Taj Mahal, here I come; I'm headed for the Promised Land
Update 2014: When I wrote this, years ago, I did not realize that they don't speak English over there, I mistakenly thought they did (and those who do, don't admit it, ha ha ha).
In a number of years I will be eligible to collect Social Security. Many people are taking what they have and moving elsewhere (aka Mexico, etc). Checking out world wide locations at www.wikipedia.org I find the most realistic for myself would be INDIA. They have lots of Vegetarians there (around 70 percent of the worlds vegetarians are in India, and in India they are around 20 to 42 percent of India's population, as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarian#History ), allot of them speak English; and Cannabis is legal in the states near the Taj Mahal http://wikitravel.org/en/India#Cannabis States: (notably Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Orissa, see map below). The town of AGRA (in the legal area) was listed as a popular tourist destination and home of the Taj Mahal
I can get a 10 year India Passport for around US $150 (in advance) http://wikitravel.org/en/India#Visas (US Citizens only)
and they say I can easily live on $4 to $5 per day
Searching Airfare Roundtrip = around US$1,800 (Sept 2008)
While on the job in Las Vegas (hotel casino theater Photographer) chatting with people from India, I asked where the higher concentration of vegetarians are? and at least two responses were "Abmedabad" the capital of Gujrat (lots of vegetarians). Maybe the guy was joking? (maybe it was the same guy both times?)
BUT LOOKING AT GOOGLE MAPS, the town is around 110 miles from Pakistan, and while I personally had nothing to do with either Iraq War, and am a pacifist; they don't know that. Ive seen statistics on Pakistan, and its real bad, I guess we can start with Poverty, Overpopulation, lack of Resources, all sorts of other issues, then that big earth quake, and all those wars nearby (its the problem place of the Middle East). I could just picture myself trying to explain how its not my issue, and me being a Photographer, they would probably be more understanding?.
I was thinking maybe Kashmir, but that too is sort of close to troubled Pakistan. Except I think the Dalai Lama lives up that way too. I think further from the ocean, the culture would possibly be more accepting. Its just a shame, because in my younger years, I had hoped to someday when older, travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Primo places, but the world had to wreck that plan.
Maybe the guy was suggesting Ahmedabad was just joking? (maybe it was the same guy both times?). I could just picture someone stranded out there, reading this saying "oh, he says maybe the guy was just joking". So I have place the possible just joking statement further up, just for safety. I wouldn't want to stay in a Las Vegas hotel, the hotels in Ahmedabad must be better.
And then possibly Southern India?, more equatorial, but apparently Sri Lanka has had much social strife and war, looking it up at wikipedia 26 years of war, but sounds like its stopped, and there was a power change in 2009, and they have leopards and tigers , and also elephants (cool to go hang out with the elephants), I don't know the percentage of vegetarians in that area.
As I write this, I am around 10 years away from retirement, so its going to be a while before I have to decide what to do with my social security money, and even at this point of time, my age is currently older than the life expectancy of someone in India, but I know that the doctors will give me extra help, being a foreigner, so these are things to think about.
OTHER PLACES: checking out wikitravel.org (not directly run by wikipedia.org but using the same software and they pat each other on the back).
MAN is a PRIMATE: along with Gorillas, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, and Samangs (howlers), according to modern day science. Many experts explain that we are the Aquatic Ape (the hairless ape, due to much swimming), and all Great Apes are Equatorial (I don't think we swam with Antarctic penguins).
So searching the world for IDEAL LOCATIONS, the closer to the Equator, the more lush the tropical paradise, but the more dangerous of cultures. Keep in mind that in order to survive, in the best locations, the cultures have had to defend themselves from invaders.
Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris(required reading for all Anthropology majors), points out that 2 of the most dangerous, deadly, cultures are in New Guinea (equatorial paradise), and Yanomamo of northern equatorial Brazil. Traditionally, one third of Yanomamo males die at an early age due to battle, domestic violence is very serious, and now the endangerment of outer society (miners attacking Yanomamo tribe people), and Anthropologists are trying to save the Yanomamo tribe (in spite of their traditional dangerousness, they have their nice qualities as well). Interestingly enough: the Yanomamo have the lowest blood pressure in the world (they eat no salt, sodium accounts for high blood pressure, but also helps Stability (emotional, physical, psychological, social)).
So as beautiful as the Amazon may be, I am not certain how safe it is for a non-anthropological expert, and there are millions of insects.
INDONESIA: is right on the equator, Jakarta, Bali, Borneo, Western New Guinea:
But according to reports, there is lots of Corruption
else is sounds wonderful (except itís not a vegetarian place).
AFRICA: right on the equator, home to our closest relatives Chimpanzees, and apparent home to man, oh to go home, but according to Wikitravel, itís very unsafe.
Mexico: well I don't speak Spanish, picito, no comprende Espanole, viva la raza, eye chiwawa, tequila, gracias
Maybe if the Huichol start a Retirement city, like Leisure World, the Huichol are now into SOY , I could probably get lots of vegetarian food. But so far, I don't think they have any Retirement plans for U.S. Citizens.
So maybe, someday, perhaps Mexico, bur for now, looks like:
Hi diddle dee, it's India for me.
It's Equatorial, within the limits of natural habitat for primates, there are lots of people who speak English, 70 percent of the worlds vegetarians live in India, hemp is legal in many states of India, and I can get by on $4 to $5 per day (when I get my Social Security, when I can afford to retire).