These are the Top 10 Countries to Live in According to Expats

Expats are everywhere nowadays. Businesses expand abroad more than ever and like to bring in clever, hardworking foreigners who seek adventure and a change of scene. Expat Insider did some extensive research and looked at several topics such as; Quality of Life, easy to settle, personal finance, family life, cost of living etc. We also did some research ourselves by asking around in several Expat groups on Facebook, and these are the combined results!

10. Oman
This country may not come to mind immediately, but according to many expats around the world, it’s a good place to live. Oman is a safe country with a low crime rate, so it’s a particularly good environment to raise young children. Accommodation is usually included within an employment contract, which is also a big plus. Downside; it can be very very hot, so hard to move around.

oman

9. New Zealand
If you scoop around the internet, you see mixed results for New Zealand, and sometimes you don’t even find it in the top ten anymore, but we did a little of research on our own and discovered that many of you actually enjoy working in New Zealand. Yes, it’s expensive, but wages are good, the quality of life is (stunning nature for one!), and friendly people.

Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or see the opposite.

8. Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Everybody speaks English, there is a comfortable way of living and settling in is (fairly) easy. Those were some of the reasons why Amsterdam made it to the top ten. Downside; The Netherlands has one of the highest tax rates of Europe, but on the flipside, The country has also been ranked as one of the places where people are the happiest.


Amsterdam, still popular with expats

7. Costa Rica
It’s sunny, the people are friendly and life is easy according to expats around the world. Costa Rica is popular amongst expats, but they didn’t make it further up the list because they didn’t score very high when it comes to personal finance. If you live there it’s fine, but is it a place to make future plans? Many expats didn’t think so.

Costa Rica
We can see why people like Costa Rica

6. Denmark
No surprise that yet another Scandinavian country tops off a good-place-to-live list. Expats voted Denmark in the top three last year, and after talking to

5. Czech Republic (Prague)
Surprisingly, Prague scored poorly on settling in (such as making new friends, speaking the language), but scored really high on work-living and urban-living. Prague seems to be a great place to make a career, or at least use it as a stepping stone.

Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English.

Prague
Pretty Prague is doing pretty well

4. Mexico
It’s funny, because we keep hearing more and more people in our direct circle of friends, talking about moving to Mexico. Why? More than half of the people asked, give friendliness of locals highest rating. Cancún is the most popular city to live in, with Playa del Carmen and Tulum close behind. Mexico may not be the safest place, so people tend to be extra careful.

3. Ecuador
Surprise surprise, this country made a huuuuge comeback. We did hear that Equador was doing well a few years back, but dropped back in the list. Four out of five expats say that there is a good financial balance and that the way of living is good. (I’m sure the good weather also helps)


Pink walls in Ecuador

My favorite place to work and live would be on the Moon, coz humans are the worst living parasites. -Unknown Expat

2. Taiwan
Coming in at number 2 is Taiwan! Most expats asked, rated this country as having good healthcare, job security and quality of life.

Taiwan City
Taiwan from Elephant Mountain

1. Bahrain (Manama)
It’s a clear winner! In case you don’t have a clue; Bahrain is located just above Quatar and part of the Arabian Gulf. It’s capital, Manama, scores really good on urban work life. The city shows generally good results in both the Job & Career and the Work-Life Balance subcategories of Expat Insider. It’s also a popular place to live for expat families.

So there you have it, the Expat top 10! What’s your favorite place to work and live, and why?

Love,

Wander-Lust

 

 

Interview » From corporate life to adventure in Ecuador

Ever felt like making a completely new start? Leaving the good-old familiarity behind and follow your hunger for adventure? Rebecca Braak, owner of Ecua Horse Rides and Rebecca Adventure Travel, took the challenge and did exactly that. She followed her heart and moved to the sunnier side of the planet. New places, new people, new possibilities, new everything. It’s the ultimate out-of-your-comfortzone-challenge. The human version of rebooting your system.

I asked her 7 questions on how she made it work. From corporate KLM in Amsterdam to her own travel company in Ecuador, from rain to sunshine and routine to absolute happiness. Read and learn!

When did you come up with the idea of living in Ecuador?
Immediately after my MBA graduation I got a wonderful position at my dream company KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines. I had a good job, great colleagues a nice house in Amsterdam and of course my friends. Everything was going well, but something very important was missing in my life; Horses! Life is short, so I decided the change had to be made right away. I decided to take 3 months off and looked for a place in the world where I could volunteer with horses. After spending some time on google I found a ranch where they could use some help with the training of horses, so I took my chance and a couple of weeks later I left to Ecuador to work on a horse ranch in the middle of the Andes.


Rebecca when she was little

You turned your hobby into a travel agency, how did you come up with this idea and how did you make it work?
I just decided to follow my heart and tried to build my life on the other side of the world. I had to earn money and therefore I decided to organize horseback-riding tours for the KLM staff who were having a 48 hour break in Quito. I bought a jeep and every day I sold the tours to guide them the next day. I really thought this was my dream job; horseback riding every day with new people through the beautiful Andes. But I did miss the business aspects and the dynamic which I experienced when I was working for KLM. Therefore, I decided to create two websites where guests could book tours online. Her website ecuahorserides.com became a hit and I can now proudly say I am an official tour operator in Quito.

With offering my tours in Latin America I hope that I can carry out this happiness that I experience in Ecuador to others. – Rebecca Braak

Was it hard for you to leave your comfort zone and start a new adventure overseas?
I can not say that it has always been easy and there were definitely moments that I would have loved to pack my stuff and go back home with the first KLM flight, but I am happy that I pushed through. Sometimes I realize how much luck I have had to have this chance and how happy I am that I went on with it.

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What are the positive and negative aspects of living in South America?
It is a lot easier for me to recall the positive sides of living in Ecuador then the negative ones. Living here is a lot more relaxed than in Holland. The nature is beautiful, it has a great culture to discover, the people are very friendly and you have got to love the Latin American music. One of the biggest negative aspects of living in Ecuador would probably be the poverty and the fact it can be dangerous at times. In the Netherlands you can go anywhere, anytime by yourself on your bike, in Quito you should be way more careful at night.

Ecuador
The colors of Ecuador

Which sights or activities (beyond the tourist traps) would you recommend when going on holiday to Ecuador?
Stay as long as you can and see as much as you can. Absolute must visits are the Amazon, the Galapagos, the beaches and the volcanoes. If you like hiking you will definitely enjoy the peace and quietness of the nature around Quito.

Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Of course I have times in which I really miss my friends and family. Mainly when things are not going that well. Of course Skype, email and WhatsApp make it far more easy to stay in touch. Although it not the same as being home, it definitely helps. During bad days it helps me to realize I probably also would have had a bad day if I would have been in Holland.

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Making new friends

And finally, do you have any tips for readers that are considering moving abroad?
Maybe this doesn’t sound that original, but I would strongly recommend to ‘follow your heart’. If you really feel like doing it, nothing should stop you. Don’t forget you will always have your save base in Holland where you can fall back on. I truly believe it is better to regret something you did than regret something you did not do.

Rebecca’s story tells us we should never silence our hearts or let fear control it. With the right mindset, anything is possible. So, are you inspired yet?

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

Top 5 » Countries to live in (if you ever think about moving)

If you’re planning to leave your hometown and find your luck somewhere else then you should check this list.
What countries are best to live in if you want to live abroad? 

1. Australia
This country has it all. Beaches, Rain forest, Cities and even a Desert. Besides that, the temperature is always good and the Aussi life is easy to adapt to. 4 out of 5 expats say that it’s easy to become acquaint to the Aussi life. No health issues, good food (a lot of choice!) and a buzzing nightlife is what makes this country so popular to live in. Besides that, Australia is one of the safest countries to live in because of their water tight immigration rules. 
The only downside is, that it’s very difficult to get a permanent visa. In order to get one, you need a company by your side, an Australian husband or next of kin family. But who are we to stop you? You can always visit Australia on a working holiday visa or as a student. Check here for more tips and stories about Australia.
www.australia.gov.au

Australia is one of the best countries

2. Ecuador
This country has been on top of the list for the last 2 years (according to Forbes) and we understand why.
Low cost of living combined with strong real estate values, makes this place very attractive to live. Ecuador has lovely scenery, secluded beaches and lovely temperatures. The food is amazing and even at a high class restaurant you won’t pay more than 50 euro’s for 2 people. (drinks included!)
www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador

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“More people living in other countries than ever, says UN study”

3. Denmark
Crazy but it has zero crime rates, murder, no corruption, and stability in economic growth, quality life, etc. All these things made it as one of the best, happiest and safest countries to live in the world. Nearly 18 weeks of paid leave is given to mothers and 79 percent of women are working which is comparatively higher than other countries. People in this country are more concerned about their environment and they follow excellent health care system. Let’s move to Denmark!
www.denmark.dk

Volunteer Work in Denmark
Source: www.oneworld365.org

4. Sweden
Another Scandinavian country. This time it’s Sweden.  They just introduced a 6 hour working day so if that doesn’t already makes a person happy, you should read on. They give you 16 months of to spent that time with your newborn baby, so it is the best place for women where they get safety and they can see their child grown up. Besides this, you can breath fresh air and visit amazing beautiful places.
www.sweden.se

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5. The Netherlands
Now, I know what you’re thinking but no, we didn’t just add our homeland onto this list for no reason. Our education and healthcare is top notch and the Dutch enjoy the ultimate freedom of speech. You can bring your lovely dog pretty much everywhere and everybody speaks English. If you ever decide to move over to The Netherlands, drop us a line for some inside tips! 🙂
www.government.nl

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Love,

Elke

 For more Top 5 treasures check: