International Living Daily Postcards

Cuenca, Ecuador  

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Aquitaine-France

France v. Italy: Round Three

Mon ami, you painted a pretty picture of life in southern Italy. But something is lacking—the sophisticated delights of duck confit, sweet onion preserves, foie gras and garriguette strawberries. You Italians are obviously clueless about food.

basilicata

Italy v France: Round Two

France is nice, I guess. Lavender fields and a vast wine country surely hold a certain appeal. But it’s Italy that captures the heart and feels like home. My cousin bought a house in a lovely little village in southern France, but when she comes to Basilicata, Italy she feels a pang of regret. How could she not, with so much home-spun seduction enveloping anyone who sets foot in the region?

Scalea-in-Calabria

Italy v France: Round One

Mi dispiace, France. I’m sorry. It’s no contest. Even in your rainy-day Brittany region, you can’t come up with a two-story house that a buyer could move into for 18,000 euro ($24,000). We can. It’s not a doll’s house either—there’s 1,290 square feet of living space.

montevideo

A Step Back in Time in Montevideo, Uruguay

“Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (Old City) is as close to time travel as I can get,” says expat Madeline Parmot. Madeline’s home is on a pedestrian street of restored colonial buildings, just a few blocks from Plaza Matriz, Montevideo’s original plaza.

san-vicente2

We Took a Gamble on Ecuador

Our journey to Ecuador started a few years ago. First the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy…and the equity in our home vanished in a few months. Then I had my second heart attack and lost my job—just about the time that retirement was looming.

cuenca-cathedral

Living a Relaxed Lifestyle in Cuenca, Ecuador

For the last three years, I’ve lived in Cuenca, Ecuador. During that period I’ve experienced a profound transformation in the way I approach life. This beautiful mid-sized colonial city has a special magic to it. Shy vendors in our open mercados…

lifestyle-in-Ecuador

Expats Reveal Why They Fell in Love with Ecuador

Out of all the countries International Living writes about, one in particular shines. It’s topped our Global Retirement Index—our pick of the 22 best countries to retire in the world—five years in a row…has a temperate climate year-round…offers a higher quality of life at an affordable price (cost of living can be as low as $900 a month)…and has a city, town or village to suit every taste or budget.

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.

rome

A Cruise to Europe—70% Off

Tim, who handles our travel arrangements, discovered a way to get a deep discount on cruises early in his quest for budget-sensitive travel options—a method that could get you anywhere from one-third to 70% off the price of your cruise.

la-calzada-granada

Could Granada be the Perfect Retirement Destination?

Some people go on vacation to a new country and fall in love with the place, then go home, quit their jobs and pack up all their worldly belongings to move there.

panama-city6

Panama City: First-World, Cultured and Affordable

Eight years ago, I decided I wanted to live in Panama full-time. And though I’ve sometimes toyed with the idea of living in the cool mountains of Chiriqui or even on one of the Pacific Coast beaches, I can’t seem to tear myself away from Panama City. From the steely, spiky skyline of the city…

san-juan-del-sur-nicaragua

Summer Nights in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Since our arrival in Nicaragua nearly two years ago, my husband Gordon and I have made many changes to our lifestyle…but one thing that hasn’t changed is taking time to enjoy a night out together. Although we live in the small beach town of San Juan del Sur, there’s no shortage of unique…

cuenca9

How to Find a Business Niche in Ecuador

Sometimes a business idea appears as if by magic. Rich Westcott worked full time as a magician in the U.S. for 20 years, performing over 700 times a year at the peak of his career. As the economy took a downturn and his work began to wind down, he and his wife Patricia realized they were facing a dim future.

manual-antonio-costa-rica

Midwest Couple Reveal: Why Costa Rica?

My wife, Caryl, and I grew up together in a very small town in the rural Midwest. After leaving for college, marrying, and spending many years in the workforce, we returned to our little community—38 years after we left.

nicaragua-reaons-to-love

So Many Reasons to Love Nicaragua…

There’s a lot to be discovered in Nicaragua… A country bursting with opportunity, culture and magnificent wildlife, it’s a place that’s been overlooked by the majority of tourists and expats.

costa-rica-healthy

I’m Healthier and Happier in Costa Rica

Leaving my 9-to-5 job in order to pursue my job as a freelance photographer and part-time writer was the best career choice I ever made. I had been living in Oahu, Hawaii, for 10 years…but at the age of 35, I decided to make a major life change…and move to Costa Rica. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a good decision.

panama-city-casco-viejo

An Affordable Home in 3 of the World’s Best Cities

It may be your lifelong dream to live in the grand old cities of Europe…cities with a foot in the past and another firmly in the present. Or maybe you’d rather be closer to home in the Americas, enjoying the sultry Latin lifestyle of Panama City or Buenos Aires.

dominical-costa-rica

Real Costa Rican Life, According to Expats Who Live There

When expats talk to us about why they moved to Costa Rica, they’re sure to mention that they were drawn in by the beauty of the country. With both a Pacific and a Caribbean coast, dramatic volcanos, rain forests and cloud forest, and the largest variety of wildlife in the world (like toucans, howler monkeys, sloths and turtles), it’s easy to see why.

sora-panama2

Good, Old-Fashioned Respect for Retirees in Panama

Call me old-fashioned if you will. But I’ve never seen why embracing modern times should mean you have to leave behind all the good things about…well, the good old days. I suppose that’s what I enjoy most about life in Panama—the good old days live on.

uruguay-healthcare

Top-Class Health Care in Uruguay

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was getting ready to walk my dog. Sudden chest pains interfered with my plans. My husband contacted our mutualista, and about 20 minutes later, the doctor arrived with his little black bag. Many people describe Uruguay as Eisenhower’s America. If you’re old enough to remember doctors making house calls, you’ll be pleased to know…

matera-basilicata

Affordable Palazzos in Italy

I don’t blame them. Basilicata is possibly the least-known region in Italy. Located at the ankle of the boot, it cuddles up to Puglia, Calabria, and Campania and is the most sparsely-populated part of the country.

sardinero-cantabria

Spain’s Best-Kept Secret

Sandwiched between the Basque Country and the province of Asturias on Spain’s Atlantic Coast, Cantabria is a small province by Spanish standards, and a secret the Spanish keep to themselves.

A Better Life for Less in Old-World Portugal

A Better Life for Less in Old-World Portugal

A herd of goats files into the pasture below my patio. The flock leaps over the stream, threading its way through the field. They butt each other in exuberance as I savor my morning coffee and fresh rolls with creamy butter.

lisbon-vistas

Get Your Free Pass to Travel Perks

I had just arrived at the little Spanish town near Alicante where I’d be spending a couple weeks, so I would have plenty of time to taste test each one.

inch-ireland

Great-Grandpa May Hold the Key to Your EU Passport

Your great-great-great-grandparents (may they rest in peace) could be about to hand you citizenship in Europe…and, with it, the legal freedom to live and do business in any of the 28 countries of the European Union. Your family tree could hold the key to opening a path to second citizenship for you and your family, especially in Europe. There, several countries will grant citizenship to you based on ancestry.

Why I Have Never Lived in Costa Rica

In the 12 years that we’ve lived outside the U.S., my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have called seven locations in four different countries home. Thanks to our work writing and reporting for International Living, we’ve become what we call “serial relocators.”

central-valley-costa-rica

The Most Popular Town in Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, can be, like any other big city, crowded, noisy, and full of traffic. But just 20 minutes away, and I’ve escaped. I’m at a small hotel and spa set on a former coffee farm in the hills above in the small village of Santa Barbara de Heredia. At 4,000 feet the temperature is perfect, in the mid-70s. The sky is blue, the surrounding vegetation a lush green.

curacao

Creating a Money-Making Blog in the Caribbean

My husband Joel and I are no strangers to moving every few years—so in 2009, when the opportunity arose for us to venture to the island of Curacao, we jumped at the chance.

costa-rica-montezuma

A Fuller Retirement in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

Anna Fishel, 63, was living and working in Colorado in early 2012, and retirement was still years away…or so she thought. “There was a change in management at my job that made it absolutely miserable for me to go to work. I had bought my house in Costa Rica with plans to move in a few years.”

ecuador-fyl

The Most Exciting Journey of Your Life…

There’s only one qualification for moving overseas: you must have an adventurous spirit. If you don’t, then save your time and money and stop reading right here. Certainly, it’s okay to have some misgivings and concerns… You may, in fact, be scared to death, especially if you are selling a home…

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.

lisbon-rail

Europe’s Low-Cost Capital

If you love that lost-in-time feeling, then you will love Lisbon. The city’s wistful air preserves crumbling balconies and buildings that grasp at their cracked-tile exteriors. Royal palaces remain untouched by renovation, as if a marquis could come down the marble steps at any moment. Toy-like yellow trams sway over tracks, the creaky wooden interiors from the 1930s still intact.

paris-metro

There Are No Do-Overs for Retirement

Four months after we’d reached that conclusion, we sold the house, dispersed the furniture, put our treasures in storage, kissed our grown children goodbye and hit the road.

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