07 May How To Move To Colombia
First things first: Why would you want to know how to move to Colombia?
Everyone has a different reason for loving Colombia. There’s no right or wrong here, but there are some big reasons people decide to move to Colombia for the long-term.
It is inexpensive to live in Colombia, that’s for sure.
On my first trip to Colombia, I stayed for eight nights. I took the equivalent of USD $200 out of the ATM on my first day and paid cash for everything (except Ubers) during my stay. I was eating at restaurants and living like a tourist, but I didn’t do anything expensive (like a helicopter tour). At the end of my eight days, I still had cash left.
Not only that, but my one bedroom Airbnb in a nice part of town cost me about USD $20 a night. Considering I was coming from San Francisco where the median one-bedroom apartment costs about $3500 a month right now, I was stunned. It was amazing!
The stigma and reputation from the drug cartels and associated violence is still an issue here, even though those days are long gone. Pablo Escobar died in 1993 and the cartels unraveled and evaporated shortly thereafter.
Colombia is not proud of that part of their history and it is a sore subject, so try not to mention it in a public setting. The TV series Narcos is not helping the country move-on from those times because it is educating those who were too young to remember when it actually happened. Thanks, Narcos! Ugh.
This guide is written with “big city” living in mind. Most of the information will be geared toward life in Medellín, Bogotá or Cartagena. Of course, there are other great cities and you should explore those as well, but most people start in one of the major metro areas so that’s why it’s written this way. Even if you have no intention of living in one of the major cities, you will certainly be visiting them from time to time for shopping, air transport, etc.
Colombians are very helpful and friendly people. They remind me of Midwesterners, who are widely regarded as the superior segment of the US population. They will go out of their way to help you if you’re lost or need something out of the ordinary. It’s common for strangers on the street to walk you to your final destination if you’re lost, even if it’s a few miles in a different direction from where they need to go. Pretty amazing!
If you want to know how to move to Colombia, including tips and tricks from an expat, check out my book of the same name available on Amazon for those with a Kindle (or the Kindle app on their iPhone).
As I shared portions of this book on Facebook and Twitter to gather feedback during the writing process, I noticed that most of the engagement was coming from people who were thinking about retiring in Colombia.
Things that make you go hmmmm.
I guess it makes sense. The two biggest groups of expats who are living in Colombia at the moment are retirees and digital nomads.
My company has built an amazing network of professionals who specialize in helping expats retire abroad. If you’d like more information about that, please visit the retirement destinations page of our website.
If you have comments or suggestions for things I should add, delete or change, the best place to find me is on Twitter. Thank you and I hope you find this guide useful!