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20 ultimate fantasy towns

Tired of the daily grind? Find a slower-paced, stress-free life in these dream towns

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10 tips for moving to paradise
Petrina Tinslay

Tips for moving to paradise: Setting expectations

1. Analyze the situation without the rose-tinted glasses. Maybe you first saw your paradise on vacation. But when you think of moving there, this isn’t vacation, it’s your life. Be honest about potential trade-offs: Would you be comfortable living in a town without a grocery store or hospital? If you’re moving with kids, make sure there’s space at the local school and pediatrician’s office.

2. Take your place for a trial run. Visit your place for at least two weeks, ideally split between winter and summer. '“It’s good to know the very hot and very cold of a place,” says Steven Kaup, who moved from Vail to Nelson, B.C. Before taking the plunge, Steven also checked out how many live performance venues there were (many) and fast-food chains (no McDonald’s, a plus). “This said a lot to me about the core values of the community.”

3. Craft a realistic budget based on your time there. Write down everything you spend while on a long-term stay. Dream towns can have hidden costs. While real estate might be cheap, groceries and gas that have to be flown or shipped in are not. When you visit, shop at local stores to get a sense of what staples cost.


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