I'm starting to daydream again about living in Valencia. It's one of my favorite cities in Spain…and whenever I daydream about living in Spain, Valencia is the first place I dream of. And no wonder: There's a lot to like about Valencia. First, there's the location and climate. It sits right on Spain's eastern Mediterranean shore. That means urban beaches and a temperate climate that is spring-like much of the year. Next, it's a major city—Spain's third-largest—with all the big-city amenities I like, including an international airport, plenty of culture (it's especially famous for music), and great restaurants, bars, and cafes. Yet Valencia is reasonably small—about 800,000 in the central city, and around 1.6 million in the urban area—so it's manageable.
Cathy Pegolo loves cities with theaters, music, restaurants, and culture. And she has found all that and more in her new home of Bologna, Italy. Cathy’s Italian heritage inspired her to visit the “old country” and she and her husband, Paul, traveled widely in Italy before finally deciding to buy a place of their own there.
There are many places in Costa Rica’s Central Valley where you can experience what the country is all about, maybe too many. When my wife and I have friends visit, we often have a hard time deciding what to show them. That being said, we always save one day for what I call the dynamic-duo of the Central Valley—Poas Volcano and La Paz Water Gardens. These two iconic destinations are close enough to each other to visit in the same day and they provide a wonderful experience.
As attorneys in Detroit, my husband Kurt and I worked excessive hours. But we always had a plan to retire early to paradise. We traveled extensively around the world in search of that paradise and Costa Rica had what we were looking for.
With a low cost of living, picture-perfect white-sand beaches, friendly locals and fascinating culture, Southeast Asia are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, they still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas. Imagine never having to buy a new coat or pay for home heating ever again. Untouched by our idea of “winter”, each of the countries in Southeast Asia delivers warm, tropical weather and the chance for beach-side relaxation all year round. For many expats, it’s paradise found.
“How can two people who have lived their entire lives in Colorado, move so far away?” That was the reaction from family and friends when my husband, Wes, and I announced our decision to retire overseas. We felt it was a good time for us to have a new adventure. I’d been working for over 30 years as a library employee and Wes had been retired for over a year and was growing weary of the cold Colorado weather. We were in good health and we had worked hard and raised our family when our peers were out exploring (we married young).
I was hurtling down a mountain, on a narrow two-lane road, surrounded by jungle…while avoiding the deadly scratches of a terrified animal. How did I get here? Let’s go back to the beginning. I had traveled to Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast to check out the expat communities there.
Like many of a certain age easing their way into retirement, my husband John and I traveled to the Caribbean on vacation many times while also keeping our eyes peeled for something we could make into our own slice of paradise. You know what I'm talking about… Our own bit of sand, surf, and eternal sunshine. A place to vacation in the run-up to retirement and then in our golden years, turn into a tropical escape from those long nasty winters, like those that slam our home near Toronto, Canada.
This is Europe. That means walkable cities (leave the car behind), with culture and history all around you. Want to stay in a restored castle or live in a centuries-old (but renovated) apartment? You can. Like museums? Science, art and history museums are all over, and many have hours when there's no entry charge.
When you think of Salinas, on the southwestern Pacific Coast of Ecuador, you picture big crowds and lots of water activity under a hot summer sun. But this is not the only side of Salinas. It is one of the most popular beach destinations for Ecuadorians and an increasing number of North American “snow birds”, but us year-round residents get to experience something wonderful—Low Season!