In some recent articles, I made the comment that I couldn’t see myself realistically speaking live in another part of the world outside of Latin America.
That for me…
It’s either Latin America or back home in the US.
Though it’d never be Iowa I don’t think – if I did move back, maybe some place like Texas or something.
Still, despite my skepticism about a life anywhere else in the world…
As I have written in recent articles, I have been taking an interest in what expats are like in places like China, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, etc.
Just to see what life is like over in these other parts from a foreigner perspective.
And it got me thinking – “based on what I am seeing, do any of these places look suitable for an expat life to me?”
To be fair, there are certain things that I feel I would want or need to consider ever moving to a new region. The fundamentals, as I see it, are the following at the very least:
- Possibility of gaining citizenship with reasonable requirements .
- A language in the country that wouldn’t be too hard to learn (probably something of European origin if we are being honest).
- Not too cold.
- Not expensive to live in (can’t be more than 1,500 USD a month for a good life but I’m also a bit minimalist so I’m flexible here).
- A country that isn’t strict on vices (meaning no super religious country that says no casual sex, no bars, etc).
- A place that isn’t too formal in structure (meaning not as formal as say Sweden in life).
- A place where just enough of the locals are white or white passing so that I don’t feel like an alien from mars (doesn’t mean I have to be in the racial majority. I just don’t want to be a literal alien to the local population).
- Ideally, the place isn’t too far from the US and not difficult to get to (sorry Kazakhstan).
- Ideally, there is some connection to that area that makes me interested in it beyond just having casual fun (a place like Russia or Saudi Arabia would fit in this one).
- Ideally, there’s enough countries close enough to the one I would relocate to that share the same language (Spanish speaking countries, Arabic speaking ones, etc).
This will be my armchair analysis crossing off places that I don’t see as suitable while giving the nod to other places.
Of course, this article will likely include a lot of ignorance about what other regions are like since I am doing some armchair analysis over here about what regions look suitable and which ones don’t.
So be kind with my analysis – it’s nothing more than a thought experiment.
But let’s dive into it.
Could I ever see myself living in Canada?
Makes no sense.
Literally the hat of the US.
They speak our language.
Seems very similar to my country as it is.
Why wouldn’t I just move back to the US instead of going through all of the hassle of moving to a country that is seemingly very much like my country?
Granted, I know some Canadians will find that offensive.
I know a Canadian guy named Doug from Nova Scotia area.
When back in Ohio, I’d tell him that “Canada seems too much like the US to me. I couldn’t live there.”
“It’s not the US. We’re a very different country. Our own culture! Different way of doing things.”
Eh, I don’t know.
Never been there but that’s what it looks like to me.
A very cold version of the US that I’d have to deal with bureaucratic rules to live in long term.
Plus, the exchange rate doesn’t seem as favorable as it does in Latin America.
So, all around, Canada doesn’t seem appealing.
Well, outside of the amazing nature they have in BC area that is supposedly like that in Chile.
Like you can see here.
That does look pretty dope.
Granted, couldn’t I get that in Washington State if it’s so close?
Eh, that’s an idea.
Anyway, no Canada for me. I’m sure it’s a nice country though.
I know nothing about Africa.
I know a little bit about South Africa…
Though, to be fair, everything I have ever heard about South Africa has literally been…
“It has poor infrastructure”
“They hate white people over there and want to take land from white farmers."
Like this South African guy here.
Those are the only things I’ve ever heard about that place from that video above and also anytime South Africa is mentioned on social media like Twitter.
Doesn’t sound like a fun place.
Being white myself, I fancy the idea of not being genocided.
Not really something I wake up wishing upon myself.
So, if they supposedly don’t treat white people very nicely there, why would I go?
Still, I could be wrong!
Maybe it’s all a fake hype and white people are actually greeted at the airport with a team of hot South Afircan women waiting to give us blowjobs.
If that was the case, I’d go right now!
But until such an offer is on the table, I’m afraid the bad publicity I’ve heard makes me hesitant about South Africa as a place to expat to.
Outside of South Africa?
Again, I have very little knowledge.
I’ve heard, on a brief occasion, that citizenship laws are much tougher in countries over there like Nigeria supposedly.
And, if I expat long term, I do want citizenship eventually.
Either way, the only other thing I’ve heard is that supposedly there’s more expats in Ethiopia than other parts of Afirca.
So maybe Ethiopia has something worthwhile.
After all, weren’t they badass enough to resist the Italians?
That’s pretty badass.
Sounds like a pretty cool country.
So, out of all of Africa, maybe Ethiopia is a winner.
I’d need to do more research to find out.
The Middle East
I’ve heard that Saudi Arabia won’t let you in unless you are Muslim or have a specific work contract that lets you stay a bit.
So I guess Saudi Arabia is out for me unless I want to be an English teacher or work as an engineer for the US State Department there like an uncle of mine was.
Also, supposedly you can’t drink in Saudi Arabia.
So Saudi Arabia is out then.
Then we have Iran – a country that war hawks in the US have wet dreams about bombing – so that’s a hard no.
Obviously, Iraq and Syria are a little bit out of my comfort zone.
I have heard Dubai is pretty dope though.
So we might have a winner there.
Though supposedly it is quite expensive so I’m doubtful.
I like cheap places to live in.
Anyway, when it comes to the Middle East, the only other place on my radar has been Lebanon.
I heard it can be violent though but still..
According to this video here, the party scene and the women in Lebanon are all around quite nice.
So that is tempting…
Just as long as Israel doesn’t get into a bombing campaign against Hezbollah or some shit..
It should be OK if I lived there.
Maybe not forever but for a few years for adventure and all.
So let’s cross some countries off the list here…
First, we have Germany. That’s a no. I never found German people to be enjoyable to hang out with.
Then we have France – I was in Paris. Once. I found the people there to be very cunt like. Granted, I’ve been told the rest of France is enjoyable. I could see that. Still, nothing about the country interests me.
England and Ireland? Actually, this doesn’t sound too bad. Well over 90% of my heritage dates back to Ireland and England. My dad has a photobook dating back with pictures to some random Irish farmer guy. So Ireland would be on my radar. Heritage and all that.
Plus, though I could be mistaken, but I think Ireland is cheaper than the rest of Europe, no? Cheap is good.
All around, a solid option!
Then we have Scandinavia – though I liked Finland a bit because of how calm and peaceful the capital was…
And it all around has plenty of nice scenery in the countryside…
I’d say no to the whole area.
Life there seems too formal.
The people seem very cold.
Then we have Belgium – I quite liked Belgium. Plenty of great beer options. People seemed friendly enough.
It’s close to Netherlands also – a good mix.
Then you have Poland – despite the cold, Poland seemed like an extremely fun place in Krakow. The best place I saw in Europe for getting wasted.
Granted, I couldn’t get wasted everyday if I lived there, could I?
Hah – what’s stopping me?
Anyway, it seemed like a good enough option despite the cold.
Fun place. Cheap. Not too formal.
Very cold people though. Was hard to “crack the locals” so to speak. Something I’d have to learn.
Anyway, the rest of Europe that I know about includes Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and I think that’s it.
All of those countries seemed very nice.
Greece was very impressive in how much I enjoyed Athens.
Lisbon in Portugal seemed like a city that I could enjoy quite a bit for long term living.
So, if I had to pick winners here for a place in Europe to move to…
It’d be, in no particular order, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Poland.
Of course, we are not including a ton of Europe like Romania, Montenegro, etc.
I know nothing about that part of Europe so it’d have to be something to learn.
Also, you have the rest of Eastern Europe – Ukraine, Belarus, etc.
Despite watching a few videos on Ukraine, I can’t really comment on this part of Europe either.
Would still need to learn more.
But the cold to me is a killer.
I mentioned that Poland could be an option but, if I’m being honest, probably not really.
I prefer somewhere warm.
All of Asia is a very hard no from me.
First, from what I have learned, supposedly it is very difficult to get citizenship in this part of the world…
And, supposedly, they keep changing their requirements for visas in different countries down there even when foreigners have spent years or decades in this part of the world.
Raising the bar so to speak for those who have already committed.
Either then they hit the bar or have to leave.
That’d tick me off.
So many years there and now you want me to leave?
I can’t become a citizen one day?
It’s in my interest to eventually get citizenship in another country and so this would discourage me heavily.
Plus, I want to speak the local language.
A lot of the languages over there – Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai – all seem too difficult.
I’m not sure I can get the proficiency needed to be very comfortable in any of those languages.
But I’m already very comfortable in Spanish and learning another language now seems like a pain in the ass to me than a fun opportunity.
The only other language I’d want to learn anyway, at this point in time, is Portuguese because of its relation to Brazil.
Plus, there’s other things about some of these countries that I’ve heard about but not sure if it’s true or not…
A friend of mine named Chris in college told me that it’s very common for people to spit on the floor and eat with their mouth open in China?
Not sure if it’s true but the “eating with the mouth open” would drive me insane.
I’d end up losing my shit if I had to live a daily life where that noise was common.
You’d see me on TV “deranged gringo attacks the locals in China.”
Plus, I’m not sure I’d fit into a culture where people emphasize so much the “not losing face” thing.
Still, I will be fair in saying that a life in China has been somewhat interesting to me.
But I’d end up like one of those foreigners who sticks around for a year or two before leaving.
I know I couldn’t last for more than a year in China.
But, being young now, it definitely seems like it would be a very fun and interesting experience if it was short lived.
Plus, if a Cold War were to ever intensify between the US and China, it would be cool to see China before that got so intense that going to China would be a riskier thing.
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
More Serious Thoughts
Still, this was all just a dumb armchair analysis in my free time.
Truthfully, I can’t see myself really relocating anywhere else outside of Latin America.
When looking at my fundamentals, I think, in hindsight, I was very lucky that I randomly chose Latin America to travel to.
Granted, I didn’t have as much of a choice when it started because most of the travel opportunities I saw in Ohio were for Latin America.
But I’m glad I didn’t get thrown to any other region because, in hindsight, I don’t think most other regions satisfy most of the “fundamentals” that I have listed in the top of the article.
So I can’t really see myself relocating to other parts of the world.
Lebanon? Not really.
China? For a year or two.
Ethiopia? Not at all interested.
Canada? Seems like a nice country but I feel Washington state can give me plenty of the similar outdoor scenery that I’d love from Canada without the bureaucratic mess of getting residency.
And I know I skipped some parts of the world – Kazakhstan, Australia, Indonesia, New Zeeland, etc.
Eh, whatever. I’m not interested in those places.
It’s like Africa to me – I don’t know anything about them and I don’t have any connections to those areas either that would make me want to relocate there.
And the word “connections” is the key here when talking seriously about relocating somewhere longer term than just a year.
Truthfully, to make it work long term in a country, I feel like you’d have to be interested in something deeper in the country.
It’s history, culture, etc.
Have some connection there.
I actually do have some family that lives in Spain right now.
Ireland has the roots thing.
So, being honest, if I was to relocate somewhere else, it’d probably be Ireland, Spain or Portugal.
Maybe Greece because I liked my short visit there by quite a bit but I’m not confident on that one.
So Ireland, Spain, Portugal or Greece.
Or back home to the US.
Or, most likely, just stay in Latin America.
I actually have no interest at all in relocating to any other region.
Still, having said that, I again wouldn’t mind at all visiting other regions.
I do have an interest in places like Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Russia, Iran, etc.
It’d be very cool to visit this places and see what it’s like for a brief period.
And, in the future, I do plan on taking trips around the world outside of Latin America.
But I have to prioritize my time.
I have a deeper interest in getting even deeper below the surface of what various parts of Latin America are like.
To visit even more obsecure and interesting places that most people don’t talk about.
In large part because I have more connections and a deeper interest in this part of the world than others.
So while I would like and do plan on visiting other regions of the world…
Latin America will always be only other place outside of home that I can see myself settling down in and is the place where I plan on investing always more of my energy digging deeper into.
So this was all, as I said, just a thought experiment.
This will likely be my last article talking about “other parts of the world” outside of Latin America since this is a website dedicated to Latin America specifically.
But what do you think?
Any part of the world that you could see yourself hypothetically live in outside of Latin America?
Drop a comment below.
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And thanks for reading.