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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

7 Places to Live in the World

7 Places to Live in the World

place we love to call home. Environment, weather, history, politics, economy, infrastructure, social climate, and entertainment all play a part. When choosing a place to live, your decision should be based on what issues are important to you. Finding the right combination of features is the key to loving where you live.

Healthcare and Tolerance – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In 2009 the Netherlands was named as having the best healthcare system in Europe by the Euro Health Consumer Index. Six criterion examined were patient rights and information, e-health, waiting times for treatment, outcomes, range and reach of services provided and pharmaceuticals. The Netherlands is additionally praised for its minimal bureaucracy and patient empowerment.

The Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, has become infamous for its tolerance of the taboo. The Dutch believe that people should make moral decisions with little interference from government. Marijuana is legal. Tattoo parlors, sex shops, and the red light district draw tourists. Hostels are packed during the peak summer season.

As far as culture, there are famous museums where you can see work by Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. One can learn the story of Anne Frank, relax in beautiful parks and ride a bike almost anywhere. According to Claudio.Ar, “It is said that Amsterdam has more canals than Venice, more cafes than Vienna and more bridges than Paris. The tours let you discover them and other secrets of the city.”

Best Place for Singles – New York City, USA

In the mood for love? Although the cost of living is still high in New York, it has become slightly more affordable due to the recent economic downturn. In fact with many singles now unemployed, unmarried folks are taking advantage of their severance packages and enjoying all the city has to offer. With 35,000 restaurants, 3,800 bars, and 734 museums there is definitely plenty to do in New York City. The popular dating site,, has more active accounts in the NYC area than any other locale. Living in New York does, however require a high tolerance for crowds of people.

“The City That Never Sleeps” comes by its title easily. From piano bars to jazz lounges (and a few dozen dives of course), New York’s nightlife keeps the city hopping until early morning hours. Nightclubs like the Marquee feature world famous DJs for the partiers who love to dance. Other locals favor the Gotham Comedy Club, which Frommer’s guide declares New York’s “trendiest and most sophisticated comedy club.”

Whatever your interest, you’re sure to find it in New York City – day or night.

Mild Climate & English Speaking – Malta

The island nation just 60 miles from Sicily, Republic of Malta, is a repeated winner of Quality of Life Index awards for best climate.

With a daily average of over five hours of sunshine, mild winters, and hot summers – Malta is considered ideal by many.

Diving, sailing, and colorful festivals abound. Golf and horseback riding are popular pastimes.

There are few sandy beaches and yes – sometimes it does rain on the Maltese islands.

If it’s raining you can head indoors for opera, theater, music, and ballet at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. The Manoel is the second-oldest theater in Europe.

The government is politically stable in Malta. Cost of living is low. Crime is minimal. Locals are hospitable. Travel is not difficult, despite island status.

If you lived in Malta you could check off each item on list, 101 Things to do while on Holiday in Malta.

Family-Friendly – Virginia, USA

The state of Virginia has beautiful shorelines and beaches. Virginia is very family and community oriented, with plenty of fairs, festivals, and community events. The people are diverse and friendly. Many of the schools are highly-ranked and offer plenty of extracurricular activities and elective courses to choose from.

Virginia takes the health and safety of its children very seriously. According to the official Virginia government website, $515,405 was awarded to 17 projects that support youth substance abuse and violence prevention programs for 2010

Low Cost of Living & Retirement – Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America and therefore offers a broad range of opportunities for travel and diversity. From the Amazon jungles, to famous beaches, you will find the inhabitants friendly and hospitable. Although the nightlife is well known in Brazil, few are aware that Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are among the cheapest cities to live in (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit).
Want to pay off debt? Brazil is a good place to retire. Retirement visas are available with proof of income. It is common and legal for permanent residents to apply for Brazilian passports and keep their current citizenships and passports.
Brazilian health care is very good. You do not need to be a citizen to use the national health care system. Patients pay nothing out of pocket for most care. For the highest quality health care private market providers are also available – for a fee. Even so, the fees are much less than purchasing independent health insurance in the U.S. In general, you get more for your money in Brazil.
Due to the well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service industries, the economy of Brazil outweighs other countries in South America, and is quickly expanding its presence in international markets.

Simply Beautiful – Belize

Belize, considered one of the most beautiful countries in Central America, has it all. Belize touts great beaches, subtropical climate, diverse wildlife, and a low cost of living.

The scuba diving and snorkeling is fabulous. The gorgeous waterfalls underneath the Maya Mountains are rivaled only by the hundreds of colorful species of birds flying the skies.

Rent of a large house in Cayo district is only $300/month. Food at the local markets is very reasonably priced. The official language is English. The Retired Person’s Incentive Program starts at the ripe young age of 45 and allows tax free living.

Consider a snowbird lifestyle when it comes to living in Belize. The wet season is May to October. It rains all the time and there is a chance for hurricanes.

But I’d stay November through April in this beautiful land, which is just where I’d like to be rather than the cold snowy land I call home that time of year.

Stunning Scenery – Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town features some of the most beautiful beaches and fascinating attractions in all of Africa. Families enjoy swimming in the warm waters along the False Bay coast, where whale watching is also popular. Kids swarm to Boulders Beach to see the penguins, and for a small fee, even swim with them. The hallmark of Cape Town is Table Mountain, a gigantic slab of sandstone with breathtaking views, trails for hiking, and paragliding for the adventurous. (Cable cars are available for the not-so-adventurous.)

The second most populated city in South Africa; Cape Town is known for being socially tolerant and culturally diverse. This coastal city is mild and rainy during the winter months, but dry and very warm the rest of the year. The bistros and restaurants offer a variety of world class cuisine to satisfy every palate, and are famous for their delicious wines. Clubs, lounges, and other entertainment venues make Cape Town ideal for the musically inclined.

Thanks to the 2010 World Cup, business is booming in Cape Town. The real estate market is also on the upswing as more people relocate to this beautiful coastal city.

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