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Where in the world to live if not in America
A continuous joke during the election season was that Americans would be moving to Canada if Donald Trump was miraculously elected. When Trump won, the Canadian Immigration website crashed only hours after the results were announced.
However, as great as Canada is, there are better, and more affordable options for people wanting to live outside the U.S. for one year, or for life.
- Vienna, Austria, and Prague, Czech Republic
These two cities popped up again and again on surveys as the best places to live. The cities are roughly half as expensive as living in San Diego, California. With most of the urban parts of both countries fluent in English, it isn’t a struggle to get around and communicate with locals. The locals are familiar with tourists and they are happy to help you too. However, finding accommodation can be a struggle, because it is often solely in Czech or German when advertised, and will require some understanding of the language.
- Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia
Australia is listed time and time again as a great place to live if you are an international employee. People come for the climate, beaches, and the ability to speak English with everyone. There are also a host of innovative teaching styles practiced down under for those with children. Aussies are also rated as one of the nicest groups of people to get to know, so making friends won’t be an issue. Unfortunately, though, property prices are soaring – especially in Auckland where property is almost as expensive as living in Seattle or San Francisco.
- Bangkok, Thailand, and Singapore
Thailand is known as the “land of smiles” and hosts of expats agree. Living there is fairly cheap as $600 a month can get you a “furnished apartment in a high-rise complex, with a pool, sauna, and on-site gym.” Added bonuses are the fact that both nations excel in the digital sectors of employment and in real estate development. A variety of “new” money millionaires have emerged from Singapore in recent years from real estate empires. It is good that it is so cheap, because foreign nationals are not allowed to own property in Thailand and companies are hesitant to give long-term visas due to hiring laws in the country. If nothing else, you can at least count on the ability to visit the rest of Southeast Asia during your stay.
- Montevideo, Uruguay, and Lima, Peru
Both of these cities make the highlight reel for best South American cities to live in. They are destinations for tourists interested in adventure and food, beach lovers, and travelers who work in business. Both countries are safe havens despite the somewhat unruly political landscape of nearby nations. Another plus is that Uruguay and Peru allow foreigners to own land and become citizens.
Lima is famous for its food scene and has bragged about how it “cultivates 5,000 different kinds of potatoes,” which is just the tip of the iceberg.
Montevideo has a world class national soccer team to watch, incredible beaches, and employment opportunities galore. The downside is that in order to have any chance of working there, Spanish must be a second language, or as close to fluent as possible. And there are the occasional pick pockets floating around the bustling city centers looking for a quick snag.
- Vancouver and Toronto Canada
For those who are looking for something a little closer to home, Canada answers the call with aplomb. Healthcare is affordable, people are friendly, they speak English, and you can still make it back to home for a weekend getaway. This nation scores highly on every single test regarding international employment. There are plenty of opportunities for those with in-demand skills to make a comfortable living. Unfortunately, though, it’s becoming more and more expensive to live in Canada due to foreign company real estate investments driving up prices. And Canadians are fans of hiring from within, so certain opportunities are harder to come by as an outsider.
This is just a snapshot of the total data that’s been collected by different firms and survey institutions. Each place will suit one individual better than another. Africa and the Middle East aren’t listed because there aren’t enough Americans living abroad there for the surveys to be valid though Cape Town, South Africa and Dubai showed up in the top 100 places to live. As with everything, the most important part of finding the right fit is doing research beforehand and ensuring that it will be a beneficial place to invest time and money into.