Abundant Australia: Good Living, Down Under


Australia is famous for its large beaches and temperate climate. Across the continent, Aussies, and those who’ve chosen to emigrate there, have access to an active and healthy lifestyle. But urban dwellers will find plenty of great culture and excellent food in Sydney and Melbourne, and a cost of living below that of some of the world’s other great cities.


If Australia is on your list of possible retirement destinations, you’ll find that few English-speaking countries with quality health care and good infrastructure will benefit as much as Australia from the economic booms in Asia and China.


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Fast Facts About Australia

  • Population: 22,507,617
  • Capital City: Canberra
  • Climate: Generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
  • Time Zone: GMT+10
  • Language: English
  • Country Code: +61



Tarnished Copper, Shanghai Stocks and more…

Everyone likes to complain about inflation, right? But I have news for you: There are big changes afoot that are going to make many of the things you buy not more expensive, but less. Crude oil now threatens to test its price low of 2009. But oil isn’t the only commodity under pressure. Coffee is down more than 40% since its recent peak in October of last year. You know what’s doing nearly as badly as coffee? Copper. Copper has broken not one, but two important lines of support. In July, Goldman Sachs slashed its price target for copper in 2016 by 44%. In fact, all industrial metals are doing poorly. I’m talking copper, aluminum, tin, nickel, iron.


Knights, Truffles, and Bolivar’s Birthday

With summer in full swing, many parts of the world can get hot at this time of year. The Philippines is one of them, with average temperatures pushing above 80 F. So July is a perfect month to get a refreshing splash of water, and the Bocaue River Festival is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Taking place in the municipality of Bocaue on the main island, Luzon, on the first Sunday in July, the festival commemorates the holy cross found in the river around 200 years ago. A pagoda—an ornately decorated barge—is set afloat in the river, accompanied by small boats. Attendees douse themselves with water to mark the occasion.

Jungle Homes: Your Retreat From the Modern World

Imagine a place of rich, earthy smells, dappled light, soaring tropical hardwoods, and thick underbrush…the dawn calls of birds and the nighttime chirps and whistles of insects. From your terrace it’s as though you have Eden on the doorstep—a thousand shades of green and nature’s bounty. These days, living in a jungle home, you can have the best of both worlds: the feeling of being set apart, while enjoying conveniences like high-speed internet and air conditioning in your own paradise.


Welsh Pubs and Street Dancing

In Western Australia, April marks the return of the majestic whale sharks to Nimbaloo Marine Park. This is a perfect time of year to snorkel with these gentle giants— the largest fish in the ocean. If behemoths of the deep aren’t your thing, there’s plenty more for you to do at the Surfer’s Paradise Festival, on the country’s Gold Coast April 3–18. You’ll find a wide array of food, street performers, art, music, and other entertainment to cater to all tastes… and all of it free of charge. April also rings in the Buddhist New Year. In Malaysia this is marked by the Songkran Festival (April 12–14), which also serves to celebrate the country’s Siamese community. Rivers and beaches in the state of Kedah are ornamented with sand temples, called stupas, which are then washed away by the tide.

Houseboats—Floating in Style Around the World

Imagine sleeping to the gentle bob of the tide or of a river current, then waking up to cast off the moor lines and set out for adventure. Or, more often, to stay at anchor, enjoying the lull of the water while having a fixed address and access to onshore services. That’s the life that houseboat living offers.

Festivals Around the World: Costumed Elephants and Bog Snorkeling

The largest arts festival in the world takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from August 1 to 25. If you haven’t experienced the Fringe Festival before, it turns almost every corner of the city into a performance space for comedians, musicians, actors, and theater groups.

Festivals Around the World: Beer-Can Boats and “the Manly Games”

Make your way to the Italian city of Siena for Il Palio on July 2 and witness 10 bareback riders charge through the streets as part of an ancient religious tradition. The Corteo Storico pageant precedes the race and celebrations go on long after the winner has passed the post.


Find Your Sea Legs with an Affordable Boating Retirement

You’ve just weighed anchor on another night of bliss, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of your sailboat in the calm sea. Before you is a small cove lined by craggy cliffs. Clear blue waters end at a white-sand beach. You’ve had it all to yourself for the last week. It was supposed to be just an overnight stop. But it was so beautiful, you decided to stick around. After a quick dip, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast on deck as you contemplate which island paradise you’ll go to next.

Bodrum Harbor

Homes by the Ocean for Weekend Sailors

Do you like the idea of a life at sea…but only in short doses? Sunset cruises, fishing excursions, day trips, and the occasional long weekend jaunts to anchor off a remote island…? The ocean can be your playground.


Festivals Around the World: Museums by Night and Antelope Hunting

Begin the month in Scotland’s Spey Valley where, as part of “Whisky Month,” the Spirit of Speyside Festival runs from May 1 to 5. Tastings, workshops, and even a guide on how to properly photograph a “wee dram” of whisky are all on the schedule.


The Secret to Making Good Money from Almost Any Country You Choose

Imagine living in Europe, Africa, or Australia and earning a living while traveling around and discovering the continent. Sounds too good to be true? Well this is exactly what I have been doing for about six years now. I started off in Africa because I had always wanted to go on a safari but could never afford it.


Flamenco, Opera and Warrior Dancers

In northwest Africa the village of Kartong, Gambia, hosts the Kartong Festival February 7 to 9. Traditional dance, music, and street performances, as well as local arts and crafts, are part of the event, which includes cook-offs and feasts. From February 7 to March 1, the Perth International Arts Festival in Western Australia will sate your appetite for the art.

Troglodyte Homes: Around The World…And Underground

Troglodyte Homes: Around the World…and Underground

The accepted story goes that as humankind progressed over the millennia, we abandoned our cave shelters in favor of constructed homes. But plenty of folks still live in dwellings carved out of volcanic rock, into mountains, rocky hillsides, cliffs, or quarries. And they aren’t living a primitive life in caveman-style homes, either (though they are referred to as “troglodyte” homes).


French Antiques and a Rhino Charge

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv begins its three-day Taste of the City festival on May 1. Fine-dining establishments serve free portions and chefs line the streets offering local delicacies like malabi—a creamy pudding flavored with rose water. Saint Lucia Jazz is the most anticipated musical event in the Caribbean calendar and runs from the start of the month until May 12.


World’s Fastest-Growing Economy

Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated country, largely made up of steppe, mountains and a big piece of the Gobi desert. It’s also the world’s fastest-growing economy, thanks to vast underground riches; gold, copper, coal, tin, uranium and tungsten.


Slow-Paced Living in Old-World Europe

It’s 6:30 a.m. and I’m out the door for my daily run along the winding mountain roads. Cowherds and their cattle pass me; they are on their way to new grazing grounds. The salt-water wind kisses my face as I make my way past fields of wheat and myrtle. After four years of running these roads, I no longer get strange looks. The locals are used to the crazy Canadian!

South Through Australia By Train

South through Australia by Train

s lunchtime in the timber-paneled “Queen Adelaide” dining car with its white linens and stamped-tin ceiling. Past the Jacquard curtains, red-earthed vistas roll by outside as we move rhythmically through the Australian outback. Though named for the tough Afghan cameleers who first exploited this route 150 years ago, our train, the “Ghan,” requires no roughing it. It provides, instead, a luxurious throwback to Old-World travel.

Running a Successful Business on Australia's Sunshine Coast

Running a Successful Business on Australia’s Sunshine Coast

The average lifespan of a restaurant in the resort town of Maroochydore, on Queensland’s “Sunshine Coast,” in Australia is around two years. Lefty’s, Brian Church’s restaurant, has been in business for 13 years.

2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated

2010 Quality of Life Index: 194 Countries Ranked and Rated

Every January, we rank and rate 194 countries to come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.

2010 Quality of Life Index By the Staff of International Living

2010 Quality of Life Index By the Staff of International Living

Every January, we rank and rate 194 countries to come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.

Get Cooking

Get Cooking

Learn how to produce mouth watering culinary delights with our selection of cookery schools from around the globe.

The world's five best travel adventures

The world’s five best travel adventures

A vacation filled with adventure travel will send you home with once-in-a-lifetime experiences under your belt, fascinating tales for your friends, and-believe it or not-more relaxed than your annual visit to the Florida Keyes.

2007 Quality of Life Index

2007 Quality of Life Index

The best place in the world to live?

For the second year running in our annual Quality of Life Index, we say: France.

At the other end of the Index, again for year number two, Iraq scores the fewest points and ranks as the world’s worst place to be.

Shaking your shamrock around the world this Paddy's Day

Shaking your shamrock around the world this Paddy’s Day

A much bigger event overseas than in Ireland itself, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is a good excuse for expats around the world to get nostalgic and indulge a little. Here’s a whirlwind tour of how this green day is celebrated on different parts of the globe…

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