Jan is the former Janice Priest of Saratoga Springs, New York. Many of her siblings and relatives still live in the area. She moved to Southern California, and was a Realtor/Broker for almost 40 years before retiring in 2009. George and Jan married in 1992 and brought together two families with six children, 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, so far.
George grew up in the central San Joaquin Valley of California, and after graduating from Livingston High School, joined the US Navy. The Navy provided travel and education, including a degree from Purdue University. He left the Navy after 14 years to pursue other opportunities and worked in San Diego, California for 29 years for Solar Turbines, an industrial gas turbine manufacturer until retiring in 2008.
Living Better for Less
Travel has been an important part of life for George and Jan since they married, vacationing and visiting family on both coasts. In 2001 they began traveling internationally. At first, it was cruises to Mexico and Alaska/Canada, and then to Central America, including the Panama Canal, Columbia, and some of the Caribbean Islands. Extended vacations of two to three weeks followed to Panama, Costa Rica and Belize.
Dreams die hard. But, George and Jan finally realized that their dream of a comfortable retirement was likely to get crushed between governments at all levels with too much debt and their fixed retirement income. In 2012, with kids and grand-kids on their own, they decided to pursue a new dream. It was a dream of traveling and living in countries where it is possible for a couple to live better for less. With painful soul-searching, all but the most treasured possessions were sold, given away or tossed out. The custom-4-bedroom-house-on-a-half-acre-near-town was spruced up and sold.
They moved into an apartment in Henderson, Nevada, sold the car and left for points south in May 2013. The next six months was spent traveling through Central America; visiting Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Their idea was to spend a month or two in each country in order to get to know the area, the people, and the living conditions. They wanted to discover how to live better for less and report it on this website (EscolaVentures.com) for use by any who would like to follow their dreams of living better for less.
In November 2013, they returned to their apartment in Henderson. Both had business and medical issues to attend to, so the lease was extended. By November 2014, with business and medical issues resolved, they decided to end the apartment lease at the end of January 2015 and move to Costa Rica, where they currently reside.