The 5 Best Places in the World to Move to
Finding a place to call home can be complicated. The world is such a huge place and each city, state, and country has it’s own set of advantages and shortcomings. When contemplating a relocation it is important to know yourself first and then find an area that fits your needs. Whether you like the city life, warm weather, mountains, the ocean, or a booming economy having a firm set of “must haves” is the first step in narrowing down your choices. These are obviously going to be different for each person.
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You may have a family and need a strong education system or you may be in your early 20’s and looking for wild adventures. Either way, we have compiled a list of the 5 best cities, domestic and international, that we think stand out above the crowd for different reasons. If nothing else, this list of the best places in the world should open your eyes to some new opportunities. Since factors are so varied, this list is in no particular order.
A place where every day is a slow tropical paradise.
Known as the “Land of Eternal Spring”, Ecuador boasts arguably the best weather on the entire planet, depending on what you prefer. The elevation is around 8,500 feet and it’s about as close to the equator as you can get at 0.29 degrees north. Because of its proximity to the center of the Earth, Ecuador enjoys 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night every day of the year. In addition to the consistent sunsets, the temperatures stay fairly regular as well with daily highs in the low 70’s and daily lows around 50*F. The rainy season keeps the landscape green and lush, consistent with its natural rain forest climate, and the summers stay relatively dry. It is absolutely beautiful to see. Nature is ever-present and you can enjoy it fully in the city of Cuenca where rivers guide you on natural trails through the mountains.
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Cuenca is a place of old world beauty, where you can enjoy the colonial churches, grand mansions, shady parks, and the open welcome of an artists’ community. The capital of the Azuay Province, the center of Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site due to its many historical buildings. Cuenca is well known for its stunning architecture, tourist attractions, hotels, and night activities. It is also fixed with modern conveniences and wallet friendly prices. It is Ecuador’s third largest city (pop. 400,000) and uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency so you will have no problems determining the cost of goods. You can live very nicely in Cuenca, eating out several times a month, and renting a luxury 2 bedroom apartment with weekly maid service, for under $18,000 a year all living expenses included.
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This modern paradise has a low crime rate compared to cities of similar size in the United States. While crime is not nonexistent, most of the well traveled cities are under control. Some areas however, namely Guayaquil, Manta, and Quito, tend to have higher rates of robberies and assault. It would be best to stay alert or avoid these areas altogether. Ecuador’s overall economy is based mostly on exports of oil, bananas, shrimp, gold and other primary agricultural products. In 2002, oil accounted for about ⅓ of public sector revenue and 40% of export earnings. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas and has Latin America’s eighth largest economy with a 4.6% growth rate per year. The unemployment rate ranges between 6% and 8%. So, while Ecuador is far from the richest country on Earth, it is not in extreme poverty and most of it’s population is employed. This growing economy will help with continued decreases in the crime rate and increased social expenditures.
If you are looking for beautiful scenery, a discounted cost of living, and consistently mild temperatures then Cuenca, Ecuador is an amazing place to consider.
A city that fulfills the adventure seeker inside of you.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, NZ offers a smorgasbord of activities for people who want to step out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. There is nowhere else in the world that is two hours from an international airport where you can ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, bungie jump, raft, mountain bike, hot air balloon, wind surf, whale watch, and visit internationally acclaimed wineries and gardens. There are over 250 events, concerts, and festivals held here each year. That is more than 1 every other day. Book ended by rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is nestled on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps leaving the second largest city (pop. 340,000) in New Zealand a short trip from almost any type of geography that you would like to surround yourself with. The city itself features dozens of festivals each year to celebrate it’s diverse and passionate population. The residents of Christchurch enjoy a continued healthy, active, lifestyle amidst a natural environment world renowned for it’s beauty.
Hosting a mild climate, temperatures in the summer average highs in the mid-70’ s while the winter highs struggle to reach the mid-50’ s. You will experience all 4 seasons while living in Christchurch. During the summer months locals cool off and relax on the beautiful beaches of New Brighton and Sumner while retreating to the hills to enjoy some amazing skiing conditions in the winter months. Seasons are the opposite of when they are in the United States so you will see summer running from December to February while winter is coldest from June to August. Christchurch experiences the “urban island heat phenomenon”, similar to cities such as Tokyo, London, and New York City, making temperatures feel warmer than they actually are within the inner city regions while the more rural areas feel cooler with an ocean breeze.
The agricultural industry has always been the economic core of Christchurch. But since earthquakes damaged much of the town between 2010 and 2012 now 1 in 8 people are employed in the construction industry. There are also 97 factories and industrial buildings that supply an ample amount of jobs in the area and make manufacturing the second largest employer on the island. Christchurch has an extremely low unemployment rate of 3.2% and it’s economy is projected to grow for the next 20 years. The predominant amount of employed citizens leads to a very low crime rate all around. The ideal conditions, however, lead to a pretty high cost of living. Overall, New Zealand is an expensive place to live and Christchurch is no exception. The New Zealand dollar is weak on the world market, making imported goods particularly expensive (and most good are imported). In addition to the cost, there is a 15% national sales tax. That said, many services are subsidized by the government. Notably, health care services and medications are either free or extremely cheap.
If you are looking for fun and adventure, and don’t mind not getting it at a discounted rate, then Christchurch, New Zealand would be a great place for you!
A dream city for anyone with a romantic streak or an interest in history.
Vienna is described as Europe’s cultural capital. It is a metropolis with unique charm, vibrancy, and flair. It is packed with imperial history and at the same time it has exciting contemporary museums, lively eating, amazing nightlife scenes, and many quiet corners to explore. Very few cities can boast the grandeur of Vienna. At one time it was the center of the powerful Habsburg monarchy. As a visitor you can still view the opulent palaces such as Schloss Belvedere, Schloss Schonbrunn, and the monumental Hofburg complex. In addition, Vienna is one of the most musical cities in the world. This is partly due to the vast number of great composers and musicians who were born here. Living here, therefore, means experiencing the works of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner, and many others. Sightseeing opportunities are to be found in abundance. Wander along narrow, medieval, alleyways or across imperial squares. Marvel at the majestic architecture along the Ring boulevard. Be inspired by an atmosphere steeped in history that also boasts the comforts and infrastructure of a modern city. In 1913, in Vienna, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Tito, Sigmund Freud, and Joseph Stalin all lived within a few miles of each other and even patroned some of the same coffeehouses. The history here is unmatched.
Austria’s climate is generally moderate and mild and reliably follows the four distinct seasons. Average temperature highs during the summer reach the high 70’s and low 80’s while the winter months stay around the freezing range. Vienna is located in northeastern Austria at the easternmost extensions of the Alps in the Vienna Basin. The elevation ranges from 495 to 1,719 ft above sea level. Vienna’s 2 million inhabitants sweat in the summers and see snow in the winters while enjoying a mild and moist fall and spring in between.
The quality of life is generally very high in Vienna. With a thriving economy, a stable political system, beautiful countryside, and cultural diversity all contribute to a high quality lifestyle for locals and expatriates as well. Vienna ranks as the 5th richest region in Europe. As well as being in the center of Europe, Vienna is also in the middle range in terms of cost of living. Since joining the European Union, basic food costs have increased in line with those in the rest of the EU. The products available in the Austrian federal capital originate from all over Europe. Like any large city, Vienna has a plentiful number of accommodation options at all price levels with apartments being the cheapest option. Crime in Vienna is combated by a range of Austrian law enforcement agencies which allow it to maintain one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. In fact, most warning from fellow travelers are about avoiding the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg rather than crime hot spots.
Overall, if you enjoy culture, four full seasons, and a rich history you can’t do much better than to find yourself in Vienna, Austria.
A place where the weather is always nice and there is plenty to do.
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
The New York Times describes Scottsdale as “one of the hippest and most happening places in the country”, “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach”, and as having “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.” When you arrive in Scottsdale, Arizona, you have arrived at one of the most acclaimed and desirable destinations in North America. This is where the old west meets the new west. Scottsdale provides a mix of specialty retail, art galleries, an exuberant nightlife, and dining styles to suit even the most discriminating taste. It also holds vibrant public art and culture attractions that are sure to appeal to everyone. Downtown Scottsdale has more art galleries per-capita than almost any other city in the U.S. The galleries offer a wide variety of art, including a selection of western art of the highest caliber helping Scottsdale live up to its nickname as “The West’s Most Western Town”. Scottsdale is great for sports fans. Every February the Cactus League Spring Training is hosted in and around Scottsdale. Nonstop baseball for dirt cheap prices in the Arizona sunshine is a family friendly activity that is pure americana. Located just a short 20 minute drive from Phoenix, Scottsdale is not far from several professional sports teams. The Phoenix Suns (men’s basketball), Arizona Cardinals (football), Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball), Arizona Coyotes (hockey), Phoenix Mercury (women’s basketball) and teams from several smaller sports leagues all play in Central Arizona. If you prefer being active rather than watching other people be active then you will be pleased to find that Scottsdale offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails with bike-ways for all levels and abilities. The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve covers 30,000 acres with over 120 miles of bike trails while Pinnacle Peak Park has trails for hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Scottsdale is Disneyland for active outdoor enthusiasts.
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The city is located in the Salt River Valley, also known as the “Valley of the Sun”, in the northern section of the Sonoran Desert. Scottsdale’s climate is arid. The winters are mild and the summers are extremely hot. You will not find many houses without air conditioning and a pool. The lowest temperature ever recorded in the city is 19*F in 1955 and the highest recorded temperature was 119*F in 1972. The daily highs rest around 70 degrees in the winter months and above 100 degrees in the summer. In addition to the heat, it is also very dry with an average of about 1 inch, or less, of rainfall each month. Many retired people, called “Snowbirds”, travel to Arizona during the winter months from colder northern climates and return north before the summer hits. Whether you plan to stay all year long, or you only intend on parking your RV in Scottsdale from October to March, you won’t need to pack your umbrella or jacket. The tourism industry is Scottsdale’s primary employer, accounting for 39% of the city’s workforce. The city itself is home to more than 70 resorts and, hotels boasting over 15,000 rooms, and driving 7.5 million visitors to the city. The famed Mayo Clinic has one of its three major branches in Scottsdale. This, and its resulting effects, have made Scottsdale a strong destination nationally for medical care. The aviation industry has also grown in Scottsdale, with the construction of Scottsdale Airport in the 1960’s. Today, it is one of the busiest single runway airports in the United States. Crime in Scottsdale is a little under the national average for violent crimes and property crimes. Meaning that crime happens a little less often in Scottsdale than it does in the rest of the country. You will pay a premium for great weather, a good economy, and low crime rates. The cost of living in Scottsdale is 26% higher than the national average and the home prices are almost twice the cost per square foot average nationally.
It’s one of the best places to live for arts, entertainment, and activities if you can handle the hot summers and high cost of living.
Big city living with monumental history over 6000 years old.
Cairo is an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis it’s one of the biggest cities in Africa and has the traffic and noise issues to prove it. But as long as you’re not looking for solitude Cairo is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture. Egyptians call Cairo “Umm adDunya”, meaning “Mother of the World”. Cairo was ranked the “world’s most 24-hour city” in 2011 ahead of New York, London, and Paris. This urban hub is a compilation of 22 million inhabitants simultaneously going about their daily lives. The people are known for their exceptional charm and humor. One taxi ride can pass resplendent mosques, grand avenues, 19th century palaces, and a far away view of the pyramids of Giza. Located on the bank of the Nile River near the head of the river’s delta in northern Egypt, Cairo has been settled for more than 6000 years, serving as the capital of numerous Egyptian civilizations. The center of downtown Cairo is Tahrir Square, located on the east bank. A prime spot for tourist activity, the vast and open square contains numerous attractions including the Egyptian Museum, the Arab League Headquarters, and the modern Umar Makram Mosque. Other options for relaxation include visiting the Giza Zoo, going to the Cairo Botanical Gardens, or watching horse racing at the Gezira Club. When you need a break from city life you can try a round of golf on the famous Mena House Golf Course overlooking the Pyramids. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industry in the Arab world as well as the second oldest institution of higher learning. There is no shortage of things to do and places to see in Cairo.
In Cairo, and along the Nile River Valley, the climate is a hot desert climate. Often with high humidity as it is not very far from the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta. Wind storms can be frequent, bringing Saharan dust into the city, sometimes from March to May and the air can become uncomfortably dry. You will find no shortage of beautiful sunshine in Cairo. Winter months have average highs in the low 70’s and the summer months reach the mid 90’s on most days. There is little rainfall in Cairo with some months averaging no precipitation whatsoever. You can enjoy the famous bodies of water, the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea, all year round.
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Cairo is in every respect the center of Egypt, as it has been almost since its founding in 969 AD. The majority of the nation’s commerce is generated in Cairo, or passes through the city. The great majority of publishing houses and media outlets and nearly all film studios are in Cairo, as are half of the nation’s hospitals and universities. This has fueled rapid construction in the city one out of every five buildings is less than 15 years old. Due to recent turbulence in the government and an influx of jihadists from the Middle East the crime rate in Cairo is not pretty. They rank “moderate” to “very high” across the board from robberies to political corruption. It is not one of the finer points of the area but crime is going to be prevalent in almost all major international cities. Cairo is no exception and may even outpace the group even while things have begun to stabilize and trend in the right direction. The cost of living in Cairo is low compared to Western Standards. Recent figures show that the cost of living is 70 percent lower in Cairo than Washington DC. Out of the world’s major cities, Cairo ranks as the 693rd least expensive. A furnished 2 bedroom apartment in a good area of the city will cost you less than $400 a month.
If you love big city life, extraordinary history, experiencing some of the Wonders of the World, year round sunshine, and the added risk of crime doesn’t bother you then Cairo is perfect!
The 5 Best Places in the World Conclusion…
Whether you like the busy city or the secluded jungle, the world has the perfect place for you. We can all get so caught up in our immediate surroundings that we never fully realize the opportunities this beautiful planet presents to us. Get out and explore.
Have you been somewhere that you think belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments section below!
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