Skip Navigation

First Post, Lots of questions.

Travel Forums General Talk First Post, Lots of questions.

  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by nhumber (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hello, i guess ill start off with some details about myself. Im Canadian, 26 years old, male. and recently i've started to more seriously ponder what else is out there i can do besides this. I want to be somewhere exotic possibly tropical.. but the snow doesnt bother me either.. Here in Canada i own a fully furnished home, a nice car. and of course my dog. If i sell my house and walk away.. i would have around 45,000$ USD in the bank.. all my possesions can be stored at for me at familys houses, until i either want to have it shipped.. or i could sell everything.. im not sure yet.. my vehicle is worth around 10,000$ for an easy sale.. basically i just want to hear some advise about where i should be looking.. and i do want to do something long term.. but with the possibility of possibly returning to canada some years down the road.. I do have a criminal record here in canada for possession of a small amount of Cannabis.. im not proud of that.. but i thought i should throw that in there.. seeing as it could affect where i am and am not allowed to visit right?
so will 40,000-50,000 be enough to do what im thinking?

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

With a conviction for drug possession, your biggest hassle with be getting a visa to live in some place. I would start thinking about that right away. Not saying that'll be impossible, but you might need to do some running around to get the visa. You might want to think about getting a pardon, if you can.

As for places, Panama and Costa Rica are very happy to accept ex-pats, but prices for land there are becoming high. I have heard that there is still some good, cheap land up in the north of Costa Rica. You might have better luck in Honduras or Guatemala.

I have heard that as a foreigner you can't buy land in Mexico, rather you have to get someone who is Mexican to buy it for you, and then lease it to you indefinitely, or something like that. Sounds sketchy to me, but lots of Americans do seem to do it.

As for money, it depends on what you are planning on doing. Are you going to work, or just keep hanging around until the money runs out? Do you want to buy a place to live down there, or just rent? $50K could probably get you a couple years living like a local, renting a small place to live and not working in Central America. If you look to buy, your 50K could disappear quite quickly. If you start working, then you could last forever...


3. Posted by nhumber (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

yes i would love to start working, but is there call for an Canadian in say Guatemala? im fine with just renting a place, and working a sort of part time type job, but what sorts of jobs can i look foreward too? So i need a Visa to go anywhere? is there a good site that breaks down the req. of different countries realitive to me being canadian.. on the other hand also i would be ok with just going on a vacation and not returning if you can do that sort of thing to get around needing a visa? like i said.. im clueless in this sort of thing.. im well educated and am leaving a decent job in the skilled trades, but i could just as easily sell drinks on a beach for all i care.. lol.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

For visa requirements for Canadians, check out the consular website. For many places you won't need a visa to travel to, but if you are planning on staying in a place more than 3 or 6 months (depending on the country) or working, then yes, you will need a visa. (Specifically, you will need something other than a tourist visa, which for most places in Central and South America doesn't require you to do anything in advance).

If you just want to travel around and not work, then you could travel for a long time without getting any visas in advance by going to a country, staying there until just before your time period runs out and heading to the next country.


5. Posted by nhumber (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

what about somewhere like nepal.. would it be possible after some time spent there to make a living as a tourist guide?

6. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

nhumber, I am in a sort of similar situation. When it comes to work it helps to think like this. In a developing country (which is often the cheapest to live in) there's usually a lot of unemployment. Working as a guide in Nepal is a longshot. Considering the amount of unemployed local guides there are out there.

Having said that, expats in Nepal have set up successful paragliding businesses. They found a niche market.

If you have a college degree, and or a TEFL it can help prolong a stay in Asia.

Working in a resort bar is possible, but I hear you have to spend a few weeks drinking first to convince the owner you're not going anywhere soon.

Like GregW said, I would check out the conviction thing first. Knowing what and where you can go will help.

7. Posted by pedro1960 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Hey, you don't need a visa to live in a number of Latin American countries, you just stay there as an "eternal tourist", i.e. you stay for three months, cross a land border for 1-3 days depending on the rules, and come back for another three months, etc. Last time I checked (2004-5) you could do that in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, quite possibly many others.... I did it myself in Nicaragua for some time. The sleepy guys at border control won't know or care if you've been convicted for anything - I swear they'd give a stamp to someone who wrote "Name: Osama bin Laden, Occupation: Terrorist" on the immigration form.....

You can get by on teaching English in most countries in the world - but read up about TEFL, or maybe get a TEFL qualification, before you start....

8. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Quoting pedro1960

Hey, you don't need a visa to live in a number of Latin American countries, you just stay there as an "eternal tourist", i.e. you stay for three months, cross a land border for 1-3 days depending on the rules, and come back for another three months, etc. Last time I checked (2004-5) you could do that in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, quite possibly many others.... I did it myself in Nicaragua for some time.

Possible advice if you don't plan to work or settle in a place, but if you want to find a place to live for a few years, I don't think this will work.

Well what Pedro said is true, but legally you CAN'T WORK and it is quite possible that legally, with the conviction, you shouldn't even be in the country in the first place. Frankly, if you ever got caught... Central American prison doesn't exactly sound like vacation time. I would suggest trying to do everything LEGALLY, which means figuring out what places would take someone with a drug conviction, and getting a visa to work legally.

Much better to have played by the rules than find yourself sitting in a cell with 20 other people, watching the piss and shit run across the floor of your new home. (Exaggeration, perhaps... but better safe than sorry)


9. Posted by nhumber (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Greg, thanks for the advise about taking the most legal route possible, im just finding it hard to find out the sort of information about working or even visiting a country with a conviction, it seems most of these countries information is scarce on the net and as for my conviction im not even sure what shows up.. i was convicted of possessing a very small amount of marijuanna so maybe it shows up as being a minor offence im not really sure to be honest. maybe i need to be thinking about selling my car off and making sure the bills are paid up for a few months and head somewhere and see what its all about..

10. Posted by pedro1960 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Yes, it's true it is a bit risky working on a tourist visa. However, I lived in Thailand for some time, back arround 1990 and at that time there were thousands of expats teaching English on tourist visas and crossing the border every 3 or 6 months. I was teaching English too, and never heard of anyone getting into trouble. Still, I admit I'm not so sure about doing that in Latin America....

The drug conviction thing brings us back to my recent thread about what immigration staff are checking at airports. I have a freeling that if a country has a "wanted list" from Interpol or somewhere, then it's probably only about very serious crimes. I doubt very much whether you would be on such a list, although of course they might check more thoroughly if you applied for a work permit.

One trick of course if caught teaching English on a tourist visa is to say you're doing it for free! This would work easily if you gave private lessons. I'm sure there are many countries where you can make a living from that.