1950's Beach Fun |
Dec. 12, 2008
Panama City, Panama
- Salt-water Taffy, Souvenir Shops, And Fried Dough On The
- Hotel On The Beach For US$6 A Night...Or A Furnished Flat For US$240
A Month High Season...
- Riviera What? The Next Big Thing In Mexico...
- The Best Way To Meet Friends, Business Partners, And Sometimes More
Own In The Most Overlooked And Undervalued Region In Italy
House Around Italy
Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
Intrepid Correspondent Paul Terhorst sends his final dispatch from
India (because he's moved on now to Cambodia), with the hearty
recommendation that, recent events in this country notwithstanding, you
should "Come on over and check it out."
"I'm on the beach in Goa. So lovely here. Today I went to a
beach shack for lunch--calamari chili fry--and while sipping a beer watched
a show. Local kids stuck two sets of crossed bamboo poles in the sand and
stretched a tightrope between them, about two meters off the ground. Setup
took only a couple of minutes. Then a 7-year-old girl climbed up and walked
the tightrope. She used a balance pole, although I figure the two-meter
height above the thick sand posed little risk.
"To keep her company, her older brothers pounded drums, giving the show a
circus feel. Her little sister played in the sand nearby. Altogether she
went back and forth along the rope five times, first by herself, then with a
vase on her head, then standing on plates, and so on.. What creativity.
Afterwards, they passed the hat.
"I wrote last time that, as a guess, several thousand expats live up and
down the 60 miles of white-sand beach here. Some beaches have more of a
resort feel, others cater more to locals. Some attract large crowds during
the season, with partying on the beach at night. Some remain quiet and
isolated even during high season, while others fill up with Germans on
charter flights. Whatever you're looking for in a beach scene, you'll likely
find it here.
"I chose Colva Beach, small, quiet, postcard beautiful. To approximate the
feel of Colva Beach, think back to salt-water taffy, soda fountains,
souvenir shops, fried dough, boardwalks, cafes, and bars. Indian families
come here for the day, sometimes longer. There are guesthouses, rental
apartments, and resorts. There are five Internet cafes. The main Goa train
station is 15 minutes away, the airport 40.
"Colva Beach has two roads, one perpendicular to the beach, the other
parallel to the beach and just behind it. Each road is six blocks long. The
roads intersect behind the lifeguard station on the main beach. This is
where locals tend to gather; at any time, perhaps a thousand Indians crowd
together in the water, many with their clothes on. There are boats that pull
kids around on a parachute and other boats that offer rides along the coast.
Behind this main beach, there's parking, a cabstand, a rickshaw stand, and a
"My guesthouse, the Hotel Lucky Star, is on parallel road a few blocks
north. Here there's much less activity, with only a few people on the beach
and even fewer in the water, mostly Westerners. There's a seafood shack on
the beach every 50 meters or so. Eat or drink something, and they give you
a free beach bed for the day. Swim at your own risk here, although the surf
is gentle with easy currents.
"Rent a one-bedroom flat in Colva Beach for US$180 a month, year round. The
flat could be in a nearby village, on perpendicular road, or back in the
jungle. These are fairly large places, I'm told, with bedroom, bathroom,
living room, and kitchen. No view.
"As an alternative, a long-stay English couple told me they rent the same
furnished flat every year, on perpendicular road, during the five-month high
season October through February. They pay US$240 a month for the five
months. Their compound has some 200 units, 50 of them rented to tourists and
expats. There's a pool and other resort amenities.
"This English couple takes the bus to market maybe three times a week. They
buy fish and veggies and cook at home. The rest of the time, they eat at
seafood shacks on the beach or at restaurants on one of the two roads.
pictures. First is a
new housing project near my hotel. Some of the units will rent
to foreigners. Next is a picture of
Fishland, my favorite restaurant, across parallel road from the
"Third is a shot of the
beach shacks. They take down the shacks during the four-month
monsoon season (May through August) and put them up again for the season.
Eat, drink, and lie in the sun, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
"The final two pictures are of
my room in a local homestay, before I moved to the hotel.
"My hotel room on the beach costs US$6 a night, low season. The rate goes to
US$9 a night in high season. The room has a swishy fan, two beds pushed
together, two nightstands, a desk, a closet, and a bathroom.
"Outside my door there's a balcony with a view of the water, restaurant, and
bar downstairs. To walk to town (perpendicular road) takes 8 minutes. My
favorite restaurant, Fishland, is just a few blocks farther along the road
the other way.
"Idyllic. Again, I say, come on over and check it out."
The bad news is: You aren't likely to find a job on your own overseas.
But here's the good news: That doesn't mean you can't create the income you
need to live where and how you want.
You could launch a new life in Paradise 90 days from today.
"Riviera what?" Lief asked.
"Riviera Nayarit. It's what some marketing
agency has decided, I guess, to name the 200 miles of Mexico's
Pacific coast and mountains north of Puerto Vallarta."
On the one hand, it's so much marketing spin. On the other hand, it amounts
to the next big thing in Mexico.
If you've never seen this stretch of coastline, you should. It's primo. Some
of the nicest, most memorable blue sea and white sand anywhere.
John Huston introduced it to the world when he chose Puerto Vallarta as the
setting for his filming of The Night of the Iguana. And now,
investors, developers, and the Mexican government are banding together to
help the world see that the beaches of Vallarta are only the beginning. They
continue, just as lovely, for miles and miles...north to the colonial beach
town of San Blas.
Over the next two years, US$2.4 billion is to be invested in the development
of these sandy stretches. Already, there's plenty to lure you to this corner
of the world--the beaches, of course, but also six major golf courses,
archeological sites, and every kind of water sport and experience you could
name, including swimming with dolphins and whales.
Access is expanding. The main airport for the region is in Puerto Vallarta,
and Southwest, for example, has just announced a partnership with Volaris,
through which it intends to extend its reach from points around the U.S. to
Puerto Vallarta starting in 2010.
One group in the area, Developer Direct, offers a Fly-and-Buy program,
whereby you fly into Puerto Vallarta on your own dime...then they take care
of everything else, including accommodation, meals, entertainment, a
catamaran tour along this beautiful stretch of Pacific coast, even a
mini-seminar on foreign property investment in Mexico.
All expenses paid for three days. More
"Kathleen, is there a matchmaker website like www.travelcompanion.com? My
wife doesn't want to leave the States yet. It may be five years before she
decides to join me, if she eventually does."
No, I don't know an international matchmaking site. But maybe you could
persuade your wife to change her mind and make the move with you, at least
I certainly don't want to suggest anything that might come between husband
and wife, but, in my long experience at this, one of the best ways to meet
like-minded souls with similar interests in a new place is at one of our
live events. This isn't our primary objective in putting them on, of course,
and I make no guarantees, but our upcoming Live & Invest in Panama
Conference will be an ideal forum for mingling.
The program includes cocktail parties and informal get-togethers designed to
help people make friends, form business partnerships, and sometimes more...
In fact, it was on a similar event 10 ½ years ago that Lief and I met. Lief
was a longtime reader on a tour of Ireland in search of real estate
investment opportunities. I was leading the tour...
Editor's Note: Dates for our premier Live & Invest in Panama event have
been finalized: May 14-16, 2009. Get your name on the list
for pre-registration discounts by registering your interest here:
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