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

Where To?

This is a preview to the chapter Where To? from the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Paul Allen.
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Perhaps you’ve got your sights set on a particular country. Maybe even a specific town. Nevertheless, don’t be too hasty making up your mind. This is a life-changing decision, one of the biggest you’re ever going to make.

It’s like the old adage, “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” The same goes with your choice of country. Where you were born was beyond your control. But now you have a chance to change that, to pick somewhere that meets your lifestyle goals.

So do it right. Look around. Research all the pros and cons of the places available to you. After all, you wouldn’t jump at the first mortgage you stumbled across would you?

So let’s imagine we have a clean slate, no preconceived ideas. Where would be best?

If it were purely a case of seeking quality of life and happiness, by rights we should all be moving to Scandinavia.

Take the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI) table, which measures countries’ development according to the three criteria of a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth), knowledge (literacy and education) and standard of living.

Norway – which headed the table from 1995 until 2005 – has regained its top spot in this year’s rankings, displacing last year’s leader Iceland. Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden, which all consistently poll well, followed1.

HDI Ranking
Country
1
Norway
2
Australia
3
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