Where to: Retirement destinations

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Retirement.

This may be a daunting term for some, so allow me to rephrase: Retirement abroad.

Talk about moving on to bigger (or smaller, perhaps) and better things. Recently, TopsRetirement.com posted an article sharing their thoughts on the 10 best international places to retire. Whereas the typical creation of such a list is built upon affordability and beauty, TopsRetirement.com focused on, “stable governments; low crime rates; the ability to mix with ordinary people; great food, wine, and culture; and 1st world dependability and bureaucracies.” What I find the most appealing about each of the following places in that there is an appreciation for a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life.

1. Ireland. Land of (understood) language, culture, and countryside activity.

2. France. It would be nice to start off the day with a platter of renowned cheeses and fresh baguette, wouldn’t it?

3. Spain (coastal). Warm and sunny winters, anyone?

4. Italy. The great outdoors, food, and some more food.

5. Costa Rica. The picturesque hub of eco-tourism.

6. Croatia. Affordable and (in my opinion) underrated.

7. New Zealand. A perfect mix of ultimate adventure and quaintness. Oh, and The Lord of the Rings.

8. Panama. Lunch break on the beach in the middle of January, sure thing.

9. Mexico. Perhaps a surprise for some to see on the list, but you must remember: this beautiful country is not all bad!

10. Ecuador (Ceunca): Why not take to a lower-cost and friendly environment?

I mentioned how each of these locations may appeal to our ecofriendly senses. How so? Skip the car and hop on a bike to cruise Ireland’s quiet towns, Tuscany’s lush countryside, or for some sustainable exercise before delving into France’s fresh market delicacies. Off to the sunniest of destinations? Inquire about solar panels on your Spanish villa or Latin American beach house. Or, how about opting for open windows to allow for a natural cross ventilation in lou of constant air conditioning? An added bonus: a calming (and free) beach aroma.

The options are endless for outdoor activity in these 10 countries. Seeking to truly live your life to its fullest? This list includes places that encourage individuals to get onto their feet for a happier, healthier, and environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

For more on each location, check out the article on Topsretirement.com or Marketwatch.com (photo source).

“Pura Vida”: Costa Rica and Our Sustainable Incentive Trip

A few weeks ago, we ran an incentive trip program in Costa Rica and it was absolutely fabulous.  The Costa Rican saying “pura vida” which means “pure life” truly reflects the atmosphere and environment of the country.  Clear blue skies and teal pristine waters surround you in a place where trees are abundant and animals are at your every turn.

In order to really immerse themselves in this new place, our clients chose to go on the El Viejo Wetlands tour. This tour takes place in Palo Verde National Park which is a wildlife refuge that has provided protection for thousands of animals. In the past, people used to come to these wetlands to kill crocodiles for their skin. Now, it is forbidden and against the law to commit such a crime. The Costa Ricans really want to preserve their natural life which is evident by the numerous crocodiles, monkeys and birds we saw along our boat tour.

Not only is the environment in mint condition, but the Four Reasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is a model for sustainability in the hospitality industry. All of the food they buy is from local farmers that are committed to environmentally sensitive growing techniques. The organic food waste is then donated to a local Tico farmer free of charge who uses it to feed his animals. Land use is limited to 30% of the peninsula leaving 70% untouched and protected for conservation.  In every guest room, there is a bin that is divided into three sections: paper, plastic and waste. This makes it easier for everyone to recycle!

Another interesting fact about this Four Season’s sustainability efforts is that all of their trees are GPS located. If a tree were to fall on the golf course for example, all golf would stop until a photo has been taken and sent to the environmental commission of Costa Rica to ensure that the tree is replaced by another tree.

Since A&M Meetings & Incentives plans meetings and incentive trips with CSR elements, we were especially impressed by their CSR initiatives. For instance, they support “Los Ninos Pinta para Los Ninos”  an organization that helps abandoned and at risk children through the power of art! During the holidays, the resort donates toys to local schools in Guanancaste. Also, in all of the guest rooms they had water bottles that one could purchase to not only be eco-friendly, but to help support underprivileged children in the area as well.

 

Needless to say we would highly recommend that you have your next incentive trip in Costa Rica and stay at the Four Seasons Resort! Contact us today and we can help you start planning.

For more information about the Four Season’s sustainability and CSR efforts please visit thier website.