International Living Daily Postcards
Each day we uncover some of the most desirable--and cheapest--retirement havens on earth. In International Living's free daily postcards, you'll learn about retirement, property, travel and lifestyle opportunities from around the world.
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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…
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.
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.
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.
Like many expats in Cambodia, I ended up in “the Kingdom of Wonder” completely by accident. But living in the capital Phnom Penh, I feel like I have discovered the secret to a laid-back lifestyle.
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.
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.
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.
For Leonie Whitton and David Westbuy, the biggest advantage of being in Puglia, at the heel of Italy, is access to fresh, delicious food.
For grilled squid, lavender ice cream, and a glass of chilled local white wine, I know a waterfront terrace restaurant at Cassis that’s perfect.
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.
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…
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
I live in Costa Rica’s Central Valley, near the capital of the country, San Jose. It’s great to be near big-city amenities and conveniences.
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…
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.
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.
It wasn’t just love at first sight—it was love all the way. Every day in Italy’s Maremma region brought a new treasure town, a new delight, a new taste.
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.
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.
If your idea of a dream vacation is traveling by train in absolute luxury, through some of the most romantic, historic and visually exciting cities in Asia, sampling the best local food along the way, then the Eastern & Oriental Express may be just the ticket.
My wife, Linda, and I hadn’t exactly planned on buying a vacation home. It’s not like we’re property moguls—I’m retired and my wife is on a one-year sabbatical.
Moving from New York City to a small town in the U.S. is quite a culture shock on its own. But Rick Macsherry, 60, and Christina Spilsbury, 58, did one better. In 1989, they moved to a small fishing village on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast.
It was probably just a matter of time before it happened to me. Real estate agents who take a vacation after going too long without one can get carried away
A few years ago, I was what most people would consider successful. I was working as a consultant and making a good living. But I was restless and unhappy… Deep down I knew there was more to life than just money.
The Peace Corps advertises itself as the “toughest job you’ll ever love.” It’s true—I loved that experience enough to extend my two-year commitment for a third…but I never imagined just where that experience would lead me when I got off the plane in Quito, way back in August 1982. Fast forward 13 years and you would find me opening my own bagel business.
This is the Caribbean as it should be—clean, white-sand beaches; the freshest fruits and seafood; colorful wildlife; and smiling, laid-back locals. You won’t find the huge resorts of other Caribbean destinations in Bocas del Toro, Panama…just an easygoing, water-lover’s paradise, where snorkeling, island-hopping, and beach-combing are the order of the day.
Years ago, I was certain I had found what every man or woman should seek: my own Shangri-La. On a whim, two of us—young and dashing U.S. Army lieutenants—headed for the hills of northern Thailand, to Chiang Mai.
I grew up in Eugene, Oregon—a fantastic place because of its cool, artsy people and green, lush landscapes. Later I lived in Richmond, Virginia—a city with an exciting restaurant scene.
You know the story: Go to school, buy a car, find a job, get married, buy a house…Raise the kids, get a better car, get a better job to pay for the house..
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.
I don’t have a degree in Education or English or even something like International Studies. What I studied was Forestry. Yep, that’s right, I learned about trees!