T Nation

Places to Live Around the World?

My husband and I will finish our BAs next spring and he will finish his MA in counseling two years from now. (I as well wish to complete the same but at what time depends on our goals and when we decide to have children, which at this point is undetermined.)

We are considering living in another country, possibly English speaking (we have friends from NZ and like the culture), but not necessarily (he has a decent knowledge of Spanish and has spent some time in South America; myself of French and German); and we both are quick studies, who enjoy learning of different cultures and languages. We both have a sense of adventure and wanderlust and are open for pretty much anything.

So, from both people who do live in other countries and cultures, and those who are North Americans familiar with other countries and cultures, can we get some input on the good and the bad on places to live around the world?

To clarify, we’re not talking about permanency. We’ve moved five times in six years and enjoy seeing new places. But on the other hand, we might be happy to settle in a place we loved.

Thailand was pretty awesome. Apparently, most places you can get away with english and a tiny bit of common Thai. It was cheap as hell, too.

Highly recommended. Make sure to travel around to different places in the country, if you do.

Well I’ve lived both in Hong Kong and Australia so far. I’m only 22 and left HK as a kid so take my experiences with due skepticism.

HK was a great place to live as an expat. Tight, friendly community, amazing pay, vibrant social scene. There are loads of islands around great for beaches etc and flights to all parts of SE asia are cheap and frequent.

The downsides are you will work long, hard hours (not unique to HK obviously), space is at a premium (pokey flats, fuck all parkland) and you will adjust to the pampering and silver platter lifestyle and likely suffer culture shock when you leave the shelter of expat life. Great place for young kids (good schools, lots of different nationalities etc.) but it does distort reality a little when everything comes so easy.

I now live in Perth on the west coast of Australia. Loads of kiwi’s migrate over to Aus due to better pay + working conditions. It’s hard to beat if you’re into camping, 4WDing, the beach, watersports etc. There are more parks in this city than I have ever experienced. It is a great place to bring up kids - safe, clean city with a massive sports culture. The climate is pretty much perfect here - mild winters and long hot, but dry, summers. Probably close to Californian.

Cost of living here is relatively high when wages are taken into account and the tax system is convoluted and high, with multiple levels of taxation. The social/nightclub scene is average and the city really is not sure if it is a country town or a true city. The cost of housing has pretty much tripled in the past 10 years and the rental market is cutthroat and saturated thanks to the resource boom we are supposedly having (great for miners, shit for everyone else).

So Perth is great if you are into the outdoors or want to raise a family, shit for socialites and relatively expensive. Despite what I’ve written I really enjoy living here on account of the climate and laidback nature of Aussies.