New Places to Live and Retire Around the WorldWritten by Phillip Townsend
Places to Live in World: Emerging Alternatives
From Canada to Europe, Africa to Asia, it’s time for a fresh look By Phillip Townsend
The advent of fast Internet communication and inexpensive air travel makes it easier to turn any far-flung paradise into a permanent home. Which places in world have most to offer? The perfect place to live or retire, of course depends on your idea of perfection.
I’m taking a different approach for this article. Instead of giving an overview of better-known and increasingly-popular expatriate destinations around world (Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc.), I’ve decided to introduce you to below 7 locales you probably don’t know much about. All offer affordability and abundant recreational and cultural opportunities.
Nova Scotia Just east of Maine, in North Atlantic, Nova Scotia’s pristine coast is slowly becoming a sought-after affordable getaway. Only two hours from New York or Boston, it feels a world away. A pleasingly crowd-free province on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, little-known Nova Scotia could just be perfect full- or part-time retreat. Halifax, capital, has been luring tourists for years. Waterfront cafes, European architecture, and spectacular seafood keep them coming back. Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island boasts some of best scenery in world, from picturesque highlands to picturesque Bras d'Or Lake (pronounced "bra door"), with Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. In winter months, Gulf Stream keeps climate milder than most northern U.S. states, with area more rain showers than snow storms. Picture American East Coast a century ago, and you get a feel for what Nova Scotia is like. Almost an island, it is best known for its stunning coastline, sleepy seaside towns and friendly people. The province’s natural beauty, cheap real estate and low cost of living make it well worth a look: oceanfront lots start at $10,000, three-bedroom homes on acreage from $50,000. A lobster dinner with a bottle of good local wine set you back no more than a twenty spot. Scenes of Hollywood blockbuster Titanic were shot in Nova Scotia, and celebrities including Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Billy Joel maintain summer homes here.
Caribbean Almost everyone has had dreams of living a laid-back, stress-free life on a tropical island. One by one, Caribbean islands were discovered and eventually became sadly over-developed, terribly over-crowded, and ridiculously over-priced. Unfortunately, due to mass tourism, most places in Caribbean have become little more than artificial, tropical Disneylands with luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts. But there is one place that still maintains its original charm and natural beauty. This place is quite inexpensive (by Caribbean standards) and is virtually unspoiled. Relatively undiscovered, here, you can still find ocean view lots for as little as $22,000 and have a small cottage built for prices starting at $25,000. To protect it from fate of its Caribbean cousins, I won't reveal name of this special place just yet. You can find a link to more information at end of this article. Cuba Think Cuba, and vivid images come to mind: of men in Guayabera shirts and Panama hats, tropical breezes and cool drinks, steamy Latin rhythms and sultry women. It has always been an intriguing place, steeped in truth and in fiction by novels of Ernest Hemingway. Because travel to Cuba is restricted by U.S. government, relatively few Americans visit island each year. While their counterparts from Europe, Canada and Latin America bask in warm Cuban sun, most U.S. citizens can only hope to experience this "pearl" of Caribbean after Castro is gone. Of those who do manage to get to Cuba via Mexico or Canada, few are disappointed. The largest Caribbean island (pop. 11 million), Cuba is also one of most beautiful and unspoiled. There are miles of pristine, underdeveloped beaches, tropical forests teeming with wildlife and some of best deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling world has to offer. And there is Havana, not only capital of Cuba, but also long most important city in Caribbean. With tourism once again thriving, Havana has regained much of its past allure. Famous old bars, restaurants and hotels are enjoying a proud comeback, and stunning new places are being built. As one taxi driver put it, "We have best cigars, best rum, best music, and most beautiful women in world. What more could anyone want?"
Romania Best known for Transylvania, legendary home of Count Dracula, Romania is steeped in history, myth and folklore. Unlike other Eastern European countries with Slavic origins, Romania, whose name means 'land of Romans,' absorbed much of culture, religion, and language of Roman Empire. Bordered by Black Sea (which is being called “The Next Riviera”) and Danube River, with Transylvanian Alps and Carpathian Mountains nestled in center of country, Romania has long stretches of seacoast, mountains, forests, medieval villages and gothic castles galore, giving it all makings of a fairy-tale setting. The capital Bucharest, a former communist citadel, has a growing number of discos, while restaurants at most major hotels double as nightclubs, there are several Parisian-style cafés, and cheap wines and plum brandy flow freely everywhere. Due to its wide boulevards, sidewalk cafés, and Triumphal Arch, Bucharest, was known as "Paris of Balkans" prior to World War II. Today city’s 19th century neoclassical architecture and numerous tree-lined streets still maintain its charm. A sizable enclave of foreigners (Germans, Jews, Turks, Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Croats, and Gypsies) live in Romania. French is most widely-spoken second language and English is spoken by many of younger generation. The real estate prices are some of lowest in all Europe (the country’s economic woes spells opportunity for you).
Camping In Montana With AliensWritten by Steve Gillman
Ten minutes out of town, we found dirt road that goes up to Storm Lake. We had been there before, shortly after moving to Anaconda, Montana. The road was hard on car, but we couldn't resist going. This time we would hike up to tundra and stay night. My wife Ana had never been camping above treeline.
There were a couple cars, but nobody in sight. The lake was sparkling in sunlight, and mountains of Anaconda-Pintler range rose up all around it. It was quiet and cool here at 8,000 feet. We put on our packs and started up trail. Twenty minutes later we were past lake, and trail steepened.
Hiking With Guns In Montana
After an hour of zig-zagging up mountain we met another hiker. We talked briefly, and noticed handgun on his belt. This is common in Montana. We've seen guns on hiking trails and in bars, and bank tellers don't even blink when customers walk in wearing guns - they probably have their own.
We never did ask this hiker why he had one, and didn't find out until later that there are grizzlies in area at times, something some "experts," have denied. At least we had our freon horn to blast if we met a bear, but then maybe that would just get bear angry.
The trees got smaller as we climbed, and ended just before Storm Lake Pass. Ana waited patiently at pass while I ran five minutes - which became twenty - up to peak of Mount Tiny, about 10,000 feet high. Small, compared to some of surrounding mountains, but it seemed almost rude to give a beautiful mountain a name like that.
Later, past goat meadow, Ana waited again while I scrambled up rocks to top of Kurt Peak (also about 10,000 feet). I couldn't find route where I came up, so I went back up, then down west side and finally back north to grassy slope where Ana was waiting.