Expat havens for culture and lifestyle

Published:  28 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving, Hong Kong
If your top priorities as regards becoming an expat place culture and lifestyle as a must and other considerations such as cost and a high salary as optional, the cities below might be just what you need.

Expats being sent overseas on a contractual assignment usually don’t need to worry too much about culture in its historic or artistic context, as they’ll almost certainly be moving on at some stage. However, for those who hopefully intend to stay for ever, the prevailing culture of their chosen country can be all-important, as can the lifestyle. Making a new location into a well-loved home takes a while, but is a rewarding experience.

Although most expat surveys cater for relocated expat professionals, at least some of that number find they’ve fallen in love with their new cities of residence. The latest Expat Explorer survey has a good deal of praise for Berlin as a cultural city, rating it as welcoming diversity, stimulating and with a vibrant cultural scene. Its arts scene was also highly rated, and 70 per cent of respondents were more than happy with their new home.

Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires, was praised by 67 per cent of expats who participated in the survey, with special mention being given to its theatre scene and museums. Good food and excellent restaurants were also mentioned, beating out even Hong Kong’s thriving culinary scene. Paris, London and New York also featured strongly as cultural hubs, somewhat unsurprisingly given their fascinating history, with Paris taking the honours for its archaeological charm and cultural events.

The natural beauty in and around cities such as Sydney, Vancouver and Madrid made it easy for a good number of respondents to call their new locations home, as their quality of life and health had improved considerably from that in their home countries. The outdoor life appealed across the board, no matter the age of the respondent, and Sydney’s summer weather as well as Vancouver’s easy access to the ocean and mountains were totally pleasing aspects of expat life. Respondents living in Madrid said they were healthier and happier than they’d ever been.
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