Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The definitive guide to moving abroad and whether it's right for you

Quality of Living

This is a preview to the chapter Quality of Living from the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Paul Allen.
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“The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.” – Ben Stein, American writer, actor and game show host (1944- )

While climate and cost of living issues may be important contributors to a high quality of life, by themselves they don’t tell the full story.

Naturally, the definition of quality of life means different things to different people. But I’d bet most people would subscribe to concepts such as:
  • a good work/leisure balance
  • the plentiful and varied supply of leisure activities
  • a pollution-free environment (or at least cleaner air)
  • proximity to friends and/or family
  • a low threat to personal safety
  • freedom of movement
So in considering a move abroad, what is it you’re looking for that will improve your quality of life? What is the key to your happiness?

The weather was a big factor that incited my move to Spain. But it wasn’t simply about getting a good tan each summer. It was what the weather would allow us to do. The healthier, more outdoors lifestyle we hoped to enjoy.

Many’s the time we’ve been swimming in the clear Mediterranean sea, enjoying the balmy waters, and revelling in the fact that it is just a normal Saturday afternoon. This, I remind myself, is what our family and friends spend the working year waiting to enjoy on their annual holiday.

And most weekday afternoons in the summer I snatch a half-hour break from work to take my daughters swimming in our pool. The best bit though is such pleasures are free.

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