-Where were you born?
Bellaire, southeastern Ohio, USA
-In which country and city are you living now?
Near Bogota, Colombia
-Are you living alone or with your family?
With my girlfriend
-How long have you been living in Colombia?
Permanently 3 years and much of the time for over 7 years.
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Colombia?
I've been to 103 different countries and always thought I might want to live in Latin America. I met my ex-wife on the Internet in 2003, she's Colombian, married in 2004 and decided to live here.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
Not necessary I'm retired - I had a Conjual Visa while married and now a Pensionado Visa, both of which are not difficult to obtain. Don't know about work permits.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
Not a problem and inexpensive!
-How do you make your living in Colombia? Do you have any type of income generated?
Social Security and investment income.
-Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
Imperative to speak at least a minimum of Spanish. I am not completely fluent but not far from being so.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Not much; I mostly miss sports on TV. Soccer is the most boring sport in the world for me but it's on 24/7 here. Direct TV provides some relief but not enough.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
I have decided to leave here and move most likely to Brazil in a few months. After all these years I can no longer deal with all the criminals and dishonest, irresponsible people. It just seem to get worse. I would not recommend that anyone who lives in a civilized country move to Colombia! Even my girlfriend who is Colombian agrees with me and she is ready to leave her family to move to a better place!
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
Renting but bought land which is now for sale - 17 acres. Rents in Bogota are not cheap but outside the city it's very affordable. We live in a 200-square-meter house with 4 bedrooms, studio, 5 bathrooms (4 with shower or tub) at a cost of only $625 USD monthly. In the country farther away from the city it's cheaper but a little more primitive.
-What is the cost of living in Colombia?
About 50% less than the USA.
-What do you think about the locals?
The vast majority will take advantage of a foreigner or another Colombian if given a chance. This gets very tiresome!
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Colombia?
A beautiful country and relatively inexpensive but the negatives mentioned above far outweigh the positives. NOT RECOMMENDED.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Colombia?
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Colombia?
Nothing in particular. Contact me if you want specific information regarding my experiences - I'll quote names, places and dates if necessary so that you can confirm if really necessary.