Living in Another Country: Best & Worst Places To Live Permanently

So you have the itch to live in another country but don’t know where?

Here’s my list of the best and worst places to live.

If you’re going to travel all that way, you might as well LOVE the place.

1. Ubud, Bali

I call this place my ‘lover’ – This is the yardstick I measure all other places by

ubudbali

Stayed here: 1 year

This is currently my favourite place in the world. The place has a mix of staunch entrepreneurs and ‘eat pray love’ hippies. This balance means that you can walk out onto the street and people will actively want to meet you. There events going on constantly. I learnt here not to be surprised by anything anymore.

 

  • Cost: You can live here with as little as $700/month 90%
  • Wifi: Wifi is as good as 10mbps so not amazing. The place isn’t conducive to getting a lot of work done. It’s often very hot and there’s loads of events on. 60%
  • Lifestyle: Events are on all the time. Not only are there top-notch entrepreneurial events, there are also ‘hippy’ events on all the time that allows you to not take yourself so seriously 90%
  • Comfort: Mosquitoes are terrible and Dengue is commonplace. Healthcare is decent and cheap. 40%
  • Distance: Ubud is a small place so getting to events and friends takes less than 10 minutes. 90%
  • Friendship Difficulty: You can walk down the street and make friends. This is the friendliest city I’ve ever been to 90%

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

I call this place my ‘friends with benefits’

chiangmaithailand

Stayed here: 3 months
Chiang Mai is the most comfortable place I’ve ever been to. This place doesn’t make me to love it but it makes me feel so comfortable that I’ll keep coming back.

 

  • Cost: You can live here with as little as $700/month 90%
  • Wifi: Wifi is amazing at 20mbph. The place allows for a lot of productivity 90%
  • Lifestyle: There are a lot of entrepreneurial events going on all the time 60%
  • Comfort: The most comfortable city I’ve ever been to. Healthcare is good. Not many mosquitoes 70%
  • Distance: If you live where most nomads live, Nimman, you’ll find everything nearby. 90%
  • Friendship Difficulty: People don’t make eye contact on the street here and everyone seems too busy for connections outside of events 60%

3. Koh Lanta, Thailand

I call this place ‘that bipolar friend’

kohlantathailand

Stayed here: 1 month

Koh Lanta has a small enough nomad community to make real friendships and it has a beach. The beach is however terrible half of the year and accomodation is expensive for short term. When it’s good, it’s awesome. When it’s terrible it’s cyclones and waves trying to eat you alive.

 

  • Cost: More expensive than other South-East Asian Cities 60%
  • Wifi: Wifi is amazing at 20mbph. The coworking space there is very good 90%
  • Lifestyle: There’s not a lot of events but things are going in regularly. There’s lots of opportunities to hike and see amazing views 60%
  • Comfort: Comfort is not predictable. The weather can be very hot and very cold. The area is not greatly westernised either (squat toilets) 40%
  • Distance: To get to friends and events is very easy. There’s one very long road. 90%
  • Friendship Difficulty: People are friendly here but much more reserved than other places 60%

4. Medellin, Colombia

I call this place ‘the blind date’

medellincolombia

Staying here currently: 2 months (intended to stay 6 months_
We didn’t love the place as much as we hoped. The huge buildings and beautiful skyline make it seem safe but it just doesn’t feel super safe. We saw a topless man being dragged by someone across the street. No one said anything like this was normal. I’ve heard what sounds like gunshots at night and muggings happen even in Poblado where most Digital Nomads live. Plus if you don’t Spanish like me, it’s very difficult to make friends and get around. This place was not what we expected.

 

  • Cost: More expensive than South-East Asia. Around $1000/month minimum 60%
  • Wifi: Wifi is terrible in some places and amazing in others 70%
  • Lifestyle: There are a lot of entrepreneurial events going on all the time 60%
  • Comfort: Weather is moderate all the time. Healthcare is top-notch. Not many mosquitoes 90%
  • Distance: There’s 2 big areas and they’re both quite far from each other. Travelling around is a hassle 40%
  • Friendship Difficulty: Very difficult to make friends so far. Most locals speak Spanish and most expats keep in their own friendship clusters 40%

5. Sydney, Australia

I call this place ‘my ex’

sydneyaustralia

Stayed here: >20 years 
This is the place where I grew up. I was almost not going to include this in the list but I realised it’s important to judge this place to the others that I have been to, even if it’s only a way to appreciate the places I am right now.

 

  • Cost: Ridiculously expensive. Difficult to live here for less than $2000 a month 20%
  • Wifi: Wifi is not as great as other western countries. However, like all western countries it does motivate you to get work done 60%
  • Lifestyle: Entrepreneurial events happening all the time but they tend to require travelling and time investment 60%
  • Comfort: Weather is really hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Healthcare is top-notch. Not many mosquitoes. Great comfort if you’re willing to pay 60%
  • Distance: Travelling is a huge hassle even though public transport is available. 40%
  • Friendship Difficulty: Very difficult to make friends. Most people keep to their own friendship clusters. Not very friendly 40%

6. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

I call this place ‘beautiful but empty’.

puertoplatadominicanrepublic

Stayed here: 2 weeks (intended to stay 3 months)
Place was beautiful, Internet was terrible. It became a nightmare to get anything done. We couldn’t wait to leave. Biggest lesson we learnt was not to deviate from Nomad hotspots of we want the kind of comfort to get work done. Great place for a holiday, that’s all.

 

  • Cost: More expensive than South-East Asia. Around $1000/month minimum 60%
  • Wifi: Wifi is terrible even in hotels 20%
  • Lifestyle: Community very unactive 20%
  • Comfort: Weather was ok. Lots of mosquitoes. Issues with hot water and electricity 20%
  • Distance: Travelling was a huge hassle. Worst place to drive in the world. 20%
  • Friendship Difficulty: Mostly older American retirees living there. Young people only there in holiday 20%

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