When it comes to an enjoyable, affordable lifestyle abroad, many expats agree—it’s hard to beat Thailand. With its tropical weather, delicious cuisine, and welcoming locals, “the Land of Smiles” is an expat dream, whether you choose laidback mountain living, a cosmopolitan life in the big city, or a peaceful escape by the sea.
It’s 10 a.m. in Buga, Colombia, and downtown is buzzing.I’m sitting in an open-air café with British expat Richie Holding, taking in the sights and sounds that make this a one-of-a-kind town.
If your idea of paradise is a tranquil beach where a couple can live comfortably for $1,200, including renting a furnished home, then Uruguay’s Department of Rocha is a place you should definitely know about. A “department” in Uruguay is like a state or province. Rocha covers 4,074 square miles and stretches 112 miles along the Atlantic coast between Punta del Este, the largest beach resort in Uruguay, and the Brazilian border.
Legend has it that the English sailors aboard the ship of Captain Francis Light smelled Penang before they saw it—an island jewel scented with nutmeg, cloves and pepper plants. To this day you can easily escape into the lush jungle-clad hills, explore a nutmeg orchard, or walk in the shade of Candle trees in the 70-acre botanic gardens. But the 405-square-mile island has changed a lot since Light and his men arrived to clear and settle it in 1786.
Malaysia launched its MM2H program (Malaysia My Second Home) in 2006. At the time there was nothing like it in Asia, and there still isn’t. As well as giving you a 10- year renewable multiple entry visa, you can bring your own car with you tax-free, and you can also bring your children with you if they are under the age of 21.
The grand old commercial, religious, and learning center of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, is set to regain its previous status as a major regional player. This academic hub is returning to the significance it held before wars and political upheavals stopped people from flocking here.
By name, you don’t likely know Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, “Basboosa” to his friends and family. He died of hunger. He was 26. But you’ll know of the young street vendor who set himself alight in front of the governor’s office in a small Tunisian town on December 17, 2010. That morning, police harassed the impoverished fruit seller struggling to feed his family on $140 a month.
In August 2013, the Thomas H. Law collection of gold coins sold for over $5 million at a Chicago auction—more than double the presale estimates. Given the popularity of gold coins among U.S. collectors and investors, multi-million-dollar auction sales may not be that surprising—except that this was a collection of English coins.
When Carla Willoughby, 40, decided to move from Asheville, North Carolina, to the mountainous Monteverde region of Costa Rica, she needed an income. And she knew that life would be much more comfortable if she were making U.S.-level wages in her new home, where the dollar can stretch further.
When Bruce and Shelagh Duncan, 67 and 65, respectively, came down to Costa Rica’s southern Pacific Coast 13 years ago, they felt an immediate affinity. “It was the weather…and the people we met,” says Shelagh. “It is mostly unspoiled and offers many breathtaking views of the mountains and the ocean. We can walk along deserted beaches and explore caves and secret beaches that are only accessible at low tide."