Whether it’s for reasons personal, professional, or political, more and more people are moving internationally, joining the expat community by taking up residence in a country other than their homeland. If you’re thinking about making this choice for yourself and your destination hasn’t been decided for you by your employer, it’s good to know which countries are most welcoming to expats – and where your presence might not be greeted with open arms.
Every year the Expat Insider compiles a list of the best and worst destinations for international moves. 2014’s list has Ecuador, Luxembourg, and Mexico at the top. Ecuador, of course, offers a tropical paradise settings, and Luxembourgh has old Europe charm. Moving to Mexico has always been popular; experts recommend researching your proposed home community thoroughly before making the move.
Other countries aren’t necessarily as ideal for expat living, particularly for the individual who has never lived outside of the United States before. Greece is experiencing an unprecedented level of economic upheaval, which may explain its position near the top of the list. War and conflict make many countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen not necessarily the best place to set up your new home.
When you’re considering where you’d like to make your international move to, things like economic and political stability are certainly important. Take the time to research the culture of the people living there: these are going to be your neighbors and the people you do business with on a regular basis. Are you going to be able to get along with them? Think about the weather: if hot and humid wipes you out, Ecuador may not be for you, despite its presence at the top of the list.
It’s worth taking at least one extended trip to your proposed destination before committing to living there. That way you can see for yourself if the country in question tops the list of your personal best expat destinations!