Portugal is home to some of my favorite things: Delicious pastries, delectable wine, and buckets of history and intrigue. It also offers incredibly picturesque towns...
Let’s face it…the good old days of sitting in your local travel agency while your agent searched for the best deals available are all but gone. Today, travelers are left to their own devices.
Few inventions have changed the way people live and experience the world as the invention of the airplane. Did you know that the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service took place between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, on January 1st, 1914?
As the managing editor of International Living's Daily Postcards, I hear from our editors and correspondents on the ground in the world’s top retirement havens on a daily basis about what makes these countries perfect…their affordability, the great weather, good-value real estate…the friendly people.
International Living editors and correspondents are constantly on the road seeking out the best-value retirement havens. All that travel means they’re pretty savvy when it comes to getting the best deals and saving money while on the road.
“I’m going to write a book about living in Arenal,” Christine Baskin told me. “And I’m going to call it 50 Shades of Green. I mean, just look at all those colors,” she exclaimed as we drove around the huge Lake Arenal.
Cosmopolitan cities, glorious sunshine, delicious cuisine, and low costs—as a retirement or second-home destination, Spain is hard to beat. The southern province of Andalucia, particularly the area around the Costa del Sol, is the epitome of good-value, romantic Spanish living. It has everything: long sandy beaches perfect for strolling on…romantic, white-washed hill towns cling to the Andalusian hillsides...
“When you get here, I’ll pick you up from your hotel and show you my favorite parts of the city”…this was a message I got from IL Panama Editor Jessica Ramesch when I told her I’d be visiting Panama City last week. I’m off the plane having spent 10 days exploring all that Panama has to offer. And it offers so much…the cost of living is affordable; I know couples who are enjoying life on $1,600 a month. Good-value real estate abounds…you can pick up a three-bedroom house, with a swimming pool, in a Pacific coast beach town less than an hour from Panama City, for $150,000. And then there’s the stunning beaches, picturesque mountain towns, and the best retiree benefits program in the world…all reasons why we picked Panama as the world’s number one retirement destination for 2016. And the reason I came here.
Towering sand dunes, an expansive, golden-sand beach that goes on for miles, kite-surfers battling the strong, but warm, Atlantic wind…although Spain’s tourist hub of Marbella is just 63 miles to the east, here at Punta Paloma it feels a world away. It’s a sunny Saturday in early September as I stroll along this beautiful beach, looking for a spot to lay down my beach towel. But I’m not pushing my way through thronging crowds of sun worshippers to claim my little piece of sand.
It’s no secret that Spain’s property market has been at rock-bottom the last few years, but it’s slowly starting to pick up here in Mijas. Buyers, mostly from Western Europe, are making their way back to southern Spain. They are buying with a view to retiring to the area. (Mijas already has a very international community…I met an Irish woman who runs a chocolate shop and a relocation consultant who’s originally from England.) That’s good news if you like the idea of living here. There’s a good choice of rentals at affordable prices. And, despite the return of the European snowbirds, there are still plenty of great-value properties for sale.