Best Countries For Expats Part 2
“You are never too old to set another goal, or dream a new dream.” C.S.Lewis
Australia seems like a perfect place to live – beautiful weather, shrimp on the barbie and kangaroos. Australians speak English and they are friendly and helpful. They have good health care and the outdoor lifestyle is similar to California. Australian TV is like American not British TV. Some of the natural beauty, plants and wildlife are only indigenous to Australia. Sporting events are easy to find but outside of Sydney and Melbourne, theatre and ballet are scarce. There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia. Finding creepy crawly things in your home is common. I can not picture myself eating or offering a vegemite sandwich. The cost of living like in New Zealand is very high. Flying back to America is expensive and a long flight. LIving so far away, I will miss my friends and family and a lot of events here.
Costa Rica feels like California with a rainforest. It has a steady democracy that spends its money on education instead of the military, A million Americans visit every year, and they have put those dollars back into infrastructure — reliable airports, deluxe highways, huge conservation districts — that make the country easy to get around and easy to enjoy. It has volcanoes, mountains and beaches. It is closer to the US than other countries we are considering which makes travel easier. My Spanish would definitely improve. Crime is a problem. If you have nice stuff or appear to have nice stuff, someone will try to steal it. There are no addresses, so if you need something mailed down, you might have to wait for a friend to bring it in a suitcase. Tourist visas are a cinch but residency can be slow going for anyone who’s not working for a big company. Foreigners have already snatched up most of the property bargains.
Warm weather, great food and “La Dolce Vita” are all good reasons to move to Italy. Every Italian city is basically a huge museum with historic buildings on every corner. The midday siesta is still a thing which is great for me because I can nap anywhere at 3:00 PM. Real estate prices are good for Americans though many of those old beautiful houses are “fixer uppers”. Italy is not the best country for people who like big cars. It is easier to navigate the narrow cobblestone streets with a small car or motorbike. The cost of living in the cities is expensive but there are many towns that aren’t. The health care system is good and if you can get into the public system, good healthcare is free.
Living in Spain sounds like a dream. I imagine a sunny climate, natural beauty, cobblestone streets with flamenco music playing in the background, while I sip sangria and eat tapas at a local bar. The cost of living is lower than other parts of Europe. Things move slowly in Spain. When going to the post office, bank, restaurants and shops expect to wait. Spanish bureaucracy is notoriously slow. The regional politics are complicated and everything shuts down in the afternoon. Don’t plan on getting anything done in August. The whole country is at the beach.
Israel’s economy is very strong and the standard of living is high. There is amazing food and beautiful weather as well. Any Jew can move to Israel freely. Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the cost of real estate is high. English is widely spoken here and health care is great. For a small strip of land, the cultures in different areas are diverse.We have already spent a month living in Tel Aviv so I know I could do it. Everybody smokes which is a problem for me. Everything is closed from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown so that takes some getting used to. Sunday is Monday. Living in Israel is living in constant fear of terrorist attacks. Lately living in America is the same with constant fear of random shootings.
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