In the morning, I like to take in the view from my balcony: To the south, I have the majestic, snow-capped peaks of the central Apennines, to the east, a turquoise stretch of the Adriatic Sea. And in between, olive groves, green meadows, and picturesque hilltop towns.
The smell of baking bread greets me as I walk along the narrow medieval streets in the early morning. The church bell is chiming. It’s September and there are no clouds to obscure the vivid cobalt-blue, Mediterranean sky.
By 6 a.m., the vendors are already setting up on my little lane in Chiang Mai, the university city of nearly 1 million people in northern Thailand that I call home. Fruit stalls and coffee stands, with waffles and egg breakfasts, line the lane; I can eat outside on little stools or take what I want back to my condo.
“The town is overflowing with charm and beauty,” says Jack Bramy, who has found his ideal retirement spot in Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific coast. “It’s everywhere, from tiny local bistros to the narrow cobblestone streets climbing up the hillsides."
“Although I don’t live at the beach, I am close enough that I can go whenever the mood takes me. Just knowing it’s always there is amazing,” Pennie says. “I love the surf, as long as it isn’t too rough. Getting past the breakers and watching the waves roll in...so peaceful.”
“I woke up this morning and saw 30 or more horses grazing in the bamboo forest across the street from our home,” says Roger Wergin. “How’s that for a tranquil retirement view?” Roger and his wife Cyndy feel they made the right decision when they bought a lot and built their three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in a gated community.
Monday blues are a thing of the past in my new home, the tropical island of Roatán. In fact, in winter, when all the snowbirds return, we have a social gathering we call “Mondays Don’t Suck” at a stunning, secluded beach on the island.
Even though my wife Susan and I live in the midst of a historic, colonial city, at night we are lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Tomebamba River flowing just across Pasaje Imbabura street.
For Janet Hitchens, exploring the lush hills of Panama’s Veraguas province is a far cry from battening down the hatches for cold Michigan winters. “People come here and feel better because of the weather,” she says. “I like to think of it as like Michigan in July."
Over the course of more than six years living in Ireland, Michael and Karin Shepherd have enjoyed the friendliness of the locals many times. But one example really stands out.