Millennials and iGeneration kids aren’t the only ones who crave travel, exploration, and new experiences anymore — now, their parents want in on the action. Recently, more and more retirees have decided that getting a condo in Miami isn’t the right move for them. Rather, they’re packing up and retiring to more exotic locations overseas.
One of those exotic destinations? The beautiful Honduran island of Roatan. As I’ve written about here before, Roatan is the stuff of dreams, from crystal clear water, to vibrant culture, flavorful food, and warm tropical weather for the vast majority of the year. For retirees, living in such an area is absolutely ideal.
For example, two American ex-pats took the plunge and moved to Roatan — and they haven’t regretted a moment of it. Marilyn Northagen Poirier and her husband Alex Poirier live in an airy one-bedroom home in Oak Ridge, a community in the center of the island of Roatan, just north of the Honduran mainland. Oak Ridge is a fishing town and has been called “The Venice of Roatan” because the most common mode of transportation there is by small boats.
Marilyn, a fine artist, and Alex, a real estate buyer, have a diverse group of friends ranging from other US expats to natives of the island, as well as a slew of temporary friends who come through on cruise ships and tours to visit Roatan for just a few days before continuing their journey. Part of the joy of moving to Honduras was the chance to start fresh. Having both come from large families, Marilyn and Alex found themselves hoarding lots of stuff they simply didn’t need anymore. Moving to Latin America offered them a chance to begin anew with only the items they really needed.
Over the past decade or so, the development of Roatan’s infrastructure and business has helped to draw in more permanent or semi-permanent expats. Whereas there used to be few if any grocery stores with limited and expensive import items, Marilyn mentioned that there are now more westernized stores popping up offering some of the comforts of the US, from wines to meats to snacks. Now, the new community members can enjoy some of their favorite US foods from the beaches of Honduras. In addition, electricity and water are no longer luxuries but commonplace amenities in most newer houses constructed on the picturesque island. Roatan is developing and growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and the ex-pat community is playing a part in this development.
Other expats meet up with the Poirier couple to attend parties, tend to gardens, visit the local markets for fresh goods, and live up life on the island together. As others consider a destination retirement, they should add Roatan to their list. The beauty is unmatched, and the chance for peaceful relaxation on the world’s most breathtaking beaches is what everyone works so hard to retire for.