I write a lot about how to live your best life possible and follow your dreams. It’s not my words that are important as much as it is what those words might trigger in you.

But the best way to be inspired is by watching others do what you’d like to do.

We’ve all met those people who have stars in their eyes. They seem to shine from the inside out and everything they touch turns to gold. Here’s a list of some pretty inspiring people who have started living the life of their dreams. These five couples have moved abroad to live in another country.


1) Yvonne and Alfredo Villoria — Punta Gorda area, Belize

The Villorias

Yvonne and Alfredo were one of the highlights of our trip to Belize. Meeting them was such a wonderful experience. Since they don’t email, Facebook, or even use a telephone (only on Wednesdays when they go to thenearest village for supplies), I haven’t kept in touch with them. But they will always be in my heart.

This couple, now aged 76 and 80, moved to Belize in 1980. There, they started a sustainable farm on the 20 acres they’d purchased from a “real flower child-type,” according to Alfredo.

They moved to Belize because they had a deep desire to live a sustainable lifestyle, to be self-sufficient and rely only upon Mother Earth for survival. The challenge came in the fact that they were city folk and really had no idea how to do anything that had to be done in the jungle.

Read more about their story here.


2) Lynn and Eugene Upham — Placencia, Belize

Lynn and Eugene were having a hard time of it in the United States. They’d just lost a loved one. They felt like they were working all the time to pay bills. They suffered through each and every New Jersey winter, even though they loved warm weather. Then the worst thing imaginable happened: Eugene had a heart attack. Although he recovered, with his job as a long-haul trucker, the couple knew they couldn’t risk this happening again–and next time behind the wheel.

Lynn and Eugene UphamSo, what did they do? They sold it all: house, motorhome, cars, and all of their stuff. They bought a beach bar in the charming little coastal town of Placencia, Belize.

“Back home, some of our friends told us we were nuts. Others said they wish they had the balls to do what we are doing!” Eugene told me. “Anybody can dream big but it’s a matter of making happen. If you want something bad enough, you just have to get up and do it.”

Read more about their story here.


3) Ingrid Senne and Roy Caduri — Pedasi, Panama

Ingrid Senne

Ingrid is a girl from South Dakota. That, along with her pale blonde hair and light skin, sets her apart from her new community members in Pedasi, Panama. But does she care? Not all all. She’s busy with her husband Roy, their baby daughter, and her thriving business, Buena Vida Language School.

Hailing from a small rural town, Ingrid always knew her life wouldn’t follow the “normal” path of others she grew up with. After attending college in California and traveling around Central America several times in her 20s, she knew she would never sit behind a desk for a traditional 9-5 job.

“I don’t want to be normal!” Ingrid had told us, during our meeting with her in 2012. “I never really had the plan of checking out of the U.S. and living the good life in a tropical country. But I always knew I’d do things differently than other people.”

Learn more about her Buena Vida Language School here.


4) Dave and Kate Treadway — Esterillos Este, Costa Rica

I’ve never officially met Dave and Kate. But, since we’re headed to Costa Rica in January, I hope to change this sad fact. Even though I haven’t yet set eyes on them, the couple certainly was one of the great influencers in my international path. Why? Because they were among the first people I met (online) who said those very important words: this-sucks-change-it.

Dave and Kate TreadwayThey were tired of the rat race they ran in the United States. Although they weren’t the traditional retirement age, the couple decided it was time to make the move. They wanted more serenity and more time to themselves. They wanted less stress and wanted to stop the 1- and 2-hour commutes they had for their jobs.

Pura Vida is Costa Rica’s famous slogan. The basic translation is ‘Pure Life.’

“I think for us it comes down to the reason we moved here in the first place: to enjoy life while we are still young enough to enjoy it,” Dave told me. “Pura Vida means getting away from the stress of normal everyday life.”

Read more about Dave and Kate here.


5) Mandy and Mike Cyphers — San Ignacio, Belize

Amanda and Michael Cyphers

We met Mandy and Mike in San Ignacio, Belize, shortly after moving there in February 2012. Even though they still live in Belize and we now don’t, Facebook has allowed us to keep in touch. These two were the mavens who first welcomed us to town and helped connect us to the community. They even drove us around to help us get our bearings, showing us the important stops, especially Michael’s favorite tortilla stand.

Mandy and Mike started their Belize experience in 2011 by starring in the show International House Hunters. They moved from the desert of Las Vegas to the jungle of San Ignacio, where they have been able to slow down to enjoy life in a whole new way. Their new pace has allowed the two of them and their son to have a new, fresh way of life in a natural environment. After falling victim to the “great mortgage meltdown” in Las Vegas, they realized they were underwater on their mortgage and felt trapped. At the same time, Michael was offered an early retirement option by his employer. The stars had aligned. He took the buy-out option from his job, which allowed them to buy their home in Belize. They now live without a mortgage and have not ever felt such freedom.

Watch the Cyphers’ House Hunters episode here.


These people all have one thing in common: they have tapped into the powerful energy inside of them to do, be, and have what they want from this life. Regardless of whether they seem “normal,” regardless of how hard they had to work, regardless of whether it’s been done before, these people didn’t settle for a mediocre life. Instead, they made their ideal life happen.