When you’re the kind of person who loves to travel so much that you go straight into teaching English overseas in order to get some travel into your work, then you’re probably also the kind of person who could easily make the transition to being an expat on a more permanent basis. But just as you probably arrived at TEFL by researching the best travel jobs out there, you know that not all destinations are created equally when it comes to living there, either.
Many of the best locations to become an expat rose to the top of this list not because of how popular they are as vacation destinations. In fact, often the fact that a country is a popular vacation spot means that it didn’t qualify for the list at all – popularity means higher prices on everything from international airfare to housing to food – and unless you’ve got a really well-paying job you may be left struggling to make ends meet.
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This list of the best places for expats is based primarily on things that are less subjective – the cost of living, the ease of getting a visa and a job, the exiting network of expats, among other things. The list includes six countries, including Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, and New Zealand. Not surprisingly (given the criteria for the list), there aren’t any European destinations on the list. As fantastic as it no doubt is to live in Europe, it’s also often quite expensive and – even more problematic – really difficult to get a visa or a permit to stay.
Of course, if you can find work in a foreign country that interests you, then that’s a big victory. Not only that, once you’ve proven yourself as an employee who can thrive in another culture, it can be easier to get future jobs in different countries, too. Country-hopping this way might be more slow than if you were on a RTW trip, but if you’ve got a paying job along the way that’s not so bad at all.
Photo by: Eddie