Imagine living in Europe, Africa, or Australia and earning a living while traveling around and discovering the continent. Sounds too good to be true? Well this is exactly what I have been doing for about six years now. I started off in Africa because I had always wanted to go on a safari but could never afford it.
Veronique McKenzie didn’t exactly choose to make her home in Belize...more like, Belize chose her. In her former life, Veronique was working in sales, marketing, and advertising, splitting her time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Her job gave her the opportunity for plenty of travel...but as the years progressed, she knew she needed to make a change. She considered moving to Marseilles in France where she is originally from...but before she did that, she decided to take a vacation.
One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I've just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.
"Wait, what? Don't move to Argentina, you can't speak any Spanish!" Everyone reacted the same way when I announced I was moving. My Spanish education consisted of one class I took for a few months when I was 11 years old.
My wife, Suzan Haskins, and I were married in Costa Rica 14 years ago and have been back for business and pleasure almost every year since. We also lived in Panama in 2006 and, like Costa Rica, have returned nearly every year for International Living events, editorial trips, and vacations. So it is inevitable that...
I stood in the window of my apartment in Lucca, Italy, concentrating on painting the scene below. The narrow street was filled with the usual locals who were doing their daily marketing and stopping briefly in a centuries-old church to light a candle. As I tried to capture this slice of life on canvas, I looked out to see a pair of tourists aiming their camera at me—the artist in the window above. Once the shutter clicked, they smiled and waved and I waved back. But my own smile was followed by warm satisfaction that I was living a dream: spending several months in Italy so as to really experience the culture and become part of the fabric of local life.
A flourishing expat community has evolved over the years as adventurous spirits from all over the globe set their wandering feet to rest, seduced by the charm and easy living in Antigua, Guatemala.
As they conquered and colonized Latin America, the Spanish conquistadors—and later settlers—certainly left their mark. Using the old cities of Spain as a model, they built imposing cathedrals, well-tended public squares, large homes, and other structures. Throughout the region, from Mexico to Argentina, and everywhere in between, you can find these historic districts often covering dozens of city blocks, full of ornate buildings.
Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches, on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls… mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing IL readers to Costa Rica.
It's easy to see why, in Panama, the Pacific coast is generally more desirable. The region is accessible and it gets half the rainfall of the Caribbean coast. That's why the Pan-American Highway is where it is.