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July 2011 Vol.31 No.3
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Vacation Homes in Ireland— Going Cheap Huge Dental Savings Eleven Miles South of Yuma Work from Anywhere: Seven Tips Revealed: Expats Havens of Colonial Mexico Before You Buy Gold Read This...
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INTERNATIONAL LIVING Contents
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From the Editor International Dates Savvy Traveler Market Watch Retirement Lifestyle Living the Dream Travel for Free Health Solutions Insider Intelligence Fund Your Life Cover Story Investment Offshore Real Estate Entrepreneur Profile Calendar of Events Travel Property Picks Classifieds The Last Word
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Find new opportunities in old haunts Cuban fire, Rembrandt and the Scottish fringe Discover Panama’s remote biosphere How to grab your holiday home in Ireland Panama then and now—The difference of a decade Guatemala, Mexico and Spain—IL readers overseas How to find free accommodation and new friends Save thousands on dental care in Mexico Seven work-from-anywhere tips Eating in France’s second city A portable pay check could be your ticket overseas Three expat havens in colonial Mexico Cash in on Brazil’s growing middle class Before you buy gold or silver…read this Change to Nicaragua’s colonial homes from $145,000 Touring for profit in the Dominican Republic The best way to see Costa Rica for yourself Beyond the Tuscan obvious Just like California—Homes on the Pacific coast Opportunities from around the world Moving overseas—Is it unpatriotic?
International Living (ISSN 0277-2442), © Copyright 2011 by International Living Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This Magazine may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of International Living Publishing Ltd., Elysium House, Waterford, Ireland. International Living is published monthly. Subscriptions: In the United States US$69 for one year, in Canada C$89 for one year, elsewhere US$89 for one year. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to International Living, International Living Publishing Ltd., Elysium House, Ballytruckle, Waterford, Ireland. Copies of this magazine are not available on newsstands but are furnished directly to the public by mail subscriptions only. International Living presents information and research believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. There are many dangers associated with international travel and investment, and readers should investigate any opportunity fully before committing to it. How to contact us: Customer service: To place an order for a product/subscription, renew a subscription, pay a maintenance fee, change an address, follow up on the status of an order, or inquire about a missed issue, etc., see: www.internationalliving.com/about-il/customer-service. Editorial ofﬁces: Editors, International Living, International Living Publishing Ltd., fax (353)51-304-561. For our writers’ guidelines, see: www.internationalliving.com/about-il/write-for-il. International Living is happy to receive manuscripts on speculation, but the publisher cannot be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts received for review. All editorial requests will be reviewed and considered when we plan our issues. Not all requests, however, can be answered personally due to the volume of inquiries we receive. Media inquiries: For all press and media enquiries and to discuss syndication, contact Associate Editor, Carol Barron, tel. (772) 678 - 0287, email: CBarron@InternationalLiving.com.
JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G
FROM THE EDITOR
Revisiting Old Haunts…
TO FIND NEW OPPORTUNITIES
E’RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THAT “next” place. That place where geography and price-point and accessibility come together at just the right time to create a window of opportunity for pioneering investors. But just because a destination has been on our radar for some time—because it moves beyond that pioneering stage—doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your attention. In fact, we devote much of our coverage this month to places we ﬁrst brought to readers’ attention at least a decade ago…but which we still like and recommend today… One is the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua. I’m there now, and I agree with Lee Harrison who says, on page 24, that there is graceful, Old World living to be enjoyed in this country’s historic cities today—and at bargain prices. When I was ﬁrst in Granada in the mid-1990s, there were few places to stay (let alone move into). Only a couple restaurants served anything but “local” fare. But today a vibrant rental market for restored colonials gives you plenty of overnight (and longer) options. And you have lots of dining choice—from the stately Hotel Dario to an Irish pub. Glynna Prentice, our Mexico editor, spent a month traveling on your behalf in Mexico’s central highlands. She says, “If you love the kind of rich history and culture that Europe offers but want something closer to home and less expensive, then Guanajuato state is the place to look.” Turn to page 18 for her report from San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, and Dolores Hidalgo. Suzan Haskins revisited Boquete, Panama, a decade after her ﬁrst trip. What was once a small, sleepy, ﬂower-ﬁlled village, she reports on page 8, is now a vibrant hub. In all these places, the living is easy, comfortable, and affordable. These are proven destinations…where you can live well for less than at home… Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor
July 2011, Volume 31, Number 3 InternationalLiving.com
Founding Publisher William Bonner Publisher Jackie Flynn Executive Editor Jennifer Stevens Managing Editor Eoin Bassett Copy Editor Glynna Prentice Photo Editor Hugo Ghiara Web Master Ciaran McGrath Contributing Editors Bob Bauman, Darius Fisher, Lee Harrison, Steenie Harvey, Suzan Haskins, Chris Hunter, Paul Lewis, Rob Marstrand, Ronan McMahon, Erika Nolan, Glynna Prentice, Dan Prescher, Jessica Ramesch, Margaret Summerﬁeld Advertising Margaret O’Dowd fax (353)51-304-561 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G
July 18 commemorates the adoption of the country’s ﬁrst constitution. nothing inspires you to travel quite like seeing a place on the big screen. You’ll ﬁnd more inspirational panoramas in Motorcycle Diaries. Salsa. while life under the Southeast Asian sun looks good in The Beach. June 30 to July 2. You can be one of the thousands of ﬁlm buffs who descend on the Bosnian capital.m. dance and folkloric events. Roman Holiday will have you wanting to take your own vacation to the Eternal City right after the credits roll. people dance in traditional costume and throw handmade gifts to the crowd. Cuba. For a classic adventure story Indian Jones—all four installments—is the ticket to have you dreaming of taking on the world with just your fedora hat and a whip. Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus exhibit wraps up July 18 at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Expect a curated mix of installations. then the island of Bali forms the spellbinding backdrop to Eat Pray Love. If you’re in Scandinavia the Copenhagen Jazz Festival begins July 1 and runs through July 10. Everything about French ﬁlm Amelie is beautiful. 3. this wonderful event celebrates the cultural diversity of the southern state of Oaxaca. Sonny Rollins and the Keith Jarret Trio. but the bulls don’t start running until 8 a. Featured performers include Bobby McFarrin. theater. The exhibition showcases the masterpiece “The Pilgrims at Emmaus” and other works by this Renaissance artist and his students. Further north. Santiago is Cuba’s second city. 3 JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G . which runs from July 22 to 30. music and dance. Because Uruguay declared independence a number of times. It will have you hunting for a cheap fare to South America. While you’re there. An oldie but a goodie. while over a million revelers watch (and ﬂee) in fear and delight. The Darjeeling Limited makes traveling around India by train with dysfunctional siblings. Spain. shimmy and relax at the Festival of Fire in Santiago. which takes place July 1. Situated on the mountainous east coast of the island. ﬁlm screenings and guest speakers in Iberapuera Park. Filmed in Kenya. Also known as Lunes del Cerro (“Mondays on the Hill”). Every year. Started in 1983. and this seven-day event features the best in music. 7. too. Guelaguetza will be held in Oaxaca. an exact independence day is hard to pin down. 9. for the Sarajevo Film Festival. to kick start the Tall Ships Festival. The festival starts July 6.IN T E RNAT ION A L DATES Cuban Fire. ranging from remote Andean villages to the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. The Creator’s Project kicks off July 29 in São Paulo. Thousands of performers swarm Scotland’s capital city from August 5 to 29 to show off their talents in comedy. opera. dance and cultural events culminate in the “parade of sail” when the 70 ships start their race to Halmstad. Sarajevo. A deﬁnitive list is tough to ﬁnd—everybody has their favorites—but here are 10 movies that have inspired IL editors to take to the road. IL ’s Best Top 10 Travel-Inspiring Movies By the staff of International Living 1. Sweden. Roman Holiday Kenya in east Africa is a haven for wildlife. Out of Africa. look like fun. might as well check out the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. the most famous open-space in Brazil’s biggest city. Brazil. Embrace literature at the Edinburgh International Book Festival August 13 to 29. W © WILLIAM DAVIES/iSTOCK hether it’s towering mountains or elegant architecture. 8. Rembrandt and Scottish Fringe By Darius Fisher elebrate the arrival of a ﬂeet of sailing ships in Waterford. as is Paris where it’s set and Death in Venice captures the decaying grandeur of the Italian city perfectly. 4. Guelaguetza translates to “offering” in the indigenous Zapotec language. concerts. If tropical vistas are more your thing. 2. 15 bulls charge through the narrow streets of this Basque city. And every year. There is a wide selection of ﬁlms from Southeastern Europe and further aﬁeld. We’re not suggesting you visit Tolkien’s fantastical Middle Earth. Don’t get gored at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Ireland. Three days of live music. but the landscape of New Zealand was the real star of Lord of the Rings. Throughout Uruguay. it’s now the largest event of its kind in the world. C Mexico from July 25 to August 1. 6. the next day. Amelie Death in Venice Eat Pray Love Indiana Jones Lord of the Rings Motorcycle Diaries Out of Africa The Darjeeling Limited The Beach 10. shows the game reserves of east Africa in all their wild glory. the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix gets into gear on July 29. But there’s only one constitution day: 18 de Julio. 5. theater.
See: AwardsWallet. you may have painfully realized that your miles expired for one reason or another. Costs both for the project and the end user are still undetermined.G LOBE TR OTTE R News & Notes from Around the World On the Cover This Month… T © JACOM STEPHENS/iSTOCK Take a seat at a café in the shadow of Guanajuato’s grand cathedral. is far from being a museum. © HUGO GHIARA © ARIELZAND/DREAMSTIME. it’s only one of the hundreds of Spanish-colonial buildings in this Mexican city. and the International Music of the World Festival runs from October 17 to 23. The Musical is running from July 20 to 26. from concerts and exhibitions to just strolling along the cobblestone alleyways and people-watching from café terraces in plazas where fountains bubble and children play. New arrivals can request a booklet and insurance card at the Tocumen Tourist Information Center (between immigration and customs). Yet this Guanajuato. Ecuadorian folkloric acts and theater at historic spots around the city to mark the its status as 2011 Capital of Culture. up to $40. The agency is now accepting bids from companies who can provide the technology both for the Tube and potentially for the bus system as well.and car-rental points and credit-card reward balances in one place. The city is also home to a burgeoning population of expats who have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. while the Fair of Quito’s Sweets and Traditions happens August 17 to 20. and AwardsWallet automatically updates balances in real time. You enter your loyalty programs’ usernames and passwords when you set up your account. $7. But what about free travel insurance? Panama has announced plans to provide a 30-day “top level” insurance policy to tourists arriving at Tocumen International Airport.com. In addition. and accumulated miles with different airlines. The website currently supports 340 loyalty programs and claims to track over 11 trillion frequent ﬂyer miles and rewards points. just a stone’s throw from the basilica. The website also sends email reminders three months before your rewards points expire and features a community forum where users can share deals. WiFi Underground Save Your Flyer Miles Do you use frequent ﬂyer miles? Then you’ve experienced the annoyance of keeping track of various account numbers. Expats who live here say there’s no shortage of things to do. is hosting outdoor plays. Assicurazioni Generali. an exhibition by artist Manuel Cholango starts August 4. Enter AwardsWallet. $2. Per the Panama Tourism Authority.com. For more on this Europeanﬂavored city in the heart of Mexico. located in the Colonial Highlands. The insurance even covers up to $3. Ecuador.COM . Quito. Quito’s Festivals All year long Ecuador’s capital. and its hundreds of students help keep the city lively and young. this is promising news—hopefully more subway networks around the globe will follow suit. Transport of London will install wireless Internet in 120 other Tube stations by 2012. the local government signed a two-year contract with the insurance provider for $8 million. a company with an established track record. This is the latest move to promote Panama as a tourist-friendly destination. For the Internet-addicted. concerts.000 for accidental death and repatriation.500 for legal services.000 properties are declared heritage sites) and has a rich history of cultural evolution. the Transport of London will build out new tracks and refurbish old Tube stations in the hopes of increasing capacity by 30% leading up to the 2012 Olympics. provides the policy. Quito features the bestpreserved colonial center in South America (5. Beneﬁts include coverage of up to $20.000 for prescription meds. a free website that monitors all your miles. see page 18. and up to $1.000 for dental emergencies. Or worst yet. Indulge in the pageantry and culture of Quito. 4 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 After a successful trial at the Charing Cross Tube station.000 for hospitalization and medical expenses for accidents or illness contracted in Panama (up to a week). he vivid yellow Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato sits at the heart of Guanajuato’s busy historic center. hotel.000 air ambulance coverage. The university. a World Heritage site since 1988. passwords. Finished in 1796. There’s a jazz festival beginning September 12. Frankenstein. Free Travel Insurance There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
They live traditionally. $49. On Calabria’s western coast. and Venice. This is another nature reserve. Calabria has gone under the radar of travelers.com to get started. See the mangroves. The town of Biroquera offers the opportunity to spend some time with the friendly Embera-Wounaan indigenous people. and you can pick up one-bedroom apartments for as low as $38. Sicily. Check out Anconexpeditions. hill village. Note: The border region is for the most intrepid travelers and we recommend doing the Darien with a guide or tour company.000. carvings.it. and affordable living. But that’s changing fast. That’s because tourists overlooked this region in southern Italy in favor of destinations like Tuscany. Butterﬂies the size of your hand ﬂutter by or soak up the sun spread-eagled on huge ferns. Some even have a sea view.com). a Mediterranean climate. and real estate investors and second-home buyers are making out well in the process. There are dense The region’s cuisine. Travel here tends to be for the intrepid—short on creature comforts. in huts on stilts where they make baskets. Just a 45-minute ﬂight from Panama City is La Palma. too. It’s the northernmost range of many South American species and the southern range of many Northern and Central American ones.COM Calabria: Italy’s Newest Hotspot F “ or years. curcùci (fried pork). and thus one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. dawdle at the beach. the Tropic Star Lodge is arguably the best place for deep-sea ﬁshing in the world. But the rewards are many. The Darien biosphere reserve is a major world heritage site. Properties start at below $477 per square foot. and you’ll also ﬁnd some of the most pristine beaches in Italy.calabria. magine yourself surrounded by colossal prehistoric trees. Unlike some coastal settlements in Italy’s deep south. or in the water. You’ll ﬁnd coastal mangroves. There are dense woodlands of pine. The park is a land bridge between Central and South America. And if you’re a foodie. Rising above this seaside town’s modern apartment buildings is an antique. The Darien is Panama’s “forgotten province. or search for rare species in the air. Some 200 world records have been broken here (see: Tropicstar. JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 5 © VWPICS/PHOTOSHOT . with three different mountain ranges.The Savvy Traveler’s Corner Cloud Forests and Steamy Jungles in Panama By Jessica Ramesch I © TOMAS MAREK/DREAMSTIME. All that’s missing are a few dinosaurs grazing in a forest glade to really bring you back to the Jurassic age. The region has been discovered and is home to many north Europeans seeking stunning scenery. hike the well-developed trails. cloud forests and steamy jungles here. See: Euroimmobiliare. an hour-long boat ride will get you to Punta Patiño. and ﬁr. don’t miss the local specialty. Panama’s remote Darien province. quaint woodlands and some hillside villages.000 buys a 538 square-foot-apartment with a panoramic sea view and a parking spot. beaches in Italy. or take a dugout canoe through the jungle. oak. Rome.” Calabria is a mountain lover’s paradise. and of the most pristine breathtaking landscape probably help. it doesn’t shut down in winter. From the ranger station in La Cana you can hike old gold-mining trails in search of the biosphere’s wildlife. From Visit the indigenous Embera people of this small town. with lodges and tents more common than hotels. each with its own unique ﬂora and fauna. and more. washed by an emerald-green sea. on land. olive groves. Near Biroquera. the largest private one in the country.” The country’s most exotic and adventurous vacation spot. Scalea combines the old with the new.
Close by is the trendy nightlife you ﬁnd in a young vibrant cosmopolitan city. hill walking. the world’s best golf. You can drive across it in less than three hours. vacationers and more—everyone ready to share a story or a song over a pint of Guinness. Ducks and swans make their homes in tucked-away parks under 200-year-old trees. ﬁshing. This was their shared urban garden. To follow real estate trends with the potential for proﬁt and to access his recommendations and advice. you can enjoy long summer evenings ﬁlled with the warm aroma of cut grass and honeysuckle. You can swim with dolphins or compete with them for the ocean’s rich bounty from rocks on shore or from your own ﬁshing boat. And today you can buy real estate here at a discount of 80% on peak prices. ﬁddle players. I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 Today’s deals aren’t just to be found along Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic coast. these houses are near the magniﬁcent parliament buildings. would open the heavy wrought iron gates. You are close to everything in Ireland. But the best deals are in Ireland’s midland region. Each had a key that Make Money from the World’s Real Estate Trends When Ronan McMahon isn’t scouting for Pathﬁnder. It’s a small country. Surﬁng. ancient dry-stone walls mark out a patchwork of green ﬁelds and country lanes. Built when Dublin was the second city of the British Empire. Why am I telling you this now? Because today you can buy real estate in Ireland at auctions where it goes at ﬁre-sale prices. sailing. Here bright-green hills of pastureland roll and roll. Barges drift from town to town along canals that reach the river Shannon as it meanders to the ocean. On the other side of high dunes. enchanted islands and craggy mountains. Hedgerows of hawthorn. see: Intliving. Trinity College and the chic boutiques of Grafton Street. he’s heading up the Real Estate Trend Alert. the pubs ﬁll with characters…ﬁshermen. 6 © HAUKE STEINBERG . the vibrant social life…it’s all on your door step. These squares were once accessible only to the afﬂuent residents in the surrounding houses. the pub on the village green or your country house surrounded by horses—all for cents on the euro. You can buy that dream cottage by the sea. you’ll ﬁnd terraces of large.MARKE T WATC H Bargains Coming: Get Ready to Grab That Irish Holiday Home By Ronan McMahon A TLANTIC WAVES ROAR and crash onto sandy beaches. At night. Amid this landscape of sea cliffs. the museums. holly and ash trees separate ﬁelds dotted with ancient oak and ruined castles. Here. On the leafy boulevards of the capital.com/Reta. there are deals as well. This is Ireland. Dublin. historic Georgian-period houses. IL’s preferred real estate advertising partner.
if I do need to sell. the people.. For now. I could always ﬁnd a European buyer. Or Bono be reversed. What happens if I want to move? Who would rent or buy my home? Buyers are very thin on the ground today. The rich and famous the capacity of most tenants to pay.5% corporation tax is one of the lowest in the world and there is a skilled and well-educated pool of labor. The ﬁrst such auction took place this April Former “fat cats” are being forced to sell and many more are on the way. The jet set come and • I’m not interested in buying any real go in Ireland…but in full view. I was fortunate enough avid horticulturalists to exit (mostly) before things living in communes. You can buy real estate in places like this at ﬁre-sale prices. the country’s 12.500) for a threeyou fancy buying a pub in a quaint country bedroom home in the midland town of village.500). I won’t have to sell into the Irish market. • But I am looking for a holiday home in West Cork or Kerry. I’m looking for somewhere I’ll always want to have. JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 7 . Today only a few brave souls have an appetite or funds for real estate. Ireland’s boom of the 1990’s and much of the last decade turned to bust as its banking system imploded and the real estate industry and market crashed.” for the moment. off weekend getaways. former trouble spots in the north of the country are now on the beaten track of tour groups and sight-seeing vacationers. It’s important to weigh any In the 1970 and ‘80s Ireland became interesting ﬁre-sale opportunity against the a favorite retirement and second-home prospect that things have just started to get destination for English. Southwest Ireland. Why Ireland? afternoon in Finnegan’s pub in Dalkey. bad in Ireland. For instance. hammer with yields north of 9%. But. Or Julia at the stroke of a pen this credit could Roberts strolling on a beach. you’re eligible for citizenship. Investment bankers I’ve been an active became potters in West investor in this market for 12 Cork…some becoming years. Mullingar…a city center condo in scenic Ireland is far from out of the and culture-ﬁlled Galway City for €70. independence. This is a classic crisis or distressed opportunity. and the raw natural and there’s too much uncertainty around beauty of the country.000 woods. came in their droves. Here’s my strategy: Germans opened sausage • I’m not interested in shops in Killarney. In the boom there was too much construction. Kerry..at almost any price. They are treated like the rest of us. as there are budget ﬂights to destinations all over the continent. buyers snapped after.000)…and a retail unit a short coming months and years will be the stroll from where the auction took place in most challenging in 89 years of Irish central Dublin for €57. I won’t care if its paper value ﬂuctuates. There is “blood in the streets. But this is a trend only just getting started. the best way to buy is a bankruptcy ﬁre sale where hundreds of units go under the hammer and have to be unloaded. Ireland at 80% buying income property Artists and off peak prices. It’s easily accessible from North America and it’s a great base from which to travel in Europe. And. And if you have parents or grandparents of Irish stock. The country’s bankrupt.Allihies. County Cork. You might estate that comes with tax breaks. like I said. If it’s a yield you are At the April auction.. Buy real estate in peaked. If Ireland is on your radar. The ($104. an ice cream in Waterville. drawn by but the tax man is taking more and more privacy. one of the many German or British expats who put a premium on the Irish landscape and lifestyle. And that’s a special experience. I’ll be following these auctions closely. On see Tiger Woods sitting on a wall eating paper this looks very appealing. It will feature several farm and home lots. • I’m not interested in buying a home unless it’s for life. But there are practical reasons it should be on your radar as a retirement destination as well. wonderful culture and friendly locals make Ireland a great place to visit.” The next auction takes place on July 7. This might be your chance to become a gentleman farmer in the old country. County Dublin.taken away if politically and The Edge having a pint on a Thursday agical landscapes.. Or maybe Like €30. These are my favourite parts of Ireland. Swiss and Germans. Residents have access to free healthcare and transport infrastructure and telecommunications are on a par with the rest of Europe. It’s politically safe and stable. Ireland is English speaking so you can just step off the plane and start talking without the need to learn a language. it’s time you got ready to pounce. If you are interested in doing business. This will be my private retreat. M “ expedient. This is a credible possibility.000 ($84.000 ($44. The yields industrialists are starting to look very together joined local interesting (double digits) communities. then rented properties go under the up properties for cents on the euro.
in fact. coffee. restaurant. and you’ll ﬁnd day. Although it was hard to see what he saw in his mind’s eye. Not many expats to speak of (or with). And what a pick it was… Back then. Boquete enjoys perfect spring-like weather year-round—temperatures never fall much below 60 F or rise much above 80 F. who lived and did business in the capital city. to the left. International Living had been writing about Boquete’s charms since 1998. on our journey to relocation outside the U. he told us.S. Running charming mountain town. On the slopes of majestic and dormant Volcán Barú. and humidity. boulderstrewn little river that deﬁned the term “babbling brook.a well-developed and growing. had country homes here where they came to escape the city chaos. From our perch on the hilltop that Panama. our ﬁrst research visit of any kind. gated community…the ﬁrst of its kind in Panama.” Boquete was one of Panama’s “best-kept” secrets—a sleepy little ﬂower-ﬁlled village in the heart of an agricultural region populated by indigenous farm workers and the few longtime residents who owned the farms and/or supporting businesses. but at the time—standing knee-high in brush atop a steep tree-covered hill—it was tough for us to share. through it was a crystal-clear. Boquete was but a handful of hardware stores and local cafeterías.500 feet above sea level. To the right would be the hotel. © JOEL CARILLET/iSTOCK . there was no arguing the 8 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 W beauty of the landscape. Take the road to Boquete. and spa…all overlooking the golf course. Wealthy Panamanians. heat. In early 2001 we were on our ﬁrst visit to Panama. But there was something special about that little valley on the edge of town where Sam planned to build an upscale. bowl-like valley. And down below. he had picked the little mountain town of Boquete in Panama’s Chiriquí province in which to build his version of paradise. green. the ﬁrst residences would be built.R E T IRE M E N T L I F E ST Y L E Panama Then and Now: What a Difference a Decade Makes By Suzan Haskins here we were standing. we gazed over a lush. There were also plans for an amphitheater and a wellness center… He clearly had a vision. at a comfortable elevation of 3. Our guide that day was Sam Taliaferro. A former Coloradoan married to a Panamanian. but it was still a pretty unknown entity from a foreigner’s perspective—as was Panama itself—when we got there in 2001. Not much to do but watch the ﬂowers grow. would be condo buildings.
But it’s estimated that somewhere between 1. towns of Boquete and Volcán) remain the favorite destinations (For more information.com. Panama makes sense for the economic prosperity… would-be expat. of discounts…from 10% to 50% off everything from doctor’s visits He built the homes. rolling pastures unfold in the Tuesday market where you can buy organic produce. and grow enough vegetables for your personal Pedregal Pedregal edrega edregal e from simple coffee shops where you consumption. and four thing. of small supermarkets and cafes. testament Almirante Almirante Almirante mi ante the week.000 home sites. and more. too.000—something for everyone. Yes. both towns were And there’s no dispute that growth has changed Boquete. they’re plentiful in Volcán. around the mountain… For more information. for $24. email: JohnMaesky at jmaesky@msn. airport. Coast Arco Seco (dry arch) beach towns and the mountain villages and the numbers moving there have slowed in recent years. which has a total population of about 23. Previously.200 square meters) lot in the Go Golfo e Chiriqui Golfo de Chiriquii C Ch qu Boquete ﬁts the bill if you’re looking middle of town. The last condo buildings are going up now. from its local agricultural sources. closely followed by the Paciﬁc No one tracks the total number of foreign residents in Boquete. with a spruced-up plaza and Will this new highway bring to little Volcán more visitors in municipal buildings. The only accessible via separate roads emanating from different points town center seems more congested. signs of prosperity are everywhere. and home-remedy products. (Prices activities. it’s here that you can rub shoulders with But Volcán town itself is little more than a roadway Uatsi Uatsi t fellow expats in a weekly meeting where lined with hardware and agricultural shops.) for foreigners relocating to Panama. and more. you’re spoiled So Soloy Soloy where you can live peacefully. In any case. dotted with black-and-white Holsteins. but Volcán’s prosperity comes group…and if you like the outdoors. But Volcán is are in nearby David. Volcán is for people who like being alone and doing their own in Boquete. for instance. Those who qualify for Panama’s topAnd what about Boquete? ranked Pensionado (Retirement) Program can import Soon-to-be retirees ﬂocked here in search of low-cost real estate and a better quality of life. and there’s now a vast green valleys drop precipitously. search of opportunities similar to those found in Boquete a decade Some believe the increased number of foreigners has caused ago? Yes.“ Fast forward to 2011. horseback riding. to the global recession.000. golf course. And that’s indeed what they found. These WHERE TO RETIRE IN PANAMA? days. 25 minutes away. artisan breads.000. That’s why you won’t C Ce o Cerro Cerro COST COSTA COSTA STA you can go zip-lining.” pharmacies. art to Volcán’s growing prosperity.000 to $1. as well as a 24-hour clinic and laboratory. Growth has changed Boquete. thanks of El Valle and Sorá to the west of the capital. with more cars and deﬁnitely along the Panamerican Highway at the base of the volcano. If that’s not what you’re looking for. Fuchsia-colored bougainvilleas line the roadway. with everything David David David d fruit trees. But unless someone builds prices across the board to rise—everything from real estate to the a community on the massive scale of Valle Escondido.” T JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 9 . Volcán is coffee-growing country. travel. email real estate agent Magda Crespo: Just last year.com. “Boquete is for people come in the form of health care facilities and food sources.000. along with the domestic also home to Panama’s largest and most productive dairy farms. a highway was opened from Boquete around email@example.com expats live full-time in the Boquete district. “Bucolic” is the natural health. Volcán will ever become a “destination” as Boquete has. distance. dance classes. Volcan Volcan n Boquete Boquet Boquete t nearby Volcán Barú National Park. The biggest improvements have As a local real estate agent explained.000 and 2. C r Corredor Corredor r But if you just want a small piece of land near town… San Sa San an As for restaurants. spa. there’s a Bridge Club. But it’s prettier. household goods and vehicles duty-free and be eligible for a host The utopian vision Sam shared with us in 2001 is now a reality. In fact. or hiking in and provides good income. who want to be around other people and have lots of things to Today. beauty. take a scenic drive range from $140. with more than 1. with only a few threePanama City and the Chiriquí highlands (speciﬁcally the bedroom units left for purchase with prices starting at $215. an English theater bringing dollars here. more expats are classes. While you won’t ﬁnd many Puerto Puerto uerto ue can eat for a buck or two to upscale garden lots in Boquete. and prescription medications to restaurants. little Panama is quite grown up and has become the region’s shining star of democracy and oday more than ever. Two excellent private hospitals and two public hospitals Like Boquete. whitewater ﬁnd inexpensive farmland here…the land is productive Punta Punta u un R A RICA RICA PANAMA PANAMA ANA A NAMA rafting. And word that comes to mind. What a difference a decade makes. beside which There are three decent-sized supermarkets. it’s already happening. hotel. and more. for instance. You Armuelles Armuel s Armuelles el international fare. There are now more than 10 gated communities—both small for a well-developed community with built-in neighbors and and large—in Boquete. can buy a one-third acre (1. you’re in luck.) Volcán Barú to the village of Volcán.000. there are both public and private clinics do. have a few chickens and a Concepcion Concep ion cep e Andres La Concepcion An s Andres for choice in Boquete. more shops. it’s doubtful home-grown coffee—but that’s also an effect of time. a couple El a Elena Elena Caribbea Cariibbean Sea Caribbean Sea ean a local issues are discussed. and banks—a couple Boca Bocas Bocas del Toro oca o Toro Toro or To keep you busy other days of of new bank branches have recently opened. condos.
Jaime organized volunteer work with the Lake Chapala Society through an old friend who had already made the move south. I attended AWAI’s Travel Photography & Writing Workshop in New Orleans and a travel guidebook-writing course with VIVA Travel Guides. For my travel and photo blog. But expats started buying his Ajijic photos. Once I started walking everywhere. which they had never done before. citizen Living in: Ajijic.” on the street one day.” says Jaime. adaptability. Before even leaving his home in Redwood City. maestro. My circle of friends had grown. Lured to Guatemala. Then I completed several assignments on Antigua. Now. “One time. and more speciﬁcally to Antigua.S. “it was great fun. In December 2009. freer and more vibrant. I feel more at home in Antigua than back in England. cable and water. Jaime had never sold his photos before. Jaime Barbiery. But sadly I had only picked up a smattering of well-worn Spanish travel phrases. the town of Ajijic has a reputation as an inspiring haven for expats from all over the world. an open heart and mind it’s all been one big adventure. he added a cooking class on Friday evenings. local produce. one dormant and one active. “I wanted to escape all the negativity of the U.” When someone called to him “maestro. recently retired payroll consultant. California. Jaime gave twice weekly computer skills training to Mexican women.S. cheaper. after three years. cultural norms and pace of life but with patience. Home for me is the alluring. citizen Living in: Antigua. I initially came for a one-month language course. Guatemala Every morning I open my eyes and see Agua volcano framed by my window. Antigua is a culturallyrich city of around 40. Mexico.K.000 people. the colors and the symmetry. Steeped in history.LI V ING TH E D R E A M IL Readers Find Their Income Overseas “Life is Simpler. by the promise of a clear Spanish accent. © ULI DANNER/DREAMSTIME. locally grown coffee I can see three volcanoes. colonial city of Antigua in central Guatemala. A 15-minute 10 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 stroll takes me to the vivacious city center and a leisurely 10 minutes to the ample elbow-jostling market swamped in a plentiful muddle of fresh. But month by month I extended my classes until I had been studying for seven months. the school my second.” While he had been an amateur photographer. I had reached a decent level of ﬂuency and my host family had become my ﬁrst home. economy at the time. “Now I Am Living an Adventure” Name: Jaime Barbiery Age: 61 From: U. My sizable furnished apartment has both a bougainvillea-draped patio and a rooftop terrace with stunning views. Guatemala.wordpress. Expanding creativity is what Jaime says has been the biggest beneﬁt to him of living in Ajijic.” says Jaime. “My creativity has exploded here. and Guatemala is truly “the Land of Eternal Spring. electricity. My rent is $350 per month and includes WiFi. As a volunteer. see: Loca4motion. is one of Latin America’s most alluring and inspiring colonial towns. The greatest challenges of moving anywhere have been learning the language. I worked as a teacher in a local English school before deciding to ﬁnally pursue a lifelong dream.” Jaime teaches them different ways to use ingredients from their local markets. A month later. and tossed it with shrimp. “They brought tequila. I’m now a contributing author for the ﬁrst edition of VIVA Travel Guides Guatemala and here I am writing for International Living! I’m still only starting out but I’ve taken the ﬁrst steps towards living my dream as a freelance travel writer and photographer. Freer and More Vibrant” Name: Lucy Brown Age: 44 From: U. he decided that this was his community and he was staying.COM . looming above the red and gray mishmash of tin and tiled rooftops. one extinct.com. The climate is sunnier and warmer. About 10 women showed up. After ﬁnishing my Spanish studies. I’m deﬁnitely not ready to leave. Disappointed at my poor grasp of the language I set my sights on Central America for some real cultural immersion. Mexico On the shores of Lake Chapala. we made pesto. and I started to photograph.” Antigua. arrived in town for a three month visit.” In 2005 I began traveling in South America and fell in love with Latin culture. By then. Life for me here is simpler. I began to notice more—the details. and I realized what rare opportunities the place offered for a permanent lifestyle. And locals would come up to him and say “I know that door” or “where is that?” “ Living my dream as a freelance travel writer. both local and expat. Out on the terrace sipping freshly ground.
Deep down I knew life was about more than just money and I was curious to learn about other cultures so I did a course in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Brazil. If you prefer to live the simple life. “While many expats don’t speak Spanish and get by just ﬁne. “Plenty of Time to Travel Around Spain” Name: Barry O’Leary Age: 31 From: U.) . I’ve been living here six years now and I love how you can choose your lifestyle.” It’s easier and more enjoyable and leads to new friendships. “ Life is more relaxed and more fulfilling here. citizen Living in: Seville. I never had this much free time in my own country and it means I can do things I’ve always wanted. I’ve been to the hospital a couple of times and the service was excellent. a tostada con jamon (cured ham on toast) and a coffee will set you back $3. a city of 700. In 2003 I was working as a sales representative in London but I was restless and unhappy. I only work four days a week. through the cathedral and back to their church. Mexico.” So Jaime started selling his photography in monthly exhibitions put on by the Ajijic Society for the Arts. Compared to my stressful. which gives me plenty of time to travel around Spain and to write. as are private teachers. while dinner for two and a couple of glasses of wine is around $20. in the Mexican community about a ﬁve-minute walk from the main plaza. My wife and I have private healthcare and pay $120 a month between us. Spain Blue skies more than 300 days a year.Lake Chapala. and Canadians. It’s a week-long party and a fun way to appreciate Spanish life. And that’s how I ended up in Spain. “Classes are inexpensive. Once he accepted that time ﬂowed differently. and culture pouring from every corner… This is Seville. drinking Manzanilla (a strong Spanish sherry). Jaime’s advice for someone who is contemplating a move is to learn the language. After a few years spent teaching in Ecuador. For breakfast. JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G © MICHAEL SNELL/GETTY IMAGES 11 . he also accepted the beneﬁts of it. Each church takes its statute of Jesus and Virgin Mary on a parade around the city. Americans. your experience is much different if you do speak the language. moneyfocused life back home. Seville is also a great hub for traveling. La Feria (The Fair) is the other festival. or you can eat out without breaking the bank. like learning ﬂamenco guitar. Instead of getting upset if someone didn’t show up on time he learned to “go with the ﬂow. home to ﬂamenco music and delicious food. Australia and Thailand I returned to England to catch up with family and friends. have plenty of time to live my life. Two festivals light up the city during the year: Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a religious festival before Easter. groceries are cheap.” and “live moment to moment.blogspot.” says Jaime. either before going or once there. And if you fancy somewhere more exotic. as a TEFL teacher I rarely panic. sandy beaches and Portugal is only two hours away. Having traveled the world and lived in dangerous cities I love feeling safe in Seville. It’s one of the architectural jewels of Spain. He says. restaurants and tapas bars lining the streets. why would you want to buy? It’s easy and hassle-free. and dancing Sevillianas (a traditional dance). collaborates with other artists and also raises funds for local charities. is home to a buoyant and creative mix of expats and locals.com. The atmosphere is pleasant. Irish. The satisfaction of watching my students learn and progress provides me with a more meaningful way of life. There are snow-clad mountains for skiing. Jaime lives in the same place that he rented in his ﬁrst week. learning a language and the creative energy of life overseas. I’ve found a rich culture here that’s been great fun to experience and explore.000 people.K. Normally held in April or May. There is a large expat community and you can mingle with Brits.50. (Article written by Chris Wildgen. then Morocco is easy to get to by ferry as well. and hardly ever think that I’m teaching for the money. He is having more fun than ever and has learned that nothing can stop him. The biggest challenge for Jaime in Ajijic was the concept of time. but I missed the adventure. “At $280 per month for a furnished place. I love this festival and hopefully next year I will participate in a procession.” His life is more relaxed and also more fulﬁlling. Now he puts on his own exhibitions. You can read more at Jaime’s blog: Jaimesadventure.” While many people choose to buy a home. this event is more about partying. with the occasional Friday meeting.
and she was sorry to see him leave. San José and surfed with other members in Stuttgart. a young man “50s+ Travelers” group boasts membership of 5. The On another occasion. For example. (Many hosts offer private Firstly.) ﬁnding couches. and sleeping spaces other than proﬁle and add pictures of yourself. too. At ﬁrst glance. She says she has to the website. if you’re in Buenos Aires. Generally.” courage to explore this one-of-a-kind way to travel.com. congenial company and help requesting to surf with people you think you’d get along with the local language. They’ve hosted payment. Sharon enjoys the website so much that For beginners. (It also helps to message people who reply to a experience was when some people arranged to stay with her family high percentage of requests—a stat available on everyone’s proﬁle.” she says. as many times as passing through Costa Rica to have Christmas dinner on our farm… you need to feel like you’re meeting a friend when you go couch More than 30 people showed up. who’d traveled many hours to spend Maia’s birthday some surfers. The food was pretty great. citizens. You’ll be surprised by a buzz of activity—potlucks.” This lets potential hosts know that you’re keen to meet saved around $3. most with food to contribute.) and didn’t show up. We all had a super holiday in several Couch surﬁng also has engaged group communities. for a couple of nights. Set up a stay she even had couch surfers over for the holidays. where over 2. and most importantly. cultural concern but insights.) serious about couch surﬁng.000 thanks with. And after meeting to ﬁnd Raul. Members can also ofﬁcially “vouch” for someone they’ve over 51 couch-surﬁng guests at their farm in Cuidad Colón west of met in person and trust. who knows? Next trip. maybe for just a weekend. “Two years ago with someone in a nearby city or state. This shows other couches—so the term “couch surﬁng” is somewhat users you’re a real person with real interests who’s of a misnomer. you might think the website is home only to Users of the Couch surf in Germany users in their twenties and thirties.) The website has an optional vineyards near Stuttgart.TR AVE L FOR FR EE Overnight for Free Anywhere in the World By Darius Fisher © JILLIAN POND/ISTOCK C ONNECTING WITH LOCALS OVERSEAS IS ONE Safety is of the best ways to guarantee a successful trip.069.7 million community with people in 246 countries exchange hospitality for free. from Berlin. The cost savings are a nice you’ll when you $3. and surﬁng. a peer-reviewed That’s the idea behind couchsurﬁng. a month or two later. “Surf locally at ﬁrst. completely ﬁll out a bedrooms. No one on. these groups are helpful for got along well. Email. The night of meeting locals. Fifty-one year old Gerd Vandeperre is a reference parts proﬁle in your initial Belgian couch surfer who agrees. perk.000 thanks to the website. “He and our daughter [Maia] Even if you’re too timid to surf. And there’s a way time user’s primary you can do that—gaining all the helpful tips. no matter probably a ﬁrst where on the planet you’re headed. “Two groups that might otherwise have difﬁculty obligate you to anything else. Sharon and Dick have been allows users to validate their name and address by making a small legal residents of Costa Rica for the past 40 years. we were having friends over for the group in that city and check for any couch surﬁng events going cake and ice cream. Germany and Signing up for couchsurﬁng. where languages. But a thriving community of site can leave reviews and blurbs about senior surfers exists as well.com takes just a few minutes. (Remember—signing up and hosting or surﬁng doesn’t to families. keep everyone safe. rather than just looking for a free place Is there a downside? Sharon’s only bad to stay. France. (The majority are and spend fall in the of 50 use the site. Sharon advises. them speciﬁcally. More than 93. Though they are U. All you have to systems in place to do is sign up to make friends and ﬁnd people to stay with. here are a few tips to ensure you’ll get responses from potential Sharon actually gives preference to travelers over 50 and hosts. when there was a knock on the door. positive. And Perpignan. Sharon’s family hosted Raul.” a dozen or so stayed the night. futons. Sharon likes couch surﬁng because it provides Then search for potential hosts and send messages She saved access to information. and lasting friendships a local contact can couch surﬁng is provide—and cut your accommodation fees to zero at the same time. credit card veriﬁcation system that Dick. parties and excursions are common.” members of all stripes can chat about similar interests. sign up for her birthday. language ever comes to the farm except on purpose…so we opened the door exchanges. Two of them are 65-year old Sharon Wallace and her husband. Skype and phone.000 people over the age people they’ve met. “ 12 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 .of theirget warmer responses message. too. at Christmas.S. maybe you’ll summon the with her. In fact. we invited any couch surfers and home exchangers Find your comfort level.
S. Algodones—just south of the U.com/healthcare. I won’t recommend anyone that I Not only are the prices much cheaper have not personally used. email: operation of the ofﬁce.Jerry@hotmail. THOUSANDS of U. My friend returned nine can take an hour or more. and 196 miles from Phoenix. are also cheaper in Algodones. Arizona. dentist again.60. And you have access to in Algodones. all you can save on of $30. our friends to our Algodones dentist. 168 miles from San Diego. send to Dr Jerry.” What about border a nice selection of free hassles? The Algodones frames as well. when my wife Julie and I were living in Palm Springs. see: Frugal-retirement-living. months later and got the crown for $200. It was nine years ago. intimidated. and how to save in Slash Your Health Care Costs: The World’s Top 7 Destinations for HighQuality.60.. and I pay the going rate The same crown will cost $1. 20 pharmacies. had LASIK surgery performed on our eyes Another friend got all 26 of his teeth in 1996 in Venezuela (another great deal crowned for $6. like anywhere else. it would be worth snowbirds are in residence. 100to three-block walk of that lot. According to the local tourist ofﬁce.html. we picked up overseas). generic the ofﬁces are within a twoClaritin 10mg. We and our friends have never felt uncomfortable. had for $170. telephone cleanliness. pill bottles of antibiotics like amoxicillin Being a year-round resident in Arizona for $4.H HEA LT H CA RE Head to the Baja: Save Thousands on Dental Care in Mexico By Gary Pierce VERY YEAR. Our Mexican dentist cleaned my friend’s teeth. but Julie—a former work has been done by Dr.S. prescription drugs.000 for the same The eye exam is free. I don’t So how cheap is cheap? A porcelain receive a referral fee for the patients I crown in Algodones costs $200 to $220.com/ there whose U. That’s because medications into the U. 100-count for $4. Dental cleaning. performed by the dentist himself. And all my than in the States.000 people. Algodones is only three miles south of Interstate 8 in California. we go to Algodones in the allowed to bring a 90-day supply of early fall or summer. not U. who to see.36 or ampicillin for $4. His U. 120-count for $3. Good-Value Care. and told him he needed one crown.S. That price included But you can certainly other work as well. or unsafe on our many trips.S. and eyeglasses. American-accredited medical options you have abroad—care that can cost up to 80% less than you typically pay today. expect to pay $80 to $100…and all the dentists in Algodones are of equal have the job done by a dental hygienist. and Canadian residents visit the small town of Algodones. None of the drug problems that are plaguing towns like Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez have affected Algodones. It is 11 miles from Yuma. Gerado dental assistant—was impressed with the (Jerry) Castillo.000. We share all the secrets about where to go. We don’t need glasses since we door of his U. My guy does not advertise or We have referred more than 30 of hire hawkers to drive business to him.S.S. His family progressive lenses sell Dental care isn’t dentist in the U. To ﬁnd out favorite story is about one friend I took more.S. that I ﬁrst heard of Algodones as an inexpensive place to get good-quality dental work done. charged him $30. Dental care isn’t all you can save on in Needless to say.com. We decided to check it out for ourselves and were so happy with the results of our Gary’s Contacts in Algodones ﬁrst visit that we’ve returned to the same practice ever since. Mexico. near the Arizona/California border. when all the expensive medication. holdent_dr. All Prilosec 20mg. is $35 to $40. E More Secrets of Health Care Abroad You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the highquality. My He’s strictly word-of-mouth.600. the lines pricing here. and 10 optical shops have hung out shingles in this town of just 6. border in Baja California—is a magnet for North Americans looking to save money on dental work. quality of work and smooth number is: 928 503 8406. he will never darken the Algodones. for one simple reason: It saves them thousands of dollars. Details here: Intliving. costing $3. or $270 for given him an estimate the transition lenses. quality. Varilux procedures. The streets are crowded with these medical tourists. experience is made painless Prescription drugs by a parking lot right next to the border. 268 miles from Los Angeles..S. dentist told him he use-a-Mexican-dentist. In the word of caution. especially in the winter months when the snowbirds move south. 27 dentists. a few save on eye exams and root canals among the glasses here. And he didn’t need it then… going through customs and immigration but within a year. “ JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 13 . so if you take an during the winter months. A Phoenix. needed three crowns. work. Generic No need to drive your car into Mexico. You’re these days.000 in for my dental work when I see him.
The idea is that your U. Use the credit card to pay for as much as possible Nevada. It Step 6: Set up a North American phone number that doesn’t have to be in the same state as the one in which you acts as your professional and ofﬁcial phone. and a ATM. New Hampshire and Tennessee. and they are often transcribed into emails. renovating and you at a U. out cash from that account anywhere in the world using an All you need is a laptop.S.com). Watch out for fees associated with bit of preparation and you’ll be ready to do your debit card—it may affect which bank business wherever you land. Here are you choose. The least expensive I’ve found is Pop Fax (Popfax. the U. ofﬁce…living the dream I had for so account under the same name as your new company. If you are taking payments seven easy steps to make it happen: in foreign currencies. Some Step 5: Apply for a credit card for your business states do not tax your business affairs—Alaska. number but you can receive their faxes from renting investment property. depending on the mail for you.com/parlerparis.SOLUTION S 7 Work-from-Anywhere Tips By Adrian Leeds forwarding services.S. you receive your phone messages as ﬁles that Adrian Leeds is an American living in France for almost two deyou can listen to. Bank of the West in San You can easily create your entity through online Francisco offers business accounts in U. (For more information.com or Mbex.com).you could be anywhere in the world! Plus with all ABOUT THE AUTHOR these services.com). V “ 14 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 .S.com/know/incometax.com or subscribe to Adrian’s free newsletter copy shop do it for you. Washington. so that payment for your charges is easy and you have a Two others. ofﬁce— Attach a debit card to the account that lets you take or even start a new business.net.” deposits and with exchange rates. and Wyoming. If you wish to send a fax. Postal Service offers mailwhat suits you best. account.) and has no additional fees on foreign transactions (See: Step 3: Set up a mailing address where you can receive Capitalone. Try Myus. Texas.S. Step 7: Create an online fax account that allows you to cades. ofﬁce you can clear. For almost 17 Step 4: Choose a bank that can manage your portable years it’s been my home. (See: Bankofthewest. earn anyhwere. She’s built a successful consulting business assisting others receive your faxes as . Just watching the buzz on years! Beyond the USPS.gif ﬁles. the USPS will gladly forward it to France (or (available all over Paris!) and order up a wherever you are) free of charge—I did this for almost 10 frothy café crème. using Skype (See: Skype. Or you can scan the document and Parler Paris here: Adrianleeds. choose carefully euros. But whatever your overseas life who can accept your check deposits by mail. If you don’t have a friend or relative who can manage com/voice) or Vonage (See: Vonage. (I equivalent account in euros.) eliminating exchange-rate risk when receiving payments in Step 2: To keep taxes to a minimum. and for all that time I’ve worked career well and that has Internet banking.pdf or . looks like. purchasing. However.S. South Dakota. Florida. mail and which acts as the ofﬁcial company address. you can have a local See: Adrianleeds. learning French and more.com). people fax in moving to France. the state within which you register your company. Owned by BNP Paribas.-based clients can easily reach you. you can have it now and keep your U. anywhere. and no one needs to know where you are. I discovered that if a ERY OFTEN. earning a living.com). Be as a DBA (“Doing Business As”) or LLC prepared for the checks to take weeks to from which you can conduct business. wouldn’t want to miss a single moment of it. dollars with an companies that specialize in small business start-ups.S. MY TRUSTY LAPTOP forwarding label to your new address is placed over the old goes with me to my favorite corner café address (by a friend or other) and the item is dropped into where I can log on thanks to free WiFi a mail box. And prep yourself for the hit you’ll This provides an entity from which you take in bank charges associated with the can invoice a client and get paid for it.com. Google Voice (See: Google. Open a bank from my portable U. sure that there’s an agent at the bank assigned to your Your dream might be a Caribbean beach or a South account: someone you can correspond with by email and American mountain town. You can do this registered the company. see: card that accrues mileage rewards (two miles to the dollar) Govspot. Capital One offers a credit dividend and interest income. but there are many online. tax only record for business purposes. a host of other international mail the street from a café is what living in Paris is all about…I and forwarding services exist. This is very convenient for recommend Bizﬁlings. Make many years to be rooted in the City of Light. be sure your bank Step 1: Set up a business entity such With a virtual can accept foreign-currency checks. an Internet connection.. This way.. then email it or fax it through your online fax account. (It’s the plus illustrate that you have a real and price of doing business!) viable business.htm.
To get fed lots of what’s good for you head to Café des Federations near the Hotel de Ville. Lyon is a more genuine affair than its larger counterpart. You’ll ﬁnd impressive Roman ruins here. (It’s the only city where I’ve ever eaten four dinners in two days.” traditionally home to the silk workshops. bacon salad. After all that food you can take a walk up the winding heights of Fourvière. a charming eatery where you can get comfortably stuffed for $17 or go all out and pay $45 to sample as much as you can (see: Lamerejean. It’s also where the country’s love affair with food is at its most intense. It’s a large place that’s survived being thrown very much the “wrong side of the tracks” by a nine-lane-wide interchange built in the ‘50s. tripe. Brasserie Georges claims to be the oldest bouchon in Lyon. If you don’t fancy distinctive regional dishes like tete de veau (“head of a calf”). It’s cheaper.org.” for its grand churches. there are plenty of mainstream options such as onion soup.com). Each has its own character.” Eating in France’s Second City By Eoin Bassett P ARIS IS THE DESTINATION OF CHOICE FOR most visitors to France looking for culture. Lyon is close to the famous winegrowing regions of Beaujolais and the Côtes du Rhône. One good-value spot in the Old Town is Le Tablier (“the apron”) where you’ll pay $18 for three courses (see: Letablier-lyon. (cream cheese with garlic and chives—the name literally means “brains of the silk-weaver”). Chez Mounier doesn’t look much from the outside.) Bouchons are atmospheric but modest affairs. Just a two-hour train ride from the capital. now a world heritage site.com). or my favorite. It opens every day of the year (see: Brasseriegeorges. Once the scene of vicious sieges.com). Along the cobbled-streets of the Old Town. A few blocks away. But while there are good reasons it’s the most-visited city in the world. And you can ﬁll up on foie gras and other delicacies at any number of the city’s upper-end establishments. Home to dozens of universities. history-packed hills. France’s second city Lyon is every bit as attractive. It’s a ﬁgure with a glass of wine and napkin in hand. but it serves the best-value four-course meal in the city. and while the bouchons’ wine lists may not be extensive. JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 15 . too. dominated by two large. it’s got the dynamic feel of a student town blended with big-city pleasures. nowadays it’s a popular location for makers of period ﬁlms. You won’t go thirsty either. Bouchons focus on meat. good food and that special joie de vie (“joy of life”). They began life in the 19th century as places where the city’s silk workers wolfed down hearty meals at rock-bottom prices to get them through long working days. but they all have the feel of an 18th- © KIM SAYER/GETTY IMAGES A Medieval Day Trip Just a 30-minute train ride from Lyon. On the banks of the majestic Rhône and Saône rivers. a sticker awarded to those bouchons considered genuine. and the waiter doesn’t bring you fresh forks with each course. It’s just like being at your grandmother’s. There’s no crisp white linen here. Cross the river Saone from the Old Town and ﬁnd your way to the Place Bellecour and the Hotel de Ville (town hall). the medieval walled town of Pérouges is a special experience. on a plateau overlooking the Rhône and the Ain rivers. but the food is absolutely delicious and the portions generous. and fancy a city break. known as the “hill that prays. there’s another option. but they’re geared toward the tourist trade and are generally pricier than others in the city. Or climb up the CroixRousse. Some have only a few hefty wooden tables out front while others cater for 20 to 30 diners at a time. The décor in many hasn’t changed in 50 or 60 years and most are still family-run operations. bavette (skirt steak). quenelle de brochet (pike dumpling with crayﬁsh sauce). But it’s in the city’s bouchons you’ll ﬁnd the real ﬂavour of things. known as “the hill that works. especially offal. If you’re looking for a taste of the real France. boudin noir (blood sausage) and cervelle de canut. where staff will ﬁll you up with chicken liver mousse. don’t be blinded by the City of Light. Sip on a cider and munch a galette de Pérouges (a thin buttery pastry) in the shade of a colonnaded hostelry. and some dishes may sound like acquired tastes. see: Perouges. the quality is secondto-none. where you’ll ﬁnd the traboules (tunnels) used by the French resistance during World War II.IN S ID E R INT EL L I GEN CE century tavern. You’ll eat like royalty for less than $20 in France’s “Gastronomic Capital. One tip is to look for the marionette Gnafron. Not far away on Rue Maronniers. These cheerful. local cheeses and all the usual Lyonnais cuisine (see: Lesfedeslyon. Lyon is regularly called the “gastronomic capital of France” and its home to 37 Michelin-starred restaurants. But you won’t care as you dig in to andouille (grilled chitterlings sausage). hearty and reasonably-priced bistros are what make a visit to Lyon really unforgettable.com). For more information. “Father of nouvelle cuisine” Paul Bocuse is a local. you’ll ﬁnd perfectly acceptable bouchons. Here you’ll ﬁnd La Mere Jean.
” The biggest one. Search Associates is another recruiter and good source of information on overseas jobs with lots of useful advice to get you started. malpractice insurance and accommodation will all be paid for you. and the Internet is choc full of job opportunities. Hotel management.S. see: Uni. simply. It’s simply a matter of ﬁnding the right ﬁt… Resources for Taking Your Profession on the Road Huge numbers of North Americans work in areas for which there’s a great demand overseas.S.” She says. held at the University of Northern Iowa.com). for example. Jess Lee has been a tour leader with one of the world’s top adventure-travel companies. marketing consultants and more. attracts over a 100 international schools in search of teachers. you can ﬁnd work in one of hundreds of overseas international schools from Dublin to Dubai. engineers. While your pay will generally be less than in the U. You’ll need a university degree and teaching credentials. Good references and competency in a second language will help distinguish your application. Your employment choices are most broad if you’re prepared to share your skills in developing countries. and.edu. A good place to get started is with Expatmedicaljobs. marketing and ﬁnancial jobs are others.state. These days.” In fact. from anesthetists to family medicine. a lot of people who would make great tour leaders are put off from applying because they think they’re too old or don’t have the right skills.S. In Brazil. Europe and Asia are the most popular choices for those looking to work overseas but increasing numbers of people are moving to South America to beneﬁt from strong economies and great quality of life. The U. See: www. engineering. See: Search-associates. you’ll have time to travel and your round-trip ﬂights. To make employers sit up and take notice of your resume or application highlight any experience you have with leadership skills.Iss. or to the Caribbean. (After all. which lists hundreds of overseas positions. educators. traveled extensively. Assignments last from six to 24 months and you’ll be paid in the currency of the host country. you really can’t go wrong. “For anyone who doesn’t mind hard work in exchange for a job where no two days will ever be the same. where you’ll ﬁnd opportunities for every specialty. see: www. Touring and Teaching: Advice from the Field Have you ever gone on vacation only to plummet back down to earth when you get back to the daily grind? But what if your daily grind was taking vacations? For four years. along with at least a couple of years of experience to have a chance at one of these choice spots. and most travel companies want their tour leaders to have life experience and maturity. Another rich resource is Global Medical Stafﬁng (See: Gmedical.F U ND YOUR L I FE A Portable Paycheck Could Be Your Ticket Overseas By Eoin Bassett “ UT WHAT WILL I LIVE ON?” IT’S A COMMON refrain among folks who dream of life overseas but don’t have a ready source of income to fund it. naturally. but while you’re on tour you . 16 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 B “One of the best ways to get a job is through an annual recruitment fair. and there are hundreds more independent international schools that also hire U. North-American-trained health professionals.com.S. For more information. there’s a job waiting for you in a dream destination. One of the best ways to get a job teaching overseas is through an annual recruitment fair. A lot of schools use specialised recruitment services based in the U. Just pick the region of the world you like and open up your laptop. International School Services is one that’s been around a long time and works with schools all over the world. The State Department also maintains a good website with information on Governmentsponsored schools. “Unfortunately. you can’t live for free.com. are in big demand worldwide. But teaching and health care are only two professions that travel well. government sponsors around 180 of them. even in the most affordable destinations.) Good news is: You’d be surprised at the many ways you can collect a portable paycheck…all over the world. These are held throughout the year. any relevant travel you’ve done. teachers. problem-solving skills. Whatever your expertise or your area of interest. catering.edu/ placement/overseas. thousands of opportunities exist for health care workers.. the oldest leader Jess has worked with was in her 60s. Lots of specialist recruiters and websites exist. From teaching in Taiwan to family practice in Australia to leading tours in Guatemala. They specialize in taking medical professionals to Australia and New Zealand. for instance.gov/m/a/os.S. “You won’t get rich as a tour leader. If you’re a teacher. And a few years in another country—on top of being an unforgettable experience for you—can be a great way to help your resume stand out. the majority of legal foreign workers come from the U. companies are more likely to hire someone who has worked in a people-orientated career and been a previous passenger on one of their tours than someone who has.
see: Franchise. Germany and Chile. go into the school in person with your new contact details and a big smile. Most of what you learn you’ll pick up on the job. see: Intliving. One of the most popular overseas careers is teaching English as a foreign language. Start by researching job adverts in the country you’d like to go to. which brings down the cost of living dramatically. “Be wary of schools that don’t give you material to teach. Again. see: Intliving. However. He teaches English in Seville. you won’t get rich teaching English. Spain. “A short TEFL course of a few weeks will sufﬁce to get work in a lot of countries. pick one that involves some teaching practice. A good time to get work in most European cities is September when term-time starts. In particular.” advises John. Figure out the type of business you want to run. “There are lots of courses available. “Regardless of what course you choose. a vast and diverse country full of opportunities.” says John. There are lots of opportunities in international markets.” You don’t have to secure a job in advance. But some of the markets that have the most growth potential are Brazil.org. but you‘ll get to live in any number of amazing countries. then ask those companies about opportunities in the country you are interested in. In addition to Brazil… Chile. Japan. China.) For a list of places in the U.” says Jess. Make a list of the schools in the place you want to live and send them an email and resume well in advance. get involved with the expat community. © TIFONIMAGES/iSTOCK © GREG GARDNER/iSTOCK JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 17 . China. Do your homework and you won’t get stuck with a bad employer. opportunities do exist to develop businesses in a single region of a country or to operate single units. consider an international franchise. to study CELTA. But the more expensive courses like CELTA and RELSA will open up many more job opportunities—usually with better salaries—and make you employable pretty much anywhere. make a short list of companies in that category. “There are as many unscrupulous operations out there as there are excellent ones.” says Jess.” says John. for instance. which means they’re looking for an investor to develop the entire market or country. They can take up to two months to complete going part time. and then pick the English-speaking countries ﬁrst like the U. you’ll get an idea of the level of qualiﬁcation required. will have no accommodation costs and in most places you will eat for free. or one month full time. international franchisors use master franchising in foreign markets. franchising there are abundant. Once you’re on the ground.S.” “The real highlight of the job is that there’s no such thing as an average day. That’s a great way to network and to ﬁnd out about the schools and job opportunities. John Myer’s career as an EFL teacher has taken him to Italy. says Matthew Haller of the International Franchise Association. His advice is to get the best qualiﬁcation you can afford.” For a list of some of the biggest operators. and FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES OVERSEAS If you’re looking for a business idea and a new life overseas. Brazil’s economy is doing very well and the opportunities for The capital of Colombia. You can ﬁnd opportunities on the ground as well.K. “U. or provide you with books. Bogota is a great place to get franchising. “One day you may be leading a hike and the next showing your clients your favorite local drinking dens. or Australia.S.com/CELTA. “New leaders shouldn’t expect to earn much more than $50 per day.Experience life in Australia.” Generally.com/tours. rising to $80 to $100 per day once you gain experience. India and Russia. China and Colombia are other countries where there’s currently lots of growth in franchises. franchisors generally get started in Canada and Mexico. When you arrive in a destination where you’re interested in working. but practice classes will give you an idea of whether or not language teaching is really for you. For more information. a syllabus or some kind of academic guidance. (See Barry O’Leary’s story on page 11.
After dinner.F E ATURE STORY Popular with expats for decades. yet offering every modern amenity. San Miguel de Allende is still one of Mexico’s most charming colonial towns. and the region is dotted I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 18 © CHEPENICOLI/iSTOCK . San Miguel offers romantic. gaily-colored colonial buildings and cobbled streets. And the state has at least one other excellent expat option.or part-time.000 expats choose to live here full. Expat Havens of Colonial Mexico I By Glynna Prentice with colonial cities whose centuries-old buildings seem to grow out of the stony soil. line the town’s main streets. and tourists will throng the town’s main square. and beautiful churches and squares are around every corner. Colonial buildings. Shadows are lengthening. and as night falls and the air cools. If you love the kind of rich history and culture that Europe offers but want something closer to home and less expensive. historic Mexico at its most approachable. in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands. I’m here as part of a month-long stay in the state of Guanajuato. Hands down. The country’s Spanish heritage is strongest here. superb arts and crafts. lovingly restored. the state capital. locals. And Guanajuato is its heart. this colonial gem offers one of the easiest transitions to expat life you can ﬁnd anywhere. I’ll probably join them there—it’s the perfect way to end an afternoon spent in the creative artisan shops dotted around town. as well as the town of Dolores Hidalgo—a convenient day trip—which may appeal to adventurous expats. San Miguel alone—arguably the best-known colonial town in Mexico— would make the trip worthwhile. This region in central Mexico has long been a favorite among expats. I’ve been touring the state to see what it has to offer these days—and I’m not disappointed. Physically beautiful and centuries old. sipping on a margarita from a frosted. Below me stretches out a cityscape of tiled rooftops. then Guanajuato state is the place to look. San Miguel de Allende: An Easy Transition to Expat Life Strolling the streets of this mountain town—which dates back to the 16th century—it’s easy to see why as many as 10. ’M SITTING IN A ROOFTOP restaurant in San Miguel de Allende. But you also ﬁnd excellent restaurants. salt-rimmed goblet. expats. Yet the Highlands are also wholly Mexican. and a temperate climate that’s hard to beat. Guanajuato.
The price tag for large dream-worthy colonials on streets like Barranca still runs into the millions of dollars.000. who’s León L n León Dolores Hidalg Dolores Hidalgo Dolores Hidalgo o dalg Gua Guanajua o Guanajuato Guanajuato a Jalpan de Serr Serra Jalpan de Serra a pan rra El Bajío Airport El Bajío Airport ajío irpo o port o S Miguel San Migue de Alle d San Miguel de Allende guel Allende lend MEXICO MEXICO Ixmi ui pan Ixmiquilpan Ixmiquilpan m Q r taro Querétaro Querétaro A ropue o Aeropuerto Aeropuerto puer Inte na iona Internacional tern nal Internacional Queretaro ueretaro reta de Queretaro U USA USA Gulf of Mexico Yucatan Mixquiahuala Mixquia a Mixquiahuala xqui Amealco Amea c Amealco e de Bonfil de Bonfil nfil Atlacomulco Atlacomulco Atlacomulco a omulc de Fabela de Fabela bel Tula Tula de Tula de a Allende Alle d Allende lend e MEXICO MEXICO XICO O M ico Mexico City Mexico City c GU EMAL GUA EMAL GUATEMALA GUATEMALA MA Heroic Zita Heroica Zitac aro Heroica Zitacuaro ica Zitacuaro M x o Mexico Mexico C City City Getting There Connections to the U. There’s even a Mexican immigration ofﬁce in town for processing expat visas. writers and everyone in between.000.” © 4 EYES PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 19 . 1.You can get by with English here. There are international airports in León (El Bajío Airport. will set you back only $135. in the center. She describes the town as “one of the most gorgeous and fascinating communities in Mexico. and if you like that atmosphere. the urge for uncontrolled buying fades. “Homes well under $200. But you don’t have to spend anywhere near that much.” San Miguel feels like a resort town along the lines of Sedona. Like Sedona and Taos. about half an hour from Guanajuato city) and in Querétaro (less than two hours from San Miguel). in the historic center. buyers. thanks to tourism and the large expat presence. body treatments and more) at hotels like Casa de Sierra Nevada and Hacienda el Santuario Golf & Spa…or skip the hotel and go right to The Spa. are extremely easy from the state of Guanajuato. However. And it’s only a 10-minute walk from Parque Juárez.) Don’t get me wrong. One warning: If you’re an art spectator—or you like to shop—it’s easy to blow your budget in San Miguel on everything from chic shoes and high-end peasant blouses to hand-carved furniture and mirrors. what about a fully-furnished. including lunch.000). cites the mix of modern and traditional as one of San Miguel’s attractions. There is regular bus service to Mexico City. Local expats assure me. she quickly ﬁred off a list of almost a dozen expats—mostly women— running activities as varied as health food shops. It costs about $30 or less. creative atmosphere. Get spa packages (massages. And you’ll need deep pockets if you want a large property in the historic center. The town’s amenities are ﬁrst-rate and wide-ranging. Sushi on a Saturday night? Need a little Reiki or a ﬁrst-rate spa experience? No problem. She calls the town “an intriguing blend of serious and fun.700-square-foot home. ties. (Much of San Miguel’s higher-end real estate market depends on U. lived in San Miguel since 2001. Patrice Wynne. Mexican-inspired aprons. for instance. two-bath house that’s about a 15-minute walk from the center for $110.) Artist Lena Bartula. What remains is the town’s fertile. you can get a four-bedroom.000 are available within easy walking distance of the center. but all the basics are there.S. writing workshops. sculptors. with four bedrooms and two baths? One is selling for just $127. the trip takes about three hours from San Miguel and ﬁve hours from Guanajuato. and chiropractic and psychotherapy practices. This region is also about a 10-hour drive from the Texas border. where an all-day pamper-fest. you’ll love San Miguel. Established artists settle here. For its size (population about 80.000 are available within an easy walking distance of the center. Abrazos. as it offers many more direct ﬂights and competitive prices. facials.S. about two hours. you’re unlikely to ﬁnd ﬁre sales here. New Mexico. San Miguel is a great place for artists: painters. It’s also proved a good environment for expat entrepreneurs. many expats prefer to ﬂy internationally from Mexico City. or Taos. If you don’t want to renovate. Right now. though. men’s shirts and more from her shop. There are plenty of properties for sale and prices have softened due to the long recession in the U. once you live here. began a business here six years ago. that. It’s an older home and will need some updating. and others—inspired by Mexican motifs—begin their art career after moving here. it’s possibly the most sophisticated city in Mexico.” Today she sells a line of gaily-patterned. When I mentioned I’d be visiting San Miguel. (There’s even a Spa-mobile that gives a two-hour treatment in your home for $50. Both airports offer direct ﬂights to Houston. Arizona. who moved to San Miguel after almost ﬁve years in nearby Mineral de Pozos. Homes well under $200.S. And these days it’s more affordable to buy here than you might think.
you may ﬁnd San Miguel too international. Expat Donna Leffels. During the month I was there.”) And then there is the university… The University of Guanajuato has its main campus in the city’s centro histórico. your budget may not stretch here. consider a short-term rental: Two-bedroom. The other. hidden squares and markets the city offers. Brightlycolored colonial buildings hug the hillsides and crawl up the mountains. and there are students everywhere. Guanajuato’s expats say San Miguel has better shopping and restaurants…but that there’s more to do in Guanajuato. and an affordable expat Guanajuato is made destination…the city of Guanajuato is all these and more. Local realtor Gerardo Araujo dubs it “a natural ﬁlter” that will probably always limit the expat population. a medieval festival and a paella festival.” It’s also a Spanish-speaking one. Winding streets and stair-laden. “Good.or three-bath furnished properties start at about $400 a week. down and sideways. though. which are riddled with long tunnels to take car trafﬁc zooming underneath the city rather than through it.COM claim to fame: The annual International Cervantes Festival. “it’s not a museum. For one thing.F E ATURE STORY Renting is easy. too.000 in a city of about 70. During the Cervantino the number of tourists in town swells exponentially. And the city tends to attract expats who want to blend in. loves the city for several of the same reasons I do. “this is a living. a festival of European cinema. one expat quipped. is the city’s terrain. expats are a small presence here—there are somewhere between 500 and 1. The continual inﬂux of students is one factor they cite. because just 50 miles to the west lies a wonderful alternative…the city of Guanajuato. are relatively ﬂat in parts. the many tourists. A quick Internet search on San Miguel turns up dozens of entries. Guanajuato: Vibrant Culture in a Historic Setting A state capital that’s a World Heritage An enchanting and site. a venerable Spanish-colonial town. I chose to base myself in Guanajuato during my stay in the Colonial Highlands. have Mexican friends. secret staircases and many sidewalk stalls. An afternoon’s walk around the city is as good as a StairMaster workout—though a lot more fun. the city had a book fair. “Guanajuato won’t ever be like San Miguel. You can live in these areas much as you © KRISTA ROSSOW/GETTY IMAGES . Despite the well-preserved colonial buildings. Thanks to them. The city lies in a narrow river valley between two ranges of hills. Several people I spoke with contend that Guanajuato may never attract the concentration of expats—especially older ones—that San Miguel does. the local symphony. and garages or parking space for vehicles. inevitably. San Miguel may not work for everyone. notably Marﬁl and La Presa. Unlike in San Miguel. “the energy here is younger.” she says. And if you want a really Mexican environment. for enjoying on foot. two.” Yet some neighborhoods.” he says. This was on top of a regular concert series at several museums and theaters. historic icon. If you dream of living right in a city’s historic centro.com have entire sections devoted to San Miguel. most expats in Guanajuato speak some Spanish—many of them ﬂuently. ﬁrst-rate tourist signage. They offer large. Consequently. and vacation-rental sites like Vrbo. It’s the only way you’ll get a room during the Cervantino.” even among the retiree expats. a college town with a young. breathing city. (When I mentioned that I have friends with a house in Guanajuato. You need to be ﬁt—and to stay that way—to navigate Guanajuato’s hilly streets. contends expat James Pyle. It also attracts expats who like the city’s vibrant atmosphere. lively delightfully preserved vibe. If you’d like to try San Miguel out for a while. Guanajuato is made for walking. But don’t worry. and be a seamless part of the population. gracious homes. pedestrian-only passageways called callejones twist and turn up. On foot you can appreciate the passages. “It’s not as accessible. an opera-ﬁlm festival on the steps of the university… the list goes on.000. All this is not even counting Guanajuato’s biggest cultural 20 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 © ISABEL POULIN/DREAMSTIME. which takes place this year October 12 to 30 and brings performing troupes from around the world. a performing-arts Mecca. and the professional. who moved to Guanajuato last summer with her husband and daughter. Wide as its appeal is. guest artists and plays at the Teatro Juárez.
But by and large.000 to $100. bacon. For short-term rentals in Guanajuato. Sanmiguel-mx.000. and there are numerous English-speaking real estate agents here. it has three bedrooms. two baths. For expats this town has another kind of fame: It’s ﬁlled with © ARTURO PEÑA ROMANO MEDINA/iSTOCK “Expats say San Miguel has better shopping but there’s more to do in Guanajuato. Another source is the weekly newspaper Chopper. the heart of centro. sold in news stands. One group we like is Remax Colonial. and other odd delicacies.000 range. In Guanajuato. Much of the stunning tile work found in homes in San Miguel and Guanajuato comes from Dolores Hidalgo. A second condo. and other gear—and these were not meant for the dude ranch market. and sits on a 9. JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 21 . and ask realtors—some will provide names and contact information for rental agents.com.700-square foot lot with mountain views. Even if you dig up no leads.com. I passed plenty of shops selling cowboy boots. depending on the size. I can afford to live in centro. it was selling for just over $100. ask expats and check expat notice boards. 3. To ﬁnd these. Long-term rentals are less straight-forward. two English-speaking real estate contacts are Gerardo Araujo at Casa Solaris.com.com and Premiersanmiguel.” factories that turn out ceramics. Realestatesma. Dolores Hidalgo: Expat Homesteading in the “Cradle of Liberty” Dolores Hidalgo. expats tend to come here on day trips for the ceramics and perhaps have one of Dolores Hidalgo’s famous ice creams. Vrbo. pork rind. A few realtors in San Miguel carry properties in Dolores Hidalgo. And there are still ﬁxer-uppers around the city in the $50. check the classiﬁed section of San Miguel’s bilingual newspaper. as well as elsewhere in town—are known for their range of bizarre ﬂavors. A penthouse apartment. This town is real Mexico… amid real ranching country. On every visit I’ve made there. a garage. It’s here that Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous “Cry of Dolores” that called Mexicans to arms and kicked off Mexico’s War of Independence from Spain in 1810. Today you often see gaggles of school kids getting a hands-on history lesson in the main square. Dolores Hidalgo has great appeal.5 baths.300. “Here. (Vendors—at every corner of the main square. But although it’s so close to San Miguel and Guanajuato. which can include shrimp. With a total of 1. To give you an idea of price. was selling for about $87. a little colonial town of about 55. though. was for sale when I was there. Personally. in Spanish. with an asking price of about $258. which also lists long-term rentals. two ofﬁce areas—one large enough to serve as an extra guest bedroom—and a large rooftop terrace with city and mountain views. a home in a similar up-scale area.com. So far. colonial-style house with 3. If you want to buy: San Miguel’s real estate market is developed. and Guanajuatorentals. Websites like Homeaway. Also see San Miguel Real Estate.” one expat told me…and he’s right. as does Vrbo. I saw one condo about a 20-minute walk from the Teatro Juárez. hats.mx. I’d start my search in the main square. Both are popular with expats. Realestateinguanajuato. including Talavera firstname.lastname@example.org. email: casa.com mostly list vacation rentals. it’s still pretty much off the expat map.679 square feet of space.500. and many areas are quite attractive.com.com.) If you’re an expat looking for adventure. you’ll need to ask around if you’re interested in real estate here. I’ve run into gringos stocking up on wares. email: Guanajuatolandandhomes. the ice cream is great. Atención. com. it has four bedrooms. where you deal directly with the property’s owner. slightly smaller and a slightly longer walk (downhill). and James Pyle.Tips for Renting and Buying f you want to rent: Since San Miguel is a big tourist destination. many properties are listed as short-term vacation rentals.000 people—almost midway between Guanajuato and San Miguel— holds a special place in Mexicans’ hearts.766 square feet of construction. avocado. check sites like Homeaway. Central Dolores Hidalgo is colonial. La Valenciana. A two-story. For instance. I would in any reasonably hilly town.
(81 liters per person).S. In the case of Brazil. two steps above speculative level.” so Brazil bonds are investment-grade.to ﬁnd out for himself how to play the growth of Latin America’s powerhouse emerging market. The real rose from 45 to 70 cents from 2006 to 2009. And another 20 million are expected to join the middle class by 2014. AmBev offers investors a rare mix of growth and income. so do personal-consumption Boots-on-the-ground research is the only kind you can trust when it comes to international investing. The Brazilian economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world. 22 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G . this company is listed as an American Depository Receipt on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ABV.S. Brazilians drink just under 58 liters of the stuff a year. Borrow Low—Deposit High. Guaraná Antarctica.com/catalog/bldh. In Brazil an estimated 35 million people joined the ranks of the middle class between 2003 and 2009. As disposable incomes rise. And it is the biggest bottler of Pepsi outside of the U. Finish one. Better known as AmBev. the big. it is also the market leader in Argentina (with a 76% market share). Brazilian real bonds pay up to 11%. But the rating agency Fitch raised Brazil to “BBB stable. And the company that’s best placed to proﬁt is called Companhia de Bebidas das Americas. and the same waiter will rush back again and plunk another down in front of you. As I said earlier. investors to access. is a primer on multi-currency investing. Add to this a dividend yield—how much the company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price—of 4. There can be volatility. this is it. Brazilians are big beer consumers. and it will be mere seconds before a waiter in a starched white jacket and a black bowtie glides up to you with a tray of recently-pulled draft beers— what Brazilians call chopp (pronounced shoppe).S. and overwhelming trend is the explosive growth of its middle class.5%. This is not only fantastic news for Brazil. levels. Sit at a table there. making it easy for U. and identify the companies best placed to proﬁt from these trends. His report. unstoppable. To ﬁnd out what he saw. Because something big is happening in Brazil: a tidal wave-like demographic shift that will bring Brazil’s brewers more and more customers each year. Chris Hunter. Here are two ETFs with diversiﬁed portfolios that include Brazilian bonds: Market Vectors Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond (EMLC). AmBev is the largest brewer in South America and the ﬁ fth largest in the world.S.8% at writing. Learn more here: Garyascott. Thanks to its population of 190 million and its legal drinking age of 18. Its ﬁve-year annual revenue growth is just under 10%. AmBev not only controls about 70% of the Brazilian market. Brazil still lags behind the U.I N VE STM E N T BEER By Chris Hunter Cash in on Brazil’s Growing Middle Class The Brazil Investor’s Bible There are two keys to simplifying your investing strategy and proﬁting in the global stock markets without fretting over the short-term direction of stocks: Identify big. too. Brazil JULY 2011 is rated BBB while the USA is AAA. That’s why IL Financial Editor. unstoppable. If you want a direct play on the growth of the emerging-market consumer.com/ brazilinvestor. Paraguay (with a 96% market share). with about 10% of assets in Brazilian bonds. the whole of Brazil is a massive beer consumer. and overwhelming trends. The U. iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Market Bond Fund (EMB) has 8. because this massive demographic shift can lead to big proﬁts over the long term. It also sells Brazil’s answer to Jolt Cola. went to Brazil. But with an average consumption per person of just under 58 liters a year. This spells opportunity. T here’s a special art to drinking beer in Brazil. Skol and Antarctica. One of my favorite haunts is Bar Filial in the Vila Madalena neighborhood of São Paulo. Since 2006 the Brazilian real has risen from 44 cents to 61 cents against the dollar. So AmBev has plenty of room to expand its Brazilian operations. I’m talking about the explosive growth in the country’s middle class. It’s also great news for globallyminded investors. see: Intliving. Then it plunged to 40 cents before recovering back to 61 cents. dollar interest rate for 10-year bonds is about 3%.. More personal consumption leads to more beer consumers…and more customers for AmBev—especially for its premium-brand beers. and you have an attractive mix. It’s not just the customers of Bar Filial who are thirsty for beer. Hold Brazilian bonds in a diversiﬁed portfolio. Germany (116 liters per person). Brazil’s Investment-Grade Bonds One way to ﬁght inﬂation is with Brazilian bonds. Bolivia (with a 97% market share). On average.. IL’s Currency Corner By Gary Scott Gary has been a contributing editor since IL’s launch more than 30 years ago. There is some extra risk. Even better. and Ireland (131 liters per person). In Brazil it brews popular brands Brahma (Bar Filial’s chopp of choice). and Uruguay (with a 97% market share). And its return on equity—a measure of how much proﬁt the company generates with the money shareholders have invested—is a healthy 32. Plus there is currency appreciation.87% of assets in Brazilian bonds.
and than from residences. There’s also no need for an assay when you sell. There are some drawbacks. authorities.S. Unallocated metals offshore. greater risk if the bank becomes authorities. you’ll have that avoids the need for an assay a reportable account and need when you sell. You merely need to open an account at a foreign bank and rent a safety deposit box there. metals this way. Your holdings will also likely be insured against loss. A ﬂoor safe is ideal. you can buy precious metals locally and then store them at your offshore home. purchase precious aside for you.. You won’t metals the bank may not have exclusive access to your necessarily have on hand. But where do you store it? Here are seven strategies you can use to safely purchase and store your precious metal holdings offshore. Strategy 2: Buy locally and store in an offshore bank safety deposit box. In one certiﬁcate program offered by the Perth Mint. Do you live or own property overseas? If so. bank maintain a custodial U. On the other hand. You receive a certiﬁcate indicating the quantity of metals you’ve purchased. Plus. you can transport a U. although once again. and (if allocated) a list of your speciﬁc holdings. they’ll be replaced. You’ll also need to insolvent and is unable to pay custodial fees on the value deliver the metals it has credited of the metals held on your to your account. so you’ll need Unallocated storage is less to report this arrangement expensive. You’ll likely pay full retail price for the metals along with local sales or value-added tax.. If you opt for allocated storage. In some Again. unallocated storage is backed by a government guarantee.. Strategy 7: Purchase a precious metals certiﬁcate. You can often make the purchase in the United States and have the metals stored offshore on your behalf. Strategy 1: Buy locally overseas and store in a secure residential location. However. theft from a bank boxes are also less common vault is very uncommon. you may be required to receive them in a form or denomination you don’t particularly prefer. you’ll have a reportable account. persons. Installing the safe is a job for a pro. or you can allocate your unallocated metals and take delivery once they’re fabricated. you must report and cases you can also arrange for pay tax on any proﬁts when you “bonded” storage. taxes when you buy. when you sell. Ltd.S. See: Nestmann. Make a personal visit and purchase precious metals Strategy 5: Buy from a from the bank or a private dealer foreign bank and have the and store them in the box. You’ll also need to pay custodial under current law. it’s likely that if your metals are Strategy 3: Buy locally stolen. sell.S. in a secure location. however. but also may entail as a foreign account to U. Once again. Selling rarely if ever requires “ an assay and your holdings are fully insured against loss. This is one of the easiest ways to purchase precious metals offshore. For U. know works basically the same as the differences between strategy 2. Allocated need to storage means …This is one of open a bank that the bank has account the easiest ways to speciﬁc coins or and report bars that are set it to U. the avoid local taxes when you buy bank or the insurance company your precious metals online. contractor to your overseas location to install it for you. depending on the form of the metals you own. This directly from the bank. The government of Western Australia guarantees that the unallocated metals held by purchasers of a Perth Mint Certiﬁcate are 100% backed by physical metals.OF F S H ORE Before you Buy Gold or Silver Read This By Mark Nestmann O wning physical gold and silver in the form of coins and bullion will help to conserve your purchasing power as paper money loses its value. this is a completely non-reportable way to buy and hold precious metals…although you must report and pay tax on any proﬁts when you sell. means that both the account authorities if the aggregate and the value of the gold stored value of all foreign accounts in the vault are reportable. If you want to take delivery of your metals. expect to pay several thousands of dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency. theft from to pay custodial fees. I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 23 . Finally. For that. “allocated” and except that “unallocated” there is no storage. It’s likely a secure storage facility is very you’ll be able to get a more uncommon.S. citizens who use this account for your metals. This purchase method avoids local taxes and often lets you buy at a more favorable price. and store in a box in an If you purchase metals offshore private vault. You don’t need to live offshore to use this method.com. exceeds $10. you may need to pay to have them assayed. will replace them. If you can’t ﬁnd a trusted local contractor. arrangement must report Holding your metals this way the foreign account to U.S.and it’s likely that favorable purchase price and if your metals are stolen. Strategy 6: Open a In some cases you can precious metals account arrange for “bonded” storage online. however. Thefts from safety deposit Again. you have to report the metals in the may obtain a more favorable safety deposit box as long as purchase price and avoid local only you have access to it. Editor’s Note: Mark Nestmann is a wealth preservation and privacy expert and president of The Nestmann Group. behalf.S. you can take delivery of your metals anytime.000. you don’t fees. as the metals will be held in a secure vault.. Theft is unlikely.” storage means Strategy 4: Buy locally that you have an and store in a secure storage ownership interest in precious facility offshore.
com courtyard. in one of the best but also the ox carts lumbering through the streets. while others are enjoying But I can assure you that Nicaragua— retirement or are simply living here for a midthe country. cobblestoned streets to a nearby café to enjoy the artiﬁcial. Many of election of President Daniel Ortega in the rest operate businesses here. It’s hard to ﬁnd a city with never any cold weather. and what’s left will Casa Granada Properties suites. walk into the open-air. The lifestyle here is an Website: Remaxcolonialproperties. be enjoyed today in Nicaragua’s colonial Granada is a satisfying blend of native cities—and enjoyed at bargain prices.000. Nicaragua offers one of the lowest costs David Joyce. Everything’s right in your “living room. Website: Casagranadaproperties. And the recent Re/Max Colonial Properties for less than $200. Spanish-colonial survived.” close at hand. Email: jordanpclark@gmail. access high-speed Internet. home. and a pool in its interior go quickly now that the mainstream is Email: casagranada1@yahoo. With three everything you could want as an expat. and you can enjoy everything from Website: Nicaraguarealestateleon. three baths.com Another super property is just a half-block Granada: Number One with Expats from the square.” They And in all of my travels. photo left). world-heritage treasure. But inventories of good colonial Carlos Gutiérrez. some have 2006… portable careers. you’ll know you’re in the heart company of your friends and neighbors. behind heavy hardwood doors. of Latin America. did not stop to “wait and see. cathedral. Nicaraguan city life and expat amenities. but it’s better than ever. North American standards.com Fixer-uppers start between $50.R EAL E STAT E Nicaragua Better Than Ever: Colonial Homes from $145k By Lee Harrison I Francisco (under $20) to a complete MAGINE YOURSELF AWAKENING TO A breakfast on the patio at Kathy’s Wafﬂe symphony of tropical birds and brilliant sunshine.000 citizens. and the town is completely Your kitchen and living areas open to the courtyard since there’s walkable. remodeled to To make it even more irresistible. the asking price is There are dozens of great restaurants.com surely temporary) price point. center courtyard of your colonial You can practice yoga. its people. The bedrooms are secluded around the a better lifestyle. Granada In fact.000 and an elegant seafood dinner at Casa San I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 24 © LEE HARRISON . CONTACTS reasonably-sized colonials here. And here’s why: Among its 100. Nicaragua. and the delicacies offered by There is graceful.000 (see returning. I’ve found no moved forward. and pour yourself a rich cup of locally grown coffee. with LEE’S IN-COUNTRY courtyard home. or a better expat house’s perimeter. tropical vegetation is the home’s bestsellers. León bell tower from its courtyard. You can enjoy cable TV and centerpiece oasis…and almost hides the blue. Now’s the time to turn your attention to And it’s already a popular expat destination. I don’t just mean the Maybe you’ll spend the afternoon on Lake Nicaragua…or occasional pothole or broken sidewalk… explore the countryside…or just relax in town.com $175.000…a remarkable (and recession has reset property prices to Email: nicarealty@yahoo. shimmering pool. given the limited 2004 levels. You might start the day with a dip in your pool…or perhaps And Granada doesn’t feel phony or walk the narrow. infrastructure. study Spanish.com inventory and the fact that this home style is a incredible bargain. there are around Lots of people adopted a “wait and 500 expats…about half of whom keep to see” attitude about Nicaragua after the themselves and are seldom seen. the towering and oldest colonial environments in the Americas. There are a fair number of expat and tourist trafﬁc rising sharply. You House (around $5). and easily get your hands on English The courtyard’s lush. Old World living to Granada’s street vendors around the square. The asking price is $150. I looked at a dozen such homes of living in the Americas. with a view of the cathedral’s Life in historic Granada offers most Jordan Clark. and its expats— life adventure. Granada My favorite colonial has two large bedroom properties are low. Aurora León Realty complete bedroom suites. Nicaragua has not only better place to buy a classic.
with little new inventory coming in. due to its spirit and Nicaraguan originality…but I appreciate the advantages of Granada. with a nonstop ﬂight service available from Miami. four-bath colonial.5-hour journey. Showing remarkable craftsmanship. and rents for $600 per week…another cost $389. so it’s best for people who like warm temperatures. About 95% of Granada’s colonial inventory came from wealthy Nicaraguans who sold a second home into the expat market. and even a multi-screen cinema with the latest movies… everything within walking distance of the town center. Rental cars are plentiful and fairly inexpensive. two-story. And you’ve got several downtown supermarkets. The rental market is good in Granada. I found a giant. Today’s León offers more cafés and restaurants of every type. With a population of 175. My personal favorite is León. bookstores. Is Nicaragua for You? Nicaragua is fairly hot all year. Houston. Granada is about 45 minutes from the airport in Managua. León is the heart and soul of Nicaragua. I expect that the existing inventory will be bought up at these 2004 prices. from Nicaraguan to Italian to Middle-Eastern.000. expats who want to live in an unadulterated Nicaraguan culture. tumbled-down Easy to Get There Flight time to the capital Managua is just over two hours from Miami. It’s a 4. It’s a foreclosure.000 and $3. and know that it has a far-broader appeal.500 per week.000 per month. The abandoned-looking. The development potential for this property is huge. as American workers from a nearby geothermal plant seek American-style accommodations.300-square-foot.There’s no better-value place in Latin America to buy a Spanish-colonial courtyard home than Granada (left) or the city of León in Nicaragua.000. especially if you have a pool. with a sparkling pool out front and excellent views of the city. But the available inventory of these homes is low. Fixer-uppers in the best areas will start at about $200 per square meter ($19 per square foot). 25 JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G . and it shows. houses that were seen around town ﬁve years ago have mostly been restored and occupied. One home I looked at had an asking price of $150. with inefﬁciencies and “backward” ways. I also looked at a new. But you won’t beat Nicaragua for living in old-fashioned colonial splendor…and León and Granada provide two excellent options. I come to León on each visit to Nicaragua. The asking price is $350. while León is a 1. after which you’ll see a signiﬁcant pricerise as the inventory disappears. with some quite livable. These look like great rental units. and will require perhaps another $300 per meter to restore. with a sparkling pool and knockout views from its rooftop terrace. The city is more colorful.000. León is a university town. condo project built in the Spanish style. oneacre lot right in the historic center. And it has a rainy season—roughly May through October—although you’ll see sunshine on most days.000. © LEE HARRISON $80. If you’re not accustomed to life in Latin America. and the positive changes during recent years are dramatic. all the shops you’ll need. The rental market is good right now. There’s even less colonial home inventory in León than in Granada. and Atlanta. and fewer homes are completely restored. Both are connected by good roads. Offering two large bedrooms and two full baths. León has also now become a mandatory stop for U. So with the current resurgence in Nicaragua. and rents for $1.000. We even had an Italian bakery on our block.000…with 75% ﬁnancing available. It enjoys that upbeat feel that comes from being among bright and educated young people. and many of the homes were recently spruced-up and painted. One however. remember that Nicaragua is a developing-world country. Also.S. for just $150. In the investment/development arena. make sure you can adjust to the Nicaraguan pace before you buy.000. then León is the ideal colonial city for Nicaraguans…and of course. Occupancies can run between 65% and 75%. León: A Taste of the Real Nicaragua If Granada is the ideal colonial city for expats. And that’s not likely to change. These same houses have been sold over and over. ﬁve-bed. the asking prices start at $145. Houses are generally larger. this is the ﬁnest colonial home I’ve seen in Nicaragua. with restored homes commanding between $2. was impeccable. travelers in the region.
they give tips on how to have a safe on the tourist market began with n aon s Saon Isla Saona visit. That’s the the usual tourist haunts. eight tours. the Dominican Republic. He also keeps several tour bus drivers busy to help meet the was surprised to ﬁnd so many negative reviews about the town. By sharing his white-sand beaches of the Samaná Miches Miches hes knowledge of the Dominican Republic. Terry had his tour offerings includes a visit to his family’s land. to promote his City. The reviews he gets disenchanted some tourists. Terry laid horse-back riding to towering waterfalls. subjects. By offering free WiFi and a U. he relies for cruisers who stop to take in the Sa Sabana de la Mar Mar on referrals to send customers his way. His tours are slightly more expensive than curse. A new business was born. Samaná City. Then you can to take them to his visit Terry’s neighbors to see how a typical Dominican family lives favorite beach. the Internet was both a blessing and a the type of excursion. his tour business is thriving. Instead of the destination or activity. de Macoris e Macori or La Romana m feel comfortable from the moment they step off the That’s more than 185. he works to make sure visitors Samaná during the high season. A good day may have Terry and his team running six to he began responding to people posting concerns and questions. 34-year-old Terry moved to Samaná City in 2002 to bound for Samaná learn Spanish and do volunteer work. They explain how to manage the horses on the way to a restaurant on the main boardwalk. In the HETHER IT’S THE ACTION-FILLED process of helping fun of ATV excursions to remote beaches or others. who promptly reported it to the world from his customers prove that you get what you pay for. Terry ﬁnally agreed to meet some cruisers at the embarkation feels like a charming small town. D. He now employs up to seven tour guides during the high So Terry began reaching out to visitors on Tripadvisor. El Limón Waterfall. depending on For Terry. postings turned into Originally from Kittanning. So demand. El Limón Waterfall is one the highlights vacation. Palm trees sway port. Instead. though.com. Soon he had six tours lined up with various cruise ship in the light Caribbean breeze. He service. they could get an insider’s perspective on secret sauce that’s getting him rave reviews online.000. Colorful parties. Terry hoped he would appeal to doesn’t just take folks to the beach. By Yana Beranek © MATTHEW WAKEM/GETTY IMAGES W every room. Firstly. though it has a population of just over 50. Terry charges between $55 and $85 per person. Before he And these days. Terry’s tours all include a good wasting money and time on a disappointing cruise-ship bus tour to dose of information about local customs and culture. people asking him see a tropical bounty of fruits and vegetables growing. de Yuma e Yum Yum away with a big smile and the offer of a cold beverage. Terry became an expert on a variety of vacation business.com. for satellite phone and Internet connections aboard ship. Terry has been Peninsula. He did his best to answer inquiries from tourists headed to Samaná And Terry has launched his own website. a small town outside dialogues with cruisers Pittsburgh.E NTRE P R E N E UR PRO F IL E Touring for Profit in Samaná. via the Internet. Terry noticed that as many as REPUBLIC REPUBLIC PUBL Terry says his success stems from his focus on 19 cruise ships a month dock in Santo Santo an o n Higüey Higüey Sa P San Pedro Domingo Domingo omi two areas. His guides put people at ease right potential customers each year. here: Toursamanawithterry. He season. houses are stacked on the hills above Atlan ic Atlantic lant He has done very little traditional advertising since the harbor. anticipated. Regardless of could help them get more out of their travel dollar. His original plan was to stay City on an upcoming six months but nine years later he’s as happy as ever. It’s a popular port-of-call Sánche Sánchez Sánchez a Sam Samaná Ocea Samaná Ocean he started his business two years ago.S. though. Unexpectedly.R. for instance. Pennsylvania. Terry the groundwork for Bandi enjoys running his business on the a business he hadn’t Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic.000 Hain Haina ai Bo Boca oc cruise-ship tender. His enthusiasm for life here is contagious as he explains local Some of the customs and points out things of interest all around. phone Secondly. where you can Samaná Peninsula. Infrastructure problems and aggressive local salesmen had others offered in the area. His ﬁrst attempt to capitalize Caribbea Sea Caribbean Sea ribbe Throughout the day. including topics as mundane as which hotels had irons in I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 26 . but don’t be fooled. The simpler side of of a visit to the Dominican Republic’s knew it. D MINICA DOMINICAN N El Seibo Seibo able to develop a loyal following of fans. Terry makes sure his groups are having fun. Curious travelers recognized a kindred spirit who in the countryside and how their home is constructed. he jumps in the waves with cruisers who were paying up to $5 per minute them.
you’ll ﬁnd some incredible bargains there. healthy. And you can experience it for yourself. rain forests. villages and stunning landscape. or generating an income overseas. +1(202)370-6459 or +1(866)415-1425 (toll-free). Warm breezes keep the temperatures comfortable and monkeys howl while brightly colored butterﬂies dance among the leaves and grasses. Costa Rica has more than 1. lush valleys. who to see. newspapers. too.IL’s Calendar of Events Chill Out on Ecuador’s Undiscovered Coast Ecuador Chill Weekend. This unspoiled stretch of beautiful coastline is Ecuador’s ﬁnest and until recently. The ocean views are awesome. don’t worry. Paciﬁc coastline. buying a second home. retiring. and transportation—is just $250 per person. (Pedernales is just 30 minutes from this community. and majestic mountains. tel. it was difﬁcult to get to.000 miles of coastline. enjoy local cuisine. For more information. too. © ROBERT LERIX/DREAMSTIME. There. and more for spare cash.com/tww/ chicago/il or call the AWAI Travel Division. Join us from August 30 – September 1. welcoming climate. With its slower pace of living. fresh foods and reputation as one of the “greenest. modern cities. So access is easier now. see: Thetravelwriterslife. to three-and-a-half hours. see: Thephotographerslife. But if the beach is your thing. in fact. If you know where to look. All you need is an interest in seeing new places and meeting new people…and a willingness to learn the easy techniques. Most retirees settle in the Central Valley…within a 90-minute drive from San Jose. most efﬁcient way to make it happen. you’ll see Venice like you never would as a typical tourist and you’ll walk away with the stunning photographs to prove it. and more of Quito’s residents can come here for weekends and vacations…and it’s likely to attract more foreign tourists. and what kinds of properties make sense if you’d like to buy in this country. For more information on this event. (toll-free) +1(866)381-8446. IL • August 4 – 6 How would you like to get paid to travel? “Work” could mean going scuba diving in Belize…or attending a show in London…or shopping for hand-embroidered linens and leather goods in a market in Madagascar. Same with the gorgeous Lake Arenal area to the north of San Jose. Jama. For more details. including a trip to Canoa for a farewell dinner. But last year the new coastal road from Quito to Pedernales was ﬁnished. this is an opportunity that should be on your radar. or contact us at: Intliving. I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G C osta Rica is one country that may truly have it all: A yearround tropical climate. 2011. The best part is that the cost for this break—including all your meals. 2011 ich jungle-clad hills rise steeply from the rocky shoreline.com/phw/ venice/il or call the AWAI Travel Division. But you do need the tricks of the trade. tel. Explore the Secrets of Costa Rica Escape to Venice with Your Camera Italy • September 13 – 17 You can turn your vacation photos into cash. Book your place before July 25 and save $200 off the registration price. If you’re interested in taking this Chill Weekend break go to Pathﬁnderinternational. Over the course of a long weekend you can come here and hang out at the beach. Enjoy a gondola ride along the Grand canal…walking tours to famous sites like the Basilica San Marco and Rialto Bridge…and delicious Italian dishes and wines at the many ristorantis and trattorias… all while learning to take great pictures and sell them to travel magazines.net/ContactUs/jamacampayil to reserve your spot. experience Jama and the surrounding towns.com/ contactevents. tel. JULY 2011 27 . You don’t need fancy equipment or any experience to do it. as in Mexico and other popular Central American countries like Belize and Panama.COM R If you are serious about living. Seminar. Plus ﬁnd out how you can get paid to be pampered at a special spa-day add-on. real estate prices there are reasonable—just as reasonable. And that’s exactly what you’ll get this September when you join a professional photographer to explore and photograph one of the most beautiful cities in Europe at AWAI’s Venice Photography Expedition. spend three fun days in Chicago and discover the secrets to traveling the world and getting paid as a travel writer. prices are very affordable. Over ﬁve days. website: Intliving. Caribbean beaches. This time next year—you could be living your dream life in Costa Rica. The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop Chicago. for our Live and Invest in Costa Rica.com/costaricaevent. too.” And despite the fact that Costa Rica is a popular destination for both tourists and retirees. overnight stays. No experience necessary. warm. and we’ll tell you exactly where to go. cleanest” countries in the world with little pollution and lots of clean water and fresh air…it’s no wonder Costa Ricans are considered the “happiest people on the planet.) This cuts the drive time from Quito to Pedernales in half. tricks and secrets the pros rely on to write the kinds of stories editors want. This summer. and visit local sights. Ecuador • August 19 to 21. You’ll get the tricks of the trade from a successful spa writer—and sample treatments. +1(202)370-6459 or +1(866)415-1425 (toll-free). And the Live and Invest in Costa Rica Seminar is the best.
000 people is hidden Tuscany’s boutique art and bohemian destination. the devil demanded a sacriﬁce: The ﬁrst living thing to cross it. the bronze foundries and large marble workshops are just outside town. Even the skeletons are comfortingly chubby. the mummiﬁed body of Lucca’s patron saint. it is if you enjoy having beaches and mountains on the doorstep. St Zita. it ﬁts into MassaCarrara province. A few miles farther north. Well. river valleys and hill villages above the chestnut woods. a specialty cake stuffed with dried fruits and ﬂavored with aniseed. If life-size goddesses for the garden are more your thing. Pietrasanta is a treat.” the three-mile paved circuit is lined with trees and grassy spaces. an art exhibition on another. Contemporary “art for the people” is often disappointingly third-rate. In the streets around the cathedral. Not far from Lucca is an exquisite stone bridge at Borgo a Mozzano. there’s no shortage of trails. Ofﬁcially called Ponte Maddalena. and high. Inside. not a Tuscan freak show—it’s Piazza Matteoti in the northern Tuscan town of Pietrasanta. and Cakes Henry James was right. the forests thicken and villages get sleepier. Sculpture. Tuscany’s northwestern tip. the Lunigiana is a land of medieval castles. classical melodies spill from a music school. Lucca is “overﬂowing with everything. stone towers. but not here. The scenery turns alpine. and Russian princes. Between the mountains and Liguria’s coast. a choice of good restaurants. Bagni di Lucca evokes the genteel era of the Grand Tour—a past of poets. This town of 25. Lucca invites aimless wandering. Michelangelo lived here from 1516 until 1520. painters. Some major sculptors have their works on public display.” A medieval walled settlement. it is nicknamed “the Devil’s Bridge. Happily for the village. Then the three-headed woman with a snake slithering from her posterior.” Encased in 15th-century walls. Other former residents include Henry Moore and Joan Miró.TRAVE L Beyond the Tuscan Obvious: Spas. Festival Time in the Lunigiana Gentler than the Garfagnana. a paunchy Lucifer waits at the Gate to Hell. it’s a sleeping beauty of palaces. Sand.” Legend tells that its builder made a pact with Old Nick. the perfect vacation spot. If there’s only time for one church. Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero—creator of the chunky warrior—lives here part-time. not a fair maiden. enticed by the backdrop of marble mountains. It’s like promenading through a park—one that looks down onto secret gardens and piazzas. reputed to cure skin diseases. make it San Frediano’s. For hikers. Pietrasanta means “sacred rock. it has inspired artists and sculptors for centuries. galleries and studios pop up among the boutiques and café-bars. the Garfagnana. Two historic towns well worth a meander are Barga and Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. History. and Wilderness By Steenie Harvey F IRST IT WAS THE ACROBAT TIED UP IN A tree. Beyond Bagni di Lucca is the Tuscan wild. The Gate to Heaven has a plump Madonna. and browsing around Sunday bric-a-brac markets. The sun turns its mosaic facade into shimmering gold. lies slumbering. The birthplace of the composer Puccini. that brought them ﬂocking to this town of riverside walks and fairytale villas. It was the thermal springs. As payment for his labor. Another fun thing to do is walk or cycle (you can rent bikes) on top of the astonishingly wide walls. Pontremoli Pontr moli Pontremoli tre remol B Bagnone Bagnone n Fivizz n Fi zzano Fivizzano Fivizzano Florence Florence o e ce Tus an Tuscany Tuscany s ITALY ITALY ITALY ITALY AL Tyrrhenian Tyrrhenian Tyrrhenian rhenia h ea Sea Ba Bagni d Lucca Bagni di Lucca Pietrasanta Pietrasanta e a a Pietrasanta P tr sa a Pietrasanta Pietrasanta s Pistoia P Pi i Pistoia Lu Lucca Lucca Montecatini Montec Mo ecat ni Montecatini ecati Terme Terme rme Florence Floren Florence rence en n P Pi Pisa Pisa M Ma ina P ras a Marina d Pietrasanta Marina di Pietrasanta a V Vi reggio Viareggio g Viareggio 28 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 . Spring brings blossom-laden trees and meadows starred with wildﬂowers. In its spider-web of streets. Known as “Lucca’s Living Room. But it’s only one of Northern Tuscany’s neglected treasures… Lucca: Music. And these are only three of the town’s many bronze and marble sculptures. marble-striped churches. Now there’s a naked warrior with a belly big enough for Sumo wrestling… No. Tiny shops tempt you with violet leather gloves and golden rings of buccellato. Take a peek at his frescoes inside the Misericordia Oratory. it turned out to be a scraggy pig. There’s a ﬂower market on one piazza.
$41 a day for a couple in high season is low end. Nor do pink and ochre palaces. an overnight stay with breakfast in a three-star hotel. think upwards of $70. The largest and liveliest resort is Viareggio. vineyards and chestnut woods. Ospedale del Ceppo. its mainstays are pigs. the marble Baptistry is striped like a confectioner’s fantasy of green and vanilla. On Saturday nights. Pistoia: The Guidebooks Got it Wrong Ignore the guidebook that says Pistoia is a “gloomy” city. Inexplicably spurned by most travelers. The Versilia Riviera Unravelling in a golden ribbon from Liguria to just above Pisa. showers. Lo Spinoﬁorito is incredible value. a gift from the Medicis. Jazz bars. Although you can expect a snack bar. Come nightfall. If you decide to linger. Although Italy’s beaches are state-owned. the village festa season goes into overdrive. But with few free beaches. check for special packages. and children’s play area at the very least. Superb. Pappardelle ribbon pasta served with a sauce of hare or wild boar. Go to Pontremoli for its mysterious prehistoric ﬁgures. Some Italians book slots at their favorite club for a month or the entire season. the dinner bill for two people was $27. Montecatini Terme In Pistoia province. See: Termemontecatini. trestle tables are piled with good food and wine. its historic center is packed with curiosities. Free spirits can walk the shoreline. Il Vivaio is a 17th-century farmhouse surrounded by the family’s plant nurseries. the frieze is as Crayola bright as when it was created in the 1500s. Others are like country inns with a restaurant open to all comers. Try the chestnut pasta in pesto (basil. the substantial breakfast is $7. Here. Also called bagni. In Lunigiana. Depicting various acts of mercy. If you loathe a crowd. bagni owners rent a concession from the government. Grilled meats. or to Bagnone for its perfect setting with a castle rising above a rushing river. there’s dancing in the dark under twinkly fairy lights. See: Spinoﬁorito. And if tales of murder. ancient villages. these are private beach clubs.com. olive oil. Some spas are sumptuous Art Nouveau affairs. Between May and September. gleaming silver altars and della Robbia’s terracotta frieze that adorns the THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE RURAL TUSCANY Often far cheaper than a hotel. others more modern. garden vegetables. facade of a medieval hospital. it has nine thermal establishments. an agriturismo offers an insight into rural Tuscany. The emphasis is on health cures. pedalo hire. Visitors are mostly Italian. and farmhouse cheeses. the average cost for two sun loungers and a beach umbrella for the day is $29. breakfast. The best spa for a dip is Grotta Giusti. For example. and vegetables. its terraced restaurant ﬁres up the pizza oven. prices vary depending on facilities. but in high summer it bursts at the seams. Entrance to its outdoor thermal pool is $16 on weekday afternoons. Some agriturismi are working farms offering basic bed and breakfast. a blues festival and jousting tournaments don’t suggest gloom to me. Home-made soups.40 each. one castle not to miss is Fosdinovo. Three miles from the city. See: Agriturismoilvivaio. The shallow sea is ideal for children. Each town is different. © STEENY HARVEY JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 29 . Italy’s horticultural heart beats around Pistoia. In Piazza della Sala. fruit and vegetable stalls create a colorful swirl around the Well of the Lioncub. Double rooms are from $88. ﬁnding space on one isn’t easy in summer. treachery. olive oil. but they get chased if they lay down towels. visit one of the hundreds of stabilimenti balneari. entrance to Rede spa. With four guestrooms and a restaurant. Including a carafe of wine.The Lunigiana is a land of castles. Montecatini Terme is Tuscany’s most illustrious spa town. Based on regional cuisine. On Piazza del Duomo. but opportunities for pampering are plentiful. the Versilia Riviera is manicured Mediterranean perfection. I stayed on a half-board basis: bed. For a more stellar experience.org. Whether it’s a saint’s day or the recreation of a medieval world of archers and horseback knights. and three-course dinner with a bottle of red wine for $66 per person. In smaller resort towns like Marina di Pietrasanta (my favorite). and pine nuts) sprinkled with parmigiano cheese. the food is invariably delicious.it. An elegant place with a turn-of-last-century ambience. and wanton women thrill you. a hydroponic massage and a return funicular ticket to the medieval village of Montecatini Alto for dinner costs $170. Fivizzano has a Tuesday market and enough marble to justify its tag as the Florence of the Lunigiana.
PR OP E RT Y P I C K S HOMES JUST LIKE COASTAL CALIFORNIA $149. this one—fully furnished. For more information. Pochomil is the beach nearest the capital Managua. Nicaragua For a true beach town with beach culture check out Pochomil on Nicaragua’s Paciﬁc Coast. see: Palmprincessmexico. A wide terrace on the main ﬂoor lets you enjoy outdoor tropical living and the panoramic views…as does the rooftop garden and observation deck.com © LEE HARRISON . and a stream alongside. modern design and elegant features has 3.800 square feet of living space. This sleek home with bold.000. email: email@example.com P O C H O M I L . In California itself. as is the house itself with its many modern features. equipped and decorated. It’s currently on the market for $149. Here you’ll ﬁnd a three-bedroom. including two bedroom suites and two-and-a-half baths. caretaker house. For more information.000. or see: Realtysolnicaragua. Mexico For panoramic sea views with the blue Paciﬁc so close that you can hear the waves and the sea itself just a short walk from your front door this is the place. com.InternationalLiving. The beach is wide and the water is good for swimming. $850. Almost deserted during the week. In Huatulco.com. good breeze. will run you $850. a top-ofthe-line beach property like this might cost you in the millions. it gets busy at the weekend. The property’s garden areas are low-maintenance. twobathroom home with a superb ocean view and a nice wraparound porch just half-a-block from the water.000—reduced from $197. It comes completely furnished with nice wooden furniture.com. visit www.COM For information on property for sale from around the world. on Mexico’s Paciﬁc coast.000 HUAT U LCO. 30 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 © PALMPRINCESSMEXICO.
You can see the ocean from every room.015-square-foot two-bedroom/two-bath unit on the same ﬂoor can be had for $78.275. this home is free from property taxes on the construction up until the year 2026. A dining room opens to the backyard. In addition.$499. and a pool with swim-up bar. on Ecuador’s Paciﬁc Coast. about 30 minutes north of the larger port city (with domestic airport) of Manta. © SUSAN HASKINS JULY 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G 31 . including the beach club. you’ll get membership to the Coronado Golf Club (with an 18hole Tom Fazio golf course). and the Beach Club and Equestrian Club. including high-end outdoor furniture and three ﬂat screen televisions. Located on a private lot which abuts a creek in Coronado’s Equestrian Club. Panama Step into a Mediterranean paradise with this two-story home and detached casita (guest house). It’s a ﬁveminute drive to one of several beaches that are part of to the Coronado Resort. a small study and a private terrace. with a balcony overlooking the Paciﬁc Ocean is selling for $66. See: Ecuadorbeachfrontproperty. a maid’s quarters with full bath. The poolside casita has one bedroom.$78. See: Panamarealtor. Ecuador Last we checked there were only two condos left in this oceanfront building in the small beach town of Crucita. the main house features three bedrooms and two full bathrooms on the main ﬂoor. A larger 1. and a master bedroom/bath with private terrace on the top ﬂoor.com/property/1677.COM $66. Crucita is popular with beach lovers and the magniﬁcent cliffs at the southern end are the perfect spot for handgliders and paragliders to take off. outdoor shower.com. Best of all. Both homes are furnished. where a large terrace overlooks a thatched area.277. A one-bedroom/two-bath 860-square-foot condo on the fourth ﬂoor.277 C R UCITA.275 . © PANAMAREALTOR.000 C O R ON A D O. one bath guest house.
The resort town of Queenstown is the nerve center of the island’s tourism industry. One theory is that when the early settlers ﬁrst saw the sun setting over these mountains. The vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw has graced the waters of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown since 1912. the TSS Earnslaw cruising Lake Wakatipu. The homestead here is beautiful and you can cycle or hike the tracks around. Fiordland on the south western side of the Island has some of the world’s greatest treks. Editor’s Note: If you’d like to travel overseas alongside a professional photographer at one of AWAI’s Photography Expeditions. Lost in Time on New Zealand’s South Island By Tim Clayton F 32 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 © TIM CLAYTON ROM THE MISTY shades of grey rolling across the fjords of Doubtful and Milford Sounds to the coal-ﬁred steamboat. and paragliding. indeed the Milford Track is often booked up way in advance throughout the summer months. see: Thephotographerslife.com/signup/ workshops.WINDOW ON THE WORLD The Remarkables are a stunning mountain backdrop to a picnic on the banks of Lake Wakatipu as the TSS Earnslaw steams past. . there’s a timeless tranquillity to the beautiful South Island. they simply called it as they saw it. The farm is only 10 miles from Queenstown as the crow ﬂies but you’ll cover nearly 100 miles if you go by car. The mountains overlooking the lake are called The Remarkables. This is a place of breath-taking views. Roughly the size of Louisiana it’s home to less than a million people and much of the land remains free of human development. The 30-mile-long track starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and ﬁnishes at Milford Sound at Sandﬂy Point passing through rainforests. bungee jumping. hence the unspoiled natural beauty. wetlands and an alpine pass. providing the more adventurous thrill seeker with jet boating. providing daily voyages to Walters Peak where you can see how a real New Zealand highland sheep farm works. skydiving. New Zealand.
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we expats today are not so different from our founding fathers. their spirit of freedom. and the degradation of their freedom. preferred to look ahead with anticipation…rather than look back with resentment.S. We ﬁnd it on the cobblestoned streets of Ecuador. And today’s expats are no different. Asia and Africa had it rough compared to today’s expats.. I was living on the 30th ﬂoor of a Midtown Manhattan highrise. starting up new businesses. expats—both those arriving in North America and those moving on—have always represented the next cultural wave…the next big adventure. In no case though. since I’ve been seeing a variation on this theme as regular as clockwork for years. oppressive taxes. They were tough and life was often hard. sometimes vocal) segment of expats that is driven to leave home primarily by dissatisfaction. and settle into new surroundings.S. learn languages. But today’s expats share something even more important with our ancestors. The vast majority of the expats I meet are either adventurers or entrepreneurs… often both. The country had just enjoyed eight years of unprecedented prosperity…unemployment was near record peacetime lows. I see people making property investments. . or other life necessities. and they like to talk about intrusive government. adventure and opportunity. or the sandy shores of Uruguay and Brazil. to be sure. And often. this group is unhappy with the state of affairs in the U. today’s expats are really continuing a pioneering tradition that was started hundreds of years ago. these folks are simply trying to re-capture a version of the U. I see expats who enjoy a better quality of life…one that wouldn’t be possible back home with their available funds. Of course a few move abroad in desperation…people who can’t afford their property tax burden. rent free. in a less-regulated environment. and the markets had recently enjoyed run-ups to all-time highs. But as many expats will tell you. We stroll beaches. medical care. and the freedom-seekers…just like expats today.S. Of course. they reinvent themselves and break into a brand new livelihood. hostility. And it makes no more sense today than it ever did. or taking advantage of offshore accounts. In my experience. start businesses. They too. In many ways. They move overseas to take advantage of the excitement and the opportunity of living in a new country. or in another era altogether. adventure and opportunity.” I think that label gets tossed around willy-nilly when.” patriotism of moving overseas. Today. Still others come to mine the wealth of ﬁnancial and business opportunities abroad. the mountains of Colombia. grand adventure in an exotic land. our ancestors who came from Europe. But I don’t think that makes them unpatriotic. the main hardships I hear about have to do with the availability of American cable TV or the locals’ ability to speak English. what awaited us was even better…an extraordinary. The attacks of September 11—and all the dramatic changes they brought to American life—were still three days in the future when our plane took off for our overseas retirement haven. can I recall meeting anyone I’d call “unpatriotic. slavery. Made up of both conservatives and liberals.THE L AST W OR D By Lee Harrison Moving Overseas— “How Can You Be So Unpatriotic?” y most accounts. In fact. They too arrived as the adventurers. They’re simply continuing the adventure that started hundreds of years ago…in the same spirit that brought our ancestors here in the ﬁrst place. As we head into the long July 4 weekend. who explored and settled North America originally. The gravest personal danger is usually encountering a pickpocket in the market. the entrepreneurs. that existed at an earlier time in their lives. it’s a good time to consider the 36 I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I V I N G JULY 2011 B “Today’s expats share with our ancestors their spirit of freedom. So is moving abroad unpatriotic? Not at all. the desperate. Throughout our history. violent weather. I had a good job and walked just ﬁve blocks to the ofﬁce on Madison Avenue from which we ran our international electric power plants. Yet those of us who live overseas frequently hear this: “How can you be so unpatriotic by moving abroad…especially in times like these? You expats are just running away…” I wasn’t surprised to see it among my emails again yesterday. and often death. Our forefathers faced disease. it’s a small (though admittedly. Times were good. the time I chose to retire abroad was actually the perfect time to remain in the U. in fact.
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