It seems like a super scary decision to leave what you know behind and move to a place you know nothing about. But Internations, an expat connecting website, has taken some of the fear off. They ran a survey to find results for the worst and best countries for expats* and asked this main question:
HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WItH LIFE ABROAD IN GENERAL?
From here, they gathered information from more than 14,000 respondents representing 174 nationalities and 191 countries or territories about moving, living, and working abroad and ranked 67 countries across the globe. Granted, there are other topics expats might want to know more about but this is a good starting point. It certainly makes the decision to move, and to where, a lot easier.
TOP EXPAT DESTINATIONS
I was thrilled to see that Mexico made a number of “best” lists, including the overall Top 10 Best Expat Destinations. This list was determined by “essential topics: quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life, and personal finance.”
DESTINATIONS for happiest relationships
Mexico also made the list for where expats are happiest in their relationships, which is, personally, a big selling point! With a growingly busy schedule, Husband and I scheduled a weekly date night this year and have not deviated from our Wednesday night dates unless absolutely necessary. It’s important for us to have a few hours to devote to each other each week. No kids. No friends. Just us. Abroad, we are each other’s only family and it’s important for us to nurture that.
Happy expat kids
Though not on the list in all categories pertaining to expat kids, Mexico makes the list for friendly attitude toward families. This has been one of our favorite things about the Dominican Republic from the beginning. Dominican culture doesn’t just pay lip service to the importance of family and well-being of children, they show it. Everyone shows it. Teenage boys have gushed over our kids with the same affection as grandmothers. Armed guards at banks will coo at my kids.
On our first summer visit home to NJ, our daughter going up the escalator waved at everyone coming down. No one smiled. No one waved. She looked at us shocked and horrified and confused. She could not understand why no one paid attention to her. Here, our kids are valued and loved and I believe it has been a big factor in who they are. To know this will continue in Mexico is a big comfort.
Similarly, Mexico’s quality of environment and medical care isn’t on the Top 10 (it’s also not on the Bottom 10), but it’s up there for climate and weather. Because, duh, weather in Mexico is lovely. And, though it seems a small point on which to base a decision, I assure you after living on an island for 6 years, it’s not. While my Jersey roots, certainly miss a good snowstorm or lazy Sunday inside under covers, having the ability to go outside and play everyday creates invisible happiness. Sunny days after our lifetime as an island family is oddly and understandably a big deal for us.
Lastly, the housing market. I love our apartment in Santo Domingo. L-O-V-E in capitals and bold – but Good Lord is housing expensive here. I mean, it isn’t New York City expensive but for a 3rd world country, the rent is high. We were fortunate to find our apartment and have been here for the last four years. However, we pay over the stipend provided by our school and it was a total pain in the a** to find it. I’m hoping our house hunting experience in Mexico will be a lot easier.
cost of living
In an infographic created by Business Insider, the cost of living in every part of the world is a quick view. Mexico’s cost of living is amongst the lowest so dollars should go far.
MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR… wine
According to MoveHub, Mexico is on the bottom half of money spent on wine. Hmmm… I wonder where it’ll be when I’m done with it? #kidding #notkidding
Have I missed any? What factors would you research before moving abroad?
*Results published August 2016.