Discover Sri Lanka: Safari, Surf, and Sacred Caves

Discover Sri Lanka: Safari, Surf, and Sacred Caves

My husband Mark and I are sitting in a jeep surrounded by tall grass, watching a leopard tuck into a fresh kill just 30 feet away. He doesn’t take his topaz eyes off me while he eats. Our trusty driver, Nuwan, tells us, “Don’t worry. He can’t be bothered to move if we don’t give him a reason to.” We are not in Africa. We’re in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, that large, teardrop-shaped island nation at the base of India.

A Love Affair with Tropical Cebu

A Love Affair with Tropical Cebu

His love affair with his new home is understandable. For him, the tropical climate, the beaches, the Filipinos’ friendly, hospitable nature, and the low cost of living make it a dream come true. He lives in a big city, yet he still feels that he has the typical “island lifestyle” that you’d expect from the Philippines. Life is simpler, like the 1950s U.S., but with all the First-World amenities he could want. And “if you ask me for just one thing I love about the place, it would be the people. Their seemingly never ending smiles brighten each and every day.

Tagaytay: Highland Haven in the Philippines

Tagaytay: Highland Haven in the Philippines

The road winds its way up tree-lined slopes. Here, the hustle and bustle of the Philippine capital, Manila, seems a world away. As you breathe in the cool mountain air, you can already feel the heat and humidity easing off. But it’s the scenery that leaves a lasting impression. Below you, the forested hills descend to a massive blue lake with small islands jutting from its basin. Rising from the lake’s center is a volcano, whose crater holds yet another small lake. There are views you can tire of… but this certainly isn’t one of them.

Vibrant Dumaguete—A Colonial Haven at the Heart of the Philippines

Vibrant Dumaguete—A Colonial Haven at the Heart of the Philippines

From the air as your plane descends, you see banana trees of every shade of green stretching as far as the eye can see, flanked by cobalt-blue waters dotted with fishing boats. Lots of foreigners have landed in Dumaguete before me. This quaint ocean-side town of about 120,000 locals is home to 4,500 expats. The town is famed for its energy and vibrance, thanks to seven universities and colleges. You’ll find the first private U.S. university in Asia here—Silliman University. This in turn houses the best private hospital in town, where for $56 a night you can get a private room, if need be.