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Steve Hartwig lives on an island that’s approximately three miles long. He leads a quiet life, running a small Bed-and-Breakfast. He’ll tell you there isn’t much to do—that is, outside of contemplating the bright blue water and the many species of rare and colorful birds. And that’s just fine with him.
The cool, green valleys around Cotacachi village seem a world away from the bustling streets of Quito, Ecuador. This little mountain town is the perfect place to reflect on the lessons learned and insights gained from our largest… and I believe most valuable… conference to date.
A cool breeze tickles my neck as I take in the view from Gaital Hill. The sky is a gingham pattern of crisp blue and white now that the mists have dissolved in the afternoon sun. The fauna is deeply green and seems to cover everything. At the foot of the hill lies my destination…“the valley.”
Dear International Living Reader,
“And now the end is near…”
Truthfully, the end isn’t near at all. While the 2010 International Living Ultimate Event is now officially over, the fun is just beginning…
Dear International Living Reader,
I’m not making any assumptions here…really…but let’s just say for a minute that you’re not built like Adonis or blessed with the beauty of Helen of Troy. Yet you’re surrounded by men and women who are…and they’re practically naked…
Dear International Living Reader,
Back in the U.S. another winter storm threatens the east coast, stock prices are diving thanks to high unemployment rates, the painful health care debate continues to make us all sick, and Conan O’Brien is in the news…
Dear International Living Reader,
Working long, hard, strenuous hours and sacrificing your personal life to attain something you’ve dreamed for and worked for all your life….
Travel writing never feels like work to me. And when you acquire the research skills that go with the job, it boosts your enjoyment of a place tremendously. In fact, research often leads me to local places where few tourists go—and I think that’s much more fun…
Dreaming of olive oil…extra virgin, tangy, and picked by your hands? Every fall in Cianciana, the air is thick with the perfume of freshly pressed Sicilian olive oil.
An overseas adventure. The romance is built-in. The idea that you could escape your world and embrace a new one—a life filled with the things you love, enjoyed in a place you choose. What freedom… Yet, as we know from the e-mails readers send, the “what ifs” can be paralyzing. What if I’m single? What […]
Recent competition between airlines in Ecuador means that airfares to Ecuador are at an all-time low. Aero Galapagos (Aerogal), a new airline that recently received permission to fly to and from Quito, is competing for business with Lan Ecuador, driving prices down and pushing other airlines, such as Copa and Taca, to become more competitive, too.
My friend Paul lives in a mountain community that used to be reserved for the Panamanian elite. I was surprised to find out that his twenty-something son lives there, too. Ever the city girl, I don’t understand. “Doesn’t he get bored? Wouldn’t he rather live in Panama City?” Paul shrugs: “We’re only 30 minutes from […]
It had been more than 19 years since I had been to Belize. Back then it was a two-night stay as I traveled with my husband and four of his buddies. We hired a local to boat us to Ambergris Caye. Arriving late at night, we went directly to a restaurant that had white sandy floors, excellent jerk chicken, and watermelon juice.
It didn’t look like much…just a concrete arch spanning a shallow inlet…but thanks to this recently built bridge we drove our little golf cart directly over the watery split that divides Ambergris Caye, Belize, into its northern and southern parts.
It’s not unusual for people to move to France to seek the benefits of France’s universal health care program. The cost that you’ll pay for health care is low, and the quality is high. According to the World Health Organization, France has the best health care system in the world.
There’s more to sunny southern France than Provence and the Cote d’Azur. One of its most beautiful, historic and unspoiled regions is the Midi-Pyrenees—and it’s here that American David Hatfield and his English wife Linda have made their home for the past six years.
Since 1997, I have lived in the U.S. for three years, in Spain with my husband and growing family for seven years, and in France these past 12 months. We spent eight months of 2008 traveling in Panama, Costa Rica, North Carolina, and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico in search of a new place to live before returning to Europe and settling in France.
The view that greets you when you sit on your terrace…and the smell of freshly-baked bread with your morning coffee. Fine wine…good food…lasting friendships and entertaining conversation…tradition and culture. These are the things that make spending time in France so appealing.
I believe that Vilcabamba, in Ecuador’s Valley of Longevity, could well have the world’s best living environment. I had a home there for years, and enjoyed pure mountain air, a year-round tropical growing season, fresh pure water, and one of nature’s most dramatic and beautiful landscapes.
It’s late November, but warm enough to lunch outside under the orange trees. I’m in a sunny square in Evora, a walled city in Portugal’s Alentejo region. Preserving a Roman aqueduct, baths, and temple ruins, Evora’s roots go deep. But the overall feel is medieval and Moorish. Handsome houses with faded coats-of-arms. A leafy park […]
Where in the world can you enjoy the best quality of life?
Now, we’re value hounds here at IL. But each January we rate the single best place to live purely from a quality of life perspective.
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.
Unspoiled, friendly and affordable—is that too much to ask? We hoped not. We had been living in Burgundy for almost five years. Every year, the winter got longer, and the seaside farther away. So, we turned to the south—the Mediterranean and Sicily.
For fans of the sport, there are few adventures that match the fun, challenge, and beauty of kitesurfing Brazil.
Low costs for food and lodging and six months of dependable wind a year make kitesurfing in Brazil a no-brainer for pro and amateur alike.
If you’ve never heard of the Garifuna, Punta Rock, or Maria Sharp Hot Sauce, then Dangriga holds some great surprises for you.
Wondering where all those overseas Canadians who head south when the snow flies spend their winters?
Think sunshine, sand, and surf, and you’ll soon zero in.
Canadian expats have been living part- and full-time throughout Mexico’s Yucatan Penisula for decades.
What’s the draw?
First, warm weather. When the snow is flying up north, average temps in Yucatan are in the high 20s Celsius.
Wedged between Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Belize has no strategic importance to anyone. Maybe that’s why it has such a peaceful history.
When I was a cruise ship crew member, I saw it all. Some passengers would complain about the food (only after finishing four courses) or about “finding” dead bugs (one went on a butterfly farm tour, then smuggled some rare “stowaways” onboard). Often they were just angling for a free cruise.
Ecuador’s Northern Andes is where you’ll find one of the world’s best-value places—and in your November issue of the IL Magazine Suzan Haskins explores lifestyle and property options here.
Suzan and her husband Dan recently spent two months in Cotacachi…in the condo they bought a year ago for $46,000. They love this little town.
Canadians in Mexico enjoy the best of both worlds.
If you’re a Canadian in Mexico, you already know the powerful draw of Mexico’s miles of sandy beaches and dozens of cozy mountain villages, especially during the Canadian winter.
Rancho Santana in southwest Nicaragua is my home. I left the rat race in California and moved here four years ago with my wife and our two young daughters. We can walk from our house to the beach. What a front yard! I still pinch myself as I look out at the ocean while enjoying my morning coffee.
Colonia is one of Uruguay’s real treasures. In fact, I would rank Colonia at the top of Uruguay’s list for a year-round, quality lifestyle at an affordable price. Located on the banks of Rio de la Plata (just across from Buenos Aires), it’s a friendly riverside town that draws people from the world over.
Most of us envision Cuba as a sun-kissed land surrounded by warm, turquoise waters with miles of virgin beaches and swaying palm trees…where sugar cane fields give way to rolling hills and foreboding mountains shelter bearded rebels.
Weather, golf, beach and accessibility are the major drivers of Europe’s internal tourism and second home market. In fact, for both Spain and Portugal, golf is a bigger driver than beach. I understand this. I visit Portugal’s Algarve most years but I have never stepped foot on one of her beaches. I come here like many millions to golf.
Last week, 310 International Living readers took decisive action. For many of them, it will change their lives. Lying ahead will be a richer, more-rewarding lifestyle…better financial security…and a higher standard of living at a fraction of the cost that they’d planned on spending in their retirement years. But that’s not all. Many learned of—and […]
Las Vegas is down on its luck these days. Tourism is off, hotels are operating at reduced capacity, and there’s plenty of elbowroom at the craps tables.
But some of us are feeling pretty lucky. No, we didn’t win big in the casinos. But we struck it rich in another way. We’ve obtained some heavy-duty insider information that, if used right, will pay off. Big time.
Dead silence. That’s about the last thing you want to happen at a high-energy conference when one of your best speakers finishes his presentation. Especially when you’re ready to go to on a high-energy coffee break.
In this case, though, silence was golden.
In 2001 at age 49, I took early retirement from his job as an engineer with a power company. I had a modest income and moderate savings. I liked his job and what he was doing. As I said, “I had no dissatisfaction with my life.” But he had a revelation about how he could […]
When you think of the Caribbean, you might typically think of places like the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, or the Turks and Caicos. And when you think of the price of property on these islands, most of us will come to the same conclusion—that it’s unaffordable. After all, a condo might cost you as […]
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