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Californian seeking Chilean life

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CaliforniainChile
11/4/2018 00:06 EST

Hi, I'm 50, a high school teacher of 21 years, have traveled to 20+ countries on my own, and am spending my 10-day Thanksgiving break in Santiago. My mission: do some research, live the life, and figure out if I want to retire here in 10 years. If I like it then I will spend an entire summer here next year to really get a feel. Here's my question: where can a lady go to meet other expats who are from California (preferably) and learn about the salsa dancing scene, which places are great for pilates, yoga and general fitness? I speak Spanish (I'm about a 6/10 in fluency) and am hopeful in seeking face-to-face advice over a coffee, a walk, etc. or even meeting up with folks who regularly meet up. Gracias :)

encourager89503
11/4/2018 07:22 EST

Be careful in Santiago: It has a very polluted atmosphere similar to but much worse than L.A. basin atmospheric pollution as Santiago is located in a high elevation valley that traps all pollutants. Also, although no guns are allowed anywhere in Chile, people from outside the country smuggle in illegal guns and sell them to criminal types in Santiago especially because Santiago is the largest populated city in all of Chile.so criminals can hide from police there easier than in a smaller city or town. Don't get me wrong, Chile is a wonderful place and most people are very friendly and welcoming of Americans, of which I am one. Just do your research in-depth and find your ideal place to relocate. I chose Iquique because it is less expensive than Santiago, the people are friendlier because it is a much smaller city, the weather is always the same (eternal Spring) as It doesn't ever get hotter than 78 nor colder than 65 all year, and it never rains. As a smaller city, the people are more friendly and take the time to welcome you, It is on the coast and has clean air, much less crime, modern buildings that have been built to withstand the occasional earthquakes, (the highest building standards in the world since the 1980's - so don't live in an older home that was built before the 1980's), the cost of living is much less than in Santiago. It even has a huge duty-free 10 square mile shopping mall called Zofri (which Santiago does not have). What is not to like about Iquique?

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Becerra65
11/4/2018 07:30 EST

I too am from California, 40 mins outside of Los Angeles. My name is Vickie, I am 53 years old. I moved to Chile 6 months ago to join my Chilean husband, of 15 years, who moved back here from CA after being gone for 37 years. He built a house for us on an acre of farmland in San Vicente. I posted recently on the Expat forum looking for friends and I just came across your post. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to move here even when my Spanish is probably 2/10. It’s a beautiful country! I love the culture and the people. I am semi retire and work remotely as a bookkeeper. My husband is a former restaurant owner. We left 4 adult children back in the states who miss terriably but we are accomplishing more here then we could ever imagine in the states. A house with land and no mortgage payment. Our utilities are under $100 a month and we live a healthy stress free life. I would love to meet you for coffee and share more. I won’t be here thanksgiving week though because tomorrow I am traveling to CA to visit my kids. If you are in Los Angeles maybe we could meet there. I will be there for probably 6 weeks. If not we can communicate through here or if you are on Facebook. I have a ton of pictures of my new life posted there. Also, there is a school teacher who has a great channel on his adventures in Chile on you tube named Jon Gross. He moved here about t3 years ago with his wife. They both did not speak Spanish when they moved here. Anyway, I have lots to share and could go on and on. I look forward to maybe meeting! Take care .

encourager89503
11/4/2018 07:32 EST

One more thing that I forgot to tell you. I have retired lived in Iquique for 2 years now. I was born and raised in the Palo Alto area (Atherton) and still consider myself a Californian even though I have traveled all over the world and lived and run businesses in Sacramento, Bellevue, WA and Reno, NV yet becoming Chilean will take me a bit more time as I need to speak more fluent Spanish. Chilean people speak much faster Spanish than I can keep up with right now.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Chile GuideChile Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Chile.

Chile Forum Chile Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Chile on our Chile forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

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Contribute to Chile Network Contribute
Help others in Chile by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Chile.

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