Remote work, funemployment, complicated testing entry requirements, and general anxiety—all these things have contributed to one of the more fascinating developments over the last two years: long stay travel. If you haven’t done it yourself, you probably know someone who recently went off and lived somewhere interesting for a month or two. Some have been called to tranquil beach towns, others to the mountains. Some of us need a city so as not to get bored, while others have tried to tackle whole countries.
So in that spirit, our list this year is focused on places we think are worth really immersing yourself in with a longer stay. These are places that either have too many attractions to squeeze into a rushed vacation, or are just are so lovely you might never leave. (To help you, we’ve included rentals in some of the destinations.)
If there’s any country we’ll always want to escape to, it’s Mexico. And while a number of its beach destinations are overrun (Tulum) or at risk of becoming overrun (Puerto Escondido), a number of places remain the chill getaways you daydream about.
One of those is Todos Santos, a sleepy seaside town on Baja California’s southern Pacific coast. It’s roughly 90 minutes north of Cabo, which means it’s easy to get to (Cabo is a major airport) but not so easy (you still have to drive) that it’s at risk of being swamped by mass tourism. The town itself is just a few blocks of brick and colorful stucco buildings with a number of restaurants and hotels (including the Hotel California), but stretching north and south from it is virtually uninterrupted sandy coastline where a number of houses are available for rent and some boutique hotels have gone up (including the chic new Paradero Hotel, which also embraces the area’s desert landscape).
While the surf here is so rough you can’t swim in most places, the Sea of Cortez across the thin peninsula has a number of beaches (Playa Balandra being the most epic) and is a launching point for boat excursions for swimming with whale sharks or exploring the island of Espiritu Santo.
Villa with Short Walk to Beach
Beachfront Villa with Pool
When we think about where we might want to live for a month or two at a time, it can be hard to balance certain needs that aren’t as pressing when visiting a place for a mere weekend. You worry about whether or not you will be bored if it’s not big or cosmopolitan enough. Or that you might feel suffocated if it’s too big and busy. Zurich is one of those few places in the world that seems to be a perfect balance—such that some of its residents think it’s a trap.
The city of nearly half a million is located at the edge of Lake Zurich and has everything you’d want in a European city—historic architecture, great art, traditional food. But it also has a side to it that is thoroughly 21st century—cutting edge architecture, an international food scene, a surprisingly edgy nightlife. And if you get bored, the city’s airport connects quickly to all major destinations in Europe.
Those looking to dive into the city’s scene would do well to…