Glynna Prentice

Author Image for Glynna Prentice

Glynna got the travel bug at an early age. After traveling around the U.S. with her family as a child, she took on Europe during college. She returned to Europe to work as a field archaeologist in the U.K., digging up Vikings, before attending graduate school in New York. She remained based on the U.S. East Coast for much of her professional career, in part because she could get cheap flights from there back to Madrid and London. Eventually deciding this was inefficient, she got a job with (then) Price Waterhouse in Madrid and saved the air fare. During her nearly seven years in Spain, she traveled the length and breadth of the country, both for business and for pleasure.

Returning to New York, she worked in health care information with a major Internet portal, before moving to Mexico in 2007 (where she still speaks Spanish with a Castilian lisp). In Mexico, she divides her time between the Yucatan Peninsula and the Colonial Highlands. She travels extensively in Latin America and Europe, and for International Living has written about Mexico, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, Ireland, and Spain.

Glynna graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She holds an MS in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Archives

Malaga-Spain

Enjoy Big-City Life With Laidback Charm in Málaga, Spain

At 2,800 years old, Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded by the Phoenicians in about 770 BCE, it’s been inhabited by half-a-dozen major civilizations since then. As a result, it offers plenty for the history buff. Just past the Roman amphitheater is the Alcazaba, the medieval Moorish quarter. And you can take a bus up to the Gibralfaro, the Moorish-era fortress sitting above the city that offers one of the best views around.

Malaga, Spain

The Best of Coastal Living in Málaga, Spain

Happily, the best of the “old” Málaga remains, as well. The sun still shines, there are miles of seaside, winter temperatures are balmy (days average 63 F in January), and sea breezes still blow off the Mediterranean, cooling the hot summer days. And Málaga is still cheerful and vibrant, oozing its trademark Andalusian charm. Best of all, it remains a very Spanish city, even in the prime tourist areas. So if you enjoy big-city life with laidback charm and a side of seashore, give Málaga a whirl. You can even get by in English.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Moving to Mexico? Where to Meet Other Expats

When you’re moving to Mexico, it helps to get the scoop on your new home city from expats who live there. They’ve already figured out which plumber is most reliable, which carpenter does the best work, and which market has the best produce and prices. They may also become your first friends in your new home. But where do you find the expats? There are lots of ways to seek them out. For instance, a useful first step is to search online before you ever leave for Mexico.

Málaga: The Sleek, Urban Heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol

Twenty years ago, when I first visited Málaga, it was the ugly stepsister of Spain’s Costa del Sol: a little scruffy and down-at-heels (though with gloriously sunny weather and a seaside location). So it was pure pleasure to return last summer and find it transformed into a Cinderella: one of Spain’s most livable—and affordable—cities for coastal living. Today’s Málaga is clean and bright, with a pedestrian-only city center and a revamped harbor area that is a joy to stroll. The city is brimming with museums, great dining, and plenty of shopping to suit all tastes and budgets.

Portugal

Listening to Fado, the Soul of Lisbon, Portugal

For a second there, I thought he had a crush on me. Then I realized that his entranced gaze was not for me—it was for his guitar and the music he was playing. I was in a fado club deep in the heart of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood. When I was first seated at the small table flanked by two empty chairs, I thought I’d gotten my reservation wrong. Was I only going to get a high-priced dinner? I sat resigned during the first course…a mood that changed to jubilation when the fado musicians walked in, straight to those empty chairs beside me.

Puerto Vallarta

The Best Places to Live in Mexico as a U.S. Expat

With more than a million expats estimated to live there, Mexico is far and away the most popular destination for North Americans looking to move abroad. But—with so many places to choose from—where in Mexico should you move? It’s a very large country, after all. Much depends, of course, on what you’re looking for.

Learning to Swear Like a Spaniard2

Learning to Swear Like a Spaniard

I speak Spanish. I honed it in Spain. Living in Mexico as I do, though, I found things really took off when I learned a little Mexican. But wait, you say: Both Spain and Mexico speak Spanish.

Spain

5 Great Reasons to Live in Spain

Spain is one of my favorite countries. It’s both a fascinating destination to visit and a great place to live (and I’ve done both). So when people ask me what’s so great about Spain, I can list a lot of advantages off the top of my head. But to get you started, here are my top five reasons why Spain is a great place to live:

Valencia market, Spain

Eat Like a Local at Spain’s Best Food Markets

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for traditional food markets. I seek out farmers’ markets in the U.S. and traditional food markets when I’m abroad. Belize, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador… I’ve explored markets in all these countries, thrilled at the colors, the smells, and the variety of wares, many of them exotic local fruits, vegetables, and more. And, of course, I’ve explored many markets in Spain.

The Six Best Hospitals in Mexico

For most folks looking to move abroad, health care is a huge consideration. You want care at least as good as what you get at home…but preferably without that U.S.-sized price tag. But how can you judge which doctors and hospitals are good in another country? And, when you’re looking at a country as big as Mexico, how do you winnow down the choices?

Spain’s Mediterranean Coast

Comfortable, Cultured Living on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast

Most North-American tourists to Spain visit Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps Andalusia’s Moorish Triangle—Seville, Córdoba, and Granada. Relatively few get over to Valencia, the Mediterranean-port city that is Spain’s third-largest metropolis. And that’s a shame. Because Valencia has a lot to offer, as I recently had a chance to discover.

Life Abroad Is Not “for Couples Only”

I’m single. And you wouldn’t believe all the questions I get about living abroad on my own. “How do you do it?” people ask, as though there was some secret formula. And, yes, “What’s the secret?” is another question I get. In part I get so many questions because so many singles are thinking of moving abroad. And to them I have one short, sweet piece of advice: Just do it.

A Touch of Latin Spice in Puerto Rico

The U.S. is not really International Living’s beat…and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. (It’s considered a territory; it uses U.S. law, and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.) But with its attractive property prices (still down since their hammering by the 2008 economic crisis) and newly-legislated tax breaks for residents, Puerto Rico clamored for our attention. We wondered: Were we ignoring an English-speaking, tropical beach destination right on our doorstep—one where we didn’t even need a passport?

Malaga, Spain

Sunny Days and Low-Cost Living in Málaga, Spain

Just walking down Málaga’s Calle Larios can lift the spirits. This pedestrian-only street at the heart of Málaga’s historic center is lined with shops and cafés that draw the eye. Overhead, several stories up, canopies strung across the street shade you from the bright Mediterranean sun.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: Caribbean Seas, Tax Breaks, and No Passport Required

Splashing my feet in the salty waves, I gaze out at the blue horizon. The late-afternoon air is pleasantly warm—in the low 80s F—and before me stretches the blue Caribbean. Behind me is the seaside bar where I’ve had a late lunch, the chatter of voices reaching me where I stand in the sand. But—unusual for my beach trips—the chatter is mostly in English.

Is My U.S. Health Insurance Valid Abroad?

Is My U.S. Health Insurance Valid Abroad?

Readers often write in to International Living to ask whether U.S. health insurance companies cover treatment abroad. For any U.S. resident considering a move abroad, this is an important consideration. The short answer is: probably not. Most U.S. health insurers don’t cover treatment outside the U.S. Neither, of course, does Medicare.

ThreeStylishTowns

Three Stylish Towns You Should Know in Catalan Spain

There’s no question…Barcelona is fabulous. A mild Mediterranean climate; attractive urban beaches; a vibrant cultural scene; lively street ambience; great shopping; and some of the best food in Spain…Barcelona has it all. But—while Barcelona is a great place to visit—not everyone wants to live in a major metropolis. If you like what Barcelona offers but prefer day-to-day life on a smaller, more intimate scale, you have options here.

panama-healthcare

Your Top Health Care Overseas Questions Answered

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” or “perfect” country for health care—it depends on what you want/need. There will always be trade-offs, just like in the U.S. For example, if you want to live in the country or remote beach towns, you probably won’t find the health facilities you’d expect to find in a big city. But while health care is a major consideration in deciding if/where to move abroad, it’s not the only factor.

BarginLiving

Bargain Living in Spain’s Romantic South

Seductive and sensuous, an amalgam of cultures, Andalusia gets under your skin. Maybe that’s why so many of Spain’s signature sounds and images come from this vast, southern region of the country: castanets, gypsies, flamenco dancers, bull fighters, strumming guitars…This is romantic Spain…the one the tourists flock to.

cuenca-spain

Spain: A Top Retirement Haven in Europe

For anyone who’s been there recently, it’s no surprise that Spain is one of the top five destinations in International Living’s Global Retirement Index—our pick of the top retirement destinations in the world. Spain is arguably the best bargain in Europe, offering First-World living at a cost that can compete with some Latin-American countries. Thanks to the ongoing recession, real estate prices in many parts of Spain have plummeted. Buying here is more affordable now than it’s been in decades.

lyon-healthcare

Ask the Expert: Public or Private Health Care Overseas?

Many budding expats are excited at the thought of moving to a country with good, cheap health care—especially when it’s one of their biggest expenses back home. Often one of the least expensive options is a country’s nationalized health plan. But is it right for you? And when might you want to use it? Here are the answers. Q. How do I even qualify for a country’s public (nationalized) health plan?

punta-gorda

A Laid Back, Low Cost Lifestyle in Punta Gorda, Belize

Every now and again, when life feels hectic or I fear I’m getting into a rut, I think of little Punta Gorda, Belize. It’s become one of my favorite places to dream of visiting again. Right down near the southern tip of Belize, Punta Gorda looks out on the blue Caribbean. The barrier reef and its wealth of marine life—one of Belize’s main claims to fame—is 30 miles offshore here.

San Sebastian's Playa de la Concha is just steps from the old city, with its winding streets, shops and restaurants.

Living in Spain: Enjoy an Affordable Lifestyle on the Coast

I love Spain. Every time I’m there I fall right back into the lifestyle. Someone recently described the Spanish as having “perfected the art of hanging out,” and I have to admit I agree. They’ve raised it to an art form. And the siesta? Greatest invention since sliced bread, in my book. I’m not alone in my assessment. I meet folks all the time who say, “Spain? Oh, yeah….” And then they sigh.

Many Canadians escape their harsh winters in Mexico

Increase in Canadians Retiring in Mexico

Here in Campeche, where I live in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, we have only a small expat community. It’s growing steadily, though, with British, Dutch, Italians… and Canadians. In fact, a lot of the North American tourists I see here in the Yucatán these days come with distinctly Canadian accents.

caye-caulker-belize

A Water Lover’s Paradise: Belize’s Affordable Caribbean Island

If you want to “get away from it all,” tropical-island style, there may be no place better in Belize to do it than Caye Caulker. This five-mile-long island—only half of which is really inhabited—sits in dream-worthy, turquoise Caribbean waters. Its three main streets are packed sand.

malta-cospicua

Enjoy a Great Quality of Life in Malta

I’m in Valletta, capital of the small island nation of Malta. The smallest country in the European Union (just 122 square miles), Malta has long been a vacation spot for sun-starved northern Europeans and a tax haven for the wealthy. Multi-million-dollar yachts fill Malta’s marinas. Yet you’ll find great bang for your buck here.

How Gail Saved $21,000 on Dental Work in Costa Rica

How Gail Saved $21,000 on Dental Work in Costa Rica

In two trips over the course of a year, Gail went to San Jose, Costa Rica, for her dental work, spending two weeks each time. Her total cost for everything, including flights, accommodation and her dental work: $14,000—well under half what she’d been quoted in the U.S. for her dental treatment alone. And the quality was first-rate.

malta-valletta

Cultured, English-Speaking, Mediterranean: Valletta

In the last few years, Valletta, Malta’s capital city, has thrown off its reputation as a musty, dusty destination where there is little to do but go to museums. Today Valletta offers concerts, films, open-air exhibitions, yummy dining, and more. Those living here—both Maltese and locals—are eager to welcome new faces.

guanajuato-mexico

My Mexican Health Care Experience

Soon after I moved to Mexico, I cut my thumb slicing vegetables and had to go to the local emergency room for stitches. The doctor visit, plus three stitches, cost me $5.

san-jose-healthcare

How Gail Saved $21,000 on Dental Work in Costa Rica

In two trips over the course of a year, Gail went to San Jose, Costa Rica, for her dental work, spending two weeks each time. Her total cost for everything, including flights, accommodation and her dental work: $14,000—well under half what she’d been quoted in the U.S. for her dental treatment alone. And the quality was first-rate.

vilcabamba4

Your Top 3 Health Care Questions – Answered

“Will my doctor speak English?” I hear this question a lot from people considering a move overseas. It’s usually third on their list—after asking if the health care is any good, and whether they can afford it. Fortunately, in the countries International Living covers frequently, the answer to all three questions is usually “yes.” Costs are definitely low.

Glynna Belize

Belize: Central America’s English-Speaking Haven

Central America’s only English-speaking country, Belize offers a laid-back lifestyle, stunning natural beauty, and plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs. It also offers strong bank-privacy protection.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Why Now is the Time to Buy Property There

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Why Now is the Time to Buy Property There

Arguably Mexico’s best-known Spanish-town, San Miguel has been a top haven for decades. And today, you can buy real estate here at bargain prices, down as much as 55% from highs in 2007/2008. But you’d better move fast. On a recent visit to this most sophisticated of pueblos, I found that—here, at least—the recession induced real estate slump is over.

guanajuato-cathedral

Colonial Highland Life in Guanajuato, Mexico

Sandra Ward was introduced to the idea of living in Mexico early. The love of the country followed her for 45 years…into retirement. Sandra’s journey to Mexico began in 1952, when she was just a girl.

tulum-costa-maya

Sun, Surf, and Sightseeing on the Riviera Maya, Mexico

Recently some friends in the U.S. emailed me to say that they were planning a short trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun is a direct, four-hour flight from their East-Coast home, so they could be snorkeling in the Caribbean by early afternoon. That’s about as close to instant gratification as international travel gets. And it makes a three- or four-day mini-vacation very feasible.

In Mexico, Partying is Hard Work

In Mexico, Partying is Hard Work…But Someone Has to Do It

In the months leading up to mid-February, I went to sleep frequently to the sound of music. It comes with the territory in Mexico. From Virgin of Guadalupe Day (December 12) right through to Epiphany (January 6), Mexico is one long fiesta: a time to loosen your belt, let down your hair, and party down. Mexicans jokingly refer to it as the “Guadalupe to Reyes (Epiphany) marathon.”

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