Patrick Dobbins has found the perfect European retirement, full of art, culture, and excellent weather. He enjoys lush, green winters that feel like fall and hot, sunny summers. His apartment, which has two balconies, costs him just $600 a month, and from here he can indulge his passion for watercolor painting and go on adventures across the Mediterranean. This is the charmed life he now enjoys on the English-speaking island nation of Malta.
In the Loire Valley, the so-called “Valley of the Kings,” every day ends with a glass of affordable, delicious local wine. The mornings and afternoons are rich—full of leisurely cycle rides along the beautiful and famous Loire River, past verdant vineyards, visiting sprawling chateaux with their ancient towers and lush gardens, and strolling through historic, well-kept towns. The weather is mild and pleasant. And the cost of living is decidedly affordable.
"I arrived without a plan…just a duffle bag and a laptop,” says 45-year-old Greg Hillen of his decision to move to Colombia on a one-way ticket back in 2008. Many would think this rash. But Greg was so struck by what he had seen here that he had to yield to his heart’s call. After vacationing in Colombia that year, the Californian was certain that this was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. And in the small mountain town of Guatapé— famed for its colorful homes and spectacular mountain surrounds—he found a spot with a lot to offer visitors…and a perfect place to open a hostel to accommodate them. Along with an expat buddy, he has done just that.
ying at the heart of sunny Andalucía, Seville is one of southern Spain’s most beautiful cities. Waves of conquerors, from the Romans to the Moors, have left their stamp on its spectacular architecture. Thousands of tapas bars line the streets, and the warm Spanish sun nurtures parks full of palm trees.
Imagine a country with the Alpine landscapes of Switzerland, the mountaintop castles of France and Germany, an excellent foodie culture…and all with about half the tourists (and a fraction of the price) of Western Europe, even in so-called high season. Slovenia isn’t a place you hear about often. It’s one of those well-kept secrets—beloved by those who know it, but hidden away from the tourist masses. Even if you visit in high tourist season—July and August—the crowds are manageable. You can have whole castles, pretty hiking trails, and breathtaking gorges almost entirely to yourself. And with the dollar strong against the euro now this southern European nation of two million people is even better value.
Judith Greenwood has been dreaming about Italy for as long as she can remember. She studied Italian in college, traveled to Italy during her studies, and many years later—still enthralled with the language, culture, food, and lifestyle—moved to vineyard-rich Umbria, where she has been fully immersed in Italy’s legendary food culture ever since.
The idea of moving to Europe can conjure up images of running a business in pasta heaven Italy with its postcard-perfect hill towns...in France’s castle-dotted countryside...or perhaps in the bustling urban centers of Amsterdam, Berlin, or Barcelona.
When I think about my time on Malta, I think of bright blue skies, ﬁelds of richly green clover, the sound of the ocean smashing against the cliffs, all only steps away from the well-worn stone streets of ancient cities and the chatty and perpetually kind people. And all of it—cities, coastal walks—warmed and cheered by the seemingly endless sunshine, even at the height of winter.
For many years, Kathleen Evans and Steve Spada knew they wanted to live and retire abroad. So, they spent their free time researching locations, dreaming about the move, and even looking at real estate abroad. “Even before the internet,” Kathleen says, “we were subscribed to International Living and looking at properties when traveling overseas.” A few years ago, the couple got serious about selling their home in Austin and making a move. Kathleen had had enough of the rush and stress of the workaday life.
In 2010, after several years of dreaming, planning, and preparing, Betsy and Warren Talbot sold their home, packed a couple of bags, and left the U.S. on a one-way ticket with the intention of traveling the world full-time for five years. Little did they know that their five-year travel dream would become an indefinite adventure, with a sustainable location-independent income, and a lifestyle full of more freedom and better health than they could have ever imagined. Since hitting the road on that crisp October day, they have picnicked in Provence, fallen in love all over again in romantic Florence, snuck away from the crowds to write and recharge at a 300-yearold farmhouse in Portugal, hiked the 335-mile Lycian Way in Turkey, camped overnight on the ice of Antarctica, learned Spanish in Mexico, and recently bought a house in a small countryside town in the Andalucía region of Spain.