"I really like the people of Belize," says Ginny Ophof, who started visiting Belize after her mother moved to the Cayo District in 1977. "They have innate wisdom and empathy. They are tolerant and calm. Americans are better educated. But there's a lot they can learn from Belizeans." In 2007, Ginny moved to the Cayo, determined to spend quality time with her aging mom, who had just turned 85.
For years, I dreamed about moving overseas to a tropical climate. I was drawn to the Caribbean beaches of Mexico, Panama, and Brazil...but every time I read an article about Belize, something inside me lit up. It reminded me of my childhood in south Florida. I imagined myself swinging idly in a hammock and taking long walks along the shore.
David Diffendal is one of the many expats who came to the tropical peninsula of Placencia, Belize as a vacationer...but quickly recognized the business opportunities and quality of life on offer here...and stayed. "When I visited Placencia in 2014, I saw that there was a wealth of upscale restaurants, activities, and excursions in the village," says David.
There's nothing quite like dining outside on the streets of Madrid, enjoying the sweet-smelling, spring breeze. If its Indian food you crave, take your friends to Lavapies—a trendy, multicultural neighborhood in the heart of the city and the best place in town to get a good Indian.
This morning, I awoke to the spotless Altea seaside, refreshed by an early spring shower. These March mornings are cool, and showers are frequent at this time of year, but the afternoons are sunny and warm enough to peel off the jacket. I took my two dogs for our morning ritual, walking down to the craggy beach just a couple-of-minutes from my home.
At the end of each week, my wife and I take an evening's walk to the top of the town. From our perch overlooking the winding streets below, we watch as the sun sets over the mountains and reflect on how different our life has become.
"This is the place to be if you're going to be in the dive shop business," says Lara Alasia, co-owner of Divers UnderGround in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. "It's a well-known and uber-popular dive destination.
I'll let you in on a little secret. You have an in-demand skill at your fingertips that you may not even know about...and there are folks out there willing to pay you handsomely for it.
Most days out of the month, his daily routine is up to him. As the publisher of The Swell Dealer, a newspaper for tourists and expats, he sets his own schedule. He keeps an eye on business but it doesn't take up much of his time.
Life is easy in Madrid. Each day begins at the local coffee shop for a steaming cup of espresso with a dash of milk. The owner knows just how much milk to add, and always does so with a smile. My coffee costs just $1.30—a small price to pay for starting my morning off right.