Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Welcome back, Dear Readers.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

Debt is a funny thing. I think most of us would agree that it’s “bad”, but it can also get far too comfortable. It provides a handy excuse for not getting out there and doing something scary and unfamiliar. Now that The Boy and I are almost back in the black, it’s time to start thinking about where we would like to move in the next few years.

So far, here is our criteria:

  • Affordability
  • Year-round sun and heat
  • Close proximity to ocean or sea
  • Running water and electricity, semi-reliable Internet
  • English-speaking (not necessarily as the first or only language, but we’d like to be able to communicate and get jobs)
  • Affordable medical care of some quality (although coming back to Canada annually to see my doctor and keep our citizenship is not out of the question, though it may be impractical, depending upon where we move)
  • Safety (we are adventure seekers, but have no plans to relocate to a country that’s in constant political strife or is right on the hurricane belt)

Some things we will not need, and at the top of that list is STUFF. The Boy told me about a comedy skit  all about how we need houses to contain and protect our stuff, and then we accumulate even more stuff, so we need to buy bigger houses…I am so out of that cycle. Enough with the stuff!

But what I do want is room to breathe. I’m from a small town where we had a large yard with only one neighbor, and I miss that privacy. I’m so tired of looking out my window to see into my neighbor’s window, and of being watched by several pairs of eyes as I walk around my garden. I want space. I don’t care so much about the quality (or size) of my house…it’s all about the location. I definitely won’t miss tripping over shrieking kids every time I leave my house, or the neighbor who uses his house as a garage band rehearsal space.

So, the plan is to populate a list of about ten or twenty places that meet our criteria, narrow the list down further with research, and then start visiting the most likely prospects. This is where you come in, Dear Readers. I know some of you are very well-traveled. Do you know of a place that meets our requirements? If so, please tell me about it!

Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Christine Murray

    New York, Greenwich Village. But I’d miss my family a lot.

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Christine. Have you ever been? What is it about Greenwich that draws you?

    I already live quite far from my family, but I will miss my friends terribly.

  3. joelnickel

    Taipei, Taiwan. I lived there for a brief while, but can’t wait to go back!!

  4. Story Teller

    Hi Joel! Welcome to my blog, and thanks so much for the comment and suggestion. I will definitely look into Taipei. 🙂

  5. Vanessa

    I loved Belize. They have English as the national language,however not so sure about the hurricane thing.

  6. Polly

    Australia!! Beautiful, lots of land and water, and check check to your other requirements! They love Canadians and have fast-track visas for certain job categories.

    Closer to home, I’m picturing the outskirts of San Diego for you, but not sure how expensive it is.

    Hurricanes takes a bunch of island countries off the list…

    And congrats on getting close to debt-free – that’s huge and yes, gives you lots more freedom to choose possibilities!

  7. Lisa S.

    How about Birds Hill or other bedroom community? Translation: don’t go!
    Affordability – check
    Year-round sun and heat – sure if you don’t mind fake ‘n baking
    Close proximity to ocean or sea – lotsa lakes!
    Running water and electricity, etc. – we are the Ayatollah’s of electricity
    English-speaking – mmm hmmm
    Affordable medical care of some quality – yis
    Safety – sho thing!

    …but if you have to go, Bermuda has lots of Canadians. Saint John, NB is ridiculously close to Maine (you could drop in on Stephen King for tea). Aus is a nice choice as per Polly.

  8. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions, everyone!

    @ Vanessa – Belize sounds lovely. I’ll be sure to look into it. As for the hurricanes, I’ve put up with flooding and tornadoes for several years, and that’s not a picnic either. Not to mention the canker worms–ick!

    @ Polly – I have considered Australia. I was more drawn to New Zealand, until I found out it wasn’t warm enough for me. Australia is definitely the better bet. Only two things give me pause: it’s so far away from friends and family, and it seems to have a much more chauvinistic culture than I’m used to. I’ve spent so much time and energy blasting through barriers here that I’d hate to have to do it all again, but maybe the younger generations aren’t as bad. I’ll definitely have to look into it.

    @ Lisa S – Ha ha, nice try! You know I can’t handle too many more Manitoba winters. And a lake (which is too polluted to swim in most of the time, sadly) is not an ocean. But Bermuda might be a safe bet. I’d freeze my a** in New Brunswick.


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