This paradise is still one of the best kept secrets in the world

April 8, 2015
Medellín, Colombia

About a week ago after having one of those days, I felt like unwinding by turning off the world and tuning in to some mindless action flick.

Netflix heeded the call and immediately served up 1994’s Clear and Present Danger starring a slightly younger Harrison Ford as CIA executive Jack Ryan.

It’s a decent film if you’ve never seen it... and, without giving away too much, a[...] Click here to continue reading

One of the most innovative cities in the world [you’ll never guess]

September 17, 2014
Talca, Chile

[Editor’s Note: This is the first in a multi-part series on some of the top Startup ecosystems in the world]

When Chris D. came up with a great idea for his startup he was already thinking outside the box.

But his innovation didn’t stop there. His thought process extended far beyond the business idea into WHERE to best execute his plan.

He was already established in[...] Click here to continue reading

Check out this “undiscovered gem”, a city known for all the wrong reasons

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia: Because of a $47 dispute the whole world got to know about Cartagena, a city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. For all the wrong reasons, unfortunately.

Two years ago Cartagena hosted the Summit of the Americas, a get-together of all heads of state for countries from North, Central, and South America, bar Cuba.

Before Barack Obama got there a group of Secret Service agents that descended on Cartagena decided to have[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: Your legal requirements, banking in Singapore, Colombian citizenship

June 4, 2010
New York City

Today, my friends and colleagues from the Atlas 400 group are gathering in New York City for another weekend adventure. It's something I've been looking forward to since our last event in Panama.

As you've heard me describe before, the Atlas 400 is a private group of successful, like-minded individuals who meet at world-class locations to discuss their ideas, socialize, and forge lasting personal and business[...] Click here to continue reading

The future is bright in this country

June 2, 2010
Washington, DC

A few days ago, Colombian voters went to the polls for the first round of their quadrennial presidential elections. For many, it will be the most important decision of the new century thus far.

The current President, Alvaro Uribe, leaves office later this summer after two consecutive terms in office. He is legally barred from serving a third term. Uribe is regarded as the nation's savior by many[...] Click here to continue reading

Questions: Colombian investments, Perth Mint disclosure, Biking in Panama, Thai crime, Medellin for women

April 16, 2010
Medellin, Colombia

Yesterday I celebrated tax day by charging up my AMEX card on one of the IRS's official payment websites. There's nothing like earning travel points for keeping the flames of bureaucracy burning.

And speaking of travel, I should be headed to Ecuador this weekend where I plan on spending several days hopefully hopping around the country; more to follow next week.

On to this week's questions...

[...] Click here to continue reading

Property and security in Medellin

April 14, 2010
Medellin, Colombia

In yesterday's letter, I told you why Medellin, Colombia might just be the greatest city in the world for some people. Well, today I had to send my assistant flowers because she got bombarded with so many subscriber emails questioning my sanity--

"You must be kidding! Medellin is the heart of the Columbian [SB: yes I know it's a misspelling] drug dealing racket!"

"Isn't Colombia the[...] Click here to continue reading

This place may be your Shangri-La

April 13, 2010
Medellin, Colombia

Just about anyone who has been to Medellin, Colombia in the past 5 years will tell you that the city is about as perfect as it gets. I'm one of them.

Travel there yourself and you'll find that it's no understatement.

Medellin is one of Colombia's largest cities, set in a picturesque Andean valley that could probably pass for Austria on a warm summer day. Because[...] Click here to continue reading

The best places in the world to meet like-minded expats

March 3, 2010
Pattaya, Thailand

One of reasons that a lot of people are hesitant about making a move overseas is because they're concerned about being isolated. The world can be a cruel place, especially to newbies.

Sure there are the nomads out there who want to be left alone with their little slice of paradise in the middle of nowhere... but most people crave some human interaction from time to time, especially[...] Click here to continue reading

The truth about Mexico

Mexico City (DF), Mexico

20 January 2010

My route to Panama has become quite slow and roundabout thanks to a bit of bad weather, and the fact that I gave up my seat on an oversold fight to accommodate a lady who was rushing home for a family emergency.

I am optimistic about this series of events, though, because I have the opportunity to once again put my boots on the ground[...] Click here to continue reading

My top picks for Asia and Latin America


I'm sitting in a comfortable, overstuffed leather chair this morning typing away at this letter while a team of local women give me a traditional Thai foot massage.  30 minutes in the chair will set me back about $4, and I can't think of a better way to part with my money.

It is with great hesitation that I'm even sitting in this chair-- not because I don't like massage, but because[...] Click here to continue reading

A gift from Hugo Chavez

Amazingly enough, Hugo Chavez is giving us a gift.  Allow me to explain.

World leaders are gathered today in Berlin, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain.  What would have been the greatest armed conflict in the history of the world was successfully avoided... peace prevailed.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, Hugo Chavez is stoking the flames of war in his region.

Notwithstanding the collapse of European communism,[...] Click here to continue reading

You are safe in Colombia

I know what you're thinking.

"Why the hell would he be in Colombia?"

I get that a lot.  The vast majority of the world only knows two things about Colombia-- drugs and terrorism (though in all fairness, 'one man's freedom fighter...')

People recall hearing about kidnappings, lawlessness, and of course that scene from Clear and Present Danger... that must be the reality in Colombia, right?

Wrong. To think that cartels and[...] Click here to continue reading

Cost of Living in Bogota, Colombia

A sample of basic household items in case you are wondering what is the cost of living in Bogota, Colombia--

All prices have been converted to US Dollars at 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) per dollar.

Cost of living in Bogota, Colombia as of August 2009 @ 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) / Dollar

Apples, 6-pack: COP 5,210 = $2.60
Bananas: COP 700/500g = $0.31 / lb
Beef, flatiron: COP 13,800/kg = $3.13/lb
Beef,[...] Click here to continue reading