Nestled in her 1960s hillside home perched high above the glittering ocean, Julie Lea awakens every day to your sound of rustling palms, chirping wild birds while the mild bleating of goats that wander a farm that is nearby.

Nestled in her 1960s hillside home perched high above the glittering ocean, Julie Lea awakens every day to your sound of rustling palms, chirping wild birds while the mild bleating of goats that wander a farm that is nearby.

Vibrant flowers rush from the gardens surrounding her house, and when she’s up early sufficient to understand sunrise — which she frequently is today — she watches from her terrace due to the fact West Indian sky goes from black to grey to an eruption of pinks, oranges and yellows.

“There is something magical about life right here,” says the 76-year-old artist and painter, whom along with her writer spouse of 50 years, moved full-time towards the Caribbean area of Bequia in 2005. “We’re 50 stories above the beach below us, there’s endless sky and clouds and activities, we hear the birds within the trees, we’re surrounded by nature and plants. There’s a calmness we just love.”

She’s been dreaming of the life since 1978, when she first saw Bequia through the deck of a sailboat that is steel-hulled she and her now-retired spouse Doug — who have been then staying in Virginia with two sons — had chartered with friends. Enchanted by the rich turquoise of the waters while the lively parade of people, we anchored in the bay,” she says“ I started drawing pictures the minute. “ I was instantly enchanted by this island.”

Though Doug had originally hoped to retire in France and also continued a road that is few through the nation scouting spots, “he quickly underst d the winters are c l there,” Lea — whom says she never questioned that Bequia was the location for them — jokes, adding that he’s happier in Bequia and indulges in French-language movies regarding the island. Therefore after having a variety of vacations and shorter-term stays in Bequia, the few purchased their house there in 2005. Lea now owns her art that is own gallery the city, where she earns cash selling her paintings; and Doug is retired from his former publishing job and loving it “His idea of dressing now’s putting on a belt,” jokes Lea.

But Bequia, which is an element of the Grenadines into the Caribbean, is not for everybody It’s only 7-square miles and house to only about 5,000 individuals. The mosquitoes are tough, the summertime are hot, while the pace is sluggish (individuals will jump from their vehicles in the middle of the trail to chat with each other). Nonetheless it has a g d amount of professionals, t Daytime temperatures are in the 80s most of the year, it is perhaps not overrun with big resorts and tourists (it’s sometimes known as “the Caribbean because it was previously”), therefore the beauty is straight out of a postcard. “These are the beaches of my hopes and dreams,” Lea informs MarketWatch.

Exactly What does it cost to call home in Bequia?

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While Lea does not follow a strict budget — at almost 77 (her birthday is in July) she jokes that she’s earned the best to a small help like a housekeeper and gardener — Lea claims that when you’re frugal “You may do it on $2,000 to $3,000 a month.” Lonely Planet offers this breakdown of costs on the area, and Retire in the Caribbean records that retiring within the Grenadines “is lower than many countries that are caribbean. Numerous expats believe it is become just like their property nation or less expensive,”

While property can be pricey ( a number of the homes that are nicer over $1 million), you can still find listings for around $300,000 and places for rent under $1500 per month. Meals can also be costly While locally grown fruits and veggies are more affordable, prepare to pay much more for the numerous things that need certainly to be delivered or flown in to the area. (This is true of this other customer g ds t .) Lea claims that eating at restaurants on the island can be expensive, also and she and Doug seldom get it done.

The Leas conserve money on utilities insurance firms solar power panels and consuming many f ds from the yard — and Lea drives a 1995 Suzuki (which coincidentally broke my hyperlink down right before our scheduled interview; she’s friends because of the repair person in town so that it all worked out and cost her only about $75). They also don’t make use of washing machine (she washes most of her clothing by hand and hangs them regarding the clothesline, when that’s not possible, she takes them to your laundromat and for about $13 posseses an wash that is attendant dry and fold most of their laundry). A water was built by them filtration system so that they manage to get thier drinking water from rainwater.

What’s your favorite benefit of Bequia?

Lea says she loves may things about Bequia — the calmness, the laid-back lifestyle, the natural splendor — but in addition, she claims, the islanders themselves hold a particular devote her heart. “ I like their friendliness and self sufficiency,” she claims. They welcome ex pats — many of whom result from America, Canada as well as the U.K. (though many of them just invest an element of the 12 months in Bequia) — often stopping you to talk (English may be the indigenous language).

What is the ongoing health care like in Bequia?

The island includes a small medical center, pharmacy, and a hospital, but off the island — to a larger hospital like one in Kingston on the island of St. Vincent if you need a major procedure, you will need to take a speedboat or plane — there’s an air ambulance service to get you. And Lea states that for major procedures a few of her friends have flown back again to america for healthcare ( listed here are information on just how Medicare — which often does not cover health care you can get abroad — could work in a situation such as this). She’sn’t had to achieve that yet, and gets her yearly checkups when she requires them at the clinic that is local where she’s had a “lovely” experience and also the staff had been sort, she states. For small treatments you will get l k after free, but ex pats usually leave a contribution, she adds. She also notes that there is a dental facility in the hospital — “in the winter months, a pleasant retired dental practitioner, and his wife/long-time assistant offer their solutions” — and an optometrist visits Bequia about once a week for an eye hospital.