MARIA (72) and VALDUR (73)

From Estonia

Number of winters living abroad: 5


Aldur’s Story: When we retired, we decided to travel. We sold an apartment in Tallinn and bought a camper. When we saw that the money was running out, we swapped the second apartment for a cheaper one. So far, we have enough money to support our lifestyle. Should we run out - we will sell the last apartment. We make decisions quickly - if we must, we’ll sell the apartment and not worry too much. It doesn’t bother us that we have renovated it nor that we have raised children there. Our children have grown up and are able to make their own living and raise their own children. And you can’t take money into heaven with you.

La Manga has left an impression because seniors are a community here, they spend their time together in the winter. We decided to try this lifestyle too. We’ve been coming here for the last five years and spend eight months out of the year at this campsite. In Estonia, you would sit at home and watch TV. But here you walk around with your sunglasses from dusk till dawn. There are daily activities here, and people are fantastic. People here think differently. We have learned a simple but essential truth from them - that we need to live now and make time for the important things in life.


We have been married for fifty-one years. We have three children and grandchildren, all of them work or attend school. They are all busy with their lives and responsibilities, so we don't bother them. Nowadays, it is much easier to communicate - if you miss your family you can just turn on the camera on your phone and feel like you are sitting right next to them. We talk only about our positive experiences, which makes our friends jealous of our lifestyle, and our relatives happy, because we do not burden them with our concerns.

At this campsite, I help prepare songs for karaoke evenings. My wife Maria is a proud Ukrainian. She sings karaoke in Ukrainian. People praise her temperament and courage.

We recently celebrated a neighbor's birthday. About thirty people gathered. We put tables together outside and partied until five in morning. I feel it’s an impressive feat, staying up until 5am, especially for those over seventy. Everyone did stay up, and had fun talking, joking and singing in different languages. When people have lots of things in common, they have time and desire to communicate – it’s wonderful.