News & Notes From Around the World

The Himalayas are the highest mountains in the world and have a special fascination for independent adventurers.Seeing them once, maybe even setting foot on their base, is the dream for many travelers. There probably aren’t many bucket lists worthy of the name that don’t feature the mighty mountain range straddling central Asia from Pakistan, across Tibet, Bhutan, India, and Nepal...

Puerto Rico’s Opportunity Zone, Life After Smartphones, and More

Palladium is a precious metal, but it serves an industrial use. The metal works in catalytic converters in cars to cut down on emissions. It is a catalyst that turns noxious fumes into benign gases.The silvery-white metal is the choice for gas engines. In contrast, diesel engines most often see platinum used.The clean diesel narrative that carmakers were pushing just a few years ago turned out to be a fairy tale...

Six Guitars and Counting—A Happy Musician in Cuenca

With a pastor father who used music to inspire, an actress mother who was a stand-in for Joanne Woodward and sang in the theater, and a brother who founded folk-punk favorite Violent Femmes, Glenn Gano’s DNA has music running through it. “My brother and I loved to sit around and listen to my father play,” says Glenn. And now, after moving to Cuenca, Ecuador, Glenn has the time to reclaim his dormant talents...

“Days Filled With the Beauty of the Country” in Lake Arenal

The road from Nuevo Arenal to La Fortuna is one of the best two-lane roads in Costa Rica. Our house is located down this road. It’s only eight minutes from the center of town, up a steep, paved driveway, and it brings you to a vista that will take your breath away the first time you see it. From it, my wife, Christine, and I have a view of Lake Arenal, from the whirling wind turbines of Tronadora...

Enjoying a Dramatic Change of Scene, in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende, in the mountains of central Mexico in a region known as the Colonial Highlands, has a long legacy of expat education. After World War II, veterans discovered that they could use their GI Bill to attend the famed Instituto Allende; there were—and still are—a variety of art classes and Spanish-language lessons...

An Immersive Learning Experience in Portugal

Why am I content living in Portugal? I was often asked that question by family and friends in the States when I moved here in 2012. Here’s what I wrote then: “A herd of goats files into the pasture below my patio. It’s 10 a.m., but I only know that because that’s when the milking finishes in the animals’ ancient stone quarters across the road. Distant bells from the village church are also a clue...