Run Away From Home
by Anneli Rufus
One day, you're living it up. The next day — well, you're living.
|Where to go and what to do:|
|The Dominican Republic: it's been called the easiest Caribbean nation to move to and live in: few restrictions, lots of beaches.|
|Budapest: Less trendy than Prague, but shares that post-Berlin Wall sense of wonder and willingness at Eastern European prices.|
|Japan: So its economy is taking a big hit. Take advantage. Teach English.|
|Kwajalein: Deep in the South Pacific, there's not a car to be found. You'll feel like Gilligan.|
When the economy crumbles, travel plans are often the first to go with it. Suddenly those walks along a Mexican beach or those strolls through the streets of Spain are out of reach. And luxury takes on a whole new meaning as the things you took for granted slip away.
But think again. Rather than an attractive but bottomless hole into which you pour your hard-earned dough, travel can be just the opposite: a bubbling well that keeps on giving.
Because no matter how financially strapped you might feel at home, life will always cost less in cheaper countries.
Whole enclaves of North Americans are settling in villages outside Guadalajara and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, says Audrey Berger of the Easy Going travel store in Berkeley, Calif.
"They shop in the local markets and some of them even have maids and gardeners," says Berger. "It's possible to live on $20 a day." In some places you can live on even less. Some of Berger's expatriate customers have built new houses south of the border for a fraction of what it would cost to rent the equivalent houses north of it.
Costa Rica, in Central America, also has a sterling reputation as a low-cost refuge with a high level of environmental awareness to boot.