Toucans and macaws glide around the lush jungle canopy and scores of monkeys parade through the overhanging branches. Neon-green and electric-blue butterflies of preposterous sizes flit across gurgling streams, while waterfalls drop into deep pools. Welcome to one of my favorites among Ecuador’s secret spots…a place hidden in the east of the country, where indigenous shamans still perform timeless rituals and a small number of adventurous expats have found new lives surrounded by nature.
If you are thinking about taking a trip to Southeast Asia, and if you aren’t you should be, then here are the 10 most beautiful natural attractions that you can add to your Southeast Asian bucket list. The only people that seem to know about this stunningly picturesque island are Malaysians, and they’d like to keep it that way. Unfortunately I’ve been and I think it’s about time that we lifted the veil and told you about it.
If you’re someone who is looking for the conveniences of a good-sized city close to the beach and the mountains, I may have found the sweet spot for you. Especially if you are a trailblazer—someone who would enjoy the experience of immersing yourself in a new language and culture.
At first glance, you might assume the bustling European capital city of Madrid is just like Paris, London, or Rome, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s even better. The underlying authentic Spanish charm Madrid effuses from all angles sets this affordable city, which many locals refer to as “El Gran Pueblo” (the large village), apart.
Costa Rica is one of the most popular and well-known vacation, second-home, and retirement destinations for North Americans. Though a small country, Costa Rica’s regions offer a wide variety of climate, lifestyle, and landscape. And renting in Costa Rica is a great way to experience day-to-day life while looking for your own place under the tropical sun. Much of Costa Rica’s lush tropical forests and sun-splashed shoreline has been designated as national parkland or reserve. Costa Rica is rapidly approaching carbon-neutral status in energy production and emissions, and its health care system is one of the most affordable and highly rated in the world.
Happily, the best of the “old” Málaga remains, as well. The sun still shines, there are miles of seaside, winter temperatures are balmy (days average 63 F in January), and sea breezes still blow off the Mediterranean, cooling the hot summer days. And Málaga is still cheerful and vibrant, oozing its trademark Andalusian charm. Best of all, it remains a very Spanish city, even in the prime tourist areas. So if you enjoy big-city life with laidback charm and a side of seashore, give Málaga a whirl. You can even get by in English.
Before settling in David in western Panama in 2009, I lived aboard my sailboat, Carina, for 16 years. My husband and I sailed the western Caribbean and we still have many friends among the cruising community. Although Panama has miles of coastline, it has few marine facilities for small boats. If you’re looking for a safe harbor to dock your boat in Panama, here are the stand-out marinas to visit.
Bathed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, Belize is in Central America, south of Mexico, and east of Guatemala. Although it is a small country, about the size of New Jersey, there is a wealth of “must see” natural resources and wonders...
One of the things my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I have come to value over the years that we’ve lived abroad are well-organized expat communities. We do know some expats who were determined to be pioneers and boldly go where no North Americans had gone before. But for us…and most other expats we know…there are undeniable advantages to having people around you in your chosen expat destination who have already blazed a trail, made the most common mistakes, and learned the ropes.
Cambodia’s second largest city is a lot smaller than the capital city of Phnom Penh, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, one of the attractions of Battambang is that it’s not a sprawling metropolis and so provides travelers with a very different Cambodian experience. Battambang feels more like a chilled-out town with an air of colonial charm and this makes it a much more relaxed place to visit...