• Welcome

    In the Hot Spot has information and inspiration for people who want to live their dream. Created by, Annabel Candy, who's living her dream in Noosa, Australia, it will help you live YOUR dream too.

    Dip in, dare to dream and enjoy the journey.

    Find out more in the about section.
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  • © Annabel Candy and In the Hot Spot, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Annabel Candy and In the Hot Spot with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  • August 2019
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What’s In the Hot Spot?

Annabel Candy

Annabel Candy

In the Hot Spot contains Inspiration, Information and Idiosyncrasies for Living Your Dream

Thanks for visiting this website. In the Hot Spot was created by Annabel Candy to feed her love of writing and to inspire people to share their secret life goals and make sure their dreams come true.

It may interest travel lovers, aspiring writers, parents, expats, and anyone who wants to move overseas, or wonders what it’d be like to start a new life abroad.

In the Hot Spot aims to inform, inspire and entertain. Please show your support by subscribing for free email updates. Provided by Feedburner, Your Privacy is Assured.

Thank you for your involvement and feedback.

About Annabel Candy – The Short Version

Annabel emigrated from the UK to New Zealand in 1996 where she and her husband, Rich, set up the Internet design company, Immedia. Eleven years later, with three kids, aged two, five and seven in tow they followed their dream of living in Central America and moved to Panama. The Candy family traveled around for six months and Annabel almost wrote a travel guide called “The Toilets of Central America”. They ended up living in Costa Rica for a year but in 2008 they moved countries and continents again, this time to Australia. Just thinking about it now wears Annabel out.

Annabel started In the Hot Spot to give other people an insight into traveling with a family and to document the trials and tribulations of moving overseas. She’s now living her dream in Queensland, Australia with her gorgeous husband and their three bright, good-looking and very well-traveled children. Her dream is simple: to live in a hot country, near a beautiful beach and divide her time between writing, family, surfing and soaking up the stunning natural beauty of her new home.

Writing Experience and Qualifications

Annabel has an MA in Design for Interactive Media and thirteen lucky years experience of copy writing for the Internet and designing websites. She specialises in writing web copy, writing for search engine optimisation, ghost blogging and writing email newsletters.

Annabel has two completed manuscripts, one fiction and one travelogue, and many loyal, appreciative readers.

Information for literary agents is now available.

Contact Annabel

Please email her (annabelcandy at gmail dot com) or leave a comment in the replies box below. She loves feedback or comments and looks forward to hearing from you.

Still want to know more about Annabel? Read on…

About Annabel – The Long Version


Learning to surf at 40 (+!) and loving it

Learning to surf at 40 (+!) and loving it

Annabel Candy has visited about 30 countries in the last 20 years. She was born in Leicestershire, England, but hasn’t lived there since she was 18 when she funded her first overseas trips by working as a nanny in France and in the USA. She then studied French and English at London University in between working in an East End pub to pay for trips to Wales, Scotland, France, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Holland and Turkey. After miraculously graduating, but still with no idea what she wanted to do apart from travel, she trained to teach English as a foreign language in order to feed her travel bug. Over the next five years she taught English and worked or traveled in Zimbawe, Malawi, Kenya, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia.

By this time she had met her husband-to-be, Rich, who told her about email and the Internet in 1995. They were living in Paris at the time and Rich got an email account then showed Annabel how people could now send people electronic messages instantaneously no matter where in the world they were. It sounded great but unfortunately they didn’t know one single other person who had email. How times have changed. Now it seems as if everyone on the planet has email, apart from Annabel’s mum and even she talks about getting it. It was in 1995 that Annabel, who’d just got a job as joint managing editor of a glossy English language magazine, realised that the computer age could leave her behind as she’d never even used a computer. So the duo returned to London where Annabel slayed her demons, went back to university, eventually got an MA in Design for Interactive Media and developed a new obsession for website and computer game design, with a particular fixation on ease of use and legibility.


By now Annabel and Rich were becoming jaded with living out of their backpacks and keeping stuff at their parents’ houses so they decided to officially emigrate and set up a new base from which they could continue to travel. They picked New Zealand, mainly because Rich’s sister already lived there and they thought having a close relative would gain them the two extra points they needed in order to satisfy the NZ immigration requirements. As it turned out they actually got three points by joining the Dunedin Darts Club, a clever little trick their immigration agency put them on to. Soon enough they were off to New Zealand for the first time, with a not so quick pit stop in India and Thailand en route.

On arrival they immediately bought a camper van and zoomed around New Zealand for several months before getting jobs in Wellington. Then life threw a curve ball at them and they discovered Annabel was pregnant. The next thing they knew ten years had flown by and they were living on a beautiful island with a successful Internet business and three energetic children. Life was perfect and they got married in Vanuatu but there wasn’t enough traveling going on and the sea was cold in New Zealand so they decided to move to Australia.


But then they got a sudden rush of blood to the head and, much to the consternation of their friends, family and children, decided to move to Panama in order to fulfill a mutual dream of visiting Central America and giving their kids the travel bug too. Either that or put them off traveling for life. Of course, they wanted to check out Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well, then even though they had vowed not to live in Costa Rica because it was too expensive and home to too many foreigners, that’s where they ended up.

Life in the southern zone of Costa Rica was fine once they got used to the regular home invasions by gargantuan insects, tiny hummingbirds, deadly snakes and confused bats. The kids all settled at local schools and learnt Spanish while Annabel concentrated on her writing, surfing, watching the monkeys and toucans and learning the lingo. But eventually they had to admit that they couldn’t make the jungle their permanent home as their kids’ education was suffering, so they set off back across the Pacific Ocean to Australia. They’ll always miss the jungle animals and uncrowded waves of Costa Rica but now hope to live happily ever after on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Or at least until the kids leave home. Their kids, now aged 10, 7 and 4, are reintegrating themselves back into normal society, while Rich sets up a new Internet development business and Annabel writes full time.

Not Too Small Print

I was going to refer to the Candy children as Large, Medium and Small because some people think even children deserve the right to have their identities protected. However, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I appear to be an exception.

This website is written and maintained by Annabel Candy, although some credit should be given to the lovely Rich Candy.

The stunning header was conceived and designed by Kate Harwood, probably one of the most talented graphic designers in the world and definitely proof that great things do come in small packages. Many thanks to Rich and Kate for all their help and support.

All content is copyrighted by Annabel Candy and anyone who wants to use it please get her permission to do so.


6 Responses

  1. Hi Annabel,

    I just found your blog through an expat forum. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of what life would/could be for us. My husband and I consider moving abroad in about 2 to 3 years, we’ll see. We currently live in Austria, my husband is from Germany. He’s a technical engineer (chemist) and I’ve a degree in communications, working as a marketing assistant in tourism. Australia would be my husbands first choice (he’s been there a few years ago), but as far as I just know it from TV documentaries/movies and travel magazines, we have to see and wait until we can visit this beautiful land one day to make a choice.

    I’ve searched the Internet today quite a bit for visa information and it seems pretty hard to get into Australia with this point system. Is it really that tough? How is the job market really?

    Wish you a happy weekend from almost the other end of the world,


    • Hi Kathi,

      Thanks for your comment on In the Hot Spot. It’s great to hear it gave you a glimpse of what your life would be like in Australia.

      Unfortunately I don’t have much information on the points system for immigration but I think it helps if you are under 45 years old. You can find more information at the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website http://www.immi.gov.au/immigration/

      As for the job market. I think it will be as tough here as it is in many places around the world at the moment. I have been hearing that some recent immigrants are going back home because they cannot find work and it is hard in a new country without a network and contacts. Very sad.

      The best thing I can say is do your research thoroughly and follow your dream when the time is right. If you and your husband are able to visit for a while that would be the best way to find out if it would be the right move for you.

      Please don’t forget to subscribe to my website as I am just starting out. To subscribe follow this link:


      I know some people are concerned about privacy but here are three great reasons to subscribe:

      1. You’ll know when In the Hot Spot is updated and if it sounds interesting you can then revisit this site.
      2. Your email address will be kept private. Yes, I promise it will not be shared with anyone. Ever. I guarantee you privacy and will never send you any spam. Just an email from me when In the Hot Spot is updated. In the perfect world this would be daily but realistically it will probably be less often.
      3. You can unsubscribe at any time.

      Many thanks again for your comments and good luck with all your travel plans!

  2. Hey Annabel just wanted to say a big thank you for all your comments and links on twitter. You have inspired me to pick up my pen again and start writing down all the crazy ideas I have for stories, one of them is even starting to take form.
    Thanks again and keep up the great fun comments you have certainly helped me.
    Cheers 🙂

  3. Well well what an amazing character you are and what a fantastic life you’ve been leading. All those countries and all those experiences amazing and thoroughly enjoyed reading. My first time on a plane was two years ago on emigrating to the gold coast lol. I’ve never lived have I????
    Anyway just wanted to say hi and no doubt will be back a few times more yet to read some more of your adventures.

  4. I love your blog. Your stories are funny and intellectual. Your life has been full of adventure. Thank you for the inspiration that you bring and for all the great post you write.

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