If you’re unfamiliar with Puerto Rico you’re probably missing out. This US territory in the Caribbean has pretty much everything you could want without all the commercialism of a typical tourist destination.
- Moving there from the states isn’t difficult! They use the USD and everyone there is an English speaking citizen of America. As a bonus, you can use your license from whatever state you’re from without additional tests if you only plan to be there for 3 months or less. That means, just enough for us in the Northeast to escape the winter.
- Endless natural beauty. It’s an island with nothing but beaches, so of course there are places to surf, scuba, snorkel, and swim. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. The mountains are beautiful and hide numerous waterfalls, there are caves everywhere you can tour or explore on your own, and best of all, there are parts of their coast that contain bioluminescent algae! You have to see it for yourself, but it’s one of the more magical experiences I have had.
- No daylight savings nonsense. That’s right. The clocks stay the same time all the time so there is no need to go adjusting them twice a year.
- It’s cheap as hell. I like to compare the cost of living in Rochester, NY to other places since I know what it feels like to live in this economic climate. That being said, Rochester rent is 54.74% higher than my favorite beach-city in Puerto Rico. Oh yeah, and meals are 26.86% higher in Rochester. For some perspective, that means average rent is about $575 in Puerto Rico and $860 in Rochester. Why have I not moved yet?!
- Crime rates are pretty low. Maybe it’s because I live in Rochester, one of the most dangerous cities in NY, but Puerto Rico is a pretty safe place when you use common sense. The worst crimes revolve around drugs, theft, and bribes.
Okay so if this is the cheap island of paradise (and it is) what is the catch? Why isn’t everyone living there already?
- Lack of jobs. This is certainly a Bring-Your-Own-Job party. Those of us who can work remote can obviously move wherever, but not everyone is so lucky. Most people are tied down to locations because of work or family.
- A simple lifestyle is required. If you’re into seeing the latest and greatest live shows you might be out of luck. That’s not to say that you can’t travel out to see stuff like that, but the lifestyle here is laid back and more in tune with nature than anything.
- Retired people everywhere. For whatever reason, young people are a bit stupid about travel and haven’t figured out this place is amazing. So what you end up seeing is a lot of old people, and tourism around old people. Don’t expect to drive anywhere too fast.