Opening the front door of your very own hotel, you step out onto an unspoiled, black-sand beach and dig your toes into the sand. You're looking forward to your morning walk along the beach, enjoying the warm sunshine and listening to the gentle hush of the rolling surf.
In the cool-weather, mountain city of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, stress is a word I no longer use. When I first arrived, in 2011, I instantly liked the town. Nestled high in the mountains, temperatures fluctuate between 60 F to 87 F year-round, but there's always a gentle breeze that keeps you cool.
"Coming to Cancun was like stepping into a postcard," she Kristin Busse. "I love taking my son to any of Cancun's many perfect beaches." Combining the glitz and glamour of modern resorts with a strong, ancient Maya influence, Cancun is the perfect blend of traditional Mexico and First World infrastructure.
Randy and Swelaine Bartley moved to Johor Bahru in 2013, with an eye to opening a business. The couple had never been to Malaysia before, but they heard through the grapevine that there were opportunities for expat business there.
A few years ago, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I was enjoying a beer at a local bar while I watched the football game. I was living in Costa Rica at the time—in the Pacific beach town of Tamarindo.
"While I loved the U.S., I find day-to-day life here is less complicated," says Barbara Rabkin, who teaches art from her home in Boquete. "Boquete is a small town. I can live more simply here. I spend much less time in a car, and most things I need are within a few miles' radius."
"My wife Lylia did not want to come to Panama and not have a view of the water...that was the whole point," says Washington, D.C. native Nick Polit. "So we chose a building on the bay with a pool and exercise rooms."
I've been a real estate investor for a little over 15 years now. So I've seen firsthand how the internet has made the vacation rental business more hands-off and profitable than it's ever been...if you know what you're doing.
I fell in love with the South Pacific island of Fiji way back in 1999. The year-round warm tropical climate...sparkling blue waters teeming with brightly colored fish...the laidback locals and chilled out vibe of island life... It was paradise.
Some days, I still feel like pinching myself. I never thought a middle-class gal like me would end up owning a vacation home in Fiji. I'm here right now, lounging on the hanging bed that looks out over the sparkling South Pacific.