Author Topic: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?  (Read 21470 times)

pac_NW

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Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« on: January 12, 2014, 06:47:21 AM »
MMM community - looking for your insights. We are FI but not fully RE yet because my significant other would like to save a bit more.  We will be at the # soon and we are preparing for me to leave my career to head down our new path. My SO is RE, and we have a young daughter. We know it will take several months for me to disengage from a very demanding job, and the plan is to resign before the summer and spend 3 months somewhere in the world. We travel quite a bit, and have ambitions for an around the world year. This summer is a first foray into a much larger and longer trip. We are debating places for the summer trip, preferring to pick one new place and really explore it. It can be anywhere. We are completely open. It is a big world, and we would love to hear where you would go (or have been) and why?  What drew you there?  Would you go again?  Any blogs you would recommend?  I read several today but there is always a good one I have not found.  Where in the world would you spend 3 months?

NinetyFour

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 07:00:57 AM »
This might give you some ideas--they are not all frugal, but some of them could be.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html?ref=travel&_r=0

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 07:28:39 AM »
I'd like to slow travel to Ireland. Visit archaeological sites (castles, standing stones, battle scenes), the cities, where my ancestors were from, and walk across it.

Also, Prague was really awesome when I was there, and you could spend a good 3 months there.

limeandpepper

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 08:21:31 AM »
I'm attracted to Vietnam for very simple reasons: it's affordable for me, and I like the food. I haven't been there myself, but the boyfriend has and he said he could see himself spending 3 months there when we've discussed the idea of slow travel. This is the first option that comes to mind as it's one I've thought about, but there are many places I think I could happily visit for that amount of time, especially if money is no object.

Indio

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 10:06:32 AM »
I'd like to spend more time in south america. Food, hotel and public transportation are fairly inexpensive if you stay away from the major cities in Brazil and Argentina. Speaking Spanish is definitely an asset.

Gray Matter

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 10:15:27 AM »
I'd like to slow travel to Ireland. Visit archaeological sites (castles, standing stones, battle scenes), the cities, where my ancestors were from, and walk across it.

Also, Prague was really awesome when I was there, and you could spend a good 3 months there.

+1

I've only been once, but thought that a walking tour across Ireland would be the coolest thing ever.  Please can I come along if/when you do this?

arebelspy

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 10:16:02 AM »
Also, Prague was really awesome when I was there, and you could spend a good 3 months there.

Big +1 to this.  Prague is awesome, and basically everyone I've heard of that goes there thinks so.
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iris lily

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 10:35:02 AM »
Here's my fantasy:

After doing lily 'n iris gardening in this hemisphere for the summer, I go to New Zealand for 3 - 4 months during their summer where I can get a gig as a gardener (part-time, 4 hours daily) to keep up an herbaceous estate garden with lots of lily 'n iris.

This way I can cram in 2 lily/iris experiences per year until I die. That's almost like living twice as long as a normal remainder lifespan.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 02:57:36 PM »
Budapest was also very cool, I was only there for a weekend, but I could see spending months there.

Another place I've looked at as a slow travel candidate was Albania. A few larger cities to explore, archaeological and historic sites, castles, varied and pretty geography, and the Albanian Riviera. All located within a pretty compact footprint. I'm not sure what the prevalence of English is there though, if that is a concern.

Prairie Gal

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 03:34:14 PM »
I would love to spend three months (or longer) in France. But I love all things French.

Here is a blog by a young couple that retired early and are travelling the world. http://www.gocurrycracker.com/

pac_NW

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 07:30:59 PM »
Great suggestions all. Thank you

swick

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 07:31:44 PM »
I spent two years in Turkey and would totally recommend it, especially if you have the time to really immerse yourself. There is so much history besides all the byzantine and ottoman history, most of the landmarks in "ancient" Greece are actually in Turkey.

The art and the food are amazing, the people are incredibly warm and inviting. There is tons of variety in geography from The fairy chimneys in Cappadocia to the resorts and beaches of Antalya to the mountains and forests of the black sea regions, the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. You could spend a year exploring just Istanbul and not see everything that is within the city limits.

Oh, and they love kids (which can be a little unnerving until you get use to it) but your daughter will be spoiled and have a great time, there is a good blog post abut a family who traveled with there little girl to Turkey Here:

http://andhereweare.net/2012/02/turkish-people-amelia-love.html

She's actually got a whole series of posts on Turkey, if you do a search of her blog. If I had the time and money I would go back in a heartbeat, we are actually considering it for our retirement plan. Oh...and the exchange rate is really good right now!

prestojx

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 07:47:07 PM »
This might give you some ideas--they are not all frugal, but some of them could be.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html?ref=travel&_r=0

Awesome article! Thanks!

My favorites are SE Asia and South America.

mc6

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 08:05:01 PM »
Scotland/Ireland. 

expatartist

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 08:29:12 PM »
In tourist-dense countries, you'll find the best deals in low season. During these times, it's generally the more unconventional or budget-minded [ie, usually, retired or gap year] who travel. Hotel rooms and Air BnB rooms can be half the rate of high season.

If you're planning an around-the-world trip eventually, you'll have plenty of time to visit Europe in the shoulder/off-peak seasons. This is a better time IMO to see the sites. Summers in Europe can get really crowded and expensive.

Vietnam/SE Asia as mentioned is a fantastic value - once you pay the airfare - and ideal for a longer trip like yours. Personally, I prefer other parts of SE Asia (Cambodia/Thailand/Laos/Malaysia) to Vietnam, but that's just me. I tend to relax more in Hindu/Buddhist than more Chinese-influenced societies.

Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 08:30:56 PM by expatartist »

fantabulous

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 11:52:14 AM »
I still miss my time in Thailand. Having family there, I got to avoid the usual (foreign) tourist trap stuff while reconnecting with that side of the family. The various temples were amazing to visit in moderation. The few bouts of food poisoning I got during my year or so there were not so amazing, though.

yyc-phil

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 12:01:15 PM »
SE Asia, especially Thailand for the low cost of living, culture factor, sun, beaches, scenery, etc.. Having your base in BKK makes it so easy and cheap to radiate to the other nearby countries. I like Vietnam because I enjoy visiting friends there, the scenery and hospitality of the people, but I agree that I am sometimes uncomfortable due to the Chinese influence and I tend not to relax like I would in Thailand or Malaysia. This being said, I also enjoy Hong Kong as my base for East Asia and while finding affordable housing can be a challenge, there are many other things that make life there very enjoyable, and relaxing especially if you can rent a bungalow in one of the outlying islands. In Europe, I find Spain to be the best place to live, with a fun and sun factor that is hard to beat. All in all, a couple can live the good life in places like Barcelona for under $1000 a month, much less in Murcia or Valencia, plus it is cheap to travel to nearby countries as well.

pac_NW

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2014, 10:34:02 PM »
We have been considering Turkey. Great website rec - thank you.  Love the hint on Spain too (plus an easier language for me). Keep the ideas coming.

basd

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 08:34:23 AM »
I'd go to Canada, but since you're from the US that might not be as much of an adventure to you.

Then it'd probably be Italy, to really immerse myself in the culture and the language.

ZugZug

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 10:33:28 AM »
Hard to say for me bc there's so many places I want to go but I'd definitely like to slow travel across Europe. Hopefully over the next few years I'll get to do some traveling

rockstache

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 11:18:16 AM »
I would personally go to Israel. I have been, but it was too short, and I could have spent months longer.

But if you're concerned about the turmoil, or not interested in Israel, Thailand would definitely be my second choice for all the reasons stated above. 

prestojx

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2014, 11:28:08 AM »
I am just ending 3 months in Medellin, Colombia.
Beautiful city, inexpensive, awesome year-round climate, friendly people, gorgeous women - and very safe these days.
It is my favorite city in South America. Highly recommended!

Richard3

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2014, 02:13:08 PM »
I would personally go to Israel. I have been, but it was too short, and I could have spent months longer.

But if you're concerned about the turmoil, or not interested in Israel, Thailand would definitely be my second choice for all the reasons stated above.

Uhhh, recommending Thailand to someone who is concerned about "turmoil" in Israel at the moment is a little ironic. (unless I've missed a lot of news in the last week or so).

It depends what the three months are - if it's ski season I'd spend them somewhere in the Rockies. Otherwise, New Zealand is awesome.

mamagoose

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2014, 02:18:57 PM »
Alaska or New Zealand, either would be great for 3 months. Rent a house for a season and explore the natural areas.

mm1970

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2014, 07:02:44 PM »
Hmmm...my first choice would be traveling in an RV or camper van in the US.  I haven't seen enough of it.

If you expand into the world...I'd have to say I'd start with Europe.  DH has family in Copenhagen.  I've been, a couple of times.  It would be nice to start there and spend a few weeks, and then spend a few weeks in various other places in Europe.  I have a cousin in Northern England (she married a Brit), my husband has a grad school friend in Germany and one in Rome. 

Then again, two of our best friends from grad school are in Brazil...

tariskat

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2014, 07:37:24 PM »
I've lived in the Netherlands for 2 months (paid research abroad) and it was awesome.  Most everyone speaks English, and it's incredibly Mustachian as a rule.  Some friends and I traveled and did hostels, grocery store lunches, train trips, self-directed walking tours, and biking around on islands; I saw lovely churches, windmills (of course), we rented a boat to travel around in canals, and toured a town built from imported buildings made to preserve the old way of fishing as a living back when a fresh-water body of water (I'm not sure if it counts as a lake?) was still an ocean.  I would absolutely love to go there again and I can't recommend it enough for just living in.

Daleth

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2014, 07:56:18 PM »
I'd like to slow travel to Ireland. Visit archaeological sites (castles, standing stones, battle scenes), the cities, where my ancestors were from, and walk across it.

Also, Prague was really awesome when I was there, and you could spend a good 3 months there.

Yes, and summer is the only time Ireland is actually pleasant (says me, who went there in February, TWICE). But Prague seems like a great hub--you could spend 3 months living there but also travel all over the place on shorter trips. Germany, Italy, Switzerland etc. are reasonably close by--close enough for a weekend or long weekend--and Prague is one of the less expensive major European cities you could use as a "home base."

anniebelle

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2014, 12:35:47 PM »
If anyone's heading to New Zealand, specifically Christchurch, sing out. Happy to be your local tour guide.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2014, 06:01:12 PM »
Fluent (reading, rusty speaking) in French, so it'd probably be somewhere Francophone for my first international travel.

Ideally it'd be more rural, or networked small towns set up for a nice walking tour or backpacking with hotel/hostel every few days. Since I've been stuck here in the USA for 29 years, pretty much anywhere sounds awesome, but I'm partial to Europe/Mediterranean cultures.

Asian history fascinates me, especially the lesser-known stuff like Indochina pre-France, etc, but modern-day Asia holds much less interest for me culturally.

meadow lark

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2014, 08:32:59 PM »
Aah, Thailand.  Never been, but it is a dream.  Or Mexico or Guatemala.  I don't speak Spanish so our plan is to go to a language immersion school in Mexico or Guatemala for 2 or 3 weeks in 2015.  Start preparing for our life of slow travel by learning a language.  Also, with a home stay it seems very inexpensive.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2014, 09:08:04 PM »
The dirt cheapest places I've ever visited are 'out of the way' south America, Philippines (best value for American money, hands down IMHO - incredible nature and people), and parts of China / Thailand / S,Korea / Micronesia (all visited through work).  It would be fun to have a mode of transport and a translator, a la Jim Rogers ('Investment Biker' was before it's time).  But, when I came back to the US, I also realize that travelling the back-roads of America has a substantial amount to offer too.  If you want to learn the local language and dialect, then you can leverage your worldliness for a free or profitable trip to many non-tourist parts of the globe (teaching English), but you can also start small and see if it's the life you seek by visiting the 4 corners of the US first... 

athomeintheworld

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2014, 09:12:08 PM »
SE Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, anything else that looks interesting to you. 

Inexpensive, beautiful, wide range of options (big cities, small villages, beaches, mountains).  Thai people love young children. 
Perfect place to decompress.

windawake

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2014, 01:53:30 PM »
I spent 6 weeks in Guatemala in 2012 and loved it. I stayed at a yoga farm so paid a small amount and my room and board was covered as long as I worked in the garden. I also spent some time in Antigua where they have a ton of Spanish schools that were fairly affordable (although smaller cities like San Pedro will have better prices). I was not taking Spanish classes while there but my Spanish still went from nonexistent to adequate for getting around. Immersion is great.

shadowmoss

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2014, 03:43:31 PM »
Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, in that order.  Or, maybe start with Panama since it has the most US influence and ease my way up.  I lived in Honduras for 2.5 years, and while it was considered (and still is) a very dangerous country, if you don't flash yourself around, behave in a fairly civilized manner, you are ok.  They don't want  trouble with the US Embassy.

sekritdino

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2014, 09:30:39 PM »
Iceland. Hands down.

I'm moving there once I early retire.

pac_NW

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2014, 09:43:40 AM »
Each time I read a response to my post, I cannot wait to go!  Thanks for all of the ideas!

belgiandude

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2014, 04:13:14 PM »
It depends on what type of travel/activities you like.

Anyway, my top 5 so far. I have spent between 1 and 3 months in each of those countries (I have about 40 paid holidays/year... :)

- Colombia: nice people (Medellin is really nice), lots of activities (San Gil rocks), cheap
- Brazil: easy to make friends, expensive in major cities, huge so three months won't be enough
- Morocco: ideal for a first Africa-experience. Mountains, desert, nature.
- Ukraine: Nature. Super friendly people. Cheap. Maybe too unstable at the moment.
- Former Yugoslavia: friendly people, beaches, nature. Cheap
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 04:20:24 PM by belgiandude »

prestojx

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2014, 10:59:30 PM »
I spent 6 weeks in Guatemala in 2012 and loved it. I stayed at a yoga farm so paid a small amount and my room and board was covered as long as I worked in the garden. I also spent some time in Antigua where they have a ton of Spanish schools that were fairly affordable (although smaller cities like San Pedro will have better prices). I was not taking Spanish classes while there but my Spanish still went from nonexistent to adequate for getting around. Immersion is great.

Headed to Guatemala in 2 weeks! Can't wait!

totoro

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2014, 11:45:54 PM »
I'd enjoy a tracing your ancestry trip too!  I've travelled a lot but here are my top places:

1.  The Okanagan in BC Canada for summer - Penticton or Osoyoos - like southern France and the Napa Valley combined - very nice for kids with lots of orchards, vineyards, two huge lakes with sandy beaches and lots of summer events.
2.  Japan if you teach and want to go somewhere for a year. I know you are FI but it connects you in in a way that being a tourist doesn't and it is very easy and the trip would be very expensive as a tourist.  Very child friendly country and you can visit other areas of Asia on your vacation time easily.
3.  Berlin if you enjoy history and art.  Maybe as a trip from Prague?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 11:04:48 AM by totoro »

Dicey

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2014, 12:02:40 AM »
I'd head for the Land Down Under: Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania. Great people, awesome natural wonders, fun cities, good transit options. Just plain fun. When it's winter here, it's summer there. A little pricey, but not so bad if you do your homework. The hardest part would be spending only three months.

Strawberrykiwi75

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2014, 12:29:39 AM »
If anyone's heading to New Zealand, specifically Christchurch, sing out. Happy to be your local tour guide.

Me too! Christchurch has to be done with a local to be truly appreciated. Actually travelling NZ in general for 3 months would be epic

For me, Ao Nang beach in Krabi, Thailand is a no brainer. Its beautiful, cheap, the weather's fantastic, and it isn't so awfully commercialized like Phuket is. But it has all the conveniences and you can visit Phuket for the day by boat, if you had to.

Also France to practice my French, and immerse myself in the culture. Been there 6 times and I still feel like there's so much to see and learn.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2014, 07:11:40 AM »
Costa Rica:  The rain-forest and beaches are amazing.  We also found the people and food to be great as well.

Bali:  Very inexpensive and beautiful

Kenya:  I have never been there but hope to do a long volunteer trip in the future.

Daleth

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2014, 08:32:08 PM »
Iceland. Hands down.

I'm moving there once I early retire.

3 months in the summer, heck yeah. 3 months in the winter... i don't know if I could stand 3 months of days that look like this: night night night night night dawn dawn dawn night night night night night...

odput

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2014, 10:54:26 AM »
I've lived in the Netherlands for 2 months (paid research abroad) and it was awesome.  Most everyone speaks English, and it's incredibly Mustachian as a rule.  Some friends and I traveled and did hostels, grocery store lunches, train trips, self-directed walking tours, and biking around on islands; I saw lovely churches, windmills (of course), we rented a boat to travel around in canals, and toured a town built from imported buildings made to preserve the old way of fishing as a living back when a fresh-water body of water (I'm not sure if it counts as a lake?) was still an ocean.  I would absolutely love to go there again and I can't recommend it enough for just living in.

+1 on the Netherlands.  I took a business trip to the Ekkersrijt/Son area and it was awesome!  Great scenery all around and the Dutch just seem like natural mustachians

letro

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2014, 08:35:10 PM »
Three months in the Cayman Islands daily diving, swimming, lunch and naps on the north shore rum point.  Think Endless Summer for diving, surf, sun... check out  the movie.
We are going for two weeks in April 2014 for a "wet run".  Honeymoon 1979 scuba baby only one hotel then Holiday Inn with barefoot man.
Our retirement goal is to do VRBO.com properties a month here, there and every where.
Hawaii ( is great visited twice scuba and other adventures),  Iceland (northern light and volcanos), Poland, Italy (is great), OZ ( great barrier reef before they ruin it), Cali ( has everything), Belize ( reef), London ( is great would like to see more of GB), Lourdes & Fatima & Chartes cathedral, Keep Smiling  Letro

Married with Luggage marriedwithluggage.com interesting web site of couple traveling the world.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 06:51:11 PM by letro »

pac_NW

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2014, 09:00:38 AM »
letro - love "Three months in the Cayman Islands daily diving, swimming, lunch and naps on the north shore".  We are in the Caribbean right now and after many years of beach vacations,we decided to add a beach month or two to our trip. Who can recommend a great beach location with inexpensive places to stay as near the beach as possible. The goal is "lanai living". Eager to hear where you all would head. Ps...I find VRBO generally expensive. Is there a beach rentals only website?

Silvie

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2014, 12:04:05 PM »
Try Spain. Admittedly it's not as cheap as Asia, but food, especially dining out, is really cheap here. I'm currently in Barcelona for 6 months, which is relatively expensive compared to the south of Spain, but I've had lunch for 5 euros, or, if I really wanted to treat myself, 10 euros. That includes a 3 course meal and a drink.

As a proud Dutchie I would also recommend the Netherlands, but it's not as cheap.

Annamal

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2014, 02:14:27 PM »
I'm a proud kiwi and I love New Zealand, but I would suggest not exchanging a northern hemisphere summer for a New Zealand winter (unless you are specifically aiming for one of the skiing towns). 

Autumn, spring and summer here yes, but winter gets kind of miserable (even in the supposedly winter free north).

brooklynmoney

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2014, 04:48:54 PM »
Some places will be not a good option because of weather. In South America, it will be winter. If you like to ski you could do so in Chile only an hour or so outside of Santiago. In Central America, I'm pretty sure it's rainy season. I love CA, but would not want to be there in the rains. Same with SEAsia.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Where in the world would you spend 3 months?
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2014, 12:37:32 PM »
Brazil...go to the world cup. There are alot of great areas in Brazil just stay away from the ghettos!