After 5 years On The Road – Which Is The Best Country To Live In? (1/2)

Best Country To Live In

There’s an anniversary coming up.

In February 2018 it’ll be 5 years since I left corporate America.

It’s a milestone that’s changed so many things. It changed everything from my life goals to my views how to make money. It even changed how I am as a person.

However, it was not easy at first, and I dabbled in everything from software consulting to equity trading. But I do believe that by now I have found the right life philosophy, and in addition what type of work I like to do. I talk more about that here.

Furthermore, my break from corporate America was the kickoff point for some intense traveling, and as of today I have visited about 70 countries on all continents. In addition I had the pleasure to live for a longer period of time in many of them. Truly many great memories has been made!

But which is best country to live in? Actually, that’s a question that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Eventually I want to find a place to settle down and perhaps start a family. So let’s explore that topic in this article!

First and foremost, let’s start with defining my criteria for a livable country. In my opinion there are seven of them and they are as follows:

  1. Weather
  2. Safety
  3. Food
  4. Living Cost
  5. Health Care
  6. Family Friendly
  7. And one secret one!

Before we jump into the details, note that I’ll only evaluate countries where I have spent considerable time. We are talking at least a couple of months. Therefore I am not going to evaluate a destination that I only visited for a few weeks. Hence a country like Russia, that I like very much by the way, is not going to be included since I have only been there a couple of weeks total.

Hence I am interested to hear what is your best country to live in, and why. Please share them in the comment section below!

Which Is The Best Country To Live In?


First let’s talk about weather. I think most people equals great weather with lots of sunshine, but I know folks that love the changing seasons. They love the red colors of autumn, snowy landscapes and the smell of spring.

But I am firmly in the 52 weeks sunshine camp.

I want sunny weather, magnificent sunsets, swaying palm trees and sweeping sea views. Preferably with as little rain as possible. And definitely no snow whatsoever!

Best Country To Live In

In my opinion, South America offers the best weather. The continent has a warm climate all year with minimal humidity. In particular Medellin, Colombia has great weather year round. Another favorite is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In addition, I have always loved the weather in California where I lived for over 10 years. The weather is mild all year, but the winters can sometimes be rainy.

Finally, South East Asia also offers great weather, especially Thailand and Vietnam. But the major disadvantages with this region are the rain seasons and the humidity.

So to recap, here are the countries that matches my Weather criterion:

  • Colombia
  • Brazil
  • California
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand


I am not very keen to live in a place where safety has to be in the back of my head at all times, and that’s why I’ll never settle down permanently in South America. When I am visiting South America I constantly have to be aware of my belongings and where I am going. For example, last winter when I lived in Bogota I often left my phone at home and carried only small amount of cash.

Best Country To Live In

The contrast is Vietnam. Here I can freely walk around all hours of the day without any worries about my safety. Besides petty theft like pickpocketing, there’s almost no violent crimes in Vietnam. But if we include traffic in our safety definition, Vietnam will be knocked down a few steps. I previously talked about how horrible the Vietnam traffic can be in this article.

Moving on to a country that has both low crimes and low traffic fatalities: Ukraine, which also happens to be one of my absolute favorite countries. I have spent the two last summers there and I have never ever felt threatened in any way.

But the absolute safest country I have lived in is Japan. In Japan the crimes are so low that the police are complaining that they have nothing to do. No joke!

So to recap, here are the countries that matches my Safety criterion:

  • Japan
  • Ukraine
  • Vietnam


Honestly, I would never be able to settle down in a country with sub par food. Let’s take the Philippines as an example. I really love the country, the beaches and the people but I can’t stand the food. Last time I visited Cebu I stuck to western food, or sometimes even junk food!

Best Country To Live In

My favorite food is actually South East Asian. In my opinion the Thai and Vietnamese kitchens serves the best food on the planet. Tom Kha Gai, Pad Thai, Green Curry soups, Phở, Bún bò Huế and Bánh mì. Damn my mouth waters just writing those yummy dishes!

It may come as a surprise but next on my list I have Ukrainian and Swedish cuisine. But if you have followed my blog for a while it shouldn’t be such a shocker. I have written extensively about those two countries, and if you click the links you can read more about their excellent food.

So to recap, here are the countries that matches my Food criterion:

  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Ukraine
  • Sweden


Well that marks the end of part one. Stay tuned for next weeks article where you’ll find the rest of the criteria and my conclusions about the best country to live in.


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  1. Great article, Andy. I completely agree about safety being a massive factor in choosing a place to base up. South America has so much drawing me there: the weather, the language, the cost of living, the girls…but I don’t think I could ever fully relax somewhere where I’m always looking over my shoulder.

      • Hi Lawrence. It’s a very good point you make and those two countries are definitely up there at the top.

        However Sweden, or Western Europe for that matter, is not the same place as when I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Sadly, in Sweden you now have to be mindful of the area you walk in, especially at night. While I have been lucky, I know people that have experienced some quite violent crimes.

        In addition, some of my friends and family members were very close to this years terror attack in Stockholm. It was some scary moments until I found out everyone was safe.

        But the big advantage with Western Europe is that the police and court systems are (usually) working well. That can sometimes be an issue in Vietnam and Ukraine.

        Hope that helped clarify my reasoning.

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