The Best Places for Americans to Live Overseas

There are many quiet places to live outside of the United States.
There are many quiet places to live outside of the United States. (Image: NA/ Images)

Many Americans choose to live in countries other than the United States. The reasons for this are varied, ranging from a desire for adventure to family ties to advantageous exchange rates. While what constitutes "best" depends on personal taste, common factors include security, climate, interesting cultural opportunities and affordable real estate.

Employment Opportunities

The needs for retired expatriates with their own source of income are different from those who are seeking work overseas. The latter group needs a location with a functional economy and work opportunities that are open to foreigners. Travelers with a specific skill can seek out places where that skill is in demand: bankers can find work in Hong Kong, architects and engineers in growing cities such as Abu Dhabi, and art historians in centers of culture such as Paris. Knowledge of the English language and some teaching abilities can land work throughout the world, as there are millions of people who are eager to learn English or practice their speaking skills.

Big Cities

Urbanites seeking to live outside the United States can take their pick of hundreds of enormous, vibrant cities. The character of international cities can range from the history and architecture of Venice to the teeming markets of Beijing to the party scene in Rio. People who are accustomed to the relative order of most North American cities should prepare themselves for the chaos that reigns in many foreign urban centers. Cities like Islamabad and Calcutta have never heard of traffic taming, and their 24-hour activity is not for everyone.

Remote Places

Some expatriates seek a foreign home as a way of escaping from everything, rather than going to something. Even with 7 billion people in the world, there are still locations where you really can get away from it all, if you are willing to make the effort to move beyond where most people go. If you are serious about isolation, look into small villages in Siberia, a cottage on one of the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland, or a ranch in the center of Australia.


If you have a taste for adventure and challenge rather than isolation, you're probably interested in relocating to an area that features challenging landscapes and some urban and cultural influence. New Zealand is a welcoming country with many opportunities for sailing, kayaking, mountain climbing and hiking. Nepal and northern India feature high mountains, Buddhist monasteries, and an international community of adventurers and mountain climbers. Port cities around the world see an ever-changing cast of sailors who live on their boats and wake up every morning in a different location.

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