Do you want to retire in one of those places that looks like a postcard? I know you've seen those picture perfect cards with the turquoise waters, white sands, and a single palm tree stretching towards the bluest sky. Those places do exist, even without the aid of Photoshop. Not only are they real, but there are many countries in Asia where you can find those beaches. I spent three weeks exploring some of the best beaches in Thailand and found three beach areas where you could send home those kinds of postcards, but with pictures you’ve taken yourself.
As a retired expat and current resident of Mexico, I frequently get asked if Mexico is a safe place to live? Media outlets in the States are fond of highlighting occurrences of cartel-related violence near the U.S. border, leading many to conclude that all of Mexico is a scary, unsafe place. Further, the U.S. Department of State does a great job of issuing real-time warnings to travelers regarding upticks in violence in various Mexican locations.
With 17 miles of continuous golden-sand beaches, a low key, laidback Caribbean lifestyle, a small population, and plenty of top notch restaurants and funky beach bars, it’s not surprising that expats are pulling up stakes to move to Belize’s Placencia peninsula… In February of 2014 Laura and Dave Diffendal left Cleveland, Ohio, for Placencia Village...
I wake to the sound of the rooster crowing outside my window, the Vietnamese city of Bien Hoa already buzzing with activity. My stomach rumbles, and I decide it's time for breakfast; conveniently enough, my favorite spot in the city is directly below my balcony. The cafe is small, family owned, and serves my favorite breakfast in the city—a papparoti (coffee bun). The buttery sweetness of the pastry accompanies my usual order of strawberry-tinged green tea, the flavor made all the more pronounced by the fresh morning air.
Southeast Asia is a prime destination for foreigners from all over the world. From pristine beaches to towering mountains, ancient temples to super-modern cities, there is something for everybody here. It’s possible to live quite comfortably in Southeast Asia for a fraction of what it costs to live a comparable lifestyle in the U.S.. Housing, groceries, utilities, dining out, transportation, and dental care are just a few of the major bargains. Costs aren’t less because the quality is less either. Your money goes a lot farther than you would expect.
If it’s Spanish Colonial charm you’re after, you can’t do much better than Granada, Nicaragua. The place is steeped in it. It’s only natural… Granada was the first European city on mainland America, and historians have the official records of the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile to prove it. Thanks to its location on Lake Nicaragua and its access to the Atlantic via the San Juan River, it was essentially a Caribbean port for the Spanish, and much of the gold, silver, and other wealth the Spanish sent back to Spain during the conquest was sent from Granada.
Panama City is a modern metropolis with a skyline to rival that of Miami. The Panama Bay is the blue backdrop for towers that sparkle at night. They house ocean-view apartments and sleek executive offices filled with an international set. A jaunt along the Cinta Costera will show you the best the city has to offer. This network of roads, walkways, bicycle paths, and green areas is sandwiched between the bay and the artery known also as Balboa Avenue.
Rome is undeniably alluring with its historical monuments, jaw-dropping artwork, trendy restaurants, and cultural events. But living in the city is expensive and sometimes just not desirable for those who prefer the rhythm of small town life. Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds. There are some beautiful towns where you can enjoy a laidback lifestyle while still being able to reach the center of Italy's capital city Rome in just an hour.
I love bustling cities but also enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature. It is rare to find a place that has both these things within a short driving distance but found it I have. Penang, Malaysia has it all. Here I can enjoy the vibrancy of Georgetown, experience the true melting-pot culture that Malaysia is famous for, while in less than an hour I can be sitting with a book on a serene white-sand beach on the west coast of the island.
Cuenca, Ecuador. It wasn't that long ago that almost no one had ever heard of this colonial city nested in the Andes mountain range. Today Cuenca is one of the hottest expat destinations on the planet. It is amazing this hidden gem stayed under the radar for so long. A UNESCO World Heritage city with over a half million residents, Cuenca boasts beautifully preserved architecture and cobblestone streets along with a low cost of living, temperate climate, excellent medical facilities, and a kaleidoscope of cultural activities.