Whether he’s in a leaky boat fishing for food in the Arctic Circle…on a lazy camel searching for a place to stay in the Sahara…or getting in and out of trouble in the back streets of Moscow, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv…Len Galvin recognizes a bad travel idea when he hears it. He lives in Kilkenny, Ireland, and is International Living’s editorial director.
Articles by Len Galvin
- Spend a Month in Granada, Nicaragua (All Expenses Paid)
Posted on March 3, 2013 by Len Galvin
We’re looking for someone to spend a month in one of our favorite retirement havens: Granada, Nicaragua. With new cafes, restaurants, boutique hotels and art galleries opening up all over the city, Granada has been transformed over the past five years. That’s why we want to send someone (plus a spouse, partner, or friend) there—on us. We’ll pay for the round-trip flights, accommodation and give generous living expenses.
That belief in freedom is still driving people today—and some have chased the American dream all the way to Ecuador. Take Cynthia and Ron Kelley. They didn’t want the identikit big house with the white picket fence. They wanted something unique to them—but they could never have afforded to build such a home in the U.S. In Canoa, Ecuador, however…
But if, by contrast, you’re interested in ways you can go abroad and not only increase your quality of life by living better for less… but perhaps also protect your savings, grow your nest egg, and build a legacy for your children and their children… then read on. There are benefits of having a foothold abroad—advantages beyond the obvious ones like lower costs, a higher quality of life, and the prospect of real adventure.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re dreaming of your own slice of paradise overseas. Maybe you fantasize about lounging on a tropical beach…or you long for the culture and convenience of city life…lush green mountain towns…or a little village by a lake…
Wedged against the Caribbean Sea, Belize has no strategic importance to anyone. Maybe that’s why it has such a peaceful history. Four hundred years ago, pirates would lie in wait among the 200 islands scattered off the coast. But these days, all you’ll find hiding on the cayes and islands are divers, sailors and anyone looking for an affordable way to enjoy total privacy.
Everyone who moves to Ecuador has a different reason for doing it, but they all have one thing in common… they’re glad they did. Earl Phillips and his wife, Jan, almost lost everything they had spent 36 years working for when the property bubble in the U.S. burst. But after Jan suggested moving from their home in central Washington to the coast of Ecuador…
What’s drawing IL readers to Costa Rica? Take your pick—long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches (Caribbean and Pacific)…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls… mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…an affordable, happy, healthy way of life…
For 32 years we’ve encouraged readers to claim a richer, more fulfilling life – to reclaim their retirement – by looking beyond America’s borders. I’ve been privileged to be involved in International Living’s call to action for more than a decade.
Like “Buenos Dias” in the rest of Latin America, “Pura Vida” can be used as both greeting or farewell or simply as a happy exclamation. Depending who you ask, it means “good…or pure life,” “plenty of life,” “full of life,” “this is living,” or even “awesome!” or “cool!”
What if you could improve your lifestyle by about 200%…and do it for half what you spend today…why wouldn’t you? You could do it in a place where you never had to shovel snow again…where the weather is always perfect, about 77 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night—all year round. A place where, in a single day’s drive, you can go from a sophisticated city with true cultural appeal…
If you ever wanted to retire to the beach, or buy a second home on the water, now is the time to act. Prices in certain desirable markets are low right now. But they won’t stay that way for long… The wide white-sand beaches of North-East Brazil stretch for hundreds of miles. The beach towns and fishing villages along this coast are popular with international tourists and Brazilian visitors…
We’re just two days away from our extraordinary “Uruguay Project,” nearly two years in the making. Suzan Haskins has explored every inch of this surprising country. From its world-class city…to golden beaches and seaside resorts…to the lush interior and authentic colonial towns…we’re confident you’ll love Uruguay as much as Suzan.
If you don’t know much about what a great country Uruguay is…here’s a quick primer: The infrastructure is excellent…and the health care is affordable (figure 10% what you pay in the U.S. for the same quality care, or better). The cultural norms in Uruguay are what you’d expect coming from Europe or North America.
If you’re looking for a bolt hole overseas…somewhere you and your family can return to as often as you need…while enjoying the ultimate privacy…Margaret Summerfield has made a short video about where to find the three best secure and private hideaways.
When Jack sold his business in South Florida to take a few years off, and his wife retired from the bench, they could have lived almost anywhere… They chose a little mountain town in Ecuador. Jack was Dan Prescher’s guest on IL Radio recently, and they openly discussed what Ecuador has to offer North Americans.
Ecuador is a retirement paradise. Yes, it is the winner of IL’s Global Retirement Index 2012. But you don’t need an index to tell you that the climate is incredible…and varied—lush mountains, dense Amazon jungle, sun-drenched Pacific beaches…
Whatever you’re looking for in a tropical paradise: diving…real estate…connecting with top attorneys…Caribbean beaches…the retiree program that sweetens the deal for anyone over 45-years-old…rich mountain pastures…offshore wealth protection strategies…and much, much more…this video has it all.
Of course, cost of living alone does not make a well-rounded retirement. In fact, affordable beach is only a small part of the real Belize story. It’s easy to fit in…everyone speaks English…they don’t levy taxes…and consistently defend their asset protection laws in international courts.
My friend Margaret just sent me details of the best property she found on her recent Caribbean scouting trip. She’s from Pathfinder, IL’s preferred real estate advertiser—and clocks up serious air miles on her scouting trips. When Margaret calls a property the “best” anything, it’s worth paying attention to. In the video below, she reveals an affordable beach house on a Caribbean island.
My friend Margaret often sends me e-mails about real estate deals on or near the beach in places like Costa Rica. But sometimes she sends an insider tip like the one in her Video Postcard below. In it, she reveals three tropical destinations right now where there’s an easy way to finance your overseas property purchase…sometimes interest-free.
- Why Two Californians Moved to Panama’s Pacific Coast
Posted on February 16, 2012 by Len Galvin
Stephen and Linda lived in Northern California. But if they wanted to retire there, they knew they’d only be able to afford “some desolate place and live in a double-wide.” So they began searching for somewhere in the world that had the surf they craved but at prices they liked, too. They found a little Pacific Coast beach town about 60 miles west of Panama City.
- Do You Know Which of Your Photos Could be Bestsellers?
Posted on February 6, 2012 by Len Galvin
You probably already take lots of photos when you’re on vacation…or when you’re scouting a second-home location overseas. But did you know you might be able to sell those photos, too? That’s what Dave Morgan did. When he traveled to Asia, he took pictures of the native people, monuments, and scenery.
We’re looking for someone to spend a month in the world’s top retirement haven—on us. If you like the idea of relaxing in a spring-like climate, exploring a colonial University city, making new and interesting friends from all over the world, trying new things and maybe even reporting about your adventures…this could be for you.
You can fly from Florida to Cancun, Mexico in less than two hours. And right now, the round-trip airfare for the end of February is only $262. That’s with American Airlines from Miami. Another cheap flight at the same time is from JFK New York with Delta—$333 round-trip.
Andrea Gingerich started out as a world-traveling biologist. But she had much more fun taking photos of turtles in Belize…and snaps of insects in Costa Rica. Better yet—these are photos she can sell. In fact, Andrea spent most of last year traveling and living off of the royalties from her photos.
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