Ask anybody who has visited Chiang Mai and most will agree that it’s a laidback kind of place. People take the time to stop and smile and to ask how you are. Life here can be so relaxed that every day feels like a Sunday.
Deep blue water stretching into the distance. Rocky coastlines where mountains push up against the sea. Terracotta rooftops cascading down bright green hills. Islands silhouetted by fiery sunsets. And fortresses dotted across the landscape, towering above the valleys on a hilltop or settled against the sea with holes in their walls for cannon fire.
Near the center of the island, nestled in between lush green rice paddies and forests filled with mischievous monkeys, Ubud is often referred to as the heart of Bali.
Right in the heart of the Philippines archipelago, on the Southwest corner of the island of Negros Oriental, lies Dumaguete. The name means to “snatch” and legend has it that pirates used to come to the island to abscond with not just the treasures of the land but all the beautiful unwed ladies living there.
What is life like in Medellín? Well, if you’ve been reading about “the City of Eternal Spring,” then you probably already know about its perfect weather and high-quality, affordable healthcare.
I have yet to decide where to move to yet so I am open to anywhere that you might recommend. My problem is my husband is still very reluctant to the idea and I am trying to show him the positives/pro’s of moving overseas for our retirement years.
“Rent before you buy.” I’ve been interviewing expats in Panama since I began writing for International Living in 2006, and this may well be the phrase I hear (and repeat) the most. It’s good advice when moving to a new community…whether it’s across the country or across the world.
“You’re out of your mind!” This was one of the milder things people said when I announced that after 30 years of living in the paradise of Maui, Hawaii, I was moving to South America. And at 80 years of age. Alone. Without speaking a word of Spanish.
I’m in an SUV in La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The sun is hot and we’ve rolled down the windows as we drive through town. We go at a leisurely pace, stopping at street corners to obey the four-way stop signs; La Paz is too low-key to need many stop lights.
Internet research and guide books are useful for learning about new locales. But nothing compares to the experience of spending time in them. Sights like terracotta roofs topping white-washed cottages, aromas of fragrant wildflowers or your neighbor’s grilled chicken on an outdoor barbeque (churrasqueira), and the sounds of crashing ocean surf or the lilting trill of your local bird population are all characteristics of Portugal that you could never experience from reading a book.