Given that it's a filthy night in south west Scotland, this topic may seem like wishful thinking, or something, but watch this space, we are TEFL teachers, and some corners of the world seem to be recession- and cuts-proof.
Bougainvillea. I've always liked the name when I've encountered it in novels, but never grown it, or known anything about it. Nor in my times in hot places have I consciously noticed it. Getting to grips with the manifold varieties looks like a whole wee world, unto itself.
I like the idea of growing succulents, too, especially aloe vera, which would grow lovely and big in a hot dry climate. And cacti, of course, big time. Also drought resistant culinary herbs - sage for starters. Man, I'm telling you, I need a hoe in my hands and earth under my nails, this weather.