There's something endearing about Cotacachi, but what that something is, is far from definitive. My husband, Kim, and I each have our own reasons for loving this little mountain town we've called home for almost two years. Kim feels the people of Cotacachi make it special. He enjoys leisurely, morning walks into town and loves to stop along the way and chat with shopkeepers. It's not unusual to find him seated on a park bench chatting with locals. Invariably, men come up to him to shake his hand and elderly ladies often stop to give him a hug. I'm always surprised by how many people know him.
“In March 2003 I came on a relocation-type tour of Panama,” says Penny Barrett of her decision to move to the Panama highland town of Boquete. “It was our last stop and I fell in love with it...compared to Michigan winters, it’s like heaven.” Renowned for its year-round, cool, spring-like weather, Boquete sits in a mountain valley surrounded by verdant jungle. It’s an outdoor-lovers paradise, home to hiking, rafting, and exotic birds and butterflies.
“It reminds me of the small town I grew up in. The people are friendly and pleasant,” says Mel Rosiechuk, 70, of his new home in Costa Rica. Like many northerners, Mel, who came to Costa Rica in 2008 from his native Edmonton, Canada, was motivated to move here because of the weather…and soon discovered other benefits as well.
A growing number of expats are relocating to the Corozal District of Belize, on the Bay of Corozal. It’s high on their list due to the affordable cost of living and the welcoming expat community. Only one other Belizean coastal town is as affordable as Corozal. That’s Punta Gorda, at the extreme southern end of Belize. But Corozal offers significantly more amenities and convenience, as well as easy access to Mexico.
Mexico’s Riviera Maya is the Grand Prize Winner for most popular vacation destination on the Caribbean. The same motivations that cause more than five million vacationers from across the globe to flock to this area annually, are also attracting a growing expat population eager to turn their best beach vacation into a full-time retirement lifestyle.
As the sun gently rises in the gaps between the peaks the birds welcome the day. You hear them through the open windows, singing and chirping, like nature’s most melodious alarm clock. Looking out you see lush green plants all around, with a spot of bright pink, purple or yellow here and there. A faint mist lingers in the valleys at the base of the hills and mountains that reach up to the bluest sky. Waking up like this each day in the highlands of Panama is a delight for many retirees who are living their dream.
Let’s face it…all of the correspondents from International Living live in Paradise. We all experience a better lifestyle for less money in a warm climate, no matter which country we’ve chosen. And we’re happy to tell you about it. Yes, each country is different, but the basics are the same and each place has all the elements for a fantastic life. We’ve found a better life abroad – and that’s the truth.
For many, the American Dream of owning your own home is fast becoming more of a fantasy than a dream. But more and more North Americans are finding their dreams coming true in the quiet town of Ballenita on the southwest coast of Ecuador.
Although less in the public eye than its swanky neighbor, Provence, the Languedoc has just as much to crow about. Nestled between the Pyrenees and Cevennes mountain ranges and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, the Languedoc is a wonder to behold. The region offers some of the most diverse and intense landscapes you’ll see in France, ranging from violet-blue lavender fields to dramatic rocky gorges and waterfalls, to flat marshlands dotted with pink flamingoes.
It’s been three-and-a-half years since my wife, Rita, and I moved to Cuenca, Ecuador…and in those years we’ve experienced things that would have taken a lifetime to accomplish living back in the U.S. In early 2012, we decided to retire early. Our life in New Mexico was similar to most: hectic, stressful, and costly, with little time for the things we wished we could do. After many discussions about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to do them, we signed up to International Living and began researching.