One of the truly great things I've discovered about living in Malaysia is that it's the perfect jumping off point for exploring some of the region's most stylish destinations. Whether you're in the mood for a mini-break in a bustling city like Bangkok or a beach retreat in Bali, you can get there quickly, cheaply, and in style.
The five-island archipelago that makes up the nation of Malta offers a mix of historic Europe and modern international culture. Just south of Sicily and about 300 miles off the coast of Tunisia, these Mediterranean islands give visitors the very best in sunshine and cyan-hued waters. Expats in Malta enjoy a relaxed, low cost lifestyle, which is made even easier by the fact that most natives speak fluent English. They entertain themselves by attending the many festi (feasts) hosted on the islands, exploring the natural beauty of their home, or going out for a meal in one of the many diverse restaurants available to them.
Growing up in Oregon, I spent the summers at our beach house on the ocean. For most of my life, I’ve lived inland, away from any coastline. So every vacation, my first preference was to go somewhere with an ocean. When I decided to move out of the U.S., top of my list was sun and sand. I found that and more in my new hometown of David, Panama. Although not directly on the coast, David is close enough that when I start craving sand between my toes, a short drive takes me to the beach and the wonderful salt air.
Corozal sits on the expansive Bay of Corozal. This traditional Belizean family town is a throwback to the 1950s, with residents that are friendly and a pace that’s laidback. A growing number of expats are choosing to relocate to this region, appreciating the simple, serene, and relaxed Caribbean lifestyle. A major attraction is the reasonable cost of living...
Here at International Living we’re very much a global family. One that’s spread out around the world…across four continents, actually. Our correspondents and editors—who are always on the move, scouting out new locations and revisiting old favorites—are our eyes and ears in the world’s best retirement havens. And like any good family, we’re in constant contact with each other.
It's another hot day in Battambang, Cambodia and what better spot to linger than at a downtown sidewalk bistro with a platter of cheese and a chilled glass of French wine... Cambodia's second largest city moves at a slow and lazy pace. Maybe it's the heat, but I get the sense that Battambang is like this every day of the year. People stroll down the sidewalk, taking time to stop and chat along the way. No one is in a hurry.
My husband and I traveled with a 90-pound chocolate lab when we first moved abroad 15 years ago. We like to say that our dog, Jack, had more stamps in his passport than most of our friends. He traveled to Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, and again to Mexico with us over the course of his life, with trips back to the States in between. And while pets don’t really have actual passports, they’ll have scads of documents. Honestly, we’d be all for it if there were such a thing as a pet passport that allowed pets to travel as easily as people do.
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.
There are plenty of valid reasons to rent a home before you buy when you relocate overseas. For those who choose to live in Panama’s Western-most province, Chiriquí, one major reason is to check out the weather in various locations to find what suits you best. Despite being a small country in the middle of the tropics, you’ll find Panama has a variety of climate zones and even within the province there are variations in temperature, rainfall, wind, and cloud cover.
If you don’t have thousands of dollars to pour into a Galapagos cruise, consider Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), affectionately termed the Poor Man’s Galapagos. The island supposedly derives its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake, but my husband, Mark, and I haven’t found it—yet. Isla de la Plata is about 25 miles—an hour’s boat ride—from Puerto Lopez in the Machalilla National Park and contains some of the same flora and fauna found on the Galapagos…except the price tag is far less. In fact, the total cost for the day’s “cruise” is only $25 to $35 per person.