Living on an island conjures up images of white sandy beaches, sparkling blue water and no rush hour traffic.
We all dream of one day retiring to a tropical paradise, buying a second home in a quaint beach town where it’s summer all year round, or relocating our lives to an island in the sun. But it can be more than just a dream…your tropical island or beach life can be a reality.
There are tropical destinations around the world where you can be by the beach, enjoy perfect weather, sip cocktails while swinging in your hammock, and generally lead a laid-back and stress-free lifestyle.
Below, we’ve detailed three great islands to live, where English is widely spoken.
The Islands of Belize Have A Laid-back Lifestyle
Belize is the only country in Central America with English as its main language, and that goes for its islands, too.
The island of Caye Caulker is only a 25-minute water taxi ride from the bustling, neighboring island of better-known Ambergris Caye.
Skimming across the blue waves you can see the Caribbean island’s white-sand shores, fringed with palms coming into view. On Caye Caulker you are away from it all. At 5 miles long and 1.2 miles wide it has less than 2,000 residents.
The developed southern half is separated from the northern jungle half by a popular swimming spot called the Split. Here, life is all about the water. You can swim and snorkel right off the beach and the barrier reef is only a mile away.
Many residents have boats in their backyards or moored on the lagoon. Tour-guide operators also offer diving trips to the barrier reef or the Blue Hole, or snorkeling in Hol Chan.
It has three sand-packed streets called Front Street, Middle Street and Back Street. Main modes of transport are bicycle and on foot (preferably barefoot).
The kick-back and low-key pace of life is what draws people to this island. A simple lifestyle, stunning views and affordable real estate, are all waiting for you on English-speaking Caye Caulker.
English Speaking Malta Has Lots to Offer
A cityscape of cream-colored buildings and a marina bursting with masts will greet you in Malta. It has the Mediterranean Sea, a warm climate and two official languages: Maltese and English.
Warm summers and mild winters attract visitors and foreign residents to its shores…but it has so much more to offer.
For travelers with a love of culture, history and excellent weather, this island is full of charm and identity. For a prospective resident, Malta offers a tranquil way of life, year-round Mediterranean sunshine and the opportunity to benefit from a considerable reduction in your tax.
Malta also offers the benefit of not having to learn another language. Everybody speaks English on the island due to its numerous rulers over the years. Thanks to its long history of cultural exchange, Malta features a mix of traditions in its food, art, literature, music and architecture, so there is something for everyone.
Made up of five islands, Malta and Gozo are the only two with substantial populations. Warm and welcoming, the Maltese are clearly proud of their country and have a regard for traditional Mediterranean values, food, family and relationships.
The capital city of Valletta offers concerts, films, open-air exhibitions, fine dining and more. Built by the Knights in the late 16th century, it has mostly a baroque and neo-classical style with its buildings of creamy limestone.
It is impossible to get lost in Valletta and you can walk from end to end in about 20 minutes. If an active nightlife is what you are looking for, St. Julians and Paceville, about half an hour away, is the prime location for nightclubs, bars, students and tourists.
Inland is beautifully preserved city of Mdina. “The Silent City” is complete with soaring facades, romantic windowed balconies and narrow cobblestone lanes.
Penang: A Large and Active Expat Community
Penang is an island off the west coast of mainland Malaysia. As it’s a former British colony, most people are English-speaking.
The cost of living is low, the locals are friendly and it is the country’s number one tourist destination, filled with bars, restaurants and historic mansions.
It’s a small island with a tropical year-round climate. There are breathtaking jungle trails leading up to Penang Hill, where wildlife such as butterflies and monkeys are common.
White sandy beaches are plentiful and with 18 official public holidays, there are copious amounts of cultural events taking place throughout the year.
Penang has many modern amenities such as shopping malls and movie theaters. There is also a large and active expat community.
The island is famous for its medical tourism. The cost of visiting a hospital and having a minor procedure in Penang is one tenth of what you would pay in the U.S. Penang is a medical center of excellence and a trip to the doctor can cost as little as $15.
Its capital, George Town, is a walkable, vibrant city, with cool cafés and great street food. It is also a UNESCO-listed historic site–the city has numerous temples, museums and art galleries.
People have a good quality of life in Malaysia and the government is committed to I.T., a stable exchange rate and great infrastructure. Life is easy in Penang.
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