Living abroad is amazing and we share the best places to live in the world, depending on what lifestyle you are looking for.
We have lived in China and now Bangkok, and we are happy to say that living abroad is awesome! We love Thailand, it has everything we want right now. We spoke to other expats around the world and have made a list of the best places to live in the world.
Every traveller has had the dream – the idea of upping sticks and living somewhere else. Those itchy feet always have us wanting to explore new cultures, discover amazing landscapes and perhaps even learn a new language.
Why live abroad?
For some, living abroad may seem like a dream whilst others may think it is a crazy, reckless decision. After living abroad for 5 years and counting, we can promise you that there are many advantages to living abroad:
- New Culture – No matter where you move to, you will find a different culture to that of where you live. This makes life exciting and interesting whilst teaching you a new way of looking at things.
- Different people – By moving to a different country, you can build relationships with different people from around the world. This will give you a new perspective whilst helping you grow and become more accepting of others.
- Job opportunities – One reason many people move is for job opportunities. As a teacher in the UK, I wasn’t enjoying my job and the workload that comes with teaching in England. By moving to international schools abroad, I have a much better work/life balance and love my job and school.
- Cost of living – Many people decide to move because of the cost of living. If you can work remotely, moving to a cheaper country will help you save a lot of money. For example, Eastern Europe is a lot more affordable than the UK, so making here will help you have a better lifestyle whilst saving money.
Types of jobs abroad
There are plenty of jobs that can help you move abroad, in fact, we have a whole working abroad interview series with expats from around the world.
Here are just a few examples:
- Teaching – Whether it is teaching English or working at international schools, every country in the world needs teachers. This is the route I have taken as a primary school teacher and there are a lot of options out there for teachers. English teachers need to take a TEFL course and can then apply for jobs abroad.
- Cruise workers – Apply for a job on a cruise to travel whilst you work. A popular starting position is in customer service or children’s entertainment.
- Digital Nomad – Running your own business or brand online is a great way to earn money and work anywhere in the world. This can take time, so build your business to be earning a decent income before packing up your bags.
- Ski instructor – Particularly amazing at skiing? You can teach others to ski at certain times of the year.
- An International Aid Worker – Look for humanitarian work options with international organisations such as United Nations, Amnesty International, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
Find jobs abroad on Overseas jobs and choose what works best for you.
The natural connection: Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is a backpacker favourite and has long been known as an adventure sports haven. It is also quickly becoming a favourite for those seeking a little more peace and natural beauty.
With just 16,000 people living on the town, overpopulation and crowding are rarely an issue. Unofficially the area is known as the ‘Southern Lakes’, and the proximity of Lake Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu and Lake Hawea mean that you’ll never run out of fishing, sailing, boating, swimming and diving activities.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and some of the most impressive natural scenery in the world, Queenstown is an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Big city lights: Melbourne, Australia
Not everyone seeks quiet and nature, and if you’re looking to move to Australia for a busier social life, then Melbourne is the city for you. It’s known for its energetic nightlife and great work prospects.
Living in Melbourne is made easier with 24-hour public transport, as well as incredibly friendly local people always ready to welcome a newcomer. The Central Business District is one of the best food, drink and party locations; if you’re seeking craft beer, trendy wine bars or fruity cocktails, the CBD is the place to head be.
Culture all around: Toronto, Canada
As well as being a city much loved for its welcoming people and multicultural vibes, Toronto is famous for its thriving entertainment scene too. You’ll find the epicentre of the Canadian theatre and film industry here, with the Toronto International Film Festival and the third largest theatre district in the world.
The Church & Wellesley area (sometimes called the Gay Village) hosts a lot of the theatres and music venues in the city. You can also find places like the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District, within the Soulpepper creative space.
Quality of life: Vienna, Austria
According to the Mercer Quality of Life Survey, Vienna took the number one spot as the most liveable city in 2019, and has done for the last nine years.
Quality of life is so good here because of the mix of spectacular European architecture, friendly people, job opportunities and all of this with a strong community feel where people look after each other. The 3rd and 4th Districts are known for being calm but with some soul, and are good candidates for the best places to live in Vienna.
Jobs, jobs, jobs: Singapore, Republic of Singapore
The business environment in Singapore is fast-moving and never stops. This is a great city to move to for work, with relaxed visa opportunities as well as a 90 per cent satisfaction rate for foreign workers in the city. Moving to Singapore opens up a host of employment options, as well as some of the best services.
Business is booming in the city, with the second fastest growing economy in the world and some of the highest salaries around. The highly regarded educational and medical system means family life doesn’t get left behind either. With that in mind, Singapore may well be the perfect family destination for an international move.
Digital nomad heaven: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is famous for its fun party scene on the islands, as well as being a fantastic place to taste new food, meet new people and learn more about yourself. The digital nomad scene in northern city Chiang Mai is one of the strongest in the world, with incredibly low costs and a multicultural and fast-moving social scene. Plus, there are plenty of things to see and do in Chiang Mai to keep you busy in your downtime.
High speed internet is easy to find, apartments are cheap and plenty of female nomads consider it a very safe place to live and work. It’s also a great hub from which to explore the rest of south-east Asia.
There are many cities and beach destinations in Thailand that make for a great home for digital nomads; we find a lot of expats love to live in Bangkok because of the cheap flights to South East Asia and the ongoing things to do in Bangkok.
Family-friendly life: Copenhagen, Denmark
It might not be the cheapest city in the world, but when it comes to family life, Copenhagen is hard to beat. With a population of around 800,000, the city sits in the sweet spot of close to one million people, where you avoid feeling like a mindless ant in a colony, but still get all the big-city benefits.
Everyone cycles around the city; in fact, bikes outnumber cars, and the population is healthy and happy. Salaries are high, almost everyone speaks English and there are 24-hour bus and metro lines. Moving to Copenhagen might be the best decision your family makes.
Make the most of your money: Medellin, Colombia
Known as the City of Flowers, Medellin may have some fame as a narco-city thanks to its wayward son Pablo Escobar, but that is long in the past. In 2013 it was named the ‘Most Innovative City in the World’ by the Wall Street Journal, and life in Medellin is cheap, fun and energetic.
The El Poblado and Laureles areas are the most popular for expats moving abroad, with steep hills and charming terracotta buildings. You’ll see farmer’s markets, street food, dancing and colour wherever you go, and you’ll never have to spend much.
Foodie heaven: Bilbao, Spain
The Basque Country region is famed for its food, with a seemingly endless list of Michelin star venues to enjoy. The Uribarri district is one of the best places to live in Bilbao if you love good food. It’s packed with bars, restaurants and locals enjoying life.
As with many Spanish cities, the quality of life is high, prices are relatively low and the culture is relaxed. Fish and seafood are famous in the city, and the Old Quarter of the city is historical, beautiful and full of incredible cuisine.
Living the local life: Eguisheim, France
Moving to a foreign city or country doesn’t necessarily mean finding a large city. Plenty of expats moving abroad do so to get away from relentless rat race that can sometimes come with city living. The village of Eguisheim in the Haut-Rhin region of France is the perfect place to escape it all and has been incorporated in France’s official list of the country’s most beautiful villages.
The fairytale town is full of cobbled streets, medieval architecture and great food. A little time spent here and you’ll feel like your life is like a scene from The Beauty and the Beast.
The world is full of incredible, inspirational and unique destinations to move to. If you’re thinking about relocating, there’s a place for everyone. It all depends on what matters to you, whether that’s a safe environment and friendly locals or top tier education or low cost of living.
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- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.