Enjoy a Comfortable Quality of Life in Europe

It’s in crisis…overpriced…too cold. When considering overseas destinations, people often dismiss those in Europe. They like the idea of the “Old World,” I think, but just assume it’s unrealistic, a pipe dream. That’s too bad.

Because despite the economic news you hear, you’ll find in Europe today many places that are incredibly livable…where the lifestyle is active, the food is fresh, there’s an abundance of activities, you can travel easily, the weather is great…and everyday life is affordable.

Over the last year, we’ve recommended good-value spots in France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. In the new, current issue of International Living magazine, we bring you stories from expats enjoying “the good life” in Paris, Cascais (on Portugal’s coast), and Munich. And one from a reader retired in Lisbon, Portugal.

Though their experiences are distinct, they all say they’re living healthier lifestyles having traded in their cars for walking shoes and bikes. Not only that, but—despite what you might expect—they’re spending less than they did back home.

In other words, they’ve “traded up” across the pond. Even in Europe’s biggest cities, the comfortable quality of life may surprise you. Take Berlin, Germany, where IL‘s European editor Steenie Harvey reports that the city has shaken off its post-reunification doldrums. “From art to music and new tech start-ups, everything is cutting-edge, creative, and running at full throttle… If you were ever drawn to bohemian culture, today’s Berlin may well fit your urban European dream.” And you can still find apartments for under $70,000 in some areas and a hearty two-course lunch for less than $10.

I realize the news media predicts calamitous fallout from the euro-zone crisis. I don’t disagree that it’s a mess. But you can be certain: Some folks are going to benefit from this situation. And you could be one of them. We’re watching Ireland right now, where property auctions are beginning to bring real bargains to the block. Soon the time may be right to turn a crisis investment into a lifestyle upgrade. We’ll keep you posted.

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