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You could say I ended up where I am in life because of absinthe and Picasso.My first ever trip overseas took me to an ancient port town in faraway Spain. I was in awe of the history, I was a glutton for the delicious food and I couldn’t believe the value I was getting for my meagre funds.
Have you ever spent two weeks in a place and thought ‘Hmm, I could easily spend two years here’? Well Jerez is that kind of city. I was on a six-week jaunt through Spain, exploring the Andalusia region, and after a 10-day stay in Seville, I headed the hour south to Jerez. And I was far from the only one. Tourists, expats and locals alike have been experiencing the beauty of Jerez for decades, enjoying a high quality of life at some of the cheapest prices in Europe.
Situated on the Paseo del Espolon, with its interlocking arch of Plane trees, Restaurante Polison was a picture-perfect lunch spot on a mild Iberian afternoon earlier this year. Seated on the sunny patio, Keith and I tasted authentic tapas including Jamon Iberico, Spanish ham drizzled with olive oil and topped with coarsely cracked pepper and served with a basket of fresh bread—and drank the crisp white Albarino wine. The view was priceless and the lunch a steal at under $20 for two. The funny part is, we hadn’t even planned to be there.
It’s more than 25 years since I lost my heart to Spain. On my first visit, its romantic, rich history, its people and the rhythm of the days won me over. These days I spend several months a year there, getting my fill of sun, siestas and serrano ham. (Part-time living in Europe is easy: You can spend 90-day stints on a simple tourist visa.) This year a five-kilo ham, cured to perfection, is already waiting for me. Hey—I’ll have months to eat it.
If you’re considering a visit to Europe—or even a move—Madrid needs to be on your radar. A sunshine-filled cultural haven, this friendly city will capture your heart without breaking your budget. The underlying authentic charm and laidback, understated vibe of Spain’s capital proved irresistible to me when I first arrived. It’s been home for nine years now and I’m still head over heels. Here’s just five reasons why…
When Aaron Brabham decided to move to the Colombian city of Medellín nearly a year-and-a-half ago, he knew exactly what type of place he wanted to live in. “I’m really a penthouse kind of guy,” he says. “I was looking to live in the lap of luxury for much less than I could back home.”
It’s surprising that Arequipa is still such a well-kept secret as a place to spend your retirement years. After all, there are over 300 days of sunshine per year, the Pacific coast is only a couple of hours away by bus and the spectacular hiking trails of the Colca Canyon are only three hours away in the other direction.
One of the great things about living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, is that even a pauper can afford to live like a prince. The cost of living is incredibly low. Rent can be as little as a few hundred dollars a month for a decent apartment in the heart of the city and the cost eating out is so reasonable that you’ll never have to cook ever again.