If you’ve travelled the world at any great length, there’s undoubtedly that one special place you passed through that you fell in love with and said to yourself, “I could live here”. Packing your life into boxes and moving halfway across the world can be a daunting prospect, but knowing you’ve made the right choice to begin with when it comes to location can make the whole thing a little bit easier. Here are five places we’d drop everything and pack our bags for in a heartbeat.
With over 40% of Australia’s residents either born overseas or born of a parent who was born overseas, it’s no surprise to hear that Australia is a multicultural and vibrant place to be. Many people make the move to Australia in search of a better quality of life for themselves and their children, and being an English-speaking country, it’s an ever-popular choice.
Wages in Sydney are comparatively higher than in many countries, disposable income is greater, general work-life balance is tilted in your favour and many people have reported improvements in their health since making the move. If the financial and wellbeing benefits aren’t enough, then just think of the laid-back lifestyle you could lead in a country where deserts, mountains, white sand beaches and crystal waters all live in perfect harmony.
Greece is nothing short of a paradise location to call home. With average lows of 11 degrees, the agreeable climate coupled with pristine beaches make Greece an enticing option for those who seek the sunshine. Weather aside, the country boasts a fascinating history that spans back to ancient times. With archaeological sites and rolling countryside clad with olive groves on your doorstep and a food and wine culture that promotes only the finest and freshest- it’s no wonder people choose to make this home.
Greece is formed of 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas, making it a haven for those who wish to make the most of the med and spend their time island hopping. Although the Greek economy has taken a series of knocks in recent years, there couldn’t be a better time to invest in luxury homes in Greece, with the economy’s prospects picking up month by month. This is one for the retired couple or the work-from-home adventurers out there.
Cast aside any preconceptions you might have of Hong Kong as a brightly lit, smoggy city, because in reality, the city is bursting with green spaces, craggy peaks for hiking, epic views and remote beaches for lazy days. Taxes are low here, the public transport system is incredibly efficient (and cheap), English is widespread and property is in demand but met with equally high supply. Oh, and did we mention that wages are generally considered higher here?
Hong Kong is home to a thriving expat community, making settling down in this one-of-a-kind city no big deal, with a sea of friendly faces on hand to help. Many expat families choose to move here as raising children in the city is made easier by the fact that live-in helpers are offered to families. If you’re looking for a life spent in the fast lane that’s met with equal reward, Hong Kong is the one for you.
New Zealanders not only mirror the laid back culture advocated by neighbouring Australia, but they also promote a healthy work-life balance, ensuring NZ is voted as one of the top places to live in the world year-on-year. Neither island is nearly half as populated as any other western country, yet both enjoy western culture and an advanced economy. New Zealand has the power to magnetise expats from all over the world with its epic scenery alone.
Soaring mountains clad with spectacular glaciers can be found on the south island, whilst hot springs and pristine, sandy beaches can be found on the north island, making this one of the most diverse countries on earth. New Zealand can offer the opportunity to get ahead in many career fields, as due to the size of the population, competition is limited.
Office workers the world over have been turning green with envy at the mere mention of the six-hour work day that was recently introduced in many cities around Sweden. The work-life balance is a big deal here, but the benefits don’t stop there. The number of paid days off per year clock in at a minimum of five weeks, not forgetting that if you’re raising kids you’re entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave shared between both parents.
And when they’re all grown up, you can be safe in the knowledge that education in Sweden is free to all EU citizens. Winters may be cold, but they are beyond beautiful. Ski, play ice hockey and make your local bar one made of ice!
Did I miss anywhere? Let me know your best places to live as an expat!