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Spending a month at one location in Spain
Old 10-02-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
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Spending a month at one location in Spain

Being within about 1 year of retirement (almost OMY), one thing I think I want to try when we are retired is picking one city/location to spend a whole month; somewhere in Europe; e.g. southern Spain. I would like to get a sense of living like a local; embracing the culture, and getting a real sense of being a local.Has anyone tried this and if so what was your experience?
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Being within about 1 year of retirement (almost OMY), one thing I think I want to try when we are retired is picking one city/location to spend a whole month; somewhere in Europe; e.g. southern Spain. I would like to get a sense of living like a local; embracing the culture, and getting a real sense of being a local.Has anyone tried this and if so what was your experience?
Yes, we did this over several years, renting and staying at least a month in various cities. Great fun.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:04 AM   #3
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We have stayed 2 weeks in one spot.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:18 AM   #4
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I was intending to do this when I first stopped work. For some reason though, I acquired 3 cats. I don't like to leave them for very long (yes, I know - I'm a weirdo that way), so that nixed the "vacationing for a month or two at a time" plan.

My youngest is 7 years old so, if I don't acquire any more cats in the interim, there might be a useful window of time in which I can still easily travel. On the other hand, I'm a sucker for an animal in need, so we'll see how that goes
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:46 PM   #5
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Done a month in Tokyo twice, in Poland once and am presently in western France for a month. It's my retirement while DH does his retirement thing of being a visiting scientist somewhere if they provide housing (and maybe airfare). So far the housing has included kitchen facilities. I have a bit of a problem being away that long (hey, I have a great life at home and I do get kind of out of touch especially with my book groups and volunteer jobs) but all the trips have been great and I feel I've really been able to get to know the places. I actually like scouring the farmers' markets and different food stores and then cooking. Of course we also do the major tourist sights. DH usually gets away from "work" some days and we may even travel to different cities on the weekends.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:55 PM   #6
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We lived in a small town in Tuscany, Italy on two separate occasions for 3 months at a time during 2017 and also this past spring. Really liked it. Our accommodation was nestled among vineyards and olive groves. In the distance we could see the hilltop town of San Gimignano.

We lived for 1-1/2 months in Morocco. Incredible culture and food. Very low COL, however, healthcare not so great.

The entirety of 2018 we lived in the Costa Ballena area of Costa Rica. Stunningly beautiful there. Costa Rica does not exactly live up to its reputation of being a low cost retirement location.

This past August and September, we lived in a small mountain town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. After several visits to Oaxaca city, we liked it so much that we put a deposit down on an apartment there for next May through November.

Currently living in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala for a month.

Not only is it great fun settling in to a location for a while and being able to live like a local along with experiencing local culture, food, language, etc.; we've also ended up forming acquaintances and friendships in the process.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:21 PM   #7
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We stayed in Portugal and absolutely loved it. Got to know some of the people in the market by recognition, not conversation. And explored the small town. I would not hesitate to do it again.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:32 PM   #8
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We spent six weeks in Greece in 2018, although in several locations. Still since we rented apartments and had a rental car, it felt like we were locals. Loved it! Also six months after ER, we lived in the USVI on St. Thomas for 3 months. Definitely became locals then - we were getting local discounts on restaurants, diving, etc and really got to know the island and made some friends. Highly recommend this way of traveling!
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:01 AM   #9
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For those who have done this, how did you go about housing? Short term extended rentals either seem very expensive or hard to find.

To the OP, I’m glad you asked this question. We’ve talked about doing this in the summer months when it’s hot in our area.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:24 AM   #10
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For those who have done this, how did you go about housing? Short term extended rentals either seem very expensive or hard to find.

To the OP, I’m glad you asked this question. We’ve talked about doing this in the summer months when it’s hot in our area.
We've found that in LCOL countries (for us, Mexico and Morocco most recently) the cost of rentals are relatively inexpensive. We've also done house sitting as a way to offset the cost of accommodation. If a house sit involves looking after pets (they usually do) that is a limiting factor in terms of exploring surrounding areas beyond day trips. In those cases, what we've done, is to bookend independent travel prior to and after we finish the house sit.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:51 AM   #11
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For those who have done this, how did you go about housing? Short term extended rentals either seem very expensive or hard to find.

To the OP, I’m glad you asked this question. We’ve talked about doing this in the summer months when it’s hot in our area.
Thanks for asking this too. We're looking to travel in the rainy months. Trying to figure out the best options to eek out some savings from a monthly rental versus the shorter term stays we need to do now.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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We stayed in Portugal and absolutely loved it. Got to know some of the people in the market by recognition, not conversation. And explored the small town. I would not hesitate to do it again.
Can you suggest a few towns? We're looking for nice winter weather (fewer cloudy days), so we'll be looking at the middle and south Portugal.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:37 AM   #13
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Stayed almost a month in a London suburb in the early summer using AirBnB (before I got my cat). The family and home was really nice, about a 10 minute walk to the village center with pubs, a pond with swans, cute shops and an old church with bells chiming on the hour.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:39 PM   #14
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For those who have done this, how did you go about housing? Short term extended rentals either seem very expensive or hard to find.

To the OP, I’m glad you asked this question. We’ve talked about doing this in the summer months when it’s hot in our area.
All the places we stayed at for a month were furnished vacation rentals, found through various sites, mostly direct with the owner through VRBO or Rightmove but on 4 occasions through an agent.

Cities we have stayed in for at least a month are Salida, CO, Friday Harbor, WA, Vancouver, Canada, Canmore, Canada, Hobart, Tasmania, Downings, Ireland, and Guisborough, England where we ended up living.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:30 PM   #15
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I'm Italy focused (obsessed?). In retirement, I stayed for a month or more in Turin (2x), Lucca, Rome and Trieste. In each city, I used Airbnb. I love staying for a month in a city. You get to know it some and you are not constantly on the road, packing, unpacking, getting on and off trains, etc.

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Old 10-03-2019, 08:23 PM   #16
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We have spent a total of about 9 months in Australia over 4 visits, each staying about 4-6 weeks in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane. We were able to get free housing (one was a brand new townhome with views of the city, the other was a large home overlooking Brisbane waters) and use of a car in exchange for house/pet sitting. We’ve also enjoyed similar stays in the US. If housesitting isn’t for you, home exchanges could be worth a try. If not, consider finding rentals through local equivalents of Craigslist. https://www.tablondeanuncios.com might be worth a try for local housing in Spain. Of course, it won’t hurt to message owners of Airbnb’s or VRBOs to see if they will give you a discount for a month stay.

We love to travel, but realizing that we are really enjoying having a home base to really get to know an area and live like a local. With a month long stay, we were able to live like a local and make new friends. We were able to do cool things such as take sailing lessons and joining the local sailing club; ride our bikes through most of the trails around Brisbane; save money by eating out for lunch and cook dinner most nites; meet new friends (be sure to check out local meetup groups!).
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:35 PM   #17
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Looking at 3 weeks in Greece. Two or three towns at most, so about a week in each small inn. Hate to move ever few days but don’t want to stay in one place for weeks. This format w*rks stateside, so will try overseas.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:35 PM   #18
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When we’ve booked month-long stays, Air BnB or VRBO hosts have always given discounts.
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