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Thread: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go ?

  1. #26
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    I've answered the question 25 yrs ago and moved. Montreal, Canada.

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    I live in San Diego, California, which is pretty fine, so you'd need an atom bomb to pry me out of here. If, however, I had to pick a spot outside the U.S., it would be Switzerland. A beautiful country and one which is not on the front line of politics, which these days bores/scares me.

    What's interesting to me is that I have neighbors who are Germans. They've lived in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, all places in which the dad worked for a major multi-national. Their move here was job-related, but when he got assigned back to Europe, the rest of the family stayed here where the children went to school/university and eventually married. So they made their decision, though I don't know why. It can't just be the cold winters, can it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I live in San Diego, California, which is pretty fine, so you'd need an atom bomb to pry me out of here. If, however, I had to pick a spot outside the U.S., it would be Switzerland. A beautiful country and one which is not on the front line of politics, which these days bores/scares me.

    What's interesting to me is that I have neighbors who are Germans. They've lived in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, all places in which the dad worked for a major multi-national. Their move here was job-related, but when he got assigned back to Europe, the rest of the family stayed here where the children went to school/university and eventually married. So they made their decision, though I don't know why. It can't just be the cold winters, can it?
    If the children spent their formative years here and had most of their education here I can understand it. Otherwise, not really.


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    1. San Diego-La Jolla area
    2. Barcelona
    3. Santa Clara, California
    4. Austin, TX

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    1. San Diego-La Jolla area
    2. Barcelona
    3. Santa Clara, California
    4. Austin, TX
    Good choices all, imo, except for Austin. I would literally die if I had to live through a Texas summer; heck it's more like six months a year. I swear, I think it's worse than Florida, which in other ways is a great place to live if you pick the right spot.

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    Spent a few days in San Antonio, near Austin. Loved the river walk, but like Angela says, the summer is a killer and I lived most of my youth in Phoenix so I know heat (or course I wouldn't go back to live there either).

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    The question of the OP needs refinements. The first question is: what is your culture of origin? What is your age and working status?

    A second point is that climate matters a lot. Climate does not change (much). Instead, job prospects ... it depends. Of course, mutatis mutandis it is better to be in a rich city. But maybe you can be also well off in another, less wealthy place.

    I live in Barcelona and I like it a lot.

    California would also be a great place to live for me, I am sure.

    I have lived in colder places, and I felt miserable about it. Instead, hot can be uncomfortable sometimes, but I prefer it a lot more than cold. But others are the opposite.

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    I've been recently looking for "remote" places and I think knowing you're there would definitely make some effect on my and I find them quite interesting, even though at first you may think there's not much to do. I still think they're curious. I'd say Puerto Williams (Chile) and Kliuchí/Ключи ​(Russia, Kamchatka Peninsula).

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    There would be at least two places, one where it rained a lot or at least two or three days in a row, I imagine a more bucolic location and a large capital with a lot of movement, people and offers. Therefore a place where it rained near a large city or capital.


    In x time my interests would have changed and I would look for another combination although always with a big city nearby

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Spent a few days in San Antonio, near Austin. Loved the river walk, but like Angela says, the summer is a killer and I lived most of my youth in Phoenix so I know heat (or course I wouldn't go back to live there either).
    San Antonio and Austin have a different climate. I know they're only 78 miles apart but it just felt different. I spend 2.5 years in Austin and although it gets hot, it is tolerable. San Antonio on the other hand...a lot more humid. Orlando...yikes. One thing about Florida it rains in the afternoon in the summer and it cools down.
    Last edited by bigsnake49; 29-08-20 at 18:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    San Antonio and Austin have a different climate. I know they're only 78 miles apart but it just felt different. I spend 2.5 years in Austin and although it gets hot, it is tolerable. San Antonio on the other hand...a lot more humid. Orlando...yikes. One thing about Florida it rains in the afternoon in the summer and it cools down.
    What were you doing in Austin? If you can tell?


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    Quote Originally Posted by blevins13 View Post
    What were you doing in Austin? If you can tell?


    Sent from my iPhone using Eupedia Forum
    I am a consultant to electric utilities and I was helping ERCOT, the Texas regional ISO specify, document and test their new market management system and help integrated it to the rest of their systems. BTW, I have lived in the US since 73, if it's not clear.

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    Not sure, either in my homeland or same country as now

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I have spent a lot of time analysing and comparing all possible indicators between countries. Based on the quality of life, well being, freedom, housing, healthcare, crime rate, pollution, education, and so on, countries that typically come on top are: Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

    Considering that over 90% of Scandinavian people are fluent in English, language would not be an issue. I would have no problem in Switzerland either.

    Taking the climate into account, I would reject Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Australia is generally too hot, although Melbourne and Tasmania would be tolerable.

    The main drawback with Australia and New Zealand is that they are so far away from everywhere else. That's not convenient for someone like me who likes to travel. The distance would be felt for consumer products too. I would also miss the wide range of European food products that are available in supermarkets here. Imported products may be available in a few select shops in big cities (as I found they were in Tokyo), but would be several times more expensive and would require to go to these luxury food shops. I have lived in Australia and really didn't appreciate the presence of giant spiders everywhere.

    This leaves Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand. I have been to these countries except NZ, and I did not find life to be very different from Belgium. Belgium and the Netherlands are very similar. Belgium ranks lower in some indicators because some industrial cities with higher unemployment and poverty (Charleroi, Mons, Liège) bring the average down. Even so, Belgians enjoy the largest houses in Europe along with the Swiss and Norwegians, but with a higher ratio of house-to-apartments and higher home ownership than Switzerland. The weather and the food are better than in Scandinavia. Belgium has a more beautiful scenery than Denmark or the Netherlands, which are completely flat and boring. When all factors are taken into account, I feel that only Switzerland and Austria can rival with the better parts of Belgium.

    I don't think I would ever choose to live in the USA for a number of reasons. Top on the list are the high crime rate (especially homicides), guns, too many religious fanatics, religion pervading most aspects of society and politics, the highly confrontational culture, the blatant gap between the have's and have not's... If I really had to live in the US, I guess I would choose somewhere in New York/New England (although it gets as cold as in Scandinavia in winter) or a good area around San Francisco (e.g. Berkeley, Santa Clara) or southern California (I hear Orange County is nice). Despite the great climate, California has shortcomings of its own too, like wildfires and earthquakes.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 05-09-20 at 21:28.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have spent a lot of time analysing and comparing all possible indicators between countries. Based on the quality of life, well being, freedom, housing, healthcare, crime rate, pollution, education, and so on, countries that typically come on top are: Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

    Considering that over 90% of Scandinavian people are fluent in English, language would not be an issue. I would have no problem in Switzerland either.

    Taking the climate into account, I would reject Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Australia is generally too hot, although Melbourne and Tasmania would be tolerable.

    The main drawback with Australia and New Zealand is that they are so far away from everywhere else. That's not convenient for someone like me who likes to travel. The distance would be felt for consumer products too. I would also miss the wide range of European food products that are available in supermarkets here. Imported products may be available in a few select shops in big cities (as I found they were in Tokyo), but would be several times more expensive and would require to go to these luxury food shops. I have lived in Australia and really didn't appreciate the presence of giant spiders everywhere.

    This leaves Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand. I have been to these countries except NZ, and I did not find life to be very different from Belgium. Belgium and the Netherlands are very similar. Belgium ranks lower in some indicators because some industrial cities with higher unemployment and poverty (Charleroi, Mons, Liège) bring the average down. Even so, Belgians enjoy the largest houses in Europe along with the Swiss and Norwegians, but with a higher ratio of house-to-apartments and higher home ownership than Switzerland. The weather and the food are better than in Scandinavia. Belgium has a more beautiful scenery than Denmark or the Netherlands, which are completely flat and boring. When all factors are taken into account, I feel that only Switzerland and Austria can rival with the better parts of Belgium.

    I don't think I would ever choose to live in the USA for a number of reasons. Top on the list are the high crime rate (especially homicides), guns, too many religious fanatics, religion pervading most aspects of society and politics, the highly confrontational culture, the blatant gap between the have's and have not's... If I really had to live in the US, I guess I would choose somewhere in New England (although it gets as cold as in Scandinavia in winter) or a good area around San Francisco (e.g. Berkeley, Santa Clara) or southern California (I hear Orange County is nice). Despite the great climate, California has shortcomings of its own too, like wildfires and earthquakes.
    Very concise and interesting point of view Maciamo.
    I would say I agree with 99% of what you said (but you already know that :) ). The 1% probably being nuance.

    I am surprised you did not mention Japan.
    Japan was on my mind. And despite adoring their values and culture, I personally did not mention it in my desired destinations, because I doubt I would fit in/ enjoy fitting in within the culture. (Very traditional/ hierarchical/ strict on some aspects of life)
    So I wonder what was your reasons for not including such a country? I mean I am aware that in the international indexes for various measurements they do not really rank at the top (top 10), but are there any other reasons? You having lived there, I would love to hear your opinion.

    For me Japan and Singapore share similar reasons, why despite me ranking them high in where I would live, I would still opt for other options.
    “Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, and at the same time that indestructible something as well as his trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Very concise and interesting point of view Maciamo.
    I would say I agree with 99% of what you said (but you already know that :) ). The 1% probably being nuance.

    I am surprised you did not mention Japan.
    Japan was on my mind. And despite adoring their values and culture, I personally did not mention it in my desired destinations, because I doubt I would fit in/ enjoy fitting in within the culture. (Very traditional/ hierarchical/ strict on some aspects of life)
    So I wonder what was your reasons for not including such a country? I mean I am aware that in the international indexes for various measurements they do not really rank at the top (top 10), but are there any other reasons? You having lived there, I would love to hear your opinion.

    For me Japan and Singapore share similar reasons, why despite me ranking them high in where I would live, I would still opt for other options.
    My experience of living in Japan left me with mixed feelings about the country.

    The pros:

    - Great food and relatively cheap restaurants
    - Excellent service in shops and in general
    - Extensive and reliable railway and metro networks
    - Clean streets
    - Peaceful people and very low crime rate (you can leave your wallet in a public place and it will be there an hour later)
    - Mostly atheistic society where religion and politics rarely enter discussions
    - Lots of mountains and forests for hiking
    - Convenience stores and vending machines everywhere

    The cons:

    - Little care for aesthetics in urban planning (lots of ugly buildings, non-buried electric lines everywhere, concrete all along the coastline and hillsides, few parks in cities, etc.)
    - Lack of thermic isolation and central heating in houses
    - 5-month-long hot and muggy summers
    - Lots of natural disasters (earthquakes, typhoons, landslides, floods...)
    - Assumptions that foreigners in Japan commit much more crimes than the Japanese and as a consequence frequent police checks on non Japanese people
    - As a foreigner it is very hard to fit in and feel accepted, even if you speak Japanese and know the culture like a native
    - Discrimination in general (toward women, young people, foreigners, burakumin...)
    - Most people are workaholics, but salaries are nevertheless not that high anymore (Japan's GDP per capita, once the highest in the world, has fallen to the level of Italy or Spain despite the fact that the Japanese work long hours and take very few holidays).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Very concise and interesting point of view Maciamo.
    I would say I agree with 99% of what you said (but you already know that :) ). The 1% probably being nuance.

    I am surprised you did not mention Japan.
    Japan was on my mind. And despite adoring their values and culture, I personally did not mention it in my desired destinations, because I doubt I would fit in/ enjoy fitting in within the culture. (Very traditional/ hierarchical/ strict on some aspects of life)
    So I wonder what was your reasons for not including such a country? I mean I am aware that in the international indexes for various measurements they do not really rank at the top (top 10), but are there any other reasons? You having lived there, I would love to hear your opinion.

    For me Japan and Singapore share similar reasons, why despite me ranking them high in where I would live, I would still opt for other options.
    I’ve visited Singapore several times; beautiful city, very nice people. However, when it’s hot, it’s wicked hot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I’ve visited Singapore several times; beautiful city, very nice people. However, when it’s hot, it’s wicked hot.
    Right where you are would be high on my list at this point in my life.

    Right where I am is also great; near Long Island Sound on the north shore of eastern Nassau County and Suffolk County. That's assuming NYC comes back and is available for trips in. I was usually in at least every other week, sometimes once a week.

  19. #44
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    @Maciamo

    You have obviously never been to Canada. Southern BC and southern Ontario are relatively mild, the former most definitely is. The majority of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US border, not in the untamed wilderness of the north.

    Politically I dislike both Canada and the USA. Europe is equally too PC. I like the sounds of Australia, but the hot climate and wildlife would need some getting used to.

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    A lot of the big money has been moving to New Zealand for at least a decade, if not two.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1981 View Post
    @Maciamo
    You have obviously never been to Canada. Southern BC and southern Ontario are relatively mild, the former most definitely is. The majority of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US border, not in the untamed wilderness of the north.
    As a matter of fact I have been to Canada (Ontario and Quebec). I have good friends in Montreal, both Canadians and Belgians who moved there.
    When I say it's too cold in Canada in winter, I am not talking about Nunavut (where practically nobody lives), but the big cities in the south. Perhaps you don't realise just how mild in the winters are in Northwest Europe. In Belgium, which is colder in winter than Ireland or southern England, over the last 10 years it has snowed only 3 winters and never more than a week in total. Recently it hardly even freezes, even at night in the middle of winter.
    Here are some comparisons of climate between Northwest European cities and Canadian and Northeast US ones from Weather Spark.





    Let's move a bit more inland in Canada and compare that to Scandinavia.


    As you can see, even Stockholm, which is way up north (higher than the northern tip of Scotland) is warmer in winter than Calgary or Edmonton and about the same as Toronto. That's still a bit too cold for me. I don't like extreme temperatures. I like a climate in the green and yellow on the chart above. The only major Canadian city with a climate comparable to Northwest Europe is Vancouver.


    If we were to compare major European and North American cities for the climate. The most similar pairs would be:

    Edmonton => no equivalent in Europe. Even Helsinki and Moscow are considerably warmer in winter.
    Québec, Montreal, Ottawa => no European city gets so cold in winter.

    Calgary <=> Stockholm and Oslo
    Toronto <=> Winters like Stockholm and Oslo, but Toronto gets much hotter in summer

    Boston, New York <=> Vienna, Budapest (although NYC and Boston get a bit colder in winter and hotter in summer)
    Washington DC <=> Florence and Madrid, although DC gets a bit colder in winter.
    Chicago <=> Kiev, Rostov-on-Don (no city in Western or Central Europe gets that cold in winter)

    Vancouver <=> London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne
    Seattle <=> Paris

    Californian cities have no equivalent in Europe except in the Canary Islands.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 06-09-20 at 11:35.

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    As I said above I have spent a lot of time comparing countries and cities trying to select the best places to live. I also have more international experience than the majority of people, having been to nearly 50 countries on all continents and lived in seven on three continents. But having been somewhere doesn't mean you have experienced the climate of that place, which would require living there several years as summers and winters vary in intensity each year. That's why it's better to stick to climate statistics to remain objective.

    Impressions are deceptive too. It's not because a city is located further north on the map that it is necessarily colder. Berlin is over 1000 km due north of Zürich, but it is warmer both in winter and summer. That's because Zürich is close to the mountains. But even Vienna, lying on the Pannonian plain, is colder than Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, London or Dublin in winter.




    Lot's of people like the Mediterranean climate. In my experience, it's not that different from the Benelux and southern England in winter, but too hot in summer.




    The best cities for climate in Australia and New Zealand would be Melbourne and Auckland (hence their popularity).


    In the US and Canada a similarly mild climate all year round is found in Seattle and Vancouver (both also hugely popular with foreigners choosing to move to those countries).




    San Francisco has maybe the best climate of all. It's not surprising that big tech decided to set up camp there. Los Angeles gets a bit too hot in summer, so San Diego is better in southern Cal.


    In East Asia big cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei all get far too hot and muggy during the (long) summer. Singapore is unbearable all year round. I got sick there because of constantly moving from the sweltering outdoor to the cool air-conditioned indoor. Never got sick anywhere else in Southeast Asia, India, China, Japan or Australia.


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have spent a lot of time analysing and comparing all possible indicators between countries. Based on the quality of life, well being, freedom, housing, healthcare, crime rate, pollution, education, and so on, countries that typically come on top are: Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

    Considering that over 90% of Scandinavian people are fluent in English, language would not be an issue. I would have no problem in Switzerland either.

    Taking the climate into account, I would reject Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Australia is generally too hot, although Melbourne and Tasmania would be tolerable.

    The main drawback with Australia and New Zealand is that they are so far away from everywhere else. That's not convenient for someone like me who likes to travel. The distance would be felt for consumer products too. I would also miss the wide range of European food products that are available in supermarkets here. Imported products may be available in a few select shops in big cities (as I found they were in Tokyo), but would be several times more expensive and would require to go to these luxury food shops. I have lived in Australia and really didn't appreciate the presence of giant spiders everywhere.

    This leaves Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand. I have been to these countries except NZ, and I did not find life to be very different from Belgium. Belgium and the Netherlands are very similar. Belgium ranks lower in some indicators because some industrial cities with higher unemployment and poverty (Charleroi, Mons, Liège) bring the average down. Even so, Belgians enjoy the largest houses in Europe along with the Swiss and Norwegians, but with a higher ratio of house-to-apartments and higher home ownership than Switzerland. The weather and the food are better than in Scandinavia. Belgium has a more beautiful scenery than Denmark or the Netherlands, which are completely flat and boring. When all factors are taken into account, I feel that only Switzerland and Austria can rival with the better parts of Belgium.

    I don't think I would ever choose to live in the USA for a number of reasons. Top on the list are the high crime rate (especially homicides), guns, too many religious fanatics, religion pervading most aspects of society and politics, the highly confrontational culture, the blatant gap between the have's and have not's... If I really had to live in the US, I guess I would choose somewhere in New York/New England (although it gets as cold as in Scandinavia in winter) or a good area around San Francisco (e.g. Berkeley, Santa Clara) or southern California (I hear Orange County is nice). Despite the great climate, California has shortcomings of its own too, like wildfires and earthquakes.
    The areas just outside New York City, are more ideal, imo. You get access to all of the high culture, restaurants, etc., but are a comfortable distance from the pandemonium. In the City, you get more of the highly confrontational culture, as well as pollution, congestion, lunatics, and homelessness. Also, you can smell the sewer, which I loath.

    With parking apps like Spot Hero, it is easy to find parking, when driving into the city. It is much better than taking public transportation, which can be very exhausting, unpleasant, and time-consuming. As well as dangerous, considering the pandemic.

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    I like living in England/UK, but if I had to move to another country I'd probably opt for Australia, New Zealand or the US. Canada seems a bit boring to me, lacking the history of the US or even Australia and its landscapes appealing to me less than those of NZ. Countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, etc are interesting holiday destinations but as a monolingual it would be folly to attempt a relocation there. If I had a local wife it would make them better choices and integration easier, but they'd still have to be Anglophiles keen on spending large parts of the year in Britain to steal my heart ;^)

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