Moving is not an easy thing, and if you’re moving to a new country – doubly so. To choose the best place to live, you have to weigh and evaluate many factors – political, economic, and purely emotional, and on and on – my head is spinning.
Different authors of varying degrees of scholarship and fame have written about this, but we liked the methodology of creative economy by Richard Florida, an American economist, writer, and author of the theory of the creative class.
Let’s try to summarize it with our comments, in the hope that it will help you in the difficult task of choosing from the best places to live in the world.
This methodology is organized around the so-called pyramid of place. At the base of the pyramid are opportunities. Above are the basic services (education, health care, etc.) Leaders take a position in the middle.
Next are values, and at the top of the pyramid are aesthetic appeal and quality of place. Most people will be happiest when they find a place that meets their needs and preferences on all floors of the pyramid.
Remember that your main goal in choosing a best place to live is your own happiness.
Choosing the Best Place to Live
Step 1: Make a List
There are many options to choose from. So, the best way to start is to make a list of good places to live. Then, you can compare them.
Step 2: What Do They Offer?
This step starts at the very bottom of the pyramid: what economic opportunities do the places on your list offer?
To do this, evaluate the local economy, opportunities for starting a business, finding a job, and building a career. If they don’t offer any, you’ll have a hard time finding yourself in a new place.
Many countries with a strong emigrant tradition provide relocation programs for different types of professionals:
● The famous Green Card lottery allows you to qualify to live in the United States. Usually applications are submitted in October-November, and the application form can be filled out in literally 15-20 minutes.
If you have no luck with the lottery, read Habr’s selection on professional emigration to the U.S. and types of visas.
● The federal professional emigration program to Canada. The official website details the requirements and application process. Proof of English language proficiency is required.
● List of professions and requirements for candidates who want to move by professional emigration to Australia or New Zealand.
The requirements are different for each profession. Details on the dossier assessment process and the possibility of obtaining a work visa are here.
● Rules for applying for the Blue Card in Germany. The Blue Card is mainly intended for professionals in the natural sciences, mathematicians, architects, product designers, engineers, doctors (except dentists), IT-specialists.
Step 3: Outline the Basic Level of Service
That is, look closely at the quality of basic community services – education, safety, health care, housing, cost of living, communications, etc. Don’t forget that this is one of the most important aspects of choosing a place.
At this point, you should also look at the basic services of the place itself-its geographic location, climate, location relative to important facilities.
Step 4: How Does the Place Handle Challenges?
Next, evaluate the leaders of the places on your list. Who are the political and business leaders in this city? What is known about them? What is the track record of each? Is there noticeable desirable diversity among the leaders?
It’s especially important that you consider the compatibility of their platforms and your beliefs. Do their views and values match yours? Are they engaged in issues that are important to you?
Look at how the city government is handling the demands of the community. For example, watch a Timelapse video: Monaco’s €2 billion land extension project.
Step 5: Values Checking
The next step is to take a close look at the values prevalent in the communities on your list. Pay attention to tolerance, trust, social circles, and self-expression.
Anyone gets a shock when he or she is immersed in a culture that is new to him or her. But it will be less if the new country is closer to the old one in terms of mentality and cultural characteristics.
For example, Slavs will obviously be more comfortable in countries of the same culture than, for example, in Arab countries.
Step 6: Aesthetics and Leisure
Now it’s time to find out if the places you choose from having a sufficiently diverse cultural life, many opportunities to organize leisure activities for yourself and your family, and finally, what is the aesthetic appeal of the place to you personally.
Step 7: Summarize Your Findings
Now, after reminding yourself of everything you should consider and weigh, it’s important not to forget: No place is perfect. Don’t go crazy trying to find one that suits you for all intents and purposes.
Take stock and compare the places you are considering. Weigh the pros and cons of each option. There can be no right or wrong answers here. Remember, the goal is to find the place that works best for you, even if that means finding the cheapest place to live.
Step 8: Get Ready to Move!
Once you have picked the best place to live, pack your stuff up and have it shipped. Get your travel bags and head off to your new location.