I want to start off by telling everyone a little about myself and the reasons why I chose to relocate to Medellín from the U.S. and why it’s the perfect place for me. I am a 46-year-old single male who receives a pension from the U.S. government. And I came to realize that it did not go very far in the state of California, or any state in the U.S. for that matter.
Due to some major injuries, I have been unable to perform many of the regular duties of my job. With a limited income and the high cost of living in the U.S. I had to quickly figure out what kind of life I wanted to live. I decided there are three main things I was looking for in a perfect place to live for me.
Note the above photo of Medellín is by Jenny Bojinova.
First of all, I did not want to move to a location that had terrible weather. In California, the weather is pretty much perfect all year round. Sure, it gets colder in the winter but where I lived in San Diego it never really got that cold.
If I wanted the cold it was only a few hours’ drive to the mountains where I could even find snow if I so desired. As far as getting hot, it never really got above the 90’s on the beach.
So, it was very important to me to find another location that had similar weather. At first, I thought it was impossible to find elsewhere. That was until I noticed that in South America and Central America there were some locations with similar weather.
2. Affordable Living
Second, it was very important to find a location where I could receive my government pension without any problems. Also, that the location was affordable and I could actually live on the funds that I receive.
I also wanted not just live but to live the quality of life that I wanted to live. I wanted to live alone without roommates. In addition, I wanted to be able to enjoy eating out a few times a week. I wanted to go out and enjoy the nightlife as well.
This left me with even fewer choices. I didn’t have the income I used to have. So, I needed to find a location that had decent transportation systems in place. I expected to never own another car again due to the costs of owning a vehicle.
3. Things to Do and Food
Finally, it is important to me that there are plenty of things to do. Plus, it’s important to have a good selection of different foods that I like to eat.
And last, but certainly not least, was a location that had many beautiful women. I am single after all. I wanted to find a location where I at least found the women attractive since I am still single. That leads to another expense. Ha ha. It also had to be a location that owning a vehicle was not a big deal for anyone especially the girls.
Medellín: The Perfect Place for Me
There are several reasons that led me to select Medellin over other possible locations. I didn’t have trouble finding several locations with similar qualities that fit the description of what I was looking for. But the choice of Medellín was easy for me because it had the best of everything that I wanted.
Everything I needed to live a quality life is found here in Medellín. Most of the other locations I looked at were missing one or two of the items that I wanted. For example, the cost of living was higher than I wanted, food was not that great, or it was just too far away and would cost a small fortune to get there.
Now that I have been living in Medellín for a while I figured it would be helpful to others to share my personal experience. And hopefully this can also help you to relate to additional articles I plan to write and how I perceive things. Most of the things I disclose of course carry my personal bias and why I personally believe Medellín is the perfect place for me to live.
For me there are seven main reasons why Medellín is the perfect place for me, which follow.
Perfect Place Reason #1: The Weather
With that in mind I will start by saying Medellín is truly a city of eternal spring with an average annual temperature of 72.5 °F (22.5 °C). I noticed on Google weather before arriving here that it always said high probability of rain almost every day but the temperatures were perfect.
After living here for a while I can actually say that it doesn’t rain every day. In fact, most of the days are beautiful. When it does rain most of the times it is late in the evening or early in the morning. Even then it does not seem to last very long. It is a bit humid here at times, but usually has a nice breeze to even things out.
To sum it up the Medellín weather is great! Now I know why so many people here ride motorcycles.
Perfect Place Reason #2: Cost of Renting
Here in Colombia it is very easy to make use of your government or retirement funds. They are on the list for approved countries to receive any benefits you might have. In fact, having a pension makes it easy to get a visa here.
Secondly it is very affordable here. It is very possible to be able to find a decent furnished place to live for $700 or less for a one bedroom and not a whole lot more for a 2 or 3 bedroom. It does depend on location like any place elsewhere in the world.
I was able to find a nice one bedroom furnished apartment in Laureles for 1,500,000 pesos per month, which is around $500 per month at the current exchange rate.
This place is completely furnished and all bills are paid by the landlord. This includes Direct TV and Internet as well. In addition, it also comes with a washer for clothes. My place is approximately 430 square feet (40 square meters). Also, unfurnished apartments in Medellín can be cheap.
There are some obstacles to overcome when looking for rental as a foreigner. One of these obstacles is the language barrier. You may also need to use a real estate agent for unfurnished rentals, which will more than likely require you to have a fiador, which is a cosigner. We looked at ways to avoid the fiador requirement in an apartment rental guide.
Perfect Place Reason #3: The Nightlife
For as far as fun goes, I have found that Colombians love to party and celebrate as often as they can. Every Friday-Sunday there are nightclubs everywhere playing loud music. Colombians love to sing and dance. There are a vast number of holidays and different reason for festivals also. There is no shortage of nightlife here.
Many clubs and bars are open to 4 am. Night life here is amazing. You will often see more people out at night walking the streets then you will during the day.
Not everyone going out drinks. They just love the night life. The Colombian people are very friendly and usually very eager to help with anything you need.
I can honestly tell you that knowing how to communicate in Spanish will go a long way in making life easier for you. Since the majority of the people do not speak any English. And if you are in the more touristy locations in Medellín that will be a little different.
For example, I found that it’s possible in El Poblado to find some Colombians that have been learning English and some that speak it quite well. In addition, there are many schools here in Medellín that offer Spanish classes to get you up to speed on conversational Spanish fairly quickly.
Perfect Place Reason #4:Transportation
Transportation here in Medellín is awesome. You have many different choices and there is no need to own a vehicle here.
Uber in Medellín works great here and is very cheap and safe to use. Uber works the same here as it does anywhere else in the world. Just be prepared to speak in Spanish.
Medellín taxis are everywhere at all hours. When using the taxis, it is better to have your hotel or location where you are staying call one for you. Another way is to use a service like the Easy Taxi mobile app.
If you just grab a taxi you possibly stand a chance of them making a lot of unnecessary turns and running up the bill. I have taken several cabs this way and I only had this problem once. It was also possibly because of traffic. Hard to say at the time because I did not know the area very well.
In summary, you can get anywhere in Medellin easily and for very cheap. The average taxi ride for me is about $3. A ride across town is only $6 and that about 15-20 minute drive. Uber is similar priced to taxis and the Buses are cheap for about $0.75 one-way and roundtrip on the Medellín metro train which includes an integrated bus fare for about $2-$3
Perfect Place Reason #5: The Colombian People
I have found that the people here in Medellín are very friendly and helpful. You can ask anyone for help and they will go out of their way to assist you, if possible. In my experience, it helps if you demonstrate that you respect their culture and respect them, as you would anyone else that helps. It also helps to speak their language.
Perfect Place Reason #6: Food and Services
There is a large selection of different kinds of food here like in the U.S. You can get Colombian food everywhere of course. Traditional Colombian food includes avocados, rice, beans, chorizo, chicharron, and carne (meat).
You can get pizza, hamburgers and fries, sandwiches, sushi, Italian, Subway, Burger King and many others. There are even healthy food restaurants in Medellín as well as vegan restaurants. One of my favorite foods back home was Mexican and it’s still my favorite here as well.
They are big on bakeries here. There seems to be one on almost every block. Some of the foods here do taste different from the ones back home but are similar.
It is also very easy to get your medications here as well. Pharmacies are another thing that seem to be found on almost every block. Medications, medical, and dentistry are very affordable as well. The doctors are pretty good here as well. In addition, the dentists I have found to be very good and inexpensive.
Perfect Place Reason #7: Things to Do
There are many historical locations to visit in Medellín that are all very inexpensive. They even have water parks and a large lake at Guatapé that is not too far away.
In addition, you can always take a short plane ride to the coast from here as well – it’s only about a one-hour flight. And domestic flights in Colombia can be cheap and we have a guide to finding cheap flights in Colombia.
Also, they also have cable cars that are very inexpensive and takes you up the hills where there are places to visit and awesome views of the entire city.
The Bottom Line: Medellín is the Perfect Place for Me
You can see in my reasons above why Medellín, Colombia was the perfect place for me and why I chose Medellín as my perfect place to live. It just has everything I was looking for and at a very affordable price. Of course, I barely touched on a lot of topics that make this a great place to live or visit/
I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it may help you in making your decision whether to make Medellín your choice to visit or live as well.
My list of reasons above are my top reasons for choosing Medellín. There are many other reasons why Medellín is a great place to live. Jeff the founder of this website, previously wrote about 27 reasons why he chose Medellín as a great place to live.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.