Here’s the situation. I am still very much addicted to traveling and I don’t hesitate for even a millisecond in stating that I plan to continue wandering around this world for many years to come. The thought of hanging up my backpack for a different kind of lifestyle right now is simply not a thought that I’m able to entertain.
However, that does not mean that my lifestyle will always stay the same. In fact, my travels have already been constantly evolving over the years and when I look at the traveler I am today, it is quite clear that I am not the same traveler I was when I arrived in Bangkok back in 1999, nor am I the same traveler I was in 2003 or 2007 or even last year for that matter.
My goals, motivations and needs often change and as a result, I’ve had to make adjustments accordingly. There was a stage when teaching English worked perfectly for me, when working on board cruise ships was ideal, when I just wanted to volunteer or wander around aimlessly, or when I could think of nothing better than staying put in one place for a while…and on and on.
And over the past six months or so, I’ve realized that it is perhaps time to make some adjustments once again, to start a new stage.
What will this next stage involve?
Well, I think it’s time for me to find a home.
I need my own apartment or house, a place that will provide a base for my wacky traveling lifestyle, a base that will undoubtedly help keep me focused on my goals as well as keeping me sane. Frankly, it’s not easy to continue moving around all the time while trying to not only enjoy my travel experiences, but trying to work on my blog and other projects at the same time. Being able to pop over to my ‘home’ on occasion, to buckle down, prepare my own cup of tea and get some work done in comfort (i.e. in my underwear), would have a major impact, a positive impact, on my life.
Am I looking for a place to move permanently?
Definitely not. In fact, I imagine that I would spend maybe two or three months per year at this ‘home’ that I’m seeking. It’s the idea of having that base that seems to make sense right now, even if I rarely use it.
Just knowing that there is a familiar bed to sleep in every now and then, my own set of drawers to hold my underwear, a wall to hang my Tibetan thangka painting that has been buried in a box for the past seven years and a mirror to sing my favorite Lady Gaga songs in front of without having to worry about others listening, would be an absolute dream.
I really can’t wait to sing me some Lady Gaga in peace.
The Main Problem
Here’s the thing. It’s one thing for me to decide I need a base/home. It’s an entirely different matter to try and decide where on earth this home should be. My family and friends are scattered all over the planet and I have no real ties to any one particular location these days.
I have no idea how to even begin this search.
And this is why I want to ask all of you for your help.
Knowing that the readership of this blog comes from all over the world, from almost every continent and dozens and dozens of countries, I figured that you would probably have some good recommendations as to where I should create my base.
So let me give you some information about what I’m looking for…
A small to medium-size city/town, one that offers a good standard of living for a decent price, preferably near the beach although it’s not a must, close to nature, easily accessible and decently connected by flights to other parts of the world, preferably a warm climate (doesn’t have to be year-round warmth), a laid-back community with opportunities to interact with diverse groups of people and having such facilities as a gym, basketball courts, cinemas and good food options in the vicinity.
And that’s it, although, I’m honestly open to hearing about any kind of place you have in mind, in any country!
I really am excited to hear your recommendations and I would like to thank you all in advance for taking a moment to help me find a home…
Have a wonderful week everyone!
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Come in France my friend ! 🙂
If you’re interested in the USA, maybe Jacksonville Beach, FL? Pensacola FL is nice, except not as many international flights as JB. California has nice areas, but very expensive. Southern France near Nice or Marseilles? Except that’s not cheap, either. Thailand definitely fits your criteria: warm, inexpensive, excellent beaches and food, laid back, and easy air access from BKK to everywhere in the world. Not sure what area or town to suggest. Look forward to hearing where you choose to call home.
Hey Susan – Thanks for the suggestions! It’s looking like Gran Canaria is atop the list at the moment. Wonderful lifestyle, inexpensive and great food!
You should check out Anna Maria Island, FL or even St. Petersburg, FL. Both amazing places and great to come back to when you are traveling. Nothing like the calm of seeing the water as you drive home.
If you still haven’t found a place, may I suggest Sofia, Bulgaria. Since you’ve lived to Romania, you already know how hospitable Eastern Europeans are, especially to people who apprechiate their culture. It answers to all your requirements and more – it is an actual capital city, hence offers some opportunities that a provincial town simply cannot match. It is not a big city – around 1m in population, but offers, in my opinion, an amazing standard of living (I currently live and study in London, but still occasionally miss my lifestyle from back home). The currency is Bulgarian Lev, which is pretty much 0,50 euro cents. Roughly, dinner for 1 in an rather expensive restaurant will be 10 euro, street food 2-3 euro tops, coffee never more than 1 euro. Real estate is very cheap too – around 30,000 euro (nice outskirts) to 50,000 euro (the perfect city centre). If you are interesting in renting rather than buying – a flat in the perfect centre can be leased for as little as 150 euro per month. As far as taxes go, Bulgaria is something of a tax heaven especially in your case – real estate and online businesses are being taxed in a very modest manner. Moreover, real estate ownership virtually guarantees no immigration issues. Plainly georaphycally speaking, Sofia is in the perfect centre of every world map you could find and ,as a capital city, is wonderfully connected via its international airport (direct flights to all major European and Middle-Eastern destinations 3-7 times a week), railway station (compulsary stop on every Europe – Asia line) and both Bulgarian and Greek ferry routes (just 4 hours away by car). Climatewise, you would not get much rains at all, but you will live in a rather significant temperature amplitude year-round from 30-38 C in the summer to -10-0 C in the winter. Any time you want to visit the seaside you can do it with only a 3,5 – 4 hour drive to either our beaches or the Greek ones (both beautiful – I guarantee). If you like sking, you’ll be happy to know Sofia is only a 1,5 – 2 hour drive from the best mountain resorts in Eastern Europe (Bansco, one of those resorts, hosted the Ski World Cup last winter). However, if you only want to hike, you can enjoy the rather rare opportunity to be living litarally next to a mountain (Vitosha mountain is 15 minute ride from the city center and there are 3 regular city bus lines which service the route). You do not have to worry about gyms and etc. by any means – only in my neighbourhood we have 5 gyms, 2 basketball courts, a football pitch and a big cinema centre (all of them in max 15 min walking distance). As for the restaurants in the city – they are hundreds, all over town. There is not a national cuisine in the world you cannot have properly prepared somewhere withing a 20 min drive, we even have a Michelin star place. And finally, the MOST important thing – the ladies are beautiful (seriously, I’m not saying this because I am native to the country :D).
Show Bulgarian people respect for their culture and they will love you for life and count you as one of their own! If you need ANY more information – feel absolutely free to contact me, I’ll be more than happy to provide any info needed and, ultimately, maybe give my fatherland an amazing new citizen like you! 😀
Cheers and have fun,
Hey Nikola – Thanks so much for that detailed comment and I’m actually quite familiar with Sofia. I’ve visited at least 6 times I believe. It is an interesting city and I’ve enjoyed every trip I’ve made there, met some really wonderful people and certainly had a lot of fun! It is definitely worth consideration for anyone looking for a similar setup to what I described in the post so I hope a lot of people get a chance to read your comment and perhaps give it a try! As for me, I’ll probably look at a different part of the world at this point, not because I don’t think Sofia would be a great base but mainly because I’ve already spent so much time in that general region. But again, that is a super helpful comment and the next time I’m in Sofia, we shall meet!
I gotta say, reading through all these suggestions from others is giving me some relocation ideas. Now here’s my 2 cents. I hope you’re sitting down…they will buh-low. Your. Mind. (but really, it’s a semi long reply. Sitting down is more comfortable, er…) Ahem.
First suggestion, is Bend, OR. This modest sized town is amazing…beans, beer, and buds (for those into some real relaxin’ good times), all the modern amenities a person could want, beautiful mountain scenery w/ those Cascades just around the corner, and a 2 hour drive to the coast. Also, my cousin Jay (the coolest guy there is) lives there and he knows the place like the back of his hand. He’s a geological engineer for the state so drives err’ywhere. This is my retreat town, when a break is sorely needed. Clean air, friendly people, acres upon acres of forest and glacial rivers to wander through; it’s truly lovely. The downside (at least for me) is that it’s airport is a smaller one, which means you don’t have the copious amounts of choices you’d get from JFK or LAX. Also, w/ the secret out about how awesome Bend is, rent and the like has begun to shoot up. Always tradeoffs, right?
My second suggestion is the mid-size Salt Lake City, UT. I know, I know…not so much in the beans, beer, and buds area (or so everyone thinks!) But that’s this town’s own secret…(keeps those judgey snobs out of the way, -wink-). This is my own boomerang city. I tend to “visit” a location for months at a time to get to know the place; I’m not a fan of being the “obvious tourist”, if that makes sense. Anyway, this is the town that I bounce back to between my extended city visits and call home.
The scenery…stellar, with mountains hugging the city (ok, so I’m a bit partial to the mountains…you can take the girl out of the mountains, right? What can I say….it’s my earthy wheelhouse…#STOPJUDGINGME) in the north, and dusky orange landscapes in the south, (all hail Moab!), with the usual 21st century amenities; movie houses, breweries, (yep, not the mythical unicorn after all) a little bit of a wacky culture among some locals (becuz we all needs a little wacky) and modest rents. It’s a four seasons type of climate, and people here can be friendly to a fault. Also, SLC International airport is getting an overhaul; airlines have been adding direct international flights from SLC too, which is kind of nice since going through customs in SLC is a helluva easier time than through JFK or -gulp- LGA. Ugh.
Downsides, because again, there always are: the heart of downtown SLC is becoming expensive to live. Currently, market rate for a 500 sq ft studio is $1100 month. Kinda ridiculous. (It’s that damn Goldman Sachs…those butt heads opening up satellite offices here cuz it’s cheaper than NYC…boooooo.) There’s also the lovely winter inversion. Dirty air getting stuck thanks to the mountains surrounding the city. Typically winter storms blow through and clean things up, but •wha…hold up• why would you want to be hanging out in the winter anywhere anyways, when you can hit up some tropical paradise instead? Or at least watch some Netflix. I mean, come on. Sometimes it’s sixes. However, if you’ve always wanted to ski those slopes and Sundance w/ the stars in Park City, then winter, my friend, is your jam and there ain’t no inversion over those hills.
So, there’s my two cents. I could go on, but I’ve reached my small quota for mildly humorous quips. Should you ever want to visit either city, you have a place to stay. Fo’ reals. From my AirBnB days in NYC, hosting folks was always a pleasure, and that courtesy still stands. I hope this has helped, should you still be searching for your own comfortable spot.
Good travels and thanks for your shared experiences. I support your wanders. Happy home base hunting!
Thank you Rebecca! That information is awesome and very useful, not only for me but for anyone in a similar situation!
I live in Tampa, Florida and it fits the bill that you are looking for. Pleasant weather throughout minus two short months of humid summer, great beaches close by, affordable living with lots of outdoor activities.
Think about it..
Hey Neelima – Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve only been to Tampa once I think. Definitely worth another visit it seems!
Have you returned for a visit to Tampa? I think you would LOVE St. Petersburg, Florida (Greater Tampa Bay, but along the Gulf of Mexico). VERY beachy town, arts vibe, younger population, lots of tea bars, ultra-friendly.
Love the blog, been reading for about 5 years.
Hey Derek, So did you find a place to call “home”?
I sold my house a few years ago and have been renting since as I have no idea where in the world I really want to put my roots down… I’m approaching 40 now though so feel a need to get back on the ladder. I’m buying in Devon, England. We have a beach, small town, close community of nice people 20mins from Exeter city and 2-3hours by train to London. Houses are pricey but standard of living is good. Shame the summers are so short and the winters are wet. Would love to relocate somewhere warmer but I need to earn a living and that’s here…
Let us know if you chose somewhere? x
Hey Jen – I still haven’t found a place! I have some temporary bases in the meantime but still haven’t found that ideal place to call home yet. The search continues! Congrats on your choice of Devon…sounds like a pretty good location!
I have the same problem, actually let’s call it a dream. In the next 3-5 years I want to get myself a place to call mine, even if I’m no there all the time. Living with the ‘rents at age 37 doesn’t do it any more! I guess we all need a place, especially in those winter months to hunker down and get some work done, good luck!
Yes Wandering Earl you too can own a home. Its free but you must maintain residence. It is located in Canada and it is a part of their homesteading initiative. Populating rural towns in need of people. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-towns-offer-free-land-to-lure-new-residents-1.3132300 this reference is to land. But a quick search “free homes canada” should do it for ya.
Palawan Philippines where everything is cheap from travel fare, food and people are so nice. You wont have problem with the internet connection either.
Thanks for the suggestion Yum, sounds quite ideal!
All of us latecomers to this blog want to know … did you find a home?
What did you choose … and why?
For a while it was Bucharest, Romania and then Playa del Carmen, Mexico but it’s up in the air again!
Hey what’s up! Ghana is a beautiful, peaceful and interesting place to lay your head. Ghana await you!
Hey Earl, look into Pensacola, Fla on the Gulf Coast, we have an international airport not far away, domestic here, fabulous beaches and more….jot me a note…Songwriters festivals, art, music, chill, not like Atlanta of 6 million….but 1 hour flight away, 6 or less hour drive….NOLA is 3 hours west away…..cheerio…..
If you haven’t been, I highly recommend checking out Jacksonville Beach, FL. It easily meets all of your requirements and more. First, it obviously is as close to the beach as you can get. The beach is huge, similar to many Florida beaches, although not nearly as crowded or touristy as south Florida. It is very diverse and growing; many people have moved here from around the states and world, including myself very recently. It is very laid back, much more than areas in south Florida, and nearly everyone is very friendly and welcoming. You can find people on the beach of every race and color hanging out with each other. People enjoying drinks, smokes and sunbathing mixed with surfers, bikers, joggers and anything else you can do outside. There is a huge surplus of amazing restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment. The area is very well kept and clean and getting around on car, foot, or bike is very easy. There are numerous bars and restaurants with a direct view of the ocean.
In a 20 minute car ride, you can head to Anastasia state park and have the beach to yourself from horizon to horizon…wonderful for meditation and relaxation. There are numerous other parks and nature areas nearby, along with several historical forts. Of course, nearby is St Augustine, the oldest city in the US and provides wonderful people watching opportunities.
The average temps in January are 68 for a high and a low of 48….much warmer than most places in the states, minus south Florida of course. Beyond ‘winter’ it’s almost always 76 in the morning and near 90 during the day, and sunny. However, the cost of living is much lower and the pace of life is much more relaxed, and I personally think people are more friendly than south Florida. I am currently in a very nice 2 bedroom 1400sq ft apartment with very high ceilings, multiple pools, a gym. The complex is gated and security cameras (and palm trees) are everywhere, it’s 2 miles from the beach, and it’s only $1000/mo……..which is comparable to what I’d be paying for a similar place in the middle of a cornfield if I’d stayed in Indiana! You can likely find something even closer to the water for the same price if you sacrifice some space.
As far as traveling, the Jacksonville airport is a quick 20 minute drive, or about $25. It is one of the easiest and fastest airports to get in and out of in the USA, and only a 40 minute flight to the world hub of Miami.
The next time you are in the states I certainly recommend checking it out, I haven’t been abroad much just yet but I’ve covered nearly every highway in the USA and I doubt I will find a place to live in the states that is a better overall fit than Jax Beach.
Hi Earl. Very cool site. I’m getting ready to hit the road next year for a walk-a-bout and see what sticks. Personally been to all 50 states, 3 continents & about 18 countries and depending on the season you’re looking to “settle down” for I’d recommend Cleveland Ohio if it’s for the summer. One of the best food cities in the US, SUPER cheap living, low crime (West Side) and most importantly close to ORD, JFK & MIA…obvious jump off points to the rest of the world. With two ULCC’s (Frontier & Spirit), Jet Blue and potentially RyanAir (2016/17) operating out of CLE I definitely won’t mind returning to see family during the warmer months. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have an questions or stop for a visit: [email protected]
Miami might be a bit bigger than you had in mind but in my opinion it is a great home base. Just being in the city makes you feel like you are travelling; Little Haiti, Little Havana, Little Moscow, Design District, etc!! Also it has plenty of beaches, different culinary traditions and it is a great place to practice your Spanish, Portuguese, French. After 15 years of nearly constant travelling, we found Miami to be a good fit.
New follower here. I’d suggest a little beach town south of San Diego. It has a rough history so locals still are biased against it but I personally love it. Imperial Beach. You are literally 20 minutes from SanDiego airport and less than that to Tijuana airport. The community close to the beach is friendly and “oh so non pretentious” ( dog lover types) because the towns past rep has kept people away. ( in 70s and earlier it was biker gang turf apparently) It’s starting to change recently with a facelift of the beach area and the addition of a fancy hotel ( yes I said “a”….. As in ONE hotel. If you look up stats on the town you will not probably get the good impression I am trying to convey bcz the actual town of IB ( a good mile or more from beach area community) is really poor….however if you head north from the beach the next town is Coronado ( linked by bike path).. Look that up and you’ll see. If you don’t know the area, you really might need to visit to see, but it’s the most southwesterly city in the US and really probably the only SoCal beach town that’s still not been overtaken ( and it’s bcz people are so weird about its proximity to Tijuana !!!! I happen to LOVE Tijuana tho). Feel free to contact me if in area. I’m thrilled to find your blog!
Hey Tasha – Thanks for that recommendation…I shall do a little research on the place!
Great!! Like I said, I think without visiting you might find a lot of negatives online but I wish you luck. If you ever pass through or need more info feel free to ask me anything.
My sister is a mega traveler, currently working in CO after returning for 4 months in Turkey and France, but we always talk about how great Maryland has been for her as a home base. The Annapolis area (or right outside of it) is pretty much two hours from everything given the season (beach, mountains, skiing, etc). Nice people, a lot to do, tons of resturaunts, 30 minutes from DC and 30 minutes from Baltimore. Three airports within an hour and a a half (Dulles, Reagan National, BWI). Maryland offers a great mix of southern and northern…. And we have banging seafood.
If not, I know my sister is always looking for more travel buddies!
Hope you’re fine and travels are going well.
We’ve just read your post that you’re looking for a temporary base for 2-3 months a year.
We’ve just wrote a blog post about George Town in Malaysia.
This could be an option for you.
‘good standard of living for a decent price’ – yes, definitely
‘preferably near the beach although it’s not a must’ – beaches on Penang are not great, but if you wanted to spend some days on beautiful beach, then you could visit Langklawi, Tioma island or Perhentian Islands (Pulau Besar).
‘close to nature’ – yes! Botanical Gardens and Penang National Park (jungle trekking) are 45minutes away from the centre by bus
‘easily accessible and decently connected by flights to other parts of the world’ – yes! George Town has got an airport and has connections to some parts of Asia. The closest international airport is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore (or Bangkok) – from these three airport you can fly anywhere.
‘preferably a warm climate (doesn’t have to be year-round warmth)’ – yes! it’s always quite hot with some showers in late afternoon.
‘a laid-back community with opportunities to interact with diverse groups of people’ – yes! George Town is a multicultural town with Chinese, Malay, Indian and some foreigners.
‘having such facilities as a gym, basketball courts, cinemas’ – not sure about basketball courts but a gym and cinemas yes.
‘good food options in the vicinity’ – yes! there are plenty of for options everywhere in George Town.
The other positive things are that Malaysia is a quite developed and a safe country. Visa is for free for 3 months.
Hope it will help.
Petra and Veru
Hey Petra and Veru – Thank you for that suggestion. I’ve actually been to George Town and certainly did enjoy it. And while it is a good option as a base, it’s unfortunately a little far away from the rest of the world where I need to be these days for various projects. Apart from that though, it would be quite ideal!
Despite your recent unhappy experiences in Romania(but has you may know,It is part of the EU, soon to enter Schengen, eurozone and also one of the fastest growing economies in Europe), i think you should check out Constanta. This city has everything you want: malls, parks, clubs, cinemas,etc. The neighborhood i think is good for you is Faleza Nord (Northen Shore). Filled with low density buildings, this neighborhood is stuffed between Tabacarie Lake, the Black Sea and the summertime resort of Mamaia. Here you can find homes of all sizes and prices, from under 50K€
houses to 500k and over seaside mansions and apartaments. Hope take my suggestion in consideration.
according to the last comments here you haven’t found a place yet, is that right?
I live in southern Germany and altough I work fulltime (as a medical resident in a big hospital) I manage to travel very frequently from here. In my case I have 30-32 days of paid vacation (which is standard here) and because I work shifts, I get about 9-10 weeks off to travel every year, plus a couple of long weekends. The job market is good, there are many startups and everybody speaks English. The standard of living is very high, the health system is very good and most important, there are affordable flights to almost everywhere. Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin are well connected. So have you looked at Central Europe as a home base? Like, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, maybe even Denmark? It’s not as exotic as most of the other suggestions but as I said, we are well connected to the whole world and have a good standard of living. I have lived in the US before and getting around, especially to Asia and the Arab countries, was a real pain and usually involved several layovers and changing airports. Here we have many nonstop flights to Asia and Africa.
About the beach situation… from where I live it’s about 3-4 hours to the Adriatic, but northern Germany and Denmark also have nice beaches. I sometimes go to Turkey or the Balears for the weekend because it’s only 1.5 hours flight.
I’m not sure if this helps but I have been following your blog for a while and wanted to contribute something too . 🙂
Hope you find something suitable.
Hey Asta – Thank you for that suggestion. You certainly do make a good argument for this part of the world 🙂
I’m still working on it so we’ll see where I end up. It’s a tough one to figure out but I’m thinking that it might be time to go somewhere else outside of Europe since I did just use Europe as my base for the past 3 years. Could change though…we’ll see!
How about Taiwan or Korea?
Why not move to Ubud in Bali?
All the hottest Aussie chicks, sun-drenched sandy beaches and a really laid-back culture. It also has an international airport with connections to Amsterdam and London, and most major cities in Asia.
Cost of living? What cost of living? Cheap roadside food (especially them babi guling stalls) and entertainment (4 dollars to catch the latest flicks.)
If you are still looking, Australia is a great place to live, warm and plenty of areas to explore. You could always consider living somewhere near Sydney thats a bit quieter on the outskirts like Penrith (in the Foothills of the Blue Mountains) or Parrammatta area. The cost of housing is a lot more affordable and you can always get the train directly into the CBD and beach (45-30 mins), go up to the Blue Mountains for some hiking or mountain biking (15-45 mins) or down to Kangaroo Valley; then the airport is just a 45-60 min journey by train to the airport. Sydney is also great for flights to Asia, and the Americas. Both areas (I personally think Penrith might be better but Parrammatta would be good if you want something bigger) have shopping centres, movies, the whole lot.
There is only one correct answer; ROMANIA
The houses are cheap, the people love foreigners, the prices low (including flights), the weather and countryside are awesome too.
But you know this as you come here a lot.
You should check out Armenia for a place to live, you are in Turkey right now so why not. If you want more detail look at my older comment on your Romania Reactions post.
I know you were searching for a place to live for a while and it’s too bad Romania didn’t work out.
However, I think Yerevan, Armenia would be a great place for you to live. It is an up and coming city that is very modern and slightly cheaper than Romania. Armenia is a very peaceful safe country that is quickly evolving. Yerevan and Armenia are filled with tons of history, attractions, and natural beauty so you would love it. The city has a population of just over 1 million and is full of cafés, and restaurants. Yerevan reminds many of Paris. The city also has a modern underground metro system as well as many trains to the suburbs. The main reason I think you would like Armenia is because it could serve you as a midpoint between Europe and Asia with countless direct flights. Reaching the USA is very easy with connecting flights through Paris, Germany, and London ( I live in Boston and have done this before). The Armenian are a very friendly, kind, caring people that will take you in as family and feed you until you can’t eat anymore (the food and alcohol is outstanding). The city is not close to the beach but it is near Lake Sevan which is a huge lake that takes up a large piece of Armenia. The city has all the amenities you need movie theaters, shopping malls, universities (99% literacy rate). Overall it is a great place and you should really look into and consider it.
So Earl, I know this is tragically late, but just heard about your blog, and by the way it is very interesting, have you found a home?????
My suggestion, if you haven’t found one, would be the Adriatic side of Italy. Not so overbuilt, and quite reasonable to live.
When will you let us know???? Anxious to find your decision.
Hey Margaret – I still haven’t found one but the search is ongoing. I was actually just in Italy a few weeks ago again and I’m definitely a big fan of that country…I’m considering every option so you never know!
Asheville, NC – it’s not near the beach, but otherwise meets your requirements. The Smoky Mountains are especially beautiful in the spring and fall.
hey Earl – hope I’m not too late to comment on this post. I’m from Malaysia so I’ll be telling you some option in Malaysia. After I’ve read what you’re looking for, I recommend to check out Penang, Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu.
You should definitely check out Timisoara, Romania. 😀 (often referred to as “Little Vienna”)
It might be just the right city for you! You can find all sorts of super tasty food, prices here are lower than in Bucharest…and the surroundings of the city…uh, lovely! Mountains, lakes, outdoor festivals. You`ll find them all!
Sorry, this is bit late. I lived in Boise id. It is a beautiful place to live. People are warm and friendly. You have lot of hiking and biking trails.
Dude please check out San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.
I’ve been around the world too, I’m Mexican and I find this city the moooost beautiful in the world.
Hola Carlos – I know San Cristobal very well and it is an excellent location and great town. If it was closer to the beach it would be one of my favorite towns on the planet!
Hi Earl, take a look at Danville,IL. Housing super cheap and rehabbable,historic, undiscovered!! Cool lake in town,county and state parks 15 min away. 40 mi toAmtrak statio & Uof I and international community,90 mi to Indie,200 mi to Chicago. Downside is few good jobs but can live on $500/mo!!!
Hey Cheryl – Thanks for the suggestion…I’ve never heard of Danville so I’ll have to do a little more research right now!
Hi Earl! Did you find your home yet? I’ve been fairly nomadic for the last 7 years (not nearly as much as you, but have not stayed in one place longer than 6 months, spent most of the last 4 years in India). I’ve also recently decided that its time to find a base. I put word out to my FB friends who have suggested a variety of cities and so far my top picks from their suggestions are Buenos Aires, Berlin, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Lisbon. I’ve used Astro-location Astrology to help narrow down choices and am leaning towards Lisbon 🙂 heading to check it out this spring! Would love to know what you decide and why!
Best of Luck!
Hey Eve – I have not found a home yet! With my travels and the blogging and other projects I’ve taken on, it’s been difficult for me to actually stop and really try and find a place. But it will happen soon, I feel it! Let us know how Lisbon goes if that ends up being your choice!
Not sure if you found a place, I just found this site but I’ll put in my vote for Roanoke, VA. Have you heard of it? I’ve been here my whole life…although I travel out of here quite a bit. Small city of roughly 300,000 people with a low cost of living. 3 hours from DC to the north or 3 hours to Charlotte, NC to the south (which has an international airport). It has a very low crime rate and an up and coming food scene. Takes about 4 hours to get to the beach but it is a valley which is completely surrounded by mountains for hiking, which includes, The Appalachian Trail. Also, it has all 4 seasons, none of which are extreme at any time. Check it out…
Hey Brandi – Thanks for sharing your city and I have heard of Roanoke. Never been, but have heard about it. I have some family in the DC area so the next time I’m there visiting, I’ll try and head down to VA for a visit.
Hey Earl, next time you’re in the DC area let me know. I’ve just started reading your blog and we’ve exchanged a couple of e-mails about RTW travel. I would love to meet you in person.
I doubt I can add much to your search, but have you considered the Algarve, Costa del Sol or Dalmation coast? Or possibly Montevideo?
Hey MCFox – Sounds good, I shall let you know the next time I’m up there!
Sorry, I’m a few years too late too! Saw your blog as I was Googling cool / safe places to stay for less than $1,000 a month… (current target: Costa Ria)
I would recommend Dubai for the comfortable lifestyle, beaches, sea, warm climate, English speaking, with a ton of anglo- and non-anglo expats. However, it’s a good standard of living for a high cost (rent, alcohol).
Hey Kane – Thanks for recommending Dubai. The only thing is that I’ve been to Dubai a few times already and to be honest, it’s not my kind of place. It just doesn’t have the kind of vibe that I like in a destination so I can’t see myself enjoying living there too much.
Im super late in this thread, like two years late, lol have you considered the DR?
Normally, I would say London because it’s so well located right in the middle of everything. However it ain’t cheap. So what about somewhere in Spain? There are lots of options that tick all or most of your boxes. Malaga and the surrounding towns are reasonable, close to the beach and with such a large tourist draw, it would be easy for you to offset expenses by leasing it out on a short-term holiday basis (should you so desire). There are also connecting flights to many places and several budget airlines fly in there. That said, I recently read a wonderful feature in the New York Times magazine about expat life in Tangier, which would be even cheaper.
Hey Ben – Thanks for that recommendation and Tangier is a new one I never thought about. I’ll see if I can find that NYT article right now actually.
Just thought I’d throw in a quick advert for New Zealand. Specifically, the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty have a load of smallish towns littered along the coast. If you are looking for something closer to a city, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa are a hop and a skip across the harbour from Tauranga, one of NZ’s larger cities.
Summer is brilliant, and the winter is pretty mild due to the coastal climate. Plus there’s surf, so you can hone the skills you started to develop in Mexico. The two regions are a magnet for Aucklanders during the November-February period, so if you’re not home you can do well out of renting it out as a summer house.
However, I did see on one of the other comments that you replied to that you considered South Africa too far away from everywhere, and I can’t see NZ being a huge step up in that regard. You probably know more than me about finding cheap flights, but generally it seems to cost an arm and a leg to get anywhere further than the southeast asia/pacific area.
Not sure if you’ve been here yet, so you may well know some of this already.
Anyway, best of luck.
Hey George – Thanks for that information and while I have been to NZ a couple of times, I haven’t been to the regions you mention. I do love NZ but like you pointed out, when it comes to visiting family or anything else I might have to do back in the US, it is a bit of a distance away. I was talking with a friend today here in Romania about NZ actually and we were both saying that we would probably spend much more time there if it was closer!
Hi there !
I’ve been doing some travelling in asia, europe and now I’m moving around south America right now. There is one town that I really enjoyed, and found it really nice place to live was Medellin in Colombia. Maybe did you already went in ? When was it ?
First of all, the city changed a lot : most of people will think about drugs when they talk about this place, but this was 15 years ago (well today drugs moved more to Cali but that’s another question !).
-This city has a young population so it is really active
-The actual mayor is doing a lot of smart stuff to make the city an even better place to live
-A friend of mine already moved in !
-There is a lot of differents places to go like Bars and Club, there is several parc that are -used to be full of people who want to get a drink and chat.
-It’s a travelling city and there is a lot of backpacker (Hostels too)
-There is an airport that deserve it
-The weather is hot the whole year so no winter ! (colombia have every single kind of weather)
-There is a really smart and cheap public transport service
-Ok there is no beach…nothing is perfect !
Well there is a lot more I could say but I’m going to stop here !
Thanks Cyril. I know a lot about Medellin but I’ve never been there myself. I’ll get there at some point though to test it out!
I would suggest Cape Town in South Africa:
-weather is nice most of the time
-landscape is amazing
-people are really friendly
-lots of things to do around
-not too expensive compare to European big cities.
-Betwin South America, Australia and close from other countries of Africa of course…
Let me know if you need more information about Cape Town, I love this city!
Thanks Julien! I’ve been to Cape Town twice actually and it is a great city. The only problem is that it is quite a far flight from many parts of the world that I spend time in – North America, Europe and Asia.
A Greek Island. Perfect for you.
Niels, thanks for recommending Israel!! I have lived here for 39 years hailing from Canada. I came here for the more conventional reasons but I was most impressed to read how much you like it.Very refreshing during these difficult times.
Well, I live in San Jose, CA, which is really close to Santa Cruz. While the greater Bay Area might be great to visit, it’s waaaay too expensive to live for any wandering type. A rundown house here costs a million dollars. Santa Cruz might be cheaper, but I doubt that it will be a whole lot cheaper. Earl’s 2,000 a month passive income will not stretch too far here, I am afraid.
We are thinking about moving to other states where it’s a whole lot cheaper…
I’ve not traveled in a long time so my info first hand isn’t so good anymore. But if you check out internationalliving.com it could give you all the information you could want, plus articles from those that are living in the areas you want to check out.
Personally, I’m planning on taking a trip to Ecuador, with Manta as a base from which to spread out. I also liked the idea of taking the train between Quito and Cuenca too. I love the opportunity to have good healthy food, lots of seafood and a less stressful pace to each day.
I’m thinking that with how affordable it is, that my sons would like to join me for my adventure. It’s a simple 4hour flight to the U.S. and I like that some cruise ships visit Manta. (I’d like to have my older son get a job on one of them, I think he’d really like it.) I would just like to find a place that was less wound up and tense like it is where I’m at in the states. The atmosphere here is downright suffocating with all the overly political boiling points in the media. I would like to get away from all that with my family. Let them enjoy learning and experiencing another culture first hand.
I hope that you find the perfect place for you home base… even if it’s only for a relatively short time. It’s nice having someplace to come back to when you’ve been away awhile.
As someone who traveled by working in foreign countries I didn’t last as long as you did until I wanted a some of what comes with a life where you have a base to operate out of… Close to when I bailed on this as a lifestyle choice I signed up for an outward bound course in the Netherlands because I didn’t want to have to think about where my next meal would come from nor where I’d sleep that night – I was a bit burned out on that at the time. Of course you kind of have to work hard to get that food and tent spot LOL, but I didn’t care what they made me do, someone else was providing the food and tent spot. There are things I miss about traveling year round and some things I do not.
I’d sugest you add safety of your stuff as a consideration if you are gone for weeks or months at a time to your list of things to consider, unless you plan to rent a room in someone else’s house, then store your stuff in a storage unit (get a climate controlled one so you don’t come back to mildew city) while you are gone again.
I know I finally got to the point that I wanted a cat. Yes a cat. And I wanted long term friendships again. All the friends I have in a variety of countries are appreciated, and visiting them after not seeing them for months or years was also something I liked… but on a fundamental level I missed having those friends who are a constant in my life who know me through thick and thin… For that reason I bailed from a lifestyle that required extra pages in my passport, figuring out how to find an under the table job or a work permit if I was running short of cash… Do I miss it? – sometimes. But I also find that my new life (and no I haven’t quite managed to stay put in one place forever so to speak) is also something that I enjoy because of the deep connection I can have with the people in my life. And those people will take care of my cat when I take off for a month here and a month there…
And… to bring up another subject that iI never really thought about all those years and now am starting to regret – paying for retirement. I ignored that itty bitty issue while roaming the earth… unfortunately now I am stuck in the kind of bad spot a student is who is walking into the final exam with a D average and the final is only worth 20% of their grade. No way to get an A. Or even a B. As I plot out my financial future I am realizing that I am way behind. While I might get lucky and get hit by a bus in some obscure corner of the earth and not live long enough that this to matter, odds are high I will have to deal with poverty while being 89 or older (my relatives all live into their 90’s and some into their 100’s). And yes I could live somewhere that was cheaper than the USA, however some of these kinds of plans only work if you aren’t sick in your old age, if you aren’t losing your marbles or your mobility… Saving for retirement so that I can take care of myself if I ever reach the point that I can’t get by with working now and again has reluctantly become a priority. Might want to do the math on that one for yourself and figure out how to work that into your future plans.
Good luck. I miss the days I lived on someone else’s boat working for room and board, or taking people backpacking for a living in various countries… But I also like my cat curled up in my lap purring (like he is doing now) and knowing I now have a 12 year history of relatively frequent contact with the same people; people who are important to me and me to them.
Definitely Sardinia… the most beautiful Island in the world.
Cagliari, cheep and wonderful. Come and visit.
I am partial to home.
So, I would say consider taking pause here in the Desierto Sonorense(Sonoran Desert).
Winters are pleasantly mild and the summers are hot. I prefer dealing with heat versus cold. Namely, visit Tucson when you get the chance. The climate, and blend of native cultures and Europeans, attracts visitors, students and retirees from around the world.
There are national forests of saguaros and pines on the edge of town. Winter skiing is possible just 45 minutes away, and few hours further north as well. There are plenty of resorts and many apartment living arrangements the include swimming pools and common areas for exercise/fitness. The downtown area has been revitalized, so, there is plenty of nightlife to be had along the downtown trolley corridor. Centennial hall on the University of Arizona campus attracts some of the greatest performing artists around. Tucson is a relatively small city with the benefits of a larger community. What else can be found here….Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Center for Creative Photography(archive of Ansell Adams work is maintained there), Arizona State Museum(largest collection of intact Native American pottery and basketry), El Tour de Tucson, Mariachi Festival, street fairs, hiking, live theater, social dancing clubs….I could go on.
San Diego is about at 5 hour road trip, my preference versus flying, and the Sea of Cortez is only 4.5 hours away.
Concentrate on finding a place in central Tucson, just east of the University along bus Route 3(there is a nearby bike corridor as well). This should make access to all Tucson has to offer more accessible by bike or bus, and now trolley, when you choose to leave your car at home.
Give a shout when you are in town. I can show you around.
Santa Cruz CA is the perfect place for getting grounded, meeting great people, tons of beach time, healing and creative expression. Only one hour from San Jose airport, lots of room shares on Craigslist. The winter weather isn’t bad, and the water is cold, but that doesn’t stop the surfers. Good luck!
Earl When I first started reading your blog I truly thought as a wanderer you were enjoying yourself, but looking for a place to put you under ware as you put it in a drawer. Which means you want time on the ground in a house, but still want to be able when you get the urge to go can go at a whim, so you need an airport at your disposal not too far from this domasile or beaches and you want suggestions from others who may have some ideas as to where you might find such a place. Did I get that right?
Well I am a 73 year old widow that hasn’t gotten this bug out either, except my fedish is in a RV which fell apart and now I can’t afford to replace it. My travels and the freedom I get from living in an RV without any ties or outside bills is a feeling of such freedom every time you move from one park to another or just driving down Americas Highways is indescribable. When my husband was alive, we traveled full time for two years, we worked on the road to support ourselves and our travels. It was wonderful. Once he became too ill we had to come off the road and the RV sat too long and deteriated and was sold for peanuts. He later passed away. Now I am looking for and have found an older and smaller RV that is just right for me. Problem is I need help financing it. It’s only $20,000 which is not bad for a 1999 with low miles. I lost my home to foreclosure with Robo signers during the bank fraud schemes the lawyer ended up in prison, but the judge said the “Banks have to be paid” and I get left out in the cold. Maybe someone reading wanderers blog will help me pjhodes. And I am on gmail.
We’ve traveled and lived all over the place. Finally feeling like finding a home base as well. Decided on a small beach town on lake michigan close to two chicago airports. its cold in the winter, but that’s when we leave to travel. low cost of living, laid back, close to international airports. also look into wilmington, nc. suerte.
Indonesia? Bali (the inland part which is less touristic) or Lombok? Living cost is cheaper there i guess….
Ever consider Belize??
Hey Ashley – I’ve thought about it but for me, I love the Caribbean coast of Mexico too much so if it was going to be this part of the world, I’d probably just choose Mexico 🙂
Been a fan always! Hoping to be a nomad like you soon.
As I read this post, the entire time, I was thinking of places along the west coast of India.
As people have already suggested you pondicherry, I would like to suggest you any main city on the west coast of India. Mangalore (my home town), Pondi, Kochi, etc. People of maharashtra, karnataka and kerala are really good and are also fun to be with.
But Let me tell you, DO NOT TRAVEL and even think of SETTLING on the east coast, especially Tamil Nadu. People here may be good by heart, but they love tamil so much that a traveller or even god, they will not speak to you in any language but Tamil!
So Try for various places in Kerala and Karnataka. It would be good for you as per your description. Also No winter problem in India 🙂
PS: Let me know if and when you visit Kerala or Karnataka or south India. Would like to spend some time with you and ask you a lot of things.
Hey Atul – Thank you for all of that information and that is a region of India that I do love quite a lot. I’ve been down to Kerala and Karnataka several times over the years and it would be a great place to live I’m sure. I’ll let you know the next time I’m heading that way!
Greetings from a semi-nomad!
Love your blog to begin with. I’ll keep it short as you have lots of other things to do.
I think it should be somewhere in the middle of mother earth, to me that is Europe (with all respect, you can try Africa but that would be more difficult. So I think you should consider Italy. It has a good climate and delicious food. You could try something near Milan or Rome. And for the days, weeks or months you are not home, you can rent the place more easily than a little village in Zimbabwe.
From Milan or Rome you can fly to East or West or even South. You’ll find yourself a good ‘nonna’as a neighbour or a big family and you can always join them for a Italian lunch or dinner.
Grazie for the suggestion Cecile!!
That sounds beautiful. I was thinking Italy for myself when I get out on my own. The culture is admirable and as a person who was never a part of an overall culture, it is one I would love to immserse myself in. So I am just writing to let you know that I think that that is a good idea and to let you know that I appreciate hearing about it. 🙂
Arrivederci, amico. (new to the language)
Not sure if you have found a home yet, however I have a recommendation to suit your needs. Brighton on the south coast of England is merely and 40 minute drive from Gatwick and 1 hour 15 minutes from Heathrow. It is also 1 hour 30 minutes from the Dover/Calais ferry connection if you’re looking for day-trips or weekends to France.
The weather is lovely and warm during the summer and not too cold like the north of England in the winter.
Labelled as the gay capital of the country, it is clear that the local community are feel able to express themselves and it opens up a wide range of diversity (much like everywhere in the country).
I would also recommend visiting Southampton (1 hour 30 minutes) as it is a great city with a ferry crossing to the Isle of White, home to some of the most warm and friendly people in the world and a great array of nature.
Just one other suggestion, a bit off the beaten track, would be Malta. Valletta, the capital, is a wonderful city with Middle Eastern style buildings and wonderful beaches and natural beauty. It is home to some of the most friendly people on the planet and you can drive the length of the main island in merely 45 minutes.
It has extremely cheap connections (maximum $50) to Italy and the UK, which are home to some of the most major airports in the world. You really feel like you are somewhere different and due to its small size, it is an (almost) completely untouched part of the backpackers’ itinery.
Just stay away from St Julian’s and Paceville during the April-September periods as it is the tourist capital of the country. Home to some of the best nightlife (some would recommend over Ibiza), also.
Brighton and Valletta are two possibilities to where I plan to use as my ‘base’ when I’m a little older.
Happy travels and the best of luck finding a place of your own.
Thanks for that Jack! I’ve actually been to Southampton dozens of time as I used to work on board the Queen Mary 2 and we would be there dozens of times per year. And I’ve also been, and liked very much, Malta. It is on my list of potential options as I really had a great time there on my two visits.
Haven’t been to Brighton though so perhaps I do need to check out that option as well. All the info is much appreciated!
Hey earl! I’ve been very inspired by your blog and I did a solo backpacking trip across India for six months and plan on becoming a full time traveler when I graduate college. I want to suggest you the place Pondicherry, India. It’s a beautiful medium sized city with a lot of french influence in their culture as it was a french colony for decades. The weather is beautiful all year round and there are also some good looking beaches alongside. The place is really budget friendly and offers everything you are looking for. Happy searching 🙂
Very curious where you end up buying a home. We just sold our in Southern California and plan to pick a few home bases around the world. Possibly something outside of Rome and some place quiet by the beach (as you describe). Good luck on your search and I look forward to your updates.
We live on a boat, a family with four children, plan to travel around the world as the boat home with us all the time
That’s how we get the house and traveling in the same package
So save travel costs, accommodation, and without time limits
I defently suggest you Berlin.
It’s where i’m living actually….
Have you ever been in this city ? I mean, not as a tourist, but as a local ? With locals ?
It’s just incredible.
I’m traveling around the world, working on internet just like you, but i made Berlin as my “base”.
-It’s cheap (really, technically, you are able to live quite good in Berlin for 0 euro a month… I could develop this part if you want ).
-It’s multicultural (people coming from every where in europe/the world)
-Everybody- or almost- speak english
-Intersting (artisit coming from every where, exposition etc..)
-A great nightlife (the best in europe, with tones of small and great bars, and the best nightclubs)
-It’s a capital, so it’s always a good investment (now the price starts to grow, but it’s still cheap to buy. For a exemple a studio in Kreuzberg can be found around 60 000 euros, this is nothing for a capital !)
-It’s in middle of europe
-Girls are good looking 😉
-Many bloggers (or peaople living with internet activity) live here
I’ve been traveling everywhere I’ve seen many places, many cities. I love Palolem where i’ve been living for 2 months last year. But Berlin is totally different, it’s a great place to “live”, it’s a great place for a “base”.
Hey Ryan – Thanks for your thoughts on Berlin. I have been a couple of times and it is a city I love but in the end, I really can’t handle winters or any weather that falls below 50F for the most part. So the chances are high that I’ll need a more tropical location. Berlin is an excellent city though and I definitely agree on all your points!
Just came across on our website. Maybe you would like to consider Cebu, Phils. Rent ranges from 100-200 a month a decent room/apartment. Less traffic than Manila. Lots of beautiful beaches which is near to the area and air is fresher too 🙂
Hey Jazz – I do plan to visit the Philippines this year so I will be checking it out soon!
Earl – I’m someone contemplating a nomad lifestyle – as a retiree — you’ve spent alot of time in Bucharest, and seem to like it. Yeah, it gets cold in the winter, but it’s so accessible to so much – – the Middle East, India, Italy, the cultures of northern Africa, and the rest of Europe. It seems to me that a base in southeastern Europe offers more cultures at closer proximity than anywhere else in the world. . . .I’ve bicycled down the coast of Croatia, and really loved Dubrovnik. The geography is spectacular. Since the Adriatic coast is alot warmer in the winter than inland, maybe this could be your place.
Hey Guido – Thanks for commenting and I’ve been to Dubrovnik actually. It wasn’t one of my favorite places though. It gets a bit too busy with all the tourists for me.
This one is easy. Although you may have already decided on your ‘Home’, New Smyrna Beach, FL is exactly what you described in your Blog. A great community with all the above. A mellow vibed beach town, one hour from Orlando International Airport. Good luck in your new base findings. Your website and blogs are not only extremely informative but also inspirational to those truly trying to take that first step and making their truest dreams become living realities. Warm Vibes from coming at you from the Sunshine State.
Port Orange, FL
Thank you for that Aussie and I shall have a look into New Smyrna Beach!
…definitely Split in Croatia 🙂
Well, not knowing exactly who you are, it is really hard to advise about at permanent residency.
Although there are many places in the world that are civilized and therefore having an impeccable infrastructure and a calm and quiet society, I still would recommend Israel to you. To own a place and stay for up to 3 months, extended to 6 can be done by most nationalities. The fact is that you would want to find a place where you can stay, but also leave again and leave it to itself. Having an apartment or if you can afford it a house/villa in Israel is really a good investment too. There would be plenty of people who would like to housesit, and there is a long tradition for that in the land also. You would also want a place where maybe you in time could settle, if needed or desired. This you would know yourself it is possible. Israel is a society that is modern, structured, organized, actually peaceful and where you would be able to pick a climate zone to your liking. There are all the things you have mentioned you want and many more. You can choose between different countryside or cities. The demography and geography you either know of or can find out easily.
I’m sure the US seems very tempting as you have good knowledge of the society and the language there. You would find no problems of adjusting to life in Israel either, particularly since you have extended experience traveling in many cultures. Getting older and maybe desiring an education or a family can be done in any country or culture, the result will however vary with the environment.
The Nordic countries are known for very good social security, and it is also a place you could consider. Some American parents choose the Nordic countries to raise children, as they fell it safer and cleaner than many other places. This depends on your preferences. In the Nordic countries it is very common to have a second smaller house for vacation only. These houses are usually placed anywhere in the countryside close to nature. They can be left unattended without worry for destruction, we all leave then for many months at a time.
As I’m sure you know, both all the Nordic countries and Israel have an excellent infrastructure that would take you anywhere anytime -given you can pay!
Have a good hunt and let us know where you choose to be left alone 😉
Hey Niels – Thank you for those suggestions. The Nordic countries would be a bit too cold for me but Israel is not a bad option. I’m still looking so I’m still open to hearing all kinds of ideas before I hopefully decide in the next few months.
Just discovered your blog, not sure if you’re still looking for a place?
Have you considered the coast around Barcelona (Costa Brava, Costa Maresme, Costa Garraf, Costa Dorada)? Plenty of nice beach towns. The area offers a little bit of everything. Great beaches, nice weather, not far from ski areas in the winter, great hiking, mountain biking etc. and Barcelona is a great city as well. Usually plenty of cheap flights to within Europe (Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling etc.) from Barcelona (Prat) airport or Girona airport and connections to places further away aren’t bad either. Public transport is good, no need for a car.
Teaching English is an option, but there’s also plenty of other jobs around for English speakers, lots of internet/tech businesses that have created a vibrant community. And if you want something less expat/touristy, just move to a town a few kilometers away from the beach.
Spanish food is awesome too 🙂
I lived in Barcelona for a few years and am planning on going back there at some point. I could go on and on about it… love the place. Happy to share more info if you’re still looking and considering Spain!
Thanks for that Dina! A few people have mentioned this region of Spain and as a result, it is on my list of places to explore some more 🙂
Just started reading your blog. Love it. I’ve traveled a lot in the past but am constantly thinking about just up and going. Pretty sure the next few weeks of reading your blog and ebooks will push me over the edge. So I thank you in advance for that. Anyway, I went to Australia on a whim with a friend a couple years ago and was going to go for 2 months but it turned into a year (wasn’t going to waste the visa) which is similar to how you got started. I’d definitely suggest having a residence there, I see you’ve been there so you know how awesome the place is. There are so many nice suburbs but I think you’d really like the Hawthorne area. I lived there for a while and worked there and had an amazing time. Australia is a bit out there but if you spend a lot of time in SE Asia, it’s right there, with cheap fares to and from as you know. If you don’t want to be just outside of a major city then come up to New Hampshire. We’re not far from Logan and there are plenty of awesome little towns here. Portsmouth or Dover are both really nice and are less than an hour from Logan. Although I’ve been all over America and a handful of countries, I love this area and definitely want to set up shop around here, after more extensive travel. I am biased as I’m from NH, but I think it offers a nice balance of city life/outdoors and a convenient location (plus no sales tax!). Happy hunting man, and thank you for what you do, I’ve become really inspired to make long term travel work for me.
Thanks for all that Kevin! And I do love Melbourne, one of my favorite places on the planet, but for what I’m doing these days, it’s just much too far away unfortunately. Great place though!
It may be a little on the expensive side, but Encinitas is one of my favorite places on the planet! Great beach community; only half an hour from downtown San Diego, and connected by train to Los Angeles.
Thanks for the suggestion Laryssa!
Ever been to Arizona? Hot summers, but beautiful winters. Tucson is surrounded by mountains. Awesome hiking. 6 hour drive to San Diego, 6 hour drive to Rocky Point, Mexico if you need your beach fix. Tucson has an international airport for a quick escape route! :). Growing up there, I can’t say its a place I would suggest for every travel bug, but as a home base it would be a very nice place. Property is cheap, and it has all of the offerings of a big city, without feeling like one (it’s very spread out). Just a thought.
Hey Annie – Yes, I’ve been to Arizona a few times to visit some family that live there but never really considered it as a place to live. I think that’s because of the beach issue. While 6 hours isn’t terribly long, I still prefer 6 minutes 🙂
Came across your blog for the first time today and feel inspired. It has been my dream to travel the world, but I didn’t think (a) it would be safe for me to travel alone and (b) that I could afford to pursue my dream (visas, money, etc.) until now! Am going to purchase your eBook and educate myself.
In any case, I wanted to respond to your question above…have you considered Honolulu, HI? I moved out here (from Chicago) a year ago and LOVE it. It meets all the requirements you list above and much, much more.
Oh and take a look at this: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/04/hawaii-life-expectancy_n_3682588.html
So…what do you think?
Hey Deepti – Thanks for the comment and I have thought about Honolulu actually. The only problem is that I will still be traveling quite a bit and having to fly in and out of Hawaii all the time is extremely expensive, not to mention that it will almost always involve very long flights. But I really do love it out there!
Hey Earl… since I posted my comment a few months ago I actually moved from Charlotte to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Beautiful beaches, pleasant weather, and a really laid-back lifestyle. Yeah, the airport thing might not be perfect (Norfolk is about 90min away and Raleigh is 3 hours), but living at the edge of the world has its advantages… and I’m walking distance from a craft brewery! Swing by for a visit sometime… the guest room is all yours!
Hey Tim – Thanks for another suggestion and actually, since my sister moved to Durham, I have given NC a bit of a thought. As soon as I can I hope to check it out some more.
Geelong, Australia (or other smaller towns near eg. torquay) – average sized city, right next to the great ocean road and all the beaches at the surf coast, never to cold weather, only drops to about 15 (Celsius) at worst, probably averages about 27 all year round, could spend the summer their, only an hours drive from melbourne, a major international airport, also near the grampians national park as well as the brisbane ranges, bogong high plains. Certainly the example of torquay is a very beachy casual atmosphere with excellent weather all year round. Look at the geelong and surf coast region though.
Hey Samuel – Geelong is not a bad idea and I have been a few times actually. Never thought of it as a potential long-term base though. Thanks for the idea!
Think of the following
Indonesia-Just find an island
Check out Bozeman, MT, and surrounding areas. Livingston, MT, is a smaller town nearby that is nice as well. Friendly people! Beautiful area! Lots to do outdoors!
My family owns a couple of houses in South Africa (Betty’s Bay capetown, Eastlondon & kruger park) if you need accommodation here you more than welcome to use it, I admire what you are doing! I live in Johannesburg but if you need a place to crash let me know. We also have a farm in Zambia so when or if you go there let me know and you can stay for free.
All the best and keep doing what you doing!
Thank you for that Tyron!
My suggestion would be Cognac, France. A beautiful area that is a 3 hour train ride to Paris (for international flights).
Rancho Santa Margarita California. Is a small town, nice small lakes, beautiful mountains perfect for hiking, the beach is only 20 min away, so close to all the most amazing beaches, Laguna Beach, Dana Point etc, etc, you can get a nice studio for $800 a month, I am talking about a big nice studio, right across the lake, you can go Kayak, sailing, diving, horse back riding. There are libraries, movie theaters, gyms,restaurants, bars, church around the corner. And the best of all we live so close to Santa Margarita, that you can use our card to go to Lake Mission Viejo, use our timeshare on Capistrano Beach, and help you if you have any emergency. Well is only one idea for a beautiful small city with the best weather all year around for you to conider, good luck in your decision.
Hood River / White Salmon. Small town 55 miles from Portland on the east side of the mountain so fairly dry. Very active community. 45 minutes from ski station and trails everywhere ( between mount hood and mt Adams. Warm in the summer. Cool in winter but mostly Sunny. Famous for windsurfing and kit surfing as well as white river kayak. Poeple from all over the world in the summer are coming here. Has great food and lots of micro brewery. I have been leaving here 4 years and love it. Let me know if you want to visit. You will have a place to stay.
Thank you Jean-Marc! I shall look it up now.
Tijuana sounds right up your alley. Or anywhere in northern Baja really. It is extremely inexpensive, has amazing food, great beaches, friendly people, all of the commodities you mentioned like gym, and it is close to the San Diego airport which is a good airport. The weather there is better than San Diego. There is a lot to see as well, very pretty nature with oaks, sage, cactus and wild horses. Amazing fresh seafood. Thanks for the inspiring writing, your living the dream!
On the outskirts of Cape town, South Africa. Very close to an int airport. Probably the best weather year round and simply beautiful. Im not going to advertise my home country as In sure you’ve been there believe me, you can’t go wrong.
I really like Melaka in Malaysia.
New York…not in NYC, but nearby you can find pockets of inexpensive living. Maybe Western Long Island nearby beaches JFK and LaGuardia Airports.
I haven’t lived there myself, but now that I’m traveling I have been contemplating where I would like to end:
Santa Cruz, CA – close enough to San Francisco, but cheaper, better weather, more laid-back atmosphere.
Berlin, Germany – because it’s the coolest city
Amsterdam, Netherlands – that’s where I’m from
Melbourne, Australia – if I could find a way
Wellington, New Zealand – again, if I could find a way
I figured my list might help you, I guess weather-wise only Santa Cruz would be appropriate for you.
Hi there. I have to say “congratulations!!” first things first.
I would like to say, hey i’m a millionaire, love your story and have a spare room (in fact a few) /guest house for you. That would be cool. But.. I’m sorry it’s not the case. I really wanted to help you solve the Lady Gaga thing, man you must be longing to hum in peace!
I understand you so well. I’ve been travelling around as well and, not always, but once I realize I was addicted to it and that travelling was it, I thought I need it a head quarter. I move to Edinburgh in Scotland when I was 18 (turn 29 two days ago, damn!) I’ve always came back here… the weather sucks but is the main ingredient in this beautiful recipe of town (what the heck is that expression?!) anyway.. the weather is bad but it was always easy to find a job, specially as a waitress, (yes.. I’m a girl) and the tips gave me the chance to save enough money to be out there again in less than ten months so… uk. I’m not telling you to come here… I don’t even know where you’re from… i just checked your site today for the first time and I was so attracted to this post that I went straight for it. I haven’t read anything else so maybe i’m gonna ask you silly questions and make assumptions that you have explain in previous post before… sorry about that. It’s just that I read this and my head went like ” what does he mean? he’s travelling, does he work? he wants a house.. how is he planning on buying it? can we buy a house together?… yes… let’s just say it” so here I am… telling you this. Crazy. I have two daughters (wait. keep on reading. I’m not looking for a dad. We have one already) … we came back from our last trip one year ago. We spent a year in Australia, living in a campervan and came back “home” on the trans-mongolian train. I don’t work, we do home schooling, which means they don’t go to school so we are free to learn from what ever we want when ever we want at our own peace, just in case you are wondering. People lately is giving me faces when I say that. I think they preferred the old “I teach them everything every morning from 9 till 12 while we cook lunch for father” fuck it, I’m not that organize.
I don’t work so it’s not like I have any income, I don’t know why I’m even thinking about buying a house with someone.. unfortunately I’ll have to work so… hey, maybe eventually I can afford it. I like your conditions anyway. I keep you post it if I get lucky. Till then, good luck and again.. thumbs up for the ones that achieve their dreams.
I’m wondering if u have anything for a single professional woman looking for a place to stay until I can get on my feet. I’ve been in a enlightening yet abusive relationship Looking for some peace of mind time to heal, I do not have family around mom passed away from cancer dad died at same time due to broken heart. I’m active ( runner) happy, great personality, love my work, ( paramedical examiner) spiritual, praying for better experiences everyday, I’m kind, caring just a good person in need of a place to soul search and back on track. Debra is there anyway u could consider or guide me to a place or help? Please! God bless! Look forward to hearing from u. I have pics if needed, phone # as well.
I’m moving to Seattle in a few weeks 🙂
Beautiful, the ocean, mild weather (40’s during the winter) and yes it does get dark. But you can sublet your home and vacation in San Diego for the winter months!
I have also heard great things about Boulder Colorado however it does get cold there and I am not a fan of cold. the last time I was in Seattle in January and I was shocked at how warm it felt (mid-40’s which in the Midwest is considered “spring” weather)
Well I’m in Flores, Guatemala now, and falling in love with it here…incredibly warm water to swim in, water and views all around, a big mall for “conveniences” just over the bridge into Santa Elena – close enough to be nice, far enough away to be nice, too. Tikal and lovely beaches that you never hear about in guide books (Chechenal is only like 15 minutes away by short boat ride and then short walk)…I have been thinking that this would be quite an ideal spot to stay for awhile. Wasn’t expecting it at all before landing here.
Hey Earl – You should check out Madison WI. Winters are horrible but summers and fall are beautiful. It’s not near a beach but there are tons of lakes in the area for swimming, boating and fishing. There is an airport in Madison (domestic flights only), but you are within a short drive or O’Hare and Milwaukee Airports. Wisconsin has lots of biking and hiking paths and is in the center of the country so trips both East and West are relatively easy (East more so than West).
Hey Carl – I have not been to Madison but from what I know of it, I’m sure I’d enjoy it very much. But those winters are a big turn off for me..just can’t do it!
By the way, it’s awesome to have all of these suggestions in one spot – really glad you wrote this post. Hope others pitch in with more info.
As for myself, I’ve been drawn to the sound of Austin, TX..LOVED living in the SF Bay area (but a tad ‘spensive for me at the moment), absolutely fell in love with Lake Atitlan (but no tennis courts..and perhaps better to keep for a refuge rather than a home base)…Am generally in love with Mexico as a whole (spent a year university exchange in Guanajuato, an adorable and culturally rich town but no beaches or lakes)…and the Greek island I lived on had perhaps the friendliest people I’ve ever met anywhere.
But I am still looking for that “home base of all home bases”…so please keep us updated, and other peeps please keep chipping in! I will be checking back on this post. Cheers 🙂
Ok, I am in the exact same situation and looking for similar things (my sport is Tennis, so those are the courts I’m after), small town, good internet, close to some sort of nature and natural body of water to swim in (lake, river, ocean or sea all good), sunny mostly, etc!… and am dying to know— Any decisions??????? Updates please!!! 😀
Serbia, Novi Sad could be the place 🙂 Middle-size clean university town with cheap prices for everything including real estate. Starting from April it’s already summer weather and it stays this way till October/November, winters are mild, there’s a National park across the river that could be reached in 20 min. You can get your residence permission easily based just on the fact of owning a house/apartment and having 5000 euro bank account in your name. 1,5 hrs and 40 euro away by taxi from Belgrade airport.
After 3 years of travel I found my home in La Libertad, El Salvador. Warm weather, great beaches and surfing, easy/cheap access to the Eastern US, many of the comforts of home in San Salvador a quick 30 minute drive from the beach, and you can reach the mountains city and beach all within an hour and a half of each other! Too hot at the beach? Crisp cool waterfalls within 2 hours… Need a jacuzzi? Thermal waters are within an hour and a half… Want a cinema or great nightlife? 30 minutes… and surfing on my doorstep. Still super cheap here since everyone’s too scared to come – lucky us! 😉
I looked at properties in Buffalo NY 3 years ago. A cheap house would be $10K but thats a start
Hey Martin – That’s not a bad deal at all…
Hey Earl, I love your blog. I’m also a traveler although not anywhere near to the extent as you, I can definitely relate. I chose San Diego, CA for my hub. It has great weather, is very laid back, nice beaches, nice people, easily accessible airport, not too crowded, great food…I almost hesitate to rave too much since there are lots of myths about this city that I selfishly don’t mind letting people believe! The only myth that I will correct here is that it is NOT warm year round, sure we get our 70 degree days in the middle of winter, but that’s not the norm and we definitely have a few months of lows in the 40’s. Anyway I’ll be curious to see where you “land”! Good luck.
Thanks for that suggestion Kevin…I love San Diego myself and the only issue for me, apart from the cool temps, is that it’s far away from family/friends on the east coast and far away from Europe. But, we shall see!
[…] whenever I’m thinking of staying put for a while or as I continue my search for the ‘perfect home base‘, there is no doubt that Playa del Carmen offers just about everything I could possibly want. […]
your desire sounds very down to earth and pure human to me.
Just i think you are the only one who can answer that question.
if you are looking for a home which means a build place / room with all needed utilities and furniture in warm climate, on reasonable budget, it must be easy to find.
but if you are looking for a place called home where you feel being yourself is accepted and secure, and also its surrounding is welcoming, speaking the understandable language, than it might become life journey of its own, to find that place.
talking about build home place to stay, answer yourself which culture, politics, economy and medical care of the place/ surrounding would be acceptable for you.
which culture deeply moved you in positive way? which surrounding would you like to be influenced by in longer period? (american way? european? asian…..?) where would you like to get old? which sight out of the window made you feel peaceful with yourself?
if i would be looking for build home place i would look in Barcelona, Lissabon, Istanbul asian side, Los Angeles southern area, San Francisco, or looking long term forward to Florida…
all the best wishes from Vienna herewith
Hey Dijana – Those are all good points and actually, at this time, I’m just looking for a comfortable place to use as a base, not necessarily a place to fully integrate myself. The only reason for this is because I still want to do a lot of traveling and so I wouldn’t actually be at my ‘home’ too often. But of course, I do want to be surrounded by a culture that I enjoy and appreciate, regardless of how long I stay there. Thank you for adding your insight!
Earl, I think the question here is:
How is it possible that after traveling all over this wonderful world for 14 years, you are still searching for a place to settle? Surely you must have already visited many suitable places that fit your criteria. It’s great that people are naming places in an attempt to help you in your quest, but ultimately no-one knows you better than yourself. So I pose a question to you;
Where do YOU want your home to be?
Hey Neil – If I knew that answer I wouldn’t have written the post 🙂 My idea with this post was to simply hear ideas because even though I’ve been traveling for so long, I certainly haven’t covered the entire planet. And if there is a place out there that sounds like a good match for me, I’m open to checking it out and seeing if that might be the best location for my home. I have not been to every city, town and village in the world!
Have you thought about Punta Del Este Uruguay? Or Florianopolis Brazil? I loved both places a lot when I traveled there on vacation.
You know, I read this post, before all the comments were here, and thought, “Hmm must keep track of this because it sounds pretty much like the sort of place I’d like to live – except that being by the ocean is a must for me – his perhaps somewhere in the suggestions he gets there will be one which appeals to me.”
So this week I’ve read about your return to Playa del Carmen, and came back here to refresh my memory, and reread your list, and I have to tell you that where I live (El Médano in Tenerife in the Canary Islands) meets almost all of your criteria! Granted the nearest basketball court is around 25 minutes away, and to get anywhere you first have to take a 2 hour flight to Madrid, for an onward flight, well, just about anywhere in the world.
And that set me to wondering why it is I want to leave!
Hey Linda – I’ve looked at Tenerife actually but I think the fact that it isn’t so easy to reach the rest of the world would be an issue. I definitely need a place with more flight connections I think. But it does sound ideal otherwise!
You might want to consider Charlotte, NC.
It’s got a relatively low cost of living, is 3 hours from the beach, two from the mountains, and a major hub for the American/US Airways mega airline. Might be perfect for you!
Thanks for that Tim. And I’ve been to Charlotte a few times and really do enjoy i there. My sister also lives nearby. Definitely an option.
How about Pune, Maharashtra, India ?
Have you ever been to Ventura, CA? My dad made his home here in 2009, and visiting him I fell in love with the city. I moved here two weeks ago and it is just what you described. Medium sized, right by the beach (which is my favorite part!), close to nature (I’ve been on several amazing hikes since arriving and I wish my photography skills were better). You can fly from either Santa Barbara or Los Angeles. The temperature is in the 60s pretty much year round–amazing! It’s super laid back. I love all the people here. You should take a look at places here 🙂
Hey Kali – Actually, I have been out there, but it was about 8 years ago when a friend of mine moved out there. I remember liking it a lot back then but at the time, I wasn’t thinking about finding a home. Perhaps it’s worth another look as I had forgotten about it until you mentioned it 🙂 Thank you!
I just discovered your blog, you are crazy man!!:)
My suggestion: Latvia, Riga, it is awesome for connections if you want to spend time in Europe, springs and summers are amazing, and winters are awefull which is good, because that will make you want to travel in winter!!:)
Country is small, housing cheap, ppl are nice, and beer is cheap what else do you need??
Easy to find job – English teaching or call operator or flight agent for US based companies (your accent will make them think you are based in US hahaha:D)
Oh..and last but not least…girls are stunning!!!:P
Hey Laura – I appreciate the suggestion and Latvia is a good option. I was there last year and enjoyed my stay but definitely didn’t stay long enough. I should get back there to check it out more in depth, especially considering the last thing you mentioned 🙂
Have you considered New England? We don’t have year round warmth, but we do have 4 beautiful seasons!
Hey John – I’ve thought about it, as I’m actually from Boston originally, but the cold really is difficult for me to handle these days.
Hi Earl, hope you are enjoying many moments today where you are. Why not consider Las Vegas? I recalled reading about Tony H and maybe Las Vegas downtown can server as a potential for your base- https://www.fastcoexist.com/1681013/how-tony-hsieh-is-flooding-downtown-las-vegas-with-entrepreneurial-college-graduates. Hope you find a suitable home!
Hey Kim – Las Vegas is on my short list as a possible place for my base. I’ll be looking into it some more once I’m back in the US in about a month!
RAJAHMUNDRY a medium sized town in andhra pradesh which satisfies all ur needs. there is no language barier as most of the people speak in english n very friendly. the most important factor is u can live a high five life for a 400 usd per month. beaches will take 3hrs from this place but there is river godavari to have a nice swim. once google it n check this place all the best !
Thanks Karthik…I’ve never heard of it so I will definitely Google it and learn more about the town!
Coastal town by the LA sea port.
Inhabited about a century ago by foreign Europeans. So there is a diversity of people and are close to everything. You have your nature and hiking trails, oceanic view, and a lot more. Anyways you can check it out. Best of luck;)
Hey Hanna – Thanks for the suggestion and I will add it to the list and learn some more about the town!
couldn’t go through all the comments to know if Indonesia has been suggested or not, but I would recommend it definitely. And no, not Bali! I would prefer Java, specifically Malang! The city is of perfect size and with whatever you need, fairly close to many beaches, cheap, and with some expats living here.
I just burnt out a post I was preparing for the coming weeks 😀 But really I love this city, it has everything you need, cheap, fairly civilized compared to other Indonesian cities. And warm (almost all the time, even when it is raining)
Thanks Mina…I think you’re the first to suggest Indonesia outside of Bali. I shall do some research and learn more about Malang! Thank you!
Malta, not sure if you have been here already. It’s an archipelago of tiny islands bang in the middle of the Mediterranean south of Sicily nd north of Libya. We consider it to be the belly button of the world 🙂
Hey Neil – I have been to Malta actually, two or three times I think. It’s a great location and very nice place to live for sure. Several people recommended it to me for a base and so it is on my list 🙂
Basically, there are two seasons in the country – wet and dry. But it does not mean that for a certain season, the sun is up and the other one is filled with rain 🙂 Rain showers do come during the dry season and vice-versa. There are those cities who house clubs, malls, resto’s, and other things typical in an urban place. But if you do want a much peaceful/quiet place, you can settle on acquiring a place in provinces or those that are less prone to city noise – a place in the beach has a high possibility 🙂 In terms of everyday living, a dollar is equivalent to 40 pesos and you can purchase a satisfying meal from that… The Philippines has a lot to offer from underwater activities to just even walking around the streets – some of these are well told in blogs from Filipinos which I enjoy reading 🙂 From mountain trails, different waterfalls, heavenly beaches, and more… The transpo is good, though sometimes flights had to be cancelled for weather disturbances that is of beyond control by man… I hope this does help, if not, let Google do the work.. 🙂 🙂
*BTW, I am an aspiring traveller, but not as nomad as you 😀 😀 😀 😀 Maybe I’ll start my travels by next year 😀
Hey Nylor – The Philippines is on my list of places to visit this year as I really do need to see what it’s all about!
I too second the Phillipines… Very cheap to live there, and great beaches. Although I’m also putting a vote in for Playa and Nicaragua… I’ve wanted to move to the latter for a while just because it’s still pretty much off the beaten path, still pretty cheap, warm weather, beaches, and tons of outdoor activities! You know you can actually snowboard or sled down the ash of a volcano in Nicaragua?!?!
Hey Jen – As a matter of fact I have sled down that very volcano…which resulted in me slicing open my arms, legs and chest, bleeding all over the place and not being able to get out of bed for three days after. It was fun nonetheless though.
Alrighty then… I think I’ll take the sled down instead so thanks for the tip… 🙂
Fall in love, Earl! All else will take care of itself 🙂
My best wishes for the new year to you! Hope you find a home soon…
Thank you Janvi 🙂
[…] the need for me to have a more proper base/home of my own which is why I asked all of you to “Please Help Me Find a Home” in a recent post. And as I continue the search for my perfect location, I can only thank you for […]
Charleston, SC! Literally everything you just described, amazing food, awesome community that has a real sense of togetherness, smallish town next to the beach, what more could you ask for? Plus, we were rated the best city in the world recently, so that must count for something, right? haha
Hey Angela – Well, I certainly need to look into any place that is rated “best city in the world”, especially if it is one like Charleston that I already know I like very much!
Dude, you have got to check out Kuala Lumpur! Just got back from an awsome week spent there and I think you would love it. There are three cultures (Malay, Muslim and Chinese) so the food is incredible…tons of cheap authentic street food! and the transportation system is the best I have ever seen.
There is an extremely well laid out MODERN subway and monorail that links Chinatown, Little India and the poshest shopping malls you could imagine. The subway actually has its own AIRPORT TERMINAL (I think the only one in the world with its own airport code) so you can check luggage at the subway! (Not that you usually carry luggage…but if you continue doing guided tours…I am sure you will have to eventually).
We stayed at the Winsin Hotel in Chinatown for about $30 USD…it was pretty nice…but you can find decent places a LOT cheaper. Since you need a permanent place…I would look for a really inexpensive apartment outside of town. All of the embassirs are neatly lined up in a row…so super easy to get visas and network 🙂
I have a friend who is moving thete in June…def a great place to consider! Merry Christmas and Sawadee Pi Mao from Thailand!
P.S. If you are in between places, you should come visit Koh Phangan!
Hey Rhonda – I’ve actually been to KL several times over the years and it is a great city. I never considered it as a place to live though so maybe I need to research that option some more. The food over there is probably my favorite aspect and any place with such good food should probably be on my final list!
While surfing through the net, I came across this, then I remembered your post about buying a new home. Maybe this will help you.
Thanks for that Nigel!
I’ve just found your blog and I haven’t had the oportunity to read a lot of it so I’m not sure if you have had the chance to visit Lisbon in Portugal, but I tell you: I think this is the place for you!
Great weather with a small amount of winter, amazing food, good people, 20 minutes from amazing beaches. Great night life!
thin about it!
Hey Joana – I have visited Lisbon twice over the years and I do enjoy that city very much. I shall look into it some more and see if it’s a good option for me to use as a base…thank you for the recommendation!
What about The Netherlands, Den Haag?
It is near the beach, because of the wind good (kite)surfing possibilities.
Nice, laid back multi-cultural society.
Good food and fun place to go out.
I am actually looking for someone to share house. (if i am not here)
Because i am thinking about moving to Playa del Carmen for at least 3 months a year.
Big, beautiful house shared with 4 other people.
It is cheap, 5 minutes walk to center and train station.
Sunny side of the house, big garden.
BUT:) I want to leave this country during the winter, haha!
I guess it is not for you than:)
Hey Dana-Maria – Yes, the winter would be an issue but if I made sure I was only there in the summer, The Netherlands could work. I’ll let you know if I decide to look more closely at it as a potential destination for me!
I was thinking something like Nicaragua. Maybe a small but up and coming town like San Juan del Sur. Gorgeous views, cheap cost of living, good internet, good beach, etc. Property will likely increase in value and it already has. Less than a day’s ride to Liberia which is also very cheap.
Hey Garrett – That’s not a bad option either and I did enjoy my stay in Nicaragua a couple of years ago. It has now been added to my list of possibilities! Thank you 🙂
Ljubljana, Slovenia – I saw this suggestion in older comments as well. Though Ljubljana airport isn’t Frankfurt of London, it’s easy to reach Venice/Trieste hub. Climate is OK, beach is close, nature is there in front of the door, costs aren’t that high and people are in general good too. Well, if you stay here let me know, we go for a beer.
After going through all of these comments, all I can say is wow, wow, wow, thank you, thank you, thank you! These suggestions are far more than I ever imagined I’d receive and I can’t wait to start exploring each of them. My next step will be to create a short list of some finalists and then I’ll most likely visit each of them before making my decision.
Thank you so much once again everyone!
Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The people are lovely, the food is great, living is cheap, they have beaches…
If language is not a problem, you should consider Italy.
Bellingham, Washington! It has everything you want (except maybe sun…) and its beautiful. If you’re looking for a home base, it’d be great and you can always find sub-letters for when you’re traveling because there’s a university (WWU). It’s on the Puget Sound, Mt. Baker is great for snow sports and hiking in the summer, there are great running/walking/hiking trails and beautiful lakes. It’s 90 miles south of Vancouver BC and 100 miles north of Seattle so it’s close to real cities (and it’s easy to fly internationally because sometimes YVR has reallllly cheap flights to Asia!). And people are bizarrely friendly most of the time so it’s easy to make friends. Also we just legalized gay marriage (and weed) making it the best state in the union. Overall, Bellinghamsters are nice and love love.
Hey Elena – Thanks for the recommendation and I shall look into it some more. I’ve heard of Bellingham but really knew nothing about it until your comment…sounds quite nice now 🙂
I totally agree with Elena- I was even going to write my own comment about Bellingham until I saw hers! I have a good friend who lives there and I’ve visited a few times and LOVE it. Washington is beautiful in the summers, has a great coastline and the food is awesome.
Hey Tessa – Well, that is one part of the country that I have always considered and I am looking into it some more now!
My experience in Thailand seems to fit your preferred description (cheap, warm, multi-cultural, a travel hub). It also offers great shopping, every type of food, and inexpensive but quality health care. Most importantly, Bangkok seems to take you back to some of your travel roots. Happy hunting!!
Goa, India! It’s perfect for you.. Lot’s of travellers, wanderlust people, beaches, economical, easier to escape to other Asian countries. Plus you already know so much about living here..
I’m going to say Las Vegas also. Its cheap right now with housing prices going down and it’s a great place to live a few months of the year. My condo thats 2 miles west of MGM Grand that I paid 75000. for 17 years ago and it went up to 300000. you can buy now for 50 to 60000. I run a bussiness here and also travel 6 months of the year. Your payment would be under 500.00 a month and when you aren’t here you can rent it out short term for 1000. a month or on airbnb for 125.00 a night. So you would have a place to stay thats free if you rent it out when you aren’t here. ken
Asheville North Carolina. I went to school near there, and it’s fantastic. Great food, an interesting selection of people, and an airport with decent connections. Though it’s not close to a beach, it’s in the heart of the mountains with tons of opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. Or immerse yourself in people, as downtown Asheville has a lot to offer.
Have you been to Oakland, CA? The lake Merritt area is fantastic with a wonderful food and art scene. BART allows for super easy travel into the city of San Fransisco, where they are currently (if I’m not mistaken) building a cruise port.
If I could live anywhere in the States, I would definitely chose some Oakland. For now though, its Oh Hi from Ohio.
Oddly, I am going to throw out Portland, OR. While not super warm, it doesn’t get too cold either. Good luck!
I live in & love Portland, & keep telling Earl to visit, but I think it’s the polar opposite of his wish list in some important areas… It’s not warm most of the year, & the airport isn’t a big enough hub to give us easy access to most places (without at least one layover, anyway). You’re right in that it doesn’t usually get too cold, but the gray cloud cover can really wear on people after awhile, especially if they’re craving sun.
Now, having said that, if Earl’s only planning to be in this humble abode a few months each year, then I’d say – sure! Make it Portland. Just plan to be here only from July-September each year & you’re all set.
Hey Jessica – Your comment is interesting because it pretty much sums up how I feel about Portland. I’ve never been but based on what I’ve heard and read, I am quite certain that I would love the lifestyle and much of what your city offers. However, the weather/transportation points you brought up are exactly what keeps me from moving Portland to the top of my list. I know I need to visit to figure it all out for myself!!
I recommend Southern Spain or the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico!
I would 100% say South Africa aside from the fact that it’s a bit out of the way from the rest of the world. But it ticks all of the rest of your boxes. Aside from that I’d say Croatia or Turkey would be lovely 🙂
How about Turkey? And not just because I met you there. 🙂
Fethiye was great and winter temps were in the mid-sixties. Loved the atmosphere then — I was one of VERY few foreigners, and it was cheapish and very friendly. Great food. You’ve got access to Dalaman Airport, which I believe connects to many places in Europe (particularly in the summer) and, of course, Istanbul — a major hub.
And most importantly — visa-wise, it’s easy to stay long-term with little hassle.
Darn, I was hoping you’d be looking for somewhere in the middle of no where that’s cold as anything eight months of the year. Move to Edmonton, Canada: We’re nice here! 😉
Hey Alyson – Haha…well, I can surely visit Edmonton since I’ve never been!
yea dude, you totally have to come see us in edmonton, everybody here is so absorbed in work and money, and owning things but having no time to use them, you’d fit right in…. seriously though, maybe you could show some people over here what life should really be like.
in my opinion earl, you need a settled friend. somebody who is perfectly happy in one place that doesnt look down their nose at you for living a life of travel. somebody with a house that has a little more than spare room. somebody who wouldnt even want your rent and would be more than happy to hook you up… I plan to move this spring and then hit the road next year so I wouldnt be an ideal candidate, plus I dont really think edmonton would make an ideal home base for you but I, for example, have an entire basement apartment that i dont rent out, that is empty most of the year (except when friends or family come to visit), and that i would give you the key to and let you make it your “home” in exchange for no more than being an interesting friend. It may not be your own house, but it’d be your own space. I’m sure you’ll find there are people out there who would be more than willing to hook you up. Just make sure they are really settled and contently fixed in their home, you’d hate to have to make a special trip home to move your things.
All the best to you Earl, good luck
Well if its cheap and cultural your after, it is hard to go past Thailand. Although Mexico has taken over as our new favourite place on earth. it is hard to go past spending $300 per month for your own apartment in Bangkok or Chiang mai, with some of the best cinemas and shops I have ever been to, as well as the temples, great food, and beaches on your doorstep.
Whitianga, New Zealand! Stunning beaches and scenery, warm, good community, cafes/bars, not far from Auckland city!
Las Vegas! Though it is a desert, it’s almost equal distance to snow/mountains in one direction and to beach/ocean in the other. There is a major international airport, the city has grown over the years but is not too large, and it’s definitely diverse (there’s more to it than The Strip). You will not be without WARM weather, that’s for sure. You probably wouldn’t want to make those 2-3 months at your home base during the summertime, though. Last, but not least, it’s fairly inexpensive to live here. I grew up here and for a long time did not want to end up here, but then I realized it could be a great “home base” for when I go on my travels. 🙂
I completly agree. The world is here, 4 hours to the beach, Not even 1 hour to Lake Mead. 45 minutes to Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard resort. 3 hours to Brianhead. Grand Canyon is close, Red Rock, Mount Charleston. Great Basin National Park. Medium (to large) sized city, affordable housing, Airport, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, theater at the amazing new Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Valley of Fire State Park. First Friday’s downtown, Spring Mountain State Park with Super Summer Theater. Just a few hour drive to Bryce Canyon and Zion. Then there’s that little place called The Strip.
I could go on and on and on…
If your going NV I would have to say Reno. You have the high dessert weather, but still get seasons. You have Tahoe in your backyard for summer adventures and winter. Your a short drive to San Fran, or weekend trips to the Oregon coast. It’s a great jump off point for the PNW but cheaper than CA. Also, there’s Burning Man. Which would be a fun time while your at ‘home’.
Ventura, California. Relatively small town, on the beach, north of L.A., warm climate, known for surfing, laid back, cheap rents, eclectic walkable downtown. Hop, skip, and a jump to LAX. Close to Los Padres, National Forest, Channel Islands National Monument. Recreational pursuits, hiking, mtn. biking, surfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, fishing. Great food, liberal lifestyle. Can go to a restaurant in your pajamas if you want.
India. Good excuse to go back every year. Between Asia and Europe and meets your requirements. Cheap enough and that means more money for travel.
depends the continent you want to explore the most, Earl!
It’s odd I just saw this post…I had a DREAM with you (no joke)! We were in Guatemala and you were showing me around either a beach town or a town by a huge river or lake (couldn’t tell). We were switching bet. Spanish & English and had just found some awesome street food inside an overwater hut. Then it started pouring and we ran to the guesthouse or big house we were staying at…then poof, I woke up!
Do you think Central America could be calling you? 🙂 Panama would be good, the capital is a good hub (int’l flights).
– Maria Alexandra
Hey Maria – Hmmm…that is very interesting and perhaps your dream is telling me something. We can talk more the next time I’m in Florida!
Hi Earl, we also looking for our new home, and I understand you very well! Don’t you like Florida? This is my favourite so far, I spend a lot of time there (Orlando area) and I think it’s perfect for all your needs.
Hey Jan – I do like Florida and it is definitely a good option. I haven’t spent too much time in Orlando so maybe I need to check out that area as well. Thanks for mentioning it!
Hey Matt – That’s quite a good suggestion and I have had received a couple of offers from friends and even family who have a similar empty apartment/room available in their place. It does make good sense in the end, a lot of sense actually.
Wow! The comments on this post are a wealth of information. I will be reading through them in detail and adding to my travel ideas list.
FRESNO, CA Earl, can’t be beat. Not as close to the ocean (2 hours by car) but everything else qualifies. Good luck in your search!
WOW! What amazing suggestions everyone has for you. You’re so lucky to have such lovely, thoughtful readers. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them: I don’t have any suggestions for you. Somehow, I always imagined you’d end up with a home base in Mexico. By the way, now I just have images of you singing Lady Gaga in your underwear in front of the mirror. Priceless!
Hey Sam – Sorry about that (the images you must now deal with)! Luckily, I didn’t put up a video of my singing!
Totally agree about Penang, Malaysia. 🙂 I’d elaborate way more than this because it was my home for two wonderful years but I hope the key points I make here (from my own experience – I went to a school with lots of kids whose parents were expats so I can vouch that it’s easy to adapt to life in Penang!) will allow you leave to think carefully.
The key points:
It’s not the capital, so not as congested as KL.
There are houses catered to expats that are beautiful i.e. wonderful standard of living – in particular I know of one gated housing estate where many of my American/British friends and their families live. It’s up on a hill, near the coastline, (a beach 5 minutes away), has a swimming pool/clubhouse with gym, many of the people who own the houses there consider them ‘holiday homes’ i.e. like you, people there don’t live there all year round.. and best of all – cheap! If you’re earning in USD, the ringgit is paltry in comparison so rent is extraordinarily cheap. Explosion of properties means rent prices have gone down (last I read, at least).
Very close to nature, not just the beach – i.e. multitude of forests a short drive away 🙂 monkeys sighted frequently depending on which part of the island you’re on.
Many malls with so many things to do – you will be spoilt for choice by the number of cinemas (and movie tickets in Malaysia are USD3 :D) and there’s a wide range of international brands too. If you’re worried about healthcare: there are at least 6 hospitals that are renown in Penang, and best of all: no lineups and if you want, you can see specialists directly. Well known for medical tourism.
Need I mention how good the food is?
International connectivity: Penang International Airport is connected to many places like Hong Kong (direct flights with Cathay) and Indonesia but of course MAS or Air Asia or Fireflight will fly you to KL for cheap fares (my flights home to KL were as cheap as RM55 or ~USD17 including taxes most of the time) and KLIA is very well connected 🙂 – alternatively those three Airlines will also fly you direct to Changi in Singapore which is even more well connected!
Just my two cents, but do consider Penang – I just know that you’d love it. English is widely spoken and there is a goooood mix of locals and local life but there are many expats too incase you want to meet fellow westerners. you also get to experience the thrill of all us Malaysians who know various languages 🙂
Earl, you MUST come check out CADIZ, SPAIN as an option for living, even just for a short while! It meets every one of your requirements. The people really know how to live and be happy and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. When the sun comes out, so do the people… and the sun is almost always out. In my opinion, it is the best little beach city with something for everyone, and the coastal towns nearby are incredible. The city is diverse and full of culture and music and food and life. The people are so open and friendly. Come visit if your travels bring you this way! You won’t be disappointed…
Thanks Sarah – I will do some more research about Cadiz for sure!
I’ve heard Australia is pretty pricey in the major cities (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne). Does anyone know how it compares to New Zealand as far as cost of living goes?
Dan – Beverley at pack-your-passport might be able to help you there! 🙂
I’d recommend the Gold Coast – amazing beaches, perfect weather year-round, and good potential to house swap or rent out your place when you’re away! The Gold Coast airport has more and more cheap international flights to Asia and the Pacific, and Brisbane airport is a train-ride away for other destinations. The housing market in Australia is really strong so it’s unlikely that you’ll loose any money in buying there (although interest rates are high!). And of course, Aussies are super friendly!
Not sure if you’re looking for English-speaking or cheap as criteria. We liked Hoi An, Vietnam. It’s certainly cheap. Would also second Turkey. Look up Ellen in Turkey’s blog for suggestions. In the US try the other Portland, the one in Maine, although definitely too cold in the winter.
I’m not sure if you are thinking of renting or buying but Turkey with its long coastline and warm weather seems to fit your criteria. If we could have afforded it we would have moved to Bodrum but, while it’s not our paradise on earth, Didim, our adopted hometown allowed us to get our first step on the property ladder for the price of the deposit back in the UK. Goa and Bulgaria were also considered for the same reason and if we were looking today Spain, with 700,000 unsold properties and hefty discounts, would be an option too (especially as I think I could wrap my head around the language there unlike Turkish).
Pondicherry, Tamilnadu, India.
It has most of the things you are asking for.
A small to medium-size town.
Close to beach,warm climate
a laid-back community with people from different parts of the world
facilities like gym, basketball courts, good food options in the vicinity.
(I am not sure if they have cinemas though. )
I had visited Pondicherry when I was 25 and decided on the spot that when I retire I will come to
live there at least 3 months a year. Its so beautiful and peacef
Nice idea! Sounds great!
Australia is a great place for warmth (most of Australia!), sunshine and nature!
I’d recommend Melbourne for inner-city-living and beautiful vintage (and modern) apartments with access to everything. Although, the weather in Melbourne is so unpredictable! Quite often cold and rainy.
Interesting post to follow for future destinations:-)
I don’t really know of a place to recommend, but I do think you shouldn’t be looking at Europe.
Don’t get me wrong: I love living in Europe. There’s so much to see here, great transportation possibilities and airports ‘everywhere’, but still… I think a lot of what we consider big cities (and we don’t have that many in Europe) are actually mid size cities to you. The European climate isn’t that great, except for if you go south, but there you have the bad economical situation. Now, if you don’t plan on getting some kind of job in your new hometown, this could maybe help you to find less expensive accomodation, but I don’t know if I’d go live somewhere where strikes have become part of daily life and where there’s so much insecurity.
When I was in California, I absolutely loved the climate, but I wasn’t there long enough to say if it’s a good place to live or not.
Good luck and keep us up to date on your search!
Oh and the Cypriot weather is awesome!! It is 19 degrees Celsius today there!! 🙂
But if one wants snow, then the Cypriot mountains can provide that too. I love living on the beach and then when I feel like a little snow in the winter, I drive 45 minutes into the mountains and have snow.
In that respect it is a lot like my US Home, St. George, Utah.
I would suggest Cyprus. Sure when one thinks Cyprus it sounds so expensive. I don’t know if you have been before, but it is NOT expensive. I travel there 5-8 times /year (at the airport now on my way there right now, on my iPad). Sounthern (Greek) Cyprus is more expensive, than Northern (Turkish) Cyprus. Both have their advantages.
Southern Cyprus is more western and cleaner, but because of the financial crises homes (buy & rent) are cheap right now! In Greek Cyprus I’d suggest Perivolia. It is about 10 minute car drive to the International Larnaca Airport with flights to all over the world. Larnaca a good sized city is 15 minutes away. You could find an inexpensive beach home or apartment here easily. A LOT of for sale and rent signs because of the crises.
In Northern Cyprus, the closest to Larnaca is Famagusta and it is too on the sea. About a 50 minute drive to the airport (including the boarder). It is Turkish in every way (for good & bad) and the prices of EVERYTHING is dirt cheap! Homes and apartments are abundant and many beautiful ones at that!
Enjoy your house hunting!!
Thanks for that idea Kelley and I received and email from another reader who suggested Cyprus too…I’ve wanted to go for a while so a visit is in order!
I feel like I should try to lure you to somewhere like St Kilda in Melbourne, which would match a lot of your criteria other than being cheap, given the current strength of the Aussie dollar. Mind you, if you were doing some casual work here that strong $A would then go a long way on your jaunts overseas. And the coffee here is very good. Just a thought…
Hey Tim – I love St Kilda and would love to live there, but it’s just a bit far I think from the rest of the world, making it tough for someone who will be traveling back and forth. But the vibe there is ideal!
Unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions for you, as I’ve spent the majority of my travels of the past two and a half years in Australia and New Zealand. However, I do really like your idea of finding a base from which to travel from. I can’t imagine constantly travelling and having to run my sites so I say go for it! Hope you find somewhere soon 🙂
Earl…. I have the perfect house for you! I want to sell my own home and get travelling permanently. Funnily enough, I just wrote a post about how I’m desperate NOT to have a house.
Hey Bethaney – Send me an email with more details…you never know!
Pondichery or Goa in India. Both these places are just perfect for you…fit into all your criteria.
You might want to try Australia. Wait, may I ask where you are right this very moment, or where you were when you’re writing this post? Because you might find Australia particularly Melbourne or Queensland perfect.
Hey Rachel – I’m in India right now. And actually, Melbourne is one of my favorite cities on the planet. I’ve spent almost two years there already over the years and have many friends there. It’s just a bit far away from everywhere else which is the only reason I hesitate to pick that city for a home!
I’m looking for a place in Gangnam, Seoul, with a friend in February. We could shop for a large three room flat.
*World class vibrant city.
*Great food within a 2 or 3 minute walk.
*One of the best transit systems in the world that can take you anywhere you want to go within Korea.
*An hour from Korea’s major international airport.
*Very easy to travel throughout East Asia.
It would be great!
Hey Evan – I’ve never been to Korea…need to check it out one of these days but it would have to be after winter as I’m not a fan of cold weather. If I can make it there for a visit, I shall let you know!
Good to know you through your blogs and I believe its a wonderful thought to have your own house somewhere in this world.
The terms laid back,peaceful city will ideally fit Trivandrum, Kerala,India. There are other cities as well in Kerala where you can easily find a home at a very cheap price. (Cochin and Calicut) These three cities have international airports so that it wouldn’t be hard for you to travel. the good thing is that you can find homes of all ranges here. $100-$500 – yu will get a very neat and decent house in good locality.
Oh, interesting! I don’t have any suggestions (I’m looking for that mid-sized city near nature with good weather too), but good luck! I think I’m going to have to follow the comments on this one closely. Maybe find my next destination as well.
Austin, TX… I have a room with a private bath (en suite) for rent in my place near the university. Population is approximately 800k in Austin proper, a few hours drive and you’re at the beach. Nature is outside your doorstep and it’s rarely, truly cold here. There is an airport and while it’s not a hub you are a stones throw from two major hubs (Dallas and Houston).
Laid back? We made that here.
Cost of living? We got it covered.
Creative atmosphere – got that too (live music capital of the world).
Hey Maria – Austin is another place I’ve yet to visit and would love to. I shall let you know and maybe I will make it there on my next visit to the US (next Feb) for a visit in order to check it out and see if it’s a good match. From what I hear though, and from your description, I have a feeling I’ll love it.
From a location Point of View you may do well from being somewhere in the middle of Europe… Not sure if you could swing the Visa for that. As for home, I would say you could find some good USA cities. Portland, Oregon is supposed to be an awesome place to live.
I’m not ready to choose a city to live in right now or in need of a permanent home but may settle somewhere for another year or so. I like to travel slow.
… Maybe you should get a houseboat and just sail between countries!
I second Portland. dozens of micro-breweries (the most of any city in the world), great young culture, inexpensive for a city this size, 2 hours from the ocean, close to the cascades mountains with all you could desire for outdoor sports. Bend, OR is also a place to consider – smaller town and on the east of the cascades so much dryer and warmer than portland but also has a great atmosphere.
Hey Forest – I might need a yacht for that!
It sounds like maybe a small home in playa del carmen would be a good place for you to create a homebase. Good luck on the narrowing down! 🙂
San Diego seems to fit most of your criteria. Ocean Beach is very laid back and reasonably priced for being at the beach.
Olympia, Washington. An hour’s drive to 2 mountain ranges, 2 hours to the Pacific NW coast. 1 hour from an international airport. 3 colleges, including The Evergreen State College. Lots of laid back alternative folks.
Portland, OR is a great city and less than two hours from the ocean. It has a good public transportation system, reasonable rent, and a diverse population. If you don’t mind the rain in the winter, it’s a wonderful city to live in.
This was going to be my suggestion too! 🙂
Costa Rica fits your description. You can live on the beach, in the mountains, or in the Central Valley which is more developed and still only an hour from the beach. The people are ridiculously nice, laid back, and life is cheaper than in the States (unless you like having lots of stuff). The weather is so nice that you don’t even need AC or heat, year-round. Plus, there is a large international community living here. Most are adventurous people with amazing life stories. You can drink the water, food grows in abundance everywhere year-round… I could go on and on and on. Holla if you want to hear more.
Gracias Erin…I shall be in touch if Costa Rica makes it to my next round of options 🙂
I’d say that the Pacific Northwest sounds like a good spot for you. Beaches, nature, rainforest, driving distance to Canada and flights out of Sea Tac to DF have never cost me more than $160. And if you’re only looking to be here a few months of the year, the summers are lovely. Seattle is a bit on the pricey side but Tacoma, Olympia, Portland are all much more feasible price wise and all have diverse populations and lots of things to do. I’ve lived here my whole life so I don’t always remember how gorgeous it is, but all my traveling friends who have come to visit have loved it here. Hope you find a the perfect place for you!
South Bay, California. Redondo or hermosa beach pretty much cover all your bases. Not too much nature but everything else is a go! Hope this helps! Good luck!
Hmm what about Bondi in Sydney or Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Both offer a relaxed beach setting but being in Oz might be a bit far from everywhere else. Happy searching!
Charleston, South Carolina
Vilnius, Lithuania!! It’s a beautiful city that has enough gyms and entertainment, while having nature beauties as well. The only thing is the cold winters 🙂
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
I of course recommend my base Saga (or other cities on the beautiful Island of Kyushu, Japan) It is a little expensive, around $400 a month for a single bed apartment, but you have mountains and waterfalls to one side and you’re not far from the beach. It’s super hot in summer, and quite mild during the days in winter, Fukuoka airport links you to relatively cheap flights all over the place, and there are plenty of amenities, give it a look 🙂
Auckland, New Zealand.
Preferably the North Shore, and if you’re looking for places nearby the beach, cinemas, shops, etc., the suburbs Takapuna or Milford would be ideal. If you want some other place slightly more budget-friendly, Browns Bay would be good too.
You should try an island off of Hong Kong, like Cheung Chau (small, very laid-back, no cars allowed) or Lamma (bigger, great hiking). Both of them are just a ferry ride away from the big city and airport. You be relatively cose to anywhere in Asia.
There are lots of expats from literally everywhere, the food is awesome, and there are lots of things going on in the city. And you wouldn’t have to go to the Mainland (I never did).
The only downside I can think of is that it wouldn’t be cheap.
Easy Earl como to Tijuana, Mexico. And you are next to San Diego California USA.
Carcavelos, portugal or any of the towns along that beach from lisbon to cascais
cascais is the best but it has some expensive places too
i lived in cascais for 6 months and i think its the best in the world!!
Have you ever thought about a houseboat? You can dock it anywhere you want and get rid of it if you hate it. Or you can rent one just to see if it your thing….just a thought.
Hey Mary – I have not thought about a houseboat before…something to consider though, although I guess I could only use it in one particular country. Not sure, will need to do some research!
Virginia Beach (Or any part of Hampton Roads)! We’re a big-ish city, but not metropolitan… We have a LOT of military bases, including NAS Oceana so we don’t have any tall buildings due to flight zones. But we have the beach (we host the East Coast Surfing Championships ever summer), and the cost of living isn’t bad. Virginia Beach can get pricey in parts (closer to the beach = $$$) but Chesapeake (another part of Hampton Roads) is awesome and relatively low cost. It takes 20 min in any direction to end up in farmland, and if you head west for 3 hours, you’re in the mountains.
Norfolk Naval Base is the largest naval base in the world, and we also have NATO here, so there’s no shortage of diverse cultures from everyone working on the bases. There are zillions of restaurants, movie theatres, gyms, and other things to do. We have Norfolk International Airport here in Hampton Roads, and the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport 40 min north. The climate isn’t bad. Jan-Feb tend to be chilly, but it’s 70 degrees out today 😛
You struck another popular chord again as there were 44 responses before I even got a chance to read this new blog! As I’ve followed your blog, and the thoughts you’ve come up with for discussion, I’m not surprised by this one. Although we both know that travel is a “Good Thing”, life cannot be restricted to one endeavor forever. Life is dynamic. All things change over time. It’s called growth. To be static in your thoughts and dreams is to wither and die.
Although I think we share the same conundrum, I’m approaching it from the other end in life. Remember when we talked about “Stuff”? Well, I own a wall to hang my stuff and you’re looking for a wall to hang stuff. I’m looking to go and you’re looking to stay for awhile. There may be common ground. I can tell that you’re a list maker too, by how you write your blog and the way you organize your thoughts. This move calls for another list, all the pros and cons of where to be and why.
Let’s start with where. I agree with both Marina and Shelly above in that somewhere around the Bay Area, Northern California, (San Francisco to be exact) might serve you well. It’s got all of what you’re looking for: A world transportation hub; A center for many travel related organizations for networking; And the usual good climate, food and things to do. I live in the Sonoma County wine country, north of the City, and you’re welcome to come visit to see why I think you’re better off “living” where your Passport says you’re from. I’ve got an extra bedroom if you want a free place to stay while you check us out.
The idea about the “Time-share-friends” above might serve you well too. Go together with one or a few other like minded travelers that want the same home base idea as you. It would be a group of investors that buys or leases a place for each to use for when they need to be “home”. A simple legal document is all it takes.
Also, I think your writing should be read by more than just your blog. While you’re here, we could trip down to San Francisco and I could help introduce you to Greg Sullivan, co-founder of AFAR (winner of America’s best travel magazine). Wouldn’t it be great to see your name next to Rolf’s as a contributing writer?
Could not agree with Steve more. The Bay Area of California is a great spot for us wanderer-types. I have a place in Walnut Creek and it’s been idyllic. (Will be giving it up next year, ironically, to have less of a home-base and wander more.) Walnut Creek is a lovely, medium-sized town on the BART (commuter train) line (connects to SFO International airport directly) with a ton of great places to hike, bike, etc. Rent can be pricey, but good deals can be found (I found one.) The beach is around an hour away and is cold year-round, but it’s there. You should definitely take advantage of Steve’s hospitality and come check out the bay area! And drop a line if you do. 🙂
Hey Christy – I actually lived in Walnut Creek many many years ago for one month with some friends…it was a good place but I haven’t been back in a long time!
Hey Steve – It sure would be 🙂 And thank you for all of your input. I do like the SF bay area already so that does help, it is an area that I am familiar with for the most part. And that time-share-friends idea is a good one and one that I will be exploring. Just need to find the right people!
I have two recommendations for you, Sarasota Florida, and Bendol France.
Toronto! Its on the larger end in terms of size, but fabulously international on many levels. Toronto is famed for its diversity and acceptance of all walks of life. You have access to hundreds of cultures in this one city – each neighbourhood is its own unique eco-system. It is well connected to the world in terms of travel access, and you will always be able to find interesting things to do, eat, and see. An adventurer like you will easily be able to navigate the city with decent public transit, and a thriving core. No beach, and cold winters – but the people are friendly, and the city is welcoming and full of life. All the best! 🙂
Brace yourself because this might seem ridiculous but I have two suggestions that I believe to match your preference:
1st place: OPorto, Portugal. Yes, it rains a bit in the Winter, but it is not a huge town and offers a great bonus with cheap flights to all over Europe, via Ryanair and Easyjet, and for intercontinental flights Madrid is a 40 minutes flight.
Oporto is a beautiful city, cheap, a lot of shopping malls and cinemas, does have a beach even tough the water is freezing, tradicional commerce, very warm people towards foreigners and I do believe that very cheap appartments can be rented/bought since everyone is without money. And a vibrant nightlife.
2nd place: Budapest, Hungary. The most beautiful city on Earth, extremely cheap if you get paid in dollars or euros, the renting is ridiculously cheap (I lived there for a year, paid 400e for a 80 square meter flat, city center), very friendly people, beautiful women, a nightlife like no other in Europe, – forget Prague, if thinking about that. Surrounded by 8 other countries, which comes in hand if you feel like travelling or spending the weekend in another place, -> bus ticket to Vienna, for example, 10€ both ways; to Krakow, 20€ both ways. Far from beach and during winter extremely cold, but in the end you won’t even notice it.
In 3rd place would be Ljubljana, Slovenia, but the lack of international flights can be a problem, unless you land/depart from Vienna, or Budapest itself.
Hey Joao – Those are some good suggestions and actually, your 3rd place, Ljubljana, is one of my favorite cities that I’ve ever visited. It’s the right size for me and I just loved the atmosphere. I wasn’t a huge fan of Budapest the first time I visited but perhaps I should visit again! And I’ve never been to Oporto but I have heard great things from those who have spent time there. Three good ideas…thank you much!
Earl- I strongly second Bulgaria. Burgas or Varna are great! Beaches there are beautiful, no sharks:) Perhaps longer swim season than other spots in Europe. Close to snow skiing. Very cheap COL. Check it out!
well, well, looking for a home. I totally understand. I felt like having a home after traveling for a year. My home base was and is always Berlin. I still have boxes there from like 15 years ago. Lucky me I have a brother who owns a big house and it has a rooftop room which I can call my own perfect for a visit once or twice a year. You know a few years ago you could rent a beautiful cute little place in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg for under 300 Euros a month. It would have been perfect for you. But I think that has changed 🙁 Anyway, I wish Maui wouldn’t be so expensive would love to see you again some day. What about your home town? Maybe your family has a spare place you could make your home for a few months? Sorry, no big help, just wanted to leave a comment and wish you also good luck with your search.
I’m surprised more people haven’t suggested Thailand! I’d second the person who voted for Chiang Mai. The entire country seems to be an ex-pat haven. And, of course, the food doesn’t get better 🙂
If you’re looking to find a home in the US – the Los Angeles area (or cheaper areas outside of it), seems like a natural fit that puts you very close to a major airport hub.
Conversely, I gotta give props to the person who suggested Richmond. Charlottesville, Virginia is breathtaking – there are wineries, hiking in Shenandoah National Park, a major city (DC) a mere 90 minute drive away and it’s an easy bus/train/flight to New York.
Best of luck! I’m looking forward to seeing where you choose for home base.
Hi Earl, i don’t know if you have heard of Richmond in California Bay area. This city is known to have high crime rate but i have friends who have been living there for a long time and they don’t have any problem. I have visited the city and i think the location is great, only about 15 minutes from my favorite city of Berkeley. It has a nice walkway along the water and the last i heard, the major is into green thinking. Check it out and i would be glad to connect you with my friends if you have questions. Best wishes, lien
Hey Lien – I have heard of Richmond as I spent a month once in Walnut Creek. It’s definitely a good location.
Hey, why not Playa Del Carmen, you appear to have liked it when you previously lived there. Alternatively, Asheville, NC. Great outdoor activities (mtn biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing). Cool music scene. Not too hot in the summers. Probably not close enough to the beach for you, though.
Thanks Rand, and yes, Playa del Carmen is always a good option. I’m just curious about other places and am always interesting in living in towns/cities I haven’t explored before as well. But Playa is as ideal as it gets 🙂
Another thought would be Campeche, Mexico. Never been there but it appears to have some of the attributes you are looking for: medium sized, on the water, warm weather.
Are you italian ?
Earl doesnt mention it in his article, but what about the language ? Because, if he wants to meet some locals and make some friends there (I mean real friends, not “travel friends”), maybe Italy is not that great since most italians speak only… italian… What do you think ? Am I wrong ?
I know I recommanded Spain, and that’s true that most spanishs dont speak any words of english either, but with all his travels I guess Earl knows a little about spanish ?
Well, Earl, it’s up to you : do you need a place where people speaks good english ? Or can you deal with other languages, even those you dont know ?
The US is so expensive! I am sure that you can find more affordable places to live elsewhere. Shouldn’t your residency status be a factor in home ownership?
The first thing that came to mind for me was a “little house” or micro house You can have them on wheels and park them wherever. That way you can have a sense of permanence, without necessarily committing to one spot. Alternatively, you can live on a more remote or less expensive spot. It’s an affordable alternative. Look at Little House on the Trailer dot com for ideas. If it’s a spot to love, I’d recommend Napa or Sonoma counties in northern California. Not the cheapest, but it sure is beautiful.
I would make a case for Berkeley, California (or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter). Berkeley is a small enough and laid back community, with much more reasonable rent than the city, but since you are in close proximity to San Francisco, you have access to both SFO and Oakland International airports. Combined, these airports can get you anywhere in the world relatively easily. You can also get to them very easily from Berkeley because the BART (rapid transit) goes to both from all the stops in Berkeley. You also have access to the Amtrak network and the port, if you are ever interested in those alternative forms of transportation.
The Bay Area in general is known for its beautiful hiking and biking trails, and in Berkeley, that is basically in your backyard. There are several options for beaches both along the bay and also on the Pacific Ocean up and down the coast. And although the Pacific can be a bit cold sometimes, the climate in Berkeley is fairly stable. Right now in December it is a comfortable 60 degrees and won’t get much colder, where as in the summer is can get up into the 90s during the day, but you can almost always count on the fog to cool it down at night so you can sleep. Berkeley also has a very diverse community as a result of the university. Many students stay after they graduate, creating a global community of people with all differ backgrounds.
Anyways, I know that was a lot but I hope it helps you in your search!
All the best!
I don’t have any suggestion… Italy came to my mind, but I am not sure it’s very cheap:(
Anyway, I will keep an eye on this post, as I am in the same phase at the moment. Still want to travel around the world, but starting to feel the need for a ‘home’ where I can go back whenever I am on a pause. No idea on where though!
Interesting suggestions above! 🙂
OK Earl-I defy anyone to recommend anywhere in the UK (I am from Sunderland in the northeast of England), although we fit a lot of your requirements, especially if you lodge with me and my husband and two daughters, I am constantly calling our home rip-off Britain and I can tell you now it is nowhere near as warm, even in summer, as you would like it! Sorry I can’t be of more help but definately scratch us from your list-don’t believe what other’s say! We have fabulos beaches and countryside but it comes with a price.x
Two things come to mind, Earl. An apartment like George Clooney in the movie up in the air, right next to an airport. And an RV. You can be mobile but have privacy and cheap accommodations.
Easy answer to your new “home” or base camp as I like to say: CUENCA, ECUADOR.
Perfect climate, easy access to airports, a couple hours from the beach, rain forests, nice people, good food, lots of good entertainment. You could probably score a furnished one bedroom apartment downtown in the thick of things for less than $300 USD. Think about it!
I want to thank you for giving me an idea about how to keep my rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco. I’ve been wondering how in the world I can do that and start traveling (more). Never occurred to me to find “time-share friends” to share the year with. What a brilliant idea. I’m probably not going to get going for at least another year but this makes wondering about how I can keep my place a little less stressful. Thanks!
Heavens it would be vulgar if you’re using your blog to beg for free accomadation, in order to continue your blog…. etc.
If your writing is of value, profit from it and pay your way.
Willsteed – “beg for free accomadation[sic]” – where did you get that from?? Strange…
Like mama always said: “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”
We should all be as lucky as Earl to have friends and acquaintances around the globe wanting us to make a home near them.
That being said: Hey Earl, how about Fortuna, CA!
Willseteed, you are an idiot. You also clearly didn’t read the post. Earl said “one that offers a good standard of living for a decent price”. Not FREE. And frankly if one of us loyal and loving readers did offer him something for free then good on him.
Hey Willsteed – If you read the post correctly, you’ll see that I’m looking for a place of my own…a place to buy actually, with my own money 🙂
I would recommand… Malaga ! Or any city in Andalucia, Spain.
Malaga is :
– medium size city (around 500.000 h)
– quite active (many, many Erasmus students, tons of cultural stuff to do)
– nature access very easy (beaches all around, mountains which can be reached by feet from the center !)
– quite cheap (around 200€/month for a nice room, with terrace, in the center), if you want to have your own appartment in the center, count around 300€/month)
– good food (every bar offers tapas + beer for 2€, the mediteranean cook is just SO good !!)
– great people, friendly atmosphere (well, it’s Spain !)
– sunny at every moment of the year (I swimmed in november !)
Negative points are :
– Lot of tourists during summertime (mainly english, german and scandinavian)
– Can be VERY hot during summertime (40°C sometimes…)
What I would recommand is to stay there during the “winter” (25°C, blue sky, call it whatever you want but officialy it’s “winter” :D), and keep travelling the rest of the year.
I’ve met an english guy who rents a big house in a small village for 400€/month, with swimming pool, garden, and everything. I prefer to be in the city-center, but it might be a great deal for you, if you prefer some quiet place to sing some Lady Gaga 🙂
I come from the north of France and I’m searching for basically the same kind of spot as you. And Malaga is, so far, the city which responds the best to what I desire (even if I live currently in Granada, to enjoy snow and the mountain during Christmas time).
Anyways, if you need sun, good food, nature, and cheap, I definitely recommand Spain !
Hope it helps !
Jérémy, french guy in love with… Sweden 🙂
PS : excuse my english…
I just came back from a weekend trip to Port Dickson, West Malaysia. It has quiet beaches, near to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, a short drive to historic Malacca, year round warm and balmy weather, cheap Indian, Malay and Chinese food, very friendly people, eough sporting facilities, a laid-back but wired community. I have wonderful friends who live there all their life. There are also lots of apartmants for lease and sale. Let me know if you need a connection.
Oakland or Berkeley! Can’t get better than the SF Bay Area! Diversity, access to beaches and forests within an hour, nice-ish weather year round, and the coolest people in the US! People from everywhere in the world and so much good food.
This sounds so cliche, but the solution might be Playa. You’ve been there before and know it. You buy a place that’s attractive to vacationers, go with an excellent management company that will handle all of the rental/maintenance stuff for you, while you block out dates you think that you’ll most want to be there yourself.
Family in the U.S. will find Playa easy and relatively inexpensive to get to/from, plus travel expenses will be offset by their being able to stay with you at little cost.
And it will likely be able to sell fairly easy when you’re ready to make a new home base. Or if the rental income is good enough, you can keep it and buy something else in a different location.
We house and pet sit all over the United States, and of all of the places we have lived in the past three years (Colorado, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oregon, and currently New Mexico), I would recommend Portland, Oregon in the summertime. You would not need a car for the day to day stuff (public transportation, walking and/or bikes are very popular). The Pacific Ocean is about an hour and a half away and the Oregon coastline is spectacular. We lived in the Northeast section, about a ten minute taxi ride away from the airport. There are lots and lots of farmers’ markets, meet-up groups, and community events. The people are friendly and the food/drink is the best we have experienced here in the states. We are currently on a 1 year house sit on a reservation outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico and we go for a night out on the town whenever we can, but Santa Fe is definitely pricier than Portland, and no ocean nearby. You might want to consider house/pet sitting if you are only looking to be in that one place in order to regroup for a few months out of the year – there are some amazing opportunities out there. We have no permanent address, either, although we loved Portland so much, we stayed there and rented month-to-month for a while after finishing a three month sit there. Best of luck finding that perfect place. I look forward to finding out where you end up!
Rent a room in Santa Cruz, California. On the beach. Lots of diversity in people. University in town. Great restaurants. Very laid back. Meets your criteria.
I know there are dozens of places that would be much better an option, but since I know it quite well I would recommend my hometown, Marseille, France. It’s the second city in France but since everything is centralised in Paris it still feels like a medium city. The weather is very pleasant, with warm summers and cool winters, sun most of the year, little rain and hardly any snow. You have beaches in Marseille and in neighbouring cities, as well as a lot of parks and green spaces, with a countryside feeling in some of the suburbs. Culturally it’s quite active, especially with its selection as the European city for culture in 2013. You can enjoy live music, theatre, opera, festivals, etc. The food is delicious as well and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. Finally, it’s rather well-connected with main hubs around the world, as well as cities on the Côte d’Azur or in Italy. I think that’s about it 🙂
Doha, Qatar — it’s warm all year long, on the beach, modern facilities and infrastructure, and great access to virtually every place you could think of via Qatar Airways. New York is a 12 hour flight and so is Australia. London and the rest of Europe is 8 or less hours. Good luck!
Earl! I think Hermosa Beach would satisfy everything you are looking for except it might be more expensive than you like. Just south of LAX (cheap flight), warm weather (so cal), great community and public Amenities, small town feel. Only problem is it is expensive, but there are a few deals out there. Best of luck on this search!
Good luck, Earl! I think having a home base will really enhance your travels. While traveling around Europe for 3 months, I had a home (my dear brother’s home) in Sindelfingen, Germany, just minutes outside of Stuttgart. Both are great towns (Sindelfingen is smaller and more quaint, Stuttgart is a medium sized city with everything you need and more) and I can’t speak well enough of Germany. If you’re looking for nature, you’ll fit right in with the Germans and the landscape. Contact me if either town piques your interest!
Other great towns in Germany: Heidelberg (historic), Tubingen (University town), Munich (love Bavaria!), Mannheim (modern city + Univeristy town).
I would recommend NH. Specifically the Merrimack/Rockingham County area. It has less than an hour access to the Beach and to Hiking (white mountains, tackle the 4,000 footers), it has rivers and lakes galore. It also an 1hr to an 1 1/2 to Boston International as well as less than 45 minutes to Manchester Regional (soon to be international). Concord or Dover is especially quaint and diverse. There is the small town atmosphere with access to modern activities. While private people are still very friendly. Good Luck!
Chiang Mai is the digital nomad/travel blogger of the world.
Great weather, great food and a lively environmental all at fantastic prices. I love the music and burgeoning art scene here as well. This is definitely the place to be.
Hey John – I am of course a big fan of Chiang Mai and it will undoubtedly make my final list. The only thing that holds me back is that I have already spent a long time living/visiting that city and I might want to spend time somewhere new instead. But, we shall see…keep on enjoying it over there!
UMATILLA, OREGON! Yep! Right on the Columbia River where the boats sale year round. 30 minutes from the city life of the Tri-Cities, WA where they have everything from food to movies and malls. Lots of wild life in Umatilla too. A very diverse area to live in. No sales tax here either. One hour away from the mountains and snow skiing. We have a hot summer and a cold winter, but…this year has been weird and so winter has not been so cold yet. We truely have all four seasons here.
The area would be a good base Home!
Portland, Oregon. Yes, it rains here but if you’re only planning to spend 2 to 3 months, then you can come in summer when we have glorious weather. Two hours from beautiful beaches and the same from a number of mountain ranges with beautiful lakes, rivers and old growth forests. Portland itself is a smaller environmentally-concious, bike-friendly city. It’s easy to get away without having a car and if you need one, plenty of Zip or other daily rentable cars are available. The food and entertainment scene is good — we boast more than 500 food carts which are great fun in the summer. Brew pubs and funky, fun neighborhoods abound. The vibe is super laid back but kind of hipster … Just watch an epidsode of Portlandia for a clue (which is closer to the truth than you think). Obviously, its filmed here as is Leverage and Grimm. I’ve traveled a fair bit, always with an eye for a possible move, but honestly I’ve never found anywhere that comes close to PDX (which also has a beautfiul airport with connections all over the world.)
I don’t know if its quite small enough to meet your criteria, but I’ve long had Penang (Malaysia) on my short list. Great food, very diverse, and on the northern tip of an island with plenty of beaches to choose from. Plus, pretty quick access to all of SE Asia on the cheap through Air Asia!
Medellin! Come on, you know you want to! 🙂
Hey Jasmine – Still haven’t made it to Medellin, I know….I will get there and perhaps I will fall in love with it and not want to leave!
We are thinking of doing the same thing as you, but are not sure where to live/ stay while traveling. Seems that thailand may be a good fit for cost wise as well as mexico as far as my research has given me. If you want the ocean at your footstep and only plan on living there 2 – 3 months out of the year; are planning on paying utilities, rent,etc for the other 9 months? if not, then may i suggest renting a loft in for 3 months in Long Island, Bahamas. Will cost you $600 – $1000 per month for electricty, water, telephone ( NOT LONG DISTANCE) & internet. water is everywhere ( You can fish or hunt for your own food) nature is all around you and it is the best views you can possibly dream of.
Wish you the best of luck and i can’t wait to be doing exactly what you are doing!
That’s exciting news. I have two quite different suggestions. One would be spots in Arizona or Utah–great scenery, good weather; cities like Page, Sedona, Scottsdale, or Moab. The other is to pick a town in Puerto Rico outside of San Juan. Cheap, good weather–Rincon or Isabela are beautiful and roughly a two-hour drive from San Juan (where you’d need to fly in and out).
Hey Heather – I appreciate the input…I shall do some research about Puerto Rico as I’ve never been anywhere outside of San Juan.
My 2 cents worth: Seville. It’s relaxed, comfy, endlessly interesting, cheap (compared to, say, the US or most European cities), weather’s nice and the food is good.
Just a thought.
I’m not saying Madison would be best for you (but you can make that call in February, right?) but it’s worked out stellar for me. Liberal and open-minded, mid-sized, university-centric and the diversity that brings, nestled among lakes, addicted to cinema, music and local food/beer, tons of free things to do, 4 seasons, outdoors oriented, free lectures on a ton of stuff, big bicycling town. Bus to ORD or Milwaukee, but its own airport (MSN) w/direct to NY, DC, ORD, + 20 others. I’m here 3-6 months/yr now after 15 years or so of all-over-the-place. Suffering from severe wanderlust and strong desire to have my space to just chill, read, cook, hang, play music and go zen staring out my window. Looking for homebase 2 in fact.
I responded long ago to your live on less than $1000 post. I do that here in the US handily. Loans are now 3% but as some have indicated it might be harder to pull one depending on what your taxes look like. I bought in 2006 with NO proof of income. No Asset Loan. Interest was higher. But it was a condo under $100k and with my paltry income I paid it off this year. I dig a condo as I have no lawn to look after, nothing to shovel in winter, neighbors across the hall, downstairs security so no real break-in threats. Stocked the place with Freecycle anyway.
SO where do I find a second place for the other half of the year? Bangkok? Turkey? Latin America? Want to go halfsies on a place in deep south Italy? Sicily?
Amazing that you paid it off, Kevin!! We’ve been tossing this idea around a bit, but it’s a level of permanence I don’t that we’re ready to jump into!
Hey Kevin – It’s an interesting idea actually…having a couple of people, especially travelers, split a place somewhere ideal. I shall be in touch!
It’s easy to get to Kuala Lumpur (an overnight train ride or a quick Air Asia flight), which will then instantly connect you to any destination imaginable (to satiate your travel needs :p). Extremely friendly locals. Amazing food. Low cost of living. Great healthcare – in fact, medical tourism, serving lots of Indonesians, is a thriving part of the economy there. Awesome beaches (Batu feringghi, for instance).
*sigh* I love this place and I would really live there when I can…
Hey Pauline – I do like Penang, especially the yummy Indian food 🙂 Perhaps we should meet there and split a place!
Cheap, connected, nice climate, beach and nature not far off. Sounds a lot like Cuenca, Ecuador.
Good luck with the search.
Well, it may be a bit outlandish for a westerner but a house somewhere on Penang Island in Malaysia or somewhere else in the country could be a great place to be!
English-speaking so it’s easy to rest, warm all year round, great food, developed enough not to worry about the power cuts and this kind of thing, all the necessary stuff around (good hospitals, good infrastructure in general), safe (no burglaries when you’re gone), and well, great nature.
And the houses are relatively cheap.
I second Penang Island. You are close to both beaches and jungles, other South East Asian countries and KL where you can take budget flights to almost all corners of Asia and Oceania. Great food, generally cheap living cost, English speaking, easy to get around with a motorbike, culturally rich and friendly people. Not too far from the amazing southern Thai islands either.
Richmond, VA. Population 204,00.
I live here and it’s got just about all of the requirements you’re looking for. Only 2 hours from Virginia Beach and 2 hours from the Shenandoah Valley/Blue Ridge Mountains. The city just won Outside Magazine’s award as the best river city in the US. It’s an easily walkable, affordable city to live in. With the urban campus of VCU , home of a pretty good basketball team (23k undergrad students plus the graduate schools) there’s a very diverse population with tons of good local artists, musicians, etc. Richmond International is only 15 minutes from the city and IAD in DC is 2 hours away. Being on the east coast makes it cheaper to fly to Europe/C&S America than from the west coast. Oh, there is also the Amtrak station downtown and lots of cheap buses (ie Megabus, Greyhound, the Chinatown bus networks) so it’s pretty easy to get out of town when you want. Average rent for a one bedroom place in one of the hip neighborhoods is about $650 but you can get a roommate situation in a 2 bdrm and pay $350-400, plus some utilities. Due to the liquor laws here any place serving alcohol must also sell food so consequently there are tons of independent restaurants all over. There’s tons of history here (revolutionary and civil war), and it’s got a pretty laid back pace for a city. I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have, and no I don’t work for the city but I’ve lived in different cities and I really like it here. Best of luck with your search!
Hey Frank – Interesting. Another good option that I would never have thought of. I appreciate all of that info!
I would vote for Seattle then Portland. Warm spring through fall. Leave for the winter. Beaches but not what you call typical and lots of nature. International airports (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, BC). Don’t let the rumors of rain fool you that is how we keep the tourists away.
Thats a good decision Earl! it will be a new chapter in your life, just to have a home base if you ever feel like going ‘home’ for a little bit -sounds like an awesome idea! unfortunately I live in Canada, and while there are many many wonderful places in this country that I would highly recommend for you, I dont know if its exactly what your looking for! however if you do think you would maybe consider a place in Canada, I do have some nice suggestions for you!
Hi, Earl! I’m new to following your blog, but love it so far! I would vote for Portland, Oregon. It’s a small city, easily accessible by air — and it’s within one hour to the beach, the mountains, rivers, lakes, etc. The quality of life here is amazing – cheap to live, great food (and coffee, and, and…), amazing music, friendly people. We have a lot of resources here (time, water, space, clean air), so people aren’t as frenetic and competitive as with other cities. It rains a lot, but summers are gorgeous. Just my two cents! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
Hey Robin – Thank you for adding your vote and I’ve always thought that I would enjoy Portland. I’ve rarely heard a bad word from anyone and I do know several people who live out that way. Time for a visit I guess to check it out!
I plan on building something around 5000′ ft in Arizona there are several cities near this elevation mid 90’s in the summer 50’s in the winter of course my plan is to be Off The Grid. Good Luck on our search!
It’s not exactly glamorous, but I’d suggest Southampton. It’s close to nature (New Forest and Bournemouth’s beaches), it’s medium sized city, it has its own airport and isn’t far from London for longer haul flights, it’s not too expensive and although some parts of the city aren’t the prettiest, there are quite a few pretty towns and villages surrounding it. It’s also popular with foreigners as it’s super close to Salisbury (Stone Henge, Cathedral, etc), Bournemouth (the famous seaside city and the popular Sandbanks beaches). That or my beloved Bristol, but that’s a tad more expensive…
Thanks Laura! When I used to work on the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship we would be in Southampton several times each month and I did enjoy my time there. Never thought about living there but could be an interesting option.
or Varna, which has even more history, plus the international airport. Both are seaside destinations on the Black Sea.
I’d even suggest Veliko Tarnovo, which I think you visited earlier this year, but it’s nowhere close to an airport or the beach. And you’ve already live in Playa del Carmen, so I don’t need to sing the praises of the Riviera Maya.
Property is super cheap in Bulgaria, just like it is here in Mexico, as is the cost of living.
I agree with Anderson. With preferences listed Burgas, Bulgaria would be ideal and affordable compared to most countries with a comfortable standard of living, good food, friendly folk, and beautiful/historic surroundings. Ideal!
Hey TW – Thanks for those ideas and I have thought of Veliko Tarnovo…it’s not too far from Bucharest Airport, definitely manageable. And Burgas is a good option too!
Right, I have to jump in as I too have recently been looking for a base – to serve as a temporary home whilst I travel. I was looking for similar things to you; that is compact city, close to nature and easy to travel from. I think I found it, and arrived in this city last week. The city is Edinburgh and yes, its compact, certainly close to nature and has a well served airport only thirty minutes from the city. You would need to live farther from the city to get more affordable accomodation though. So, thats my vote!
Thanks Elle but I think that area is not the best weather for me…I think I need somewhere a little warmer 🙂 I have no doubt it’s a great place though and I do need to make it there soon for a visit.
Well I can highly recommend my hometown of Adelaide, South Australia! It can sometimes be a little TOO quiet but you’re on the road so much it might not matter. And you HAVE to get yourself there during March for our world famous Fringe Festival! (Second to Edinburgh!) It’s on the coast and winter does not include snow. The famous Barossa Valley wine region is a 30 minute drive away, and the cost of living is the lowest of any capital in Australia. I really recommend you check it out sometime, it’s lovely.
I second Kim on this one! Adelaide is a great place to settle down in! A nice (small) city, great climate, the beaches at your doorstep and easily connected to anywhere in the world!
It has been voted the best city to live in in Australia and also has the lowest cost of living.
You could not go wrong Earl!
Hey Kim – I’m a big fan of Adelaide already, having visiting twice before. It’s about the right size for me so it will make my next list for sure!
I can’t recommend an actual location (I’m looking for one myself), but I can offer a bit of advice (disclaimer: this advice is personal, not professional). From what I understand of your lifestyle, you’re going to have a tough if not impossible time actually purchasing a home in the USA. Because you won’t be living there at least six months a year, and probably because of the nature of your income, most lenders will hesitate if not flat out refuse to lend you any money. It’s a tough market these days. I do, however, wish you the best of luck!
Hey Carla – Thanks for that advice. Based on my research so far, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem though and I know of several people who live similar lifestyles that have been able to purchase a home without a hassle in the USA. I’m definitely able to purchase one, just need to find that location!
I used to live in Cape Cod, Mass.
It’s a really delightful place that stays cool throughout the year but does get a bit chilly during the winter. It’s on the cape so, obviously, there is a lot of ocean and bays to explore. Lots of fishing to be done. The community is mature.
You’re not too far away from Boston either which means the flights shouldn’t be too difficult to land.
I’m not sure about the pricing but I bet you could potentially get a place and then also use it as a hostel during your travel time, yeh?
Congrats! Based on your description….Kentucky, USA is just about as far from what you are looking for as possible 🙂 Wish we could be of more help here. I hope you find an awesome home base…and keep the traveling up…I love reading about your adventures!
I second her. Try Boracay Island or Cebu City. ;D
Philippines. Cebu City is plain awesome. Not too shabby, few hours from beautiful beaches and very accessible. You might also want to consider Puerto Princesa City. Almost 0 crime rate, rarely hit by typhoons (they were only hit by 1 or 2 typhoons this year), cheap living and very near to El Nido and other beaches.
Easy, Palm Springs, CA…..from October to April, amazing weather, May to September can be hot, but frankly rent is relatively cheap, you are in a great hiking area, non-stop flights to Chicago, NYC, LAX, SFO, Canada, SLC, Dallas, etc…and an absolutely amazing travel store called “It’s in the Bag” owned by a friend of mine…it’s especially perfect if you want somewhere to “winter”.
I’ve been here since 1999, and it keeps getting better, AND…you are 2hrs from beaches, which isn’t bad, and you don’t pay beach rent. Think about it!