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�islands�

∏o on

20∏ bes
compiled by the editors

If

you find that when you travel you often think of never returning home, welcome to the islands club. This thought crosses our minds in nearly every destination we explore. What we realized when we researched this list is that plenty of people follow this dream; maybe you will, too. if you do, send us an e-mail (editor@islands. com) to let us know where you’ve gone. We might want to call on you for next year’s list. A word About our rAnkings The islands that follow do not appear in any particular order. We chose 20 nearly equally-weighted islands based on certain factors. The highest flip-flop rating awarded is a 5. We deducted points for rainy or cold days and fierce tropical weather. The expat numbers are taken from the latest available census statistics. On some islands such data is not tracked, and so we estimated using feedback from on-island contacts and tourism officials.

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F r o M t o P : r o b WA l l S ; C o u r t E S y P E n A n G - P r o P E r t y. C o M ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P l E F t: i M AG E S tAt E / J u P i t E r i M AG E S ; r i S E r / G E t t y i M AG E S ; C r E AtAS / AG E F o t o S t o C K ; i n M AG i n E / AG E F o t o S t o C K

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: (a light monsoon season) expats to locals: 2:100 Houses available from $74,000 Population of main town, george town: 600,000 languages spoken: Malay, English and various Chinese and indian dialects Percent who speak english: 75 get there from u.s. via Kuala lumpur, Malaysia. Penang is a 50-minute flight from Kuala lumpur. Closest hospital: George town Price of a tiger beer: from $1.50 ease of immigration: easy with special incentives in place 411: tourismpenang.gov.my
PenAng, MAlAysiA the vibe Penang is exotic and tidy, an island developed by the British as a trading post and now home to a blend of Chinese, indian and Malay cultures. From the golden sands of Batu Ferringhi on the north coast to steep limestone mountains crowned by Chinese temples, Penang is also geographically diverse. Much of colonial George Town is meticulously preserved. a causeway provides easy access to the Malay Peninsula (directly to the east) for those stricken with island fever. “Moving to Penang was the best decision i’ve made WhAt to buy so far in my 59 years of life,” says starting: Sunny three-bedroom British expat steve Woodhouse, a condos in Eden Seaview, a luxe deformer Un executive who retired velopment overlooking popular batu there three years ago. He was attracted to the ultra-modern infraFerringhi beach (Penang’s version of structure, world-class health care, cheap flights to other places in Waikiki beach); private balcony with asia, superb food and multicultural ambience. escape-to-paradise sea or mountain views; 15-minute factors dive into food to die for, especially from the street stalls; enwalk to restaurants and shops; from joy a nice string of holidays including Chinese new Year, Ramadan $74,000. penang-property.com and diwali; and hike to secluded beaches, such as Pantai Kerachut, Mid-range: twenty-nine floors where hawksbill turtles nest. A perfect afternoon soak up the sun above the sea, this four-bedroom, along the beaches of Batu Ferringhi. Browse the antique stores and 2,100-square-foot penthouse bookshops of George Town. Ride the funicular railway to the top of overlooks popular Miami beach; Penang Hill, then walk back down via Waterfall Road and through $203,000. penang-property.com the Botanic Gardens. After living there for a year, what’s your best dream house: Chic ultra-modern living discovery? “The Tropical spice Garden on the [north] coast road, in tanjung bunga; almost 5,000 square Jalan Teluk Bahang, is a marvelous maze of trails that wind through feet, including four bedrooms, a the jungle, and it has an enormous range of tropical plants,” Woodprivate elevator and a living room with house says. Parties worth going to The Penang international dragpicture windows and balcony (shown on Boat Festival in June draws rowers from around the world and below); $441,000. penang-property.com revelers from throughout Malaysia. try it before you buy it scope ease of buying a home: Malaysia out the island from the 19th-century Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, now is one of the most expat-friendly a hotel, on leith street in George Town. Rates from $80, including countries in Asia. the Malaysia My breakfast. cheongfatttzemansion.com — joe yogerst

�Penang�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on

Clockwise from top left: Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram (buddhist temple); Kek lok Si temple; a Penang beach scene; assam laksa. opposite top: Cheong Fatt tze Mansion has lovely architectural details.

Second home (MM2h) program provides incentives for foreigners who intend to settle permanently. Foreigners, however, are not allowed to own more than two properties.

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�Dominica�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: expats to locals: 1:300 Houses available from $147,000 Population of main town, roseau: 20,000 languages spoken: English with some Creole get there from u.s. via San Juan, Puerto rico. Dominica is an hour-and-45minute flight from San Juan. Closest hospital: roseau Price of a kubuli beer: from $1.10 ease of immigration: easy with the Economic Citizenship Program 411: dominica.dm

Clockwise from top left: victoria Falls; the old church in the fishing village of Soufrière; la robe Creole restaurant; a cricket match near rosalie; Freshwater lake. opposite top: red rocks at Pointe baptiste.

F r o M t o P : M i C h A E l M E l F o r D ; C o u r t E S y S A F E h Av E n o F F S h o r E . C o M ; o P P o S i t E : M i C h A E l M E l F o r D ( 5 )

doMiniCA the vibe an emerald isle tucked into the Windwards between Guadeloupe and Martinique, dominica is an oasis of national parks and forest reserves. its flavor is a little French, a little British and a little Creole, and it is less expensive than many other Caribbean landfalls. But the major attraction is pure, green living. Former st. louis, Missouri, nurse Jennifer Miller and her husband, Roger, came to dominica two years ago and are now building their own house in an ecologically responsible way. in dominica, you don’t need heat or air conditioning, and there is plenty WhAt to buy of water and locally grown produce, starting: Plop yourself in the middle Miller says. Plus the backdrop is gloof Dominica’s best resource: nature. rious. escape-to-paradise factors these eco-units are made from local With 365 rivers, you never have to visit the same one twice, at least wood with roofs designed to let you in your first year. it has an off-the-beaten-Caribbean-track feel, sesleep below moonlight. trails lead to cluded black-sand beaches backed by jungle-covered mountains and natural bathing pools; $250,000. safe the only community of Carib indians to have their own reserve, near havenoffshore.com the island’s remote northeastern shore. A perfect afternoon Hike the Mid-range: West-coast property with syndicate-Portsmouth trail on the northwest coast to an overlook twin cottages overlooking the Caribfrom which you can see the indigenous dominican parrots called sisbean; both are one-bedroom with an serous or snorkel with humpbacks, pigmy sperms and other whales that open-plan kitchen that leads to a seahang offshore. After living there for a year, what’s your best discovery? view balcony (shown below); $357,116 “The mineral baths in [the village of] Wotten Waven” in the Roseau for both. safehavenoffshore.com Valley near the island’s southwest coast, says Miller, “where you can dream house: Pont Cassé fourbathe in warm waters.” Parties worth going to Everyone shows up bedroom villa set on two acres of for Friday-night happy hour at the waterfront Fort Young Hotel in landscaped gardens in the forested Roseau and the World Creole Music Festival each fall, when many central highlands above roseau; islanders don traditional dress to partake in dance, song and folksy views of Morne trois Pitons national Jing Ping music. try it before you buy it scope out the island from the Park and easy access to hiking trails; Papillote Wilderness Retreat, five minutes from the capital, Roseau, $675,000. safehavenoffshore.com yet entrenched in a rainforest. Rates from $110. papillote.dm — jy

ease of buying a home: An alienlandholding license must be obtained from the government to purchase a home on one acre of land or more; the fee is 10 percent of the assessed property value. there is also an additional transfer fee of 10.5 percent of market value on all property.

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expats to locals: 5:100 Houses available from $175,000 Population of main town, east Harbour: 2,000 languages spoken: Spanish and English Percent who speak english: 75 get there from u.s. via roatán, honduras. utila is a 15-minute flight from roatán. Closest hospital: roatán Price of a salva Vida beer: from $0.75 ease of immigration: easy with capital investment 411: letsgohonduras.com
F r o M t o P : C At h E r i n E G E h M ; C o u r t E S y u t i l A r E A lt y. n E t; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P : r o b E r t b A r b u t t i ; M i G u E l A n G E l o / b i G S t o C K P h o t o ; r o b E r t b A r b u t t i

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient:

�Utila�
best isl a n ds to li v e on
utilA, bAy islAnds, HondurAs

the vibe What year is it? a quarter the size of better-known sister island Roatán, Utila is long and low-slung with wooded hills framed by white sands. it is a place that truly seems lost in time. its culture blends aspects of spanish, English and Garifuna in a tropical, affordable paradise two hours from Miami. “We made a trip to Utila three years ago and found an island that was truly ‘old’ Caribbean,” says dallas attorney Trey Branham, who is currently preparing land to build a home on the island. “My wife and i have been to a lot of places in the world, and few of them are as laid-back as Utila. add to that some of the best WhAt to buy diving in the Caribbean and still starting: A fixer upper: A 900-squarevery affordable prices, and you have an ideal place.” escape-to- foot, one-bedroom wood-framer on paradise factors “You can swim 20 yards off the end of our dock and a beach with access to a community dive a reef wall that is between 140 and 200 feet deep,” Branham dock on a third-acre lot; boat access says. live the life Jimmy Buffett croons about in “Margaritaville” only; $175,000. utilarealty.net on Utila. strum your guitar on your front-porch swing as you watch Mid-range: two-bedroom beach the sun set over the Caribbean. A perfect afternoon Underwater! bungalow with loft; more than 2,000 Utila lies at the southern end of the largest barrier reef system in the square feet with 105 feet of beach Western Hemisphere. landlubbers can linger at la Piccola-Kate’s frontage; boat access only (shown italian Restaurant in East Harbour and order its homemade pasta below); $250,000. utilarealty.net or sip gin-and-tonics in the tiny bar beneath the mamey zapote tree at dream house: Er, an entire island, that the Colibri Hill Resort in sandy Bay. After living there for a year, is. the nearly 1.5-acre Diamond Caye what’s your best discovery? “if you listen carefully,” says Branham, may need some infrastructure, but “you’ll hear this lovely English accent.” That’s because many of the there’s a starter kit in place: a palapa residents are descendants of the British citizens who came to Utila and cistern. it’s a 20-minute boat ride from the Cayman islands after the Brits abolished slavery. Par- from the southwest coast of utila; ties worth going to attend the island’s annual Carnival (July) and $650,000. utilarealty.net the sun Jam music festival on Water Cay (august); frequent the ease of buying a home: Due to murky over-water Tranquila bar at sunset. try it before you buy it scope land titling, it’s highly advisable to out the island from The Boat House, an over-the-water house in a hire a honduran lawyer to guide you neighborhood known as The Point. Rates from $135 per night with through the process. A number of u.S. companies now offer title ina four-night minimum stay. destinationutila.com/boathouse.html — jy surance for the bay islands. homes (or land) with boat-only access are generally much cheaper than comparable property with road access, says Gary howorka of utila realty.

Clockwise from top: Cabana at the laguna beach resort; a beach on utila’s southern coast; “downtown” utila. opposite top: A detail from utila’s main street.

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F r o M t o P : A n D r E A P i S t o l E S i ; C o u r t E S y P i C o E S tAt E S . C o. n r ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P : G r Ä F E n h A i n G Ü n t E r / F o t o t E C A 9 x 1 2 ; A n D r E A P i S t o l E S i / G E t t y i M AG E S ; C r o M AG n o n / A l A M y

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: (mid-Atlantic weather, mild but foggy) expats to locals: 1:100 Houses available from $92,000 Population of main town, Madalena: 6,136 languages spoken: Portuguese and English Percent who speak english: 30 get there from u.s. via boston to the main island of São Miguel. Pico is a one-hour flight from São Miguel. Closest hospital: Faial island, a 15-minute ferry ride Price of a sagres beer: from $1.35 ease of immigration: difficult 411: visitazores.org
PiCo, Azores, PortugAl the vibe Covered in farms and forest and having some of the purest air on the planet, Pico is one of the larger, lusher islands in the azores, a midatlantic Portuguese archipelago of nine islands. a whaling center in the 1800s, the island today is unspoiled and largely undiscovered. This is the place for those wanting to renovate a crumbling farmhouse in the countryside at an affordable price. Maybe you can make your own cheese or wine, as locals do. “Ten to 15 years ago,” says Graeme Brown of Pico Estates, “people here were still living off the land and pulling oxen around.” some still do. south afriWhAt to buy can artist Odette Gaud moved her starting: old, seafront fivefamily to Pico five years ago. “We bedroom stone house that needs were initially taken aback by the honesty and friendliness of the tlC. Excellent investment for those people,” she says. escape-to-paradise factors Whale watch with a seeking to restore a ruined farmlocal guide; grow grapes in a lava-stone corral and bottle your own house in the Portuguese countryVerdelho do Pico wine. A perfect afternoon Explore the Gruta das side; $92,000. picoestates.co.nr Torres lava tubes with a flashlight and helmet, then have lunch over Mid-range: two-bedroom cottage on Faial island, a gathering spot for yachties. After living there for renovated in traditional Azorean style a year, what’s your best discovery? “The homemade ice cream at My (dark stone walls, red-tile roof and sweet Pico in Madalena village,” Gaud says. Parties worth going white window frames) and located to semana dos Baleeiros (Week of the Whalers) in the south-coast far off the beaten path; property also village of lajes is a celebration of local dance, music and faith that contains ruins of a stone barn (shown started in 1986 but has origins dating back to 1882. Gaud also loves below); $160,000. picoestates.co.nr the small get-togethers in the town squares where everyone comes dream house: Modern, four-bedroom together to drink, eat, gossip and listen to the village orchestra. A-frame home in the country with try it before you buy it scope out the island from Pocinho Bay. sweeping views of the Atlantic and Close by is the beach and ancient UnEsCO-designated vineyards. São Jorge island; large living room, Rates from $169, including breakfast. pocinhobay.com — jy

�Pico�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on

Clockwise from top: lagoa do Capitao and the Ponta do Pico; Madalena homes on the coast; harbor and village of Madalena. opposite top: Some of Pico’s vineyards.

modern kitchen and a second-floor balcony; $611,000. picoestates.co.nr ease of buying a home: Since Portugal is a member of the European union, the Azores has few restrictions when it comes to buying homes or property, especially with cash sales. Mortgages, on the other hand, are more challenging.

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FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: expats to locals: 25:100 Houses available from $70,000 Population of main town, oranjestad: 12,381 languages spoken: Dutch, Papiamento, English and Spanish Percent who speak english: 64 get there from u.s. nonstop from major u.S. cities. (Clear u.S. Customs in Aruba when departing.) Closest hospital: oranjestad Price of a balashi beer: from $2.00 ease of immigration: moderate; lots of paperwork and patience are needed. 411: aruba.com
ArubA the vibe Just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the dutch isle of aruba is anchored at the southern end of the Caribbean, surrounded by sapphire sea and blessed by desert-like equatorial weather. One of the globe’s most cosmopolitan places, people of more than 79 different nationalities call aruba home. Casinos, nightclubs and beach hotels add a bit of glitz to a thoroughly unpretentious island with residents who relish their economic prosperity and cultural diversity. “aruba seemed to have the perfect mix of the image i had in my head of a better way to live,” says Chris smith, a native of WhAt to buy Maine who fled south in 1996. “The starting: three-bedroom ranch weather is perfect, and there is an house in Pos Chiquito, an area with opportunity to learn different lan- a secluded shoreline; ocean views guages.” Most people on the island are natural linguists and speak from the patio and a garden planted four different languages: Papiamento, dutch, English and spanish. with lime trees; minutes from snorescape-to-paradise factors Exotic south america is only a short keling; $87,500. absolutearuba.com plane ride away, and you never have to guess what the weather is Mid-range: this four-bedroom home’s going to be like; it’s nearly always 85 degrees and rarely rains. Wild master suite has a veranda with an parakeets fly through the air, and you really won’t believe how blue ocean view, spacious pool, built-in the water is. A perfect afternoon Putter around in your tropical barbecue and covered patio (shown garden or simply hang out at the shore. “Even after 10 years,” smith below); $543,000. coldwellbanker.aw says, “i still love every minute at the beach — the strong trade winds dream house: two-story, fully and the color and warmth of the sea.” After living there, what’s furnished tuscan villa with ocean your best discovery? secluded Grapefield Beach on the southeast views, state-of-the-art kitchen with shore is where smith has erected a beach house from driftwood all-new appliances and a kitchenette and other salvaged items. “i bought a real fir tree from Canada here on the second floor; swimming pool on the island and completely decorated it for Christmas one year.” and gazebo in the garden; $2.5 milParties worth going to dera Gai (st. John’s day) in June is the ar- lion. coldwellbanker.aw ubian equivalent of a harvest festival. “But Carnival is the absolute ease of buying a home: Cash buyers best,” says smith. “despite the intense heat and the aching muscles have a distinct advantage. “obtaining a loan here can be complicated (from dancing), every single minute of for a foreigner,” says tina Escobedo, Carnival season is worth it.” try it bean independent real estate consulfore you buy it scope out the island from tant on the island. “For starters, you the Bucuti Beach Resort, located in the have to have 40 to 50 percent down. low-rise hotel zone steps from the gorbut legally speaking, if you have the geous Eagle Beach. Rates from $210, inmoney, you can buy.” cluding breakfast. bucuti.com — jy

��Aruba�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on

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F r o M t o P : C o u r t E S y A r u b A t o u r i S M Au t h o r i t y; C o u r t E S y C o l D W E l l b A n K E r . AW; o P P o S i t E : C o u r t E S y A r u b A t o u r i S M Au t h o r i t y ( 3 )

Clockwise from top left: Picture-perfect; Dutch-influenced architecture; Palm beach. opposite top: divi divi tree.

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F r o M t o P : PAC o G Ó M E Z G A r C i A / AG E F o t o S t o C K ; C o u r t E S y F i r S t n At i o n A lvA n uAt u. C o M ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P : S E r G i o P i u M At t i ; n i C K r A i n S / S y lv i A C o r DA i y P h o t o l i b r A r y / A l A M y ( 3 )

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: (rains 100-plus days a year) expats to locals: 2.5:100 Houses available from $195,000 Population of main town, PortVila: 33,700 languages spoken: English, French, bislama and other local languages Percent who speak english: 80 get there from u.s. via Auckland, new Zealand, or Sydney, Australia. Éfaté is a three-to-four-hour flight from those oceanic gateways. Closest hospital: Port-vila Price of a tusker beer: from $3.00 ease of immigration: moderate with capital investment 411: vanuatutourism.com
ÉFAtÉ, VAnuAtu the vibe Vanuatu was recently ranked the “happiest nation on the planet” by the new Economic Foundation’s Happy Planet index. Vanuatu comprises 83 islands spread across the southwestern Pacific Ocean between new Caledonia and the solomon islands. One of the main islands, Éfaté, is a funky mix of European colonial relics, modern australian influence and vibrant local Melanesian culture with a thick rainforest in the center and coconut palms ringing the shore. “Vanuatu lifestyle is the best i’ve ever come across,” says Kiwi author and entrepreneur James Coyle, who moved to the island six years ago. it’s a south Pacific paradise at a reasonWhAt to buy able price and with a lack of commercialization. starting: three-bedroom whitePlus there’s good internet service, safe drinking wawashed bungalow with veranda near ter, friendly locals and a minimal tax environment. the university of the South Pacific; escape-to-paradise factors Within an hour’s flight sprawling lawn and fully-fenced of Éfaté are tribal villages, lava-spewing volcanoes tropical garden; $236,000. first and underwater World War ii relics, including the nationalvanuatu.com world’s largest divable wreck (ss President Coolidge). Mid-range: three-bedroom waterA perfect afternoon Hang at the Waterfront Bar & Grill in Portfront bungalow on the outskirts of Vila with expat american owners (and former yachties) don and Port-vila with access to a white-sand donna, then lounge beneath a pandanus palm on the appropriately beach; swimming pool, wooden deck named White sands Beach. Break for lunch at the open-air Tamaand wrap-around veranda; $372,000. nu, located just south of Port-Vila. After living there for a year, firstnationalvanuatu.com what’s your best discovery? “Benjor Restaurant in Mele Bay,” says dream house: Don’t stop the carnival. James Coyle — or to use its proper name, the Officer’s Club at Benthe 16-acre private-island resort of jor Beach Club — on the site of a World War ii american military Erakor, a short boat trip from Portofficers’ club. The deck-top cafe offers all sorts of nouvelle south vila, is for sale. you could run a Pacific delights like raviolis stuffed with crab and spring rolls with hotel or have the best home friends garlic prawns. Parties worth going to Have a sundowner at the Bali could ask for. there are 21 waterfront Hai Bar at the iririki island Resorts & spa on iririki island, a fivebungalows, a spa and one of the oldest minute ferry ride from Port-Vila; watch the nagol ceremony, a landopen-air churches in the South Pacific diving tradition (the earliest form of bungee jumping) held in april, for approximately $7 million (shown May and June on Pentecost island, a 50-minute flight from Éfaté. below). firstnationalvanuatu.com try it before you buy it scope out Éfaté from the Erakor island Reease of buying a home: residence or sort & spa, a short drive retirement permits should be obtained (and ferry ride) from before purchasing property or a house Port-Vila. Rates from in vanuatu. All homes and land are of$264, including breakfast. fered as leaseholds for 75 years. erakor.vu — jy

�Vanuatu�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on

Clockwise from top: Coastline near Portvila; Port-vila Market on Éfaté; Mele-Maat Cascades; Port havannah village on Éfaté’s north coast. opposite top: Detail at the Portvila Market.

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�St. Kitts�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on
st. kitts

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: expats to locals: 5:100 Houses available from $370,000 Population of main town, basseterre: 13,251 language spoken: English get here from u.s. via nonstop flights from major cities. Closest hospital: basseterre Price of a Carib beer: from $1.00 ease of immigration: easy with an economic citizenship program 411: stkittstourism.kn
F r o M t o P : n i K W h E E l E r ; C o u r t E S y S t K i t t S r E A lt y. C o M : o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P l E F t: P h o t o G r A P h E r ’ S C h o i C E / G E t t y i M AG E S ; M A r C i A C o l E l l i ; b o b K r i S t

the vibe st. Kitts is half of a pleasant little Caribbean nation called st. Kitts & nevis. shaped like a drumstick, st. Kitts is one of those increasingly rare isles that hasn’t been overrun by mega development and where, in certain residential areas, no building can be built higher than a coconut palm. slow-paced and thoroughly mellow, the island revels in both its natural treasures, like the rainforest around Mt. liamuiga, and historical relics such as the Brimstone Hill Fortress national Park (“Gibraltar of the West indies”). WhAt to buy “liming is a favorite pastime,” starting: three-bedroom canarysays american laura Getz, who yellow house with white and pink relocated her family to st. Kitts 15 trim and wood shutters; French years ago. “Just hanging out with doors open onto a patio shaded by friends and having a good time no matter where you are — the beach, bougainvillea; private path to the at home or out at a restaurant. it’s not unusual for locals to stop their beach; $370,000. stkittsrealty.com cars on the road and chat, holding up traffic. But there’s no road rage. Mid-range: Eighteenth-century, no one would even think of blowing a horn; you just wait and eventu- three-bedroom great house; main ally drive on.” escape-to-paradise factors Old sunken ships are yet building is one of the oldest sugarto be discovered offshore, and one of the Caribbean’s dreamiest views plantation homes on the island; looks out over st. Eustatius and saba from Brimstone Hill. A perfect panoramic views of St.-barths, St. afternoon Hang out at a beach bar at Frigate Bay and play a game of Martin and Mt. liamuiga; banana, dominoes or bridge. After living there for a year, what’s your best dis- avocado and lemon trees; $850,000. covery? “The sunset Beach Bar on south Friars Beach,” Getz says. she stkittsrealty.com spends her afternoons here lounging on a beach chair, having drinks dream house: Five-bedroom mansion and enjoying lobster and rice. “They also have monthly bonfires dur- with stunning views of the ocean; ing the full moon.” Parties worth going to almost every night you can great room with 25-foot-high ceilings party at the Turtle Beach Bar & Grill and Mr. X’s shiggidy shack bar; and oversized rafters (shown below); $2.65 million. stkittsrealty.com the local fishing tournaments ease of buying a home: An alienare a big deal; and J’ouvert on landholder license is necessary in december 26 (Boxing day) most cases, issued free of charge in is a large street festival during expat-heavy areas like Frigate bay the st. Kitts carnival season. and South East Peninsula, or at 10 try it before you buy it scope percent of assessed property value out the island from Timothy elsewhere. Expect a three-month Beach Resort on Frigate Bay; wait for it. local attorney fees will some rooms open directly onto amount to around two percent of the beach. Rates from $99. total purchase price. timothybeachresort.com — jy

Clockwise from top left: Past and present are everywhere; the western coastline; the Circus at basseterre, fashioned after london’s Piccadilly Circus. opposite top: view from ottley’s Plantation inn.

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�NewZealand�
best isl a n ds to l i v E on
F r o M t o P : F o t o S h o o t / A l A M y; C o u r t E S y t r E M A i n S . C o. n Z ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P l E F t: DAv i D WA l l ; G r E G P r o b S t; b r u C E M . J E n K i n S ; C h r i S M C l E n n A n / A l A M y

expats (temperatures dip below 70.) to locals: 17:100 Houses available from $150,000 Population of main towns, napier and Hastings: 53,600; 67,500 language spoken: English with some Maori get there from u.s. via Auckland, new Zealand. hawke’s bay is a one-hour flight from Auckland. Closest hospital: napier Price of a lion red beer: from $4.40 ease of immigration: easy due to the Skilled Migrant immigration Process 411: newzealand.com

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient:

Clockwise from top left: take Five restaurant and Jazz bar in hawke’s bay; Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula; Art-Deco detail in napier; view from te Mata Peak, hawke’s bay. opposite top: Evening view of vineyards in hawke’s bay.

the vibe napa Valley meets down Under: Perched on the eastern edge of north island, Hawke’s Bay is new Zealand’s oldest winemaking region with sandy beaches and green hills as well as a thriving arts scene. napier, the bay area’s paramount city, is known as the art deco capital of the world. The region also has its fair share of Maori culture. “Growing up in California we wanted to continue that laid-back beach lifestyle,” says Cornel Walewski, a san Jose native who moved to new Zealand seven years ago. “and we found Hawke’s Bay quite similar in that respect. napier was big enough to have all our living necessities but small enough to retain that small-town atmosphere. But i suppose the main reason is that both my wife and i are keen enthusiasts of the art deco era.” escape-to-paradise factors Enjoy unlimited supplies of the world’s best chardonnay and syrah, farmers markets and handmade cheeses in one of the sunniest regions of new Zealand, plus plenty of artsy small-town soirees like the outdoor concerts at the Black Barn Vineyards set in unspoiled, perfectly green countryside. A perfect afternoon linger at napier’s sidewalk cafes, cycle between various wineries, browse the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market WhAt to buy in Hastings or perfect your latest outdoor adventure activity. (How starting: Cozy two-bedroom cottage about paragliding?) After living there for a year, what’s your best dison a quiet tree-lined street on napier’s covery? “The Pathway!” says Walewski, who walks it, jogs it and bikes hospital hill; French doors lead to an it, stopping at all the happenings along the way. “The Rotary Pathway open veranda; $228,045. tremains.co.nz right along the ocean goes on for miles all around napier, complete Mid-range: Funky, 1970s-style with park benches, bike racks and water fountains.” Parties worth four-bedroom home on the beach going to Make time for the Geon Brebner Print art deco Weekend in napier; large entertainment area in napier in February, Harvest Hawke’s Bay festival, also in February, and saltwater pool (shown below); and the Edible arts Fest in March. Walewski especially likes the art $346,821. tremains.co.nz deco fest and “dressing up in clothes from that era, dancing to its dream house: Five-bedroom house, jazz, driving around in vintage cars and living life to the ‘no worries’ circa-1910, with sea views on napier’s tune of the 1930s.” try it before you buy it scope out the east coast of bluff hill; Marseille-tiled roof, four north island from The County Hotel, a restored art deco building fireplaces, a farm-style kitchen with close to wine country, where you can enjoy the Mediterranean-like open fire and new Zealand native climate. Rates from $205. countyhotel.co.nz — jy
HAwke’s bAy, nortH islAnd, new zeAlAnd

timbers throughout for $471,887. tremains.co.nz ease of buying a home: there are virtually no restrictions on foreign ownership.

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��Taveuni��
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tAVeuni, Fiji the vibe Gauguin’s tropical nirvana comes to life in Taveuni, long called the “Garden island” due to its lush vegetation and rich volcanic soil. it retains a bygone innocence that has faded in other parts of Fiji, a sprawling archipelago with more than 333 islands; Taveuni is part of the nation’s northern chain. The big island of Viti levu is an hour’s flight from Taveuni, but you’ll find modern conveniences without all the flying time on Fiji’s second-largest island, Vanua levu, and in its bustling main town of savusavu, which is just a ferry-ride away. Jungle- WhAt to buy covered mountains make the interior starting: Much of Fiji’s available of Taveuni uninhabitable but a para- stock is freehold, so people commonly dise for trekkers and bird watchers. build rather than buy houses. Prices somosomo strait off the west coast is one of the south Pacific’s start at around $50,000 for five acres most extraordinary dive sites. Many of the 100 or so expats are near the beach. actively involved in helping local people, says Ronna Goldstein, Mid-range: one-bedroom cottage a a native new Englander who moved to the island 17 years ago. short walk to the beach with ocean “Back in the states you can send a check off to some charity, but views and a lush tropical garden with you don’t get to see the results on a daily basis like you do here.” mango, papaya, coconut, banana, escape-to-paradise factors You’ll find an airstrip rather than an breadfruit, avocado and orange trees airport, only a few short sections of paved road and world-class for $185,000. taveunirealestate.com dive sites like Rainbow Reef and The Edge in your backyard. A dream house: two-bedroom waterperfect afternoon Munch the island’s best pizza at Tramontu’s Bar front bungalow with hardwood floors and Grill; hike to the bottom of 600-foot Bouma Falls for a swim and a covered deck; open-plan living, in cool mountain water or walk the trail to secluded lavena Beach. dining and kitchen areas; close to After living there for a year, what’s your best discovery? “audrey’s restaurants and a general store; sweets shoppe,” says Cary stein, a Californian who built a house $525,000. taveunirealestate.com on Taveuni three years ago. “audrey is an american woman who ease of buying a home: Fiji’s real has lived on the island for around 15 years.” Her specialties include estate market is still relatively unregpies, homemade coffee liqueur and chocolate fudge cake. Parties ulated; foreigners can buy land and worth going to during diwali, the Hindu festival of lights (Oc- homes but should proceed with cautober or november), indian residents decorate their homes with tion. less than 10 percent of land is electric lights and candles. try it before you buy it scope out the available freehold, but taveuni has a island from the Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages. Rates from higher percentage than other islands. Settling in can be a long, frustrat$155, including breakfast. coconutgrovefiji.com — jy

F r o M t o P : C h r i S A . C r u M l E y / A l A M y; C o u r t E S y C A r y S t E i n ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P : E t h A n G o r D o n ; G A r y b E l l / o C E A n W i D E i M AG E S . C o M ( 2 ) ; A n D E r S C A r l S S o n

FACtS oF liFE Flip-flop quotient: expats to locals: 1:200 Houses available from under $200,000 Population of main town, naqara: 800 languages spoken: English, Fijian and hindi Percent who speak english: 99 get there from u.s. via Auckland, new Zealand. viti levu is a three-hour flight from Auckland, and taveuni is another hour-and10-minute flight from viti levu. Closest hospital: taveuni Price of a Fiji gold beer: from $2.50 ease of immigration: medium 411: bulafiji.com

Clockwise from top: taveuni from above; some of the world’s best diving; fresh garden vegetables; taveuni’s west coast.

ing process. “they tell you it’s easy,” says Goldstein, “and three years later you’re still waiting for a title.”

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�Long Island�
best isl a n ds to li v e on Flip-flop quotient: expats to locals: 1:100 Houses available from $258,000 Population of main town, deadman’s Cay: 200 language spoken: English get there from u.s. via nassau, bahamas. long island is a one-hour flight from nassau. Closest hospital: nassau Price of kalik beer: from $3.00 ease of immigration: easy with capital investment 411: bahamas.com

FACtS oF liFE

F r o M t o P : h Au S E r / AG E F o t o S t o C K ; C o u r t E S y K n o W l E S r E A lt y. C o M ; o P P o S i t E , C l o C K W i S E F r o M t o P : JA D DAv E n P o r t; C o u r t E S y b A h A M AS M i n i S t r y o F t o u r i S M ( 2 )

Clockwise from top: Aerial view of long island; St. Andrews Church in Wemyss; Cape Santa Maria caves. opposite top: Cape Santa Maria beach resort.

the vibe Eighty miles long and no more than four miles wide, long island lives up to its name. some believe that long island may have been Columbus’ first landfall in the new World. The island lies almost dead center in the Bahamian archipelago, just east of Exuma. despite a recent influx of expats, it remains an old-school isle of farming, fishing and boat-building. Queen’s Highway, which runs the length of the island, is a meandering ribbon of asphalt that runs between the swank stella Maris Resort Club in the north and isolated villages in the south where the modern world has yet to set foot. “it’s a tough life, but someone has to do it,” WhAt to buy says resident Joanna Molin, who 16 years ago starting: two-bedroom house near traded snowy Ontario for sunny long island. “My husband and i Stella Maris resort Club with views have been to a number of other Bahamian islands and never felt over the Atlantic and Exuma bank; as welcomed and comfortable as here on long island.” Other facroofed porch/cabana; nearby mators that tip the balance in favor of long island for Molin include rina, restaurants and tennis courts; interesting bars and restaurants and less-trodden back roads that $295,000. knowlesrealty.com lead to colonial ruins and secluded beaches. escape-to-paradise Mid-range: two-bedroom house with factors There is no personal income tax, capital gains tax, sales tax, open-plan kitchen, a wide, covered or inheritance tax, and very low probate fees. Buy a boat; local arbalcony and panoramic views; close tisans will craft you a custom-designed sloop. A perfect afternoon to Dean’s blue hole (shown below); Kayak the north-end sea caves; play a rousing game of bocce ball $440,000. knowlesrealty.com on the back lawn; or swim through your own secluded cove. After dream house: three-bedroom house living there for a year, what’s your best discovery? “The geography,” overlooking a cove; sunset views from says Molin. “so many contrasts. dramatic white cliffs overlooking bluff-top location; water access, inpounding waves on the atlantic side and quiet white-sand beaches cluding boat mooring and gazebo with on the west side.” Molin likes visiting Wilk Cay on the atlantic side barbecue; semi-furnished main house for great beach walks. “You can walk for hours from one beach to and separate guesthouse/studio; $2.2 the next, hiking over little hills. The shelling is good, too.” Parties million. coldwellbankerbahamas.com worth going to say yes to any invitation to a pig roast, and the anease of buying a home: non-citizens nual long island Regatta in May or June. “Regatta is a time of specpurchasing homes (for single-family tacular sailing, impromptu parties and lots of good old Bahamian use) on less than five acres need to rake ’n scrape music,” Molin register their purchase with the govsays. “and always lots of good ernment, but that’s about the extent of food and drink!” try it bered tape. “Any more (than five acres) fore you buy it scope out the and they must be approved by the island from the stella Maris bahamian investment board,” says Resort Club near the north Jeannette Knowles, long island speEnd. Rates from $155. stella cialist for Coldwell banker bahamas. marisresort.com — jy
long islAnd, bAHAMAs

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b y AM y CAS S E l l An D K E l ly l AC K

Far left to right: Puna, big island; union island, St.vincent and the Grenadines; Cedar Key, Florida; isla Colón, Panamá; norfolk island, Australia

Union island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Flip-flop quotient: 5 expats to locals: 4:100 Houses available from $245,000 Population of main town, Clifton: 1,500 language spoken: English get there from u.s. via San Juan, Puerto rico. From San Juan it’s a two-hour-andtwenty-minute flight to St. vincent and then a 15-minute flight to union island. Closest hospital: St. vincent (Clifton has a clinic.) Price of a Hairoun beer: from $1.50 ease of immigration: moderate with a capital investment 411: svgtourism.com

have your designers and architects work with someone who has experience with construction on Union. For example, you cannot use the sand from Union in foundations, which you would never know without local knowledge.”

the vibe Colorful houses are scattered randomly across the hills like marbles tossed in the grass, and funky villages cascade downhill to a..perfectly..invitCurrEnt liStinG: Six-bedroom house ing blue sea. this in a neighborhood could be you Kenin the suburbs of neth Reece moved Clifton with ocean from California to views in the disUnion island seven tance for $245,000. m o n t h s . a g o. . He aisvg.com lives on the north side of the island in a luxury apartment in the hotel he owns, called Bigsand, and is planning to start construction on a beachfront villa also on the north coast. what’s your best discovery? “There’s a view point on the island called Fort Hill from where you have a splendid view over the ocean and big parts of the island.” Move-in advice “First, find a good local attorney with experience handling real-estate cases. second,

Flip-flop quotient: 3 (large amounts of rain on east coast) expats (not born in the Hawaiian islands) to locals: 40:100 Houses available from mid to high $100,000s Population of main town, Hilo: 45,000 language spoken: English get there from u.s. nonstop Closest hospital: hilo Price of kona brewing Company beer: from $3.80 411: bigisland.org the vibe Hawaii’s largest island has the lowest-priced homes in the chain, nine different climate zones and budding arts communities in Holualoa near Kailua Kona, Hawi in north Kohala, and in Hilo. this could be you Rose delfin moved to the Big island from Canada in 1995 and obtained her real-estate license. she lives and works in Hilo.
CurrEnt liStinG:

Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, USA

it’s unbelievably gorgeous. To me, this is one of the best local adventures.” Move-in advice “We have a remarkable melting pot of people here with great ethnic diversity. Remember who you are, but embrace the local culture. learn some of the local ways and adopt aina, or appreciation for the land.”

F r o M l E F t: F r A n C o S A l M o i r AG h i / P h o t o r E S o u r C E h AWA i i ; A M o S n AC h o u M / C o r b i S ; b E r n h A r D l i M b E r G E r / A l A M y; S t E v E M AC Au l Ay; C At h E r i n E K A r n o W / C o r b i S

find the best coffee on the island at The Olive, a cafe in the village in the town of Burnt Pine.” Move-in advice “Pack your things very well, as your household items will come ashore on a row boat. norfolk island has no harbor or barge. and bring a kayak. The waters are pristine and spectacular.”

what’s your best discovery? “You’ll

Flip-flop quotient: 4 (drops to 60 degrees in winter) expats to locals: 39:100 Houses available from high $100,000s Population of norfolk island: 2,523 language spoken: English get there from u.s. via Sydney. it’s a 70-minute flight from Sydney to norfolk. Closest hospital: the town of burnt Pine Price of a beesting beer: from $2.00 ease of immigration: difficult; arduous application process 411: norfolkisland.nf the vibe This self-governing australian territory off the mainland’s east coast is free of traffic lights, crime and income taxes. But it’s got plenty of lagoons and native pine trees, and CurrEnt liStinG: one-third of the three-bedroom, island is designated two-bath house with woodas a national park. paneled ceiling and Bush walk your life a spacious outdoor away. this could deck for $191,000. be you Rael donde bountycentre.nf moved to norfolk island from southern California in 2003. she owns Cumberland Holiday apartments and lives in Mountbatten Estate on the east side of the island.

Norfolk Island

Flip-flop quotient: 3.5 (temperatures can drop in fall/winter) expats (not born in Cedar key) to locals: 12:100 Houses available from $200,000 Population of main town, the city of Cedar key: 900 language spoken: English Closest airport: Gainesville. Cedar Key is a onehour drive from Gainesville. Closest hospital: Gainesville Price of a beer: from $2.50 411: cedarkey.org the vibe Just a short bridge-drive from the mainland, Cedar, the name of both the main town and the island, actually stretches out over six islands. it’s got a cute downtown, plenty of nature-minded residents and some of the state’s last affordable real estate. this could be you doug Maple, originally from atlanta, moved to Cedar Key eight years ago and lives on a little canal. He runs Tidewater Tours inc. and also started the nature Coast Birding & Wildlife Experience, a four-day annual event that spotlights the birds, wildlife and history of the area. what’s your best discovery? “My favorite place — i have many — is probably a tiny island

Cedar Key, Florida, USA

along the fringe of CurrEnt liStinG: the remote coastal three-bedroom marsh called Mchouse, with wood Clamory Key i floors in living bring ecotours to area, ceramic tile this site on a reguin kitchen and baths, and a deck lar basis. Here hunthat overlooks Gulf dreds,.sometimes waters to the east; thousands, of birds $249,000. pelicangather on the high realty.com tide each day. along with large numbers of common shore birds, there are usually some fairly rare birds, such as long-billed curlews, red knots, oyster catchers and several Move-in advice species of plovers.” “Think slow. don’t bother to rise early and go to town to get a jump-start on the day. You’ll be the only one there. if the car in front of you stops to talk to someone on the side of the road, don’t honk. Just wait for them to move, or go another way. You will probably see this same person later in the day at the market, the Jiffy store or at church.”

of titled (freehold) property is limited 411: visitpanama.com the vibe The laid-back main island of Panamá’s Bocas del Toro archipelago, east of Panamá’s thin curve of belly, isla Colón has a few nice bars and restaurants..and..insane amounts of nature CurrEnt liStinG: at your fingertips, two-bedroom, both above and un3,000-square-foot luxury house a der the water. this stone’s throw from could be you Bob and swimming and boat- donna Black, origiing off your beach; 10 minutes by car or nally from Michiga n,..have..lived boat to the town of bocas; $385,000. permanently in the bocasdeltoro.net Bocas del Toro archipelago for five years. They now live on isla Colón in an area called Big Creek, about three miles outside the town of Bocas del Toro. what’s your best discovery? “The Mimbitimbi River. We’ve taken two different hiking trips up the river, which is located in a rock basin. it flows through tunnels and caves and is just loaded with all types of wildlife. But you must be in good shape.” Move-in advice “don’t ship things from the states to Panamá. When we first moved, things were difficult to obtain, but now there are several new stores in Panamá City, the city of david and even on isla Colón itself where you can purchase virtually everything you need to live.” (continued on page 100)

three-bedroom, two-bath house with carport surrounded by ohia trees in a quiet Puna neighborhood (on the big island’s east coast) for $235,000. hawaiiinformation.com

take a boat off the east coast to where lava from Hawaii Volcanoes national Park pours into the ocean. You’ll see the lava glow and feel its heat.

what’s your best discovery? “You can

Flip-flop quotient: 5 expats to locals: 6:100 Houses available from $250,000 Population of main town, bocas del toro: 2,000 languages spoken: Spanish and English Percent who speak english: 50 get there from u.s. via Panamá City. isla Colón is a one-hour flight from Panamá City. Closest hospital: bocas del toro Price of a soberana beer: from $0.65 ease of immigration: easy with capital investment, though the inventory

Isla Colón, Panamá

More best islands on page 100: Grand Cayman; Gozo, Malta; Negros Oriental, Philippines; Carriacou, Grenada; Vieques, Puerto Rico

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best islands to live on (from page 69)
Flip-flop quotient: 4 (average temperatures in the 60s in winter) expats to locals: 50:100 Houses available from high $100,000s Population of main town, george town: 20,626 language spoken: English get there from u.s. nonstop Closest hospital: Georgetown Price of a stingray beer: from $2.50 ease of immigration: easy 411: caymanislands.ky the vibe Water is the focus of Grand Cayman, whether you’re boating, diving or walking along the beach. activity is centered around famous seven Mile Beach and in George Town, but CurrEnt liStinG: wander to the East three-bedroom, End for quiet. this two-bath house with a fenced-in could be you Melissa yard with fruit ladley moved from trees in West bay Richmond, Virginia on a third of an to Grand Cayman acre for $214,000. in 2003 shortly after remax.ky traveling there to dive. she works in resort marketing and public relations for The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. she owns a house near seven Mile Beach. what’s your best discovery? “stingray City, a popular dive site and sandbar, can get crowded in the mornings. However, it’s simply magical in the evenings. Y can take a boat out ou before sunset and it will likely just be you and the stingrays under the sky.” Move-in advice “Buy a boat if you can afford one. The freedom to explore and enjoy Cayman’s waters is worth the investment.”

Grand Cayman

Gozo is a 25-minute trip from Malta. Closest hospital: victoria Price of a Hopleaf beer: from $1.50 ease of immigration: easy with capital investment 411: visitmalta.com the vibe south of sicily, Malta’s smaller sister island Gozo has cliffs, red-colored beaches, an ancient town with a citadel dating to 1500 B.C. and numerous cafes. This is sleepy Mediterranean, but you CurrEnt liStinG: can still get a hit of two-story stone townhouse (with a action just a ferry balcony and original ride away on Malta.
tiles) in the village square of Kercem for $174,335. gozoprime.com

this could be you

alissa Cole moved to Gozo from Wareham, Massachusetts, last year with her husband and daughter. They live in the village of nadur, on Gozo’s east side. what’s your best discovery? “Besides the incredible scenery, having freshly baked Maltese bread every day feels like a luxury and costs the equivalent of 60 cents back home. local wine is another staple at $1.50 per bottle.” Move-in advice “Plan your shopping around siesta (from noon to 4 p.m.) and sundays, when stores are closed. also, buy a pair of warm slippers. The homes are made of limestone and tile and are cooler than an insulated home made of wood.”

a seaside promenade lined with cafes and Foreigners may not art galleries. this own land, only concould be you Georg dos. Many choose to Bender moved rent (starting at $400 from Germany to per month). islands negros Oriental in properties.com 2001. He lives in dumaguete and works in sales and marketing at atlantis dive Resort. what’s your best discovery? “Besides the best macro diving you can imagine, a great local meal is kinilaw, marinated game fish.” Move-in advice “stay for two years with no major financial commitment to see if you’re comfortable here.”
CurrEnt liStinG:

Flip-flop quotient: 5 expats to locals: 2:100 Houses available from $200,000 Population of main town, Hillsborough: 355 languages spoken: English with some Creole get there from u.s. via Grenada. Carriacou is a 20-minute flight from Grenada. Closest hospital: belair (above hillsborough) Price of a Carib beer: from $1.85 ease of immigration: moderate; you must live in Grenada for five years before you can apply for residency 411: grenadagrenadines.com the vibe Great beaches and reefs, yes, but the local Carriacou culture, which includes wooden boat building and

Carriacou, Grenada

festivals such as Parang, celebrating one of the Caribbean’s oldest song forms, will make you want to stay. this could be you david Goldhill, originally from new York City, moved to Carriacou 23 years ago and now owns and manages Bayaleau Point Cottages. He lives in the village of Windward. what’s your best discovery? “sailing to the Tobago Cays Marine Park in the same sort of locally CurrEnt liStinG: built sailing craft open-concept that has been used bungalow in need of tlC on a cliff here for 150 years, overlooking the sea anchoring in azure with a quarter-acre waters by a whiteof land for $200,000. winrealtyonline.com sand beach, then swimming with turtles before the reach back home for sunset.” Move-in advice “spend time here, meet locals and figure out your niche. There’s no need for people with certain qualifications, only for people with a passion for being here. if you have that passion, then draw from your resources and education to augment your neighbor’s life and thereby yours.”

cent who speak english: 50 get there from u.s. via San Juan, Puerto rico. vieques is a 20- to 30-minute flight from San Juan. Closest hospital: isabel Segunda Price of a Medalla light beer: from $1.50 411: gotopuertorico.com the vibe This island off the east coast of Puerto Rico has fishing villages, a bioluminescent bay, a penchant for reggaetón, and is only a short trip from Old san Juan if the need for upscale nightlife and shopping comes calling. this could be you Gregg McKee from altoona, Pennsylvania, moved to Vieques two years ago and now owns a fly-fishing business called WildFly Charters. He lives in the Mambiche neighborhood up the hill from isabel segunda. what’s

Flip-flop quotient: 3 (average 57 degrees in winter) ex-pats to locals: 8:100 (per a 1995 census) Houses available from mid $100,000s Population of main town, Victoria (also known as rabat): 6,414 languages spoken: Maltese, English and italian Percent who speak english: nearly 100 get there from u.s. via Malta. the ferry to

Gozo, Malta

Flip-flop quotient: 3 (monsoon and typhoon seasons) expats to locals: 1:1,000 Population of main town, dumaguete: 102,265 languages spoken: English, Cebuano and hiligaynon Percent who speak english: 90 get there from u.s. via Manila. From Manila it is a 70-minute flight to Dumaguete. Closest hospital: Dumaguete Price of a san Miguel beer: less than $1.00 ease of immigration: moderate 411: tourism.gov.ph the vibe The eastern half of negros island in the central Philippines is called negros Oriental and is home to dumaguete, a city with many universities and

Negros Oriental, Philippines

Flip-flop quotient: 5 expats to locals: 8:100 (per a 2000 census) Houses available from $295,000 Population of main town, isabel segunda: 2,000 languages spoken: Spanish and English Per-

Vieques, Puerto Rico

“Eight miles east of Esperanza is a huge bay called Ensenada Honda that’s full of bonefish that on most days will eat almost any fly we throw at them.” Move-in advice “learn some spanish. Many of my neighbors speak English, but some do not. it doesn’t have to be perfect, but in everyday dealings, spanish is often seen as a respectful gesture on your part.”
titled three-bedroom in vieques’ other main town, Esperanza, with gazebo and landscaping for $295,000. enchanted-isle.com/ crowsnestrealty

CurrEnt liStinG:

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