Most North American visitors to Spain gravitate to Madrid, Barcelona, and Andalucía, Spain’s large southern region.
There is no hard data on the number of singles abroad—for that matter, the U.S. doesn’t know how many of its citizens live abroad, period. But at International Living, we hear from our worldwide network of correspondents (of whom I am one), who tell us who’s coming and going in their countries.
Customizing a home that you’ve bought in Mexico, either through renovation or new construction, is an exciting dream for many Mexico-bound expats. And it’s satisfying…when it’s done. But I don’t know anyone who hasn’t found the renovation process...
I’m in an SUV in La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The sun is hot and we’ve rolled down the windows as we drive through town. We go at a leisurely pace, stopping at street corners to obey the four-way stop signs; La Paz is too low-key to need many stop lights.
If you plan to spend time in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands and want to look beyond San Miguel de Allende, consider renting a property in Guanajuato, the state capital. This 16th-century Spanish-colonial city, a World Heritage site since 1988, is beautiful and lively, with a vibrant ambience.
The city of Campeche, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, increasingly attracts attention from tourists and snowbirds.
San Miguel de Allende is arguably the best-known Spanish-colonial town in Mexico…and for good reason. It’s beautiful (and beautifully-preserved), it has great shopping for arts and crafts, fine dining, plenty of English-speaking locals, a huge expat community, and it’s relatively easy to reach.
Madrid, like most of Europe’s big capital cities, offers plenty of excitement and culture, but these thrills tend to come with a sizeable price tag. So why not head out of the big city? If you live in Cuenca, Spain (the provincial capital) you can enjoy affordable, convenient small-town living…yet you’re as little as 55 minutes from central Madrid and its big-city action.
When I moved to Mexico, one piece of emotional baggage I left behind in the U.S. was worry over the cost of healthcare. In Mexico, I have access to two affordable healthcare systems: public and private. In Mexico’s private healthcare system, costs—pretty much across the board—run 25% to 50% of U.S. costs for comparable services.
Like most people, I don’t really think of Mexico as a wine-producing country. The best-known wine region—really the only one that gets much press—is in Baja California near Ensenada, just an hour south of the U.S./Mexico border.