price to the products and production and service do not add up if they are buying top beef to serve (which is what I use as standard for amazing). Yet I understand that expats may consider Uruguay standard beef better compared to other places, and it result in being amazing value for the price. And I correct myself, as I might be more demanding on basic things or my accommodation.

          Now for my observation:

          -Really good wine does not come under 10$, for 5$ it’s
          good for cooking.

          -High-end restaurants (let say Sofitel’s restaurant)
          will add up to 100$ per capita, for 35 for two you get some “OK” place.

          -Coffee in a bar or café is generally quite generic
          and nothing to stand out, yes they might do it in an espresso machine, but they
          beans are of low quality. To be fair there are as you correctly state, clubs
          that work on promoting a better coffee consumption and the such.

          -For 30$ you get 5Mbps on the first 100 GB then 2Mbps
          on the unlimited.

          -For a pizza, not the square thing with sauce and
          cheese sold here, you end up dishing out 10$ (not including drinks)

          -A pint of craft Ale will set you back 5 bucks, 1 liter
          of basic beer at the bar will set you back 4$.

          Just to be clear, I might be somehow more demanding on
          restaurant value, than an average person might.

          I would not define the economy as strong, maybe stable
          for the moment, but it’s not pushing force, prices are high because of taxing and imports.

          Local products like some fruits, cheese, vegetables
          are nice, but they lack a consistency on the quality, and the variety.

          If you are tall, you are somewhat screwed, they just
          don’t import or produce nice things. Obese people might face the same issue, but
          I’m not too sure as the population is starting to grow larger and there might
          be a market for it.

          Forget getting good spice and good kitchen product (e.g.: a kitchen aid artisan will set you back 600$). Furniture is not great value.

          The well-educated part is also related to the demographics,
          and it is slowly deteriorating due to the decline in the education quality, even in the private schools.

          It’s indeed a modern style with many important legalized things, yet it’s also an inconsistent country (i.e.: you can eat as much beef as you want, but eating horse meat is illegal, but the produce it for
          export).

          Real estate and construction is cheap but you’ll get what you pay for, bad workmanship and finishing. Which is related to the service
          quality you get here usually.

          Good real estate with good construction quality will be expensive, average, too, and after service support will be good if you happen to be lucky and had a good contractor.

          The city is not clean, locals really don’t care too much about keeping it clean either. The streets are just not good, and if you
          want to cycle either the potholes or the car drivers will be your demise.

          For most of the other things, I mostly agree with Kasimir, be he is right on the fact that you shouldn’t try to replicate your previous life here, you’ll struggle, stress and fail trying.

          To add to this, since I seem to be only complaining, I must say that Uruguay has its charm mostly some friends, you are one of them, K, I don’t know yet what it is, and that’s why I haven’t bothered to move out.

          Move over to Uruguay, we’ll welcome you with open arms.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          The Maraniada is actually just so-so; I only chose them because they were the first thing that came up on a search so I could quote actual real-time costs. But The Danubio Azul or La Torre are very nice.
          The problem here is that you are a gourmet chef in real life, and so you have standards that most people, certainly that most middle-class Americans, do not have.

          The coffee, for example: you know I’m a coffee snob. For me, most fancy cafes in North America serve crap. Most Uruguayan places aren’t up to standard either, for me. But I grind my own beans by hand. By the standard of comparison of what you can get in an average place in the U.S. and what you can get in any bar here in Montevideo, on the other hand, I would say that the coffee culture here is really good. Of course, if you want the kind of gourmet coffee that I personally demand, you can always go to El Carioca!

          Again, for wine: the ‘vino de la casa’ is really hit and miss but a lot of places here do have really nice house wines; nothing a European wine snob like yourself would find amazing, but a North American I think would be quite impressed, and particularly with the cost.
          As for beer at the bar, yes, a liter of regular beer at a bar is $4 or so; that’s about what a can of beer costs in the U.S.
          In canada at least, a craft or fancy beer at a bar can often cost you $8.

          Also, your definition, or spectrum, of what constitutes “high end restaurants” is, I suspect, a lot more narrow than mine. At Es Mercat in the old city you can get an amazing fresh-caught fish with side dish and a glass of wine for under 400 pesos ($14 US).
          http://esmercat.com.uy/

          Of course, you can also go down to the fish shack by the beach in the photos at the bottom of this article and get the a huge plate of Fish & Chips (Uruguayan-style) for half that much, with a beach-front view.

          I pay $30 for internet, unlimited, and I just did a speed test (end of the month at that), which clocked me at downloading 53Mbps. so I’m not sure where you got ’5 mbps’ from.

          The pizza here is different from pizza hut, for sure. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, though. Its European-style pizza. And when its done right, like at the Vidalita, it’s freaking delicious. Anyways, getting large american-style pizzeta (as they call them here) for $10 from places that do them well (like La Venetia) is probably not going to seem expensive to most Americans.

          Now, where you’re right is that prices are high because of taxation and imports: even the stuff that seems cheap to a North American is higher than it really should be, because of the ridiculous burden of taxation this country has!

          “If you are tall you’re screwed” – well, sort of, sure. It’s hard to get sizes for either really tall people (and for the record, you’re ridiculously tall), or very big people (because most Uruguayans are not that profile, at least not at present). I know some plus-sized women who had trouble here with that.
          However, you can also get a suit tailor-made for you for from scratch for under $250. And brand name clothing is often (I’m told) much less expensive than it is in North America.

          It’s true that there’s less variety of foodstuffs in general here compared to what people in big cities in North America would be used to. There’s no Indian restaurants, or good Cantonese places, or real Thai food, at least not yet.
          Produce can sometimes be better than others too, but that’s because everything you’re getting here is LOCALLY GROWN. A lot of it is organic. And for those two things it’s stupidly cheap compared to what you get for that kind of hippie-luxury in the U.S.

          The maintenance of the city and things like potholes or other city-services are terrible, that’s very true! That’s the fault of an inept communist city-government, however. It is one of the things you have to accept if you want to live here. I certainly don’t want to make it all out to be paradisaical.

          And I think we can both agree that one of the greatest things about Uruguay is the friendliness and fraternal warmness of its people.

        • don quixote

          If Vidalita makes real Italian pizza, then my wife from New Jersey is going to be very happy. Thanks for giving us the hope.

        • Billprimostaff

          Don, if you want something that resembles italian pizza, you can go to the pizzería Venecia on Rivera close by the zoo, I go there when I can’t be bothered making it myself.

          Just as a refference, I did 5 years of high school in northern Italy.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          Venecia is another great pizza place, and their “chivito arabe” (the local take on a shawarma) is great too.

        • don quixote

          Thanks. I see there’s a location on Bulevar Espana above Parque Rodo too. When we swoop into town on Pegasus, we will try them out!

        • Bill Primostaff

          I know, I’m kind of a snob :D

          The Internet data I got it from the horse’s mouth :P

          http://www.antel.com.uy/antel/personas-y-hogares/internet/planes/internet/internet-tarifa-plana/internet-plano-3

          And yes, the friendliness is one of the big pluses here.

      • pandora delphy

        Are you lot dealing with chik-v yet in Uruguay? Seems like this is becoming endemic in many areas in the world.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          There has, up till now, been no native cases of that virus (which I had to look up) in Uruguay; last year there were four or possibly five cases of the virus but none of them were believed to have originated in the country itself. Uruguay is sufficiently south of the Equator that it’s not as natural an environment for the Aedes mosquito, and the Uruguayan government had already taken considerable measures over the past several years to attack that strain of mosquito in order to avoid dengue fever (which Uruguay is also, at least officially, free of). I think there’s a very slight risk of either of those diseases in the countryside, particularly in the northern border of Uruguay with Brazil, but generally speaking no, there’s no chik-v here.

        • pandora delphy

          I’m glad to hear that. Both dengue and chik-v have been so horrible in other parts of the world and it’s good to know that Uruguay is relatively protected. It’s always seemed to be a very beautiful country to me and I hope that we can get a handle on these diseases.

          I know that was sort of a strange question to ask but I have two friends who contracted chik-v and are still suffering with it in a truly debilitating way after eight months since onset of symptoms. I was just curious about what things were like in Uruguay since I know Brazil is seemingly having some troubles with it as well as other things, and right before the Olympics too. Very sad. Sending SA good wishes.

      • JermaineLMoseley

        gfnhbghnhgn

      • JermaineLMoseley

        …………….Feel Freedom everyjoe…….

        ……………….. Find Get More </b

      • https://www.clippings.me/lisamariemercer Lisa Marie Mercer

        Excellent article, and for the most part, pretty accurate. Number 2 is absolutely right on! However, based on amazing personal experiences, I strongly disagree with your thoughts on healthcare. I also find customer service to be pretty darn good, but perhaps that is because we live in Atlantida, not Montevideo.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          You had a good experience with the PUBLIC health care here?! I’ve never heard anyone say a single good thing about it! This is the country where someone did a video showing how bloodstains in the public hospital floor were still there a week later!

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          on the other hand, the private health care services are often excellent. I’ve only had the misfortune of having to be hospitalized once in all my time here, but it was the nicest hospital experience I had in my life. The attention was wonderful and even the food was great.

        • https://www.clippings.me/lisamariemercer Lisa Marie Mercer

          I’m sorry. I jumped to a conclusion without reading. My experience was with the mutualista system, not the public health system.

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          ok, right! The PRIVATE health care system (the “mutualistas”) can be really great. But they do cost money: Americans are used to that, but Canadians and Europeans aren’t necessarily used to having to pay a monthly fee for their health care.

      • Steven Shirley

        My wife and I want to run away. We have a small farm here in Texas, goats mostly. Is this something that we could do in Uruguay?

        • Kasimir Urbanski

          Lots of people have farms here, and real estate is still relatively cheap. It would probably be fairly different from Texas, mind you.

      • Scott Brandl

        Nice article. It is refreshing to see an expat that says adapting is the best way. Sometimes it feels that the expats just wish they were at home.

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