So you’re ready to pack up and leave the U.S. What’s the best way to choose a new place to live?
Wherever you live now, for whatever reason, you’re contemplating a major change. You’re thinking seriously about moving abroad. But where?
As someone who travels a lot and lives abroad, I’d like to make a suggestion: don’t pack up and move anywhere without having stayed in a destination for at least a month and two would really be better.
Why not start with a multi-stop trip? Spend a year traveling and changing destinations every few months to figure it out.
Not sure where to even begin? I get it. Choosing a foreign country to live in feels high-risk and high-pressure. Just remember, there’s no rule that if you don’t end up loving a place as much as you imagined you have to stay indefinitely.
Here are 3 multi-city routes that include stops in countries and cities that expats love around the world – all of them starting at under $3,000, round-trip.
1. Around The World And Back Again
New York City – Toronto- Madrid – Dubai- Chiang Mai – Auckland- Mexico- City -New York City
This route includes a little bit of everything with stops in places where expats love to live Central America, Europe, The Middle East, Asia and Oceania starting at $2806 for 6 stops. With the exception of New Zealand Canada, and Dubai, the cost of living in these destinations is generally lower than in major US cities.
After you’ve been around the world and found a place that makes you happy, be prepared for some intense paperwork to get residency, especially if United Arab Emirates, Spain, or New Zealand are among your top choices.
2. The Asia-Pacific Explorer
Los Angeles – Seoul- New Delhi – Bangkok – Ho Chi Minh City – Bali- Sydney – Los Angeles
With stops in Northern Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia, this route covers all of the bases and potential price-ranges for would-be expats or digital nomads starting at $2749, round-trip.
Want to live somewhere exciting, exotic, and not too expensive where English is widely spoken? Try India. Willing to pay more in living expenses to live among Koalas and Kangaroos? A few years down under may be right for you- just be prepared to work hard to get your working papers unless you’re under 30 in which case it’s much easier. Interested in teaching English as a second language and saving up for a few years? Try South Korea or Vietnam. Want to work remotely from a beachy paradise? Bali may be where you want to make your new home after your trip.
3. The Spanish Immersion Tour
Miami – Mexico City – Guatemala City – San Jose – Bogota- Buenos Aires – Barcelona – Miami
Want to learn, improve or just use your Spanish during your year exploring your expat options? This is the trip for you. Sure, the accent, vocabulary and style of Spanish is different in each destination, but that means at the end of your trip, you should be able to understand Spanish speakers from just about anywhere.
And if you find yourself not understanding the fishmonger at the market in Barcelona, don’t worry, you haven’t lost your language skills – she’s probably speaking in Catalan. Ask nicely, and most locals will switch to Spanish for out-of-towners.
Just remember, if Spain ends up on your short-list of options for moving abroad, not only is getting residency tricky – autonomous communities like Catalonia, Galicia, and Basque Country have their own official languages and if you plan to live in these locations long-term and mix with the locals you should be open to learning at least a basic level of these languages.