As of writing this article, I have travelled to 89 countries around the world. After travelling to so many places, I’ve narrowed down seven of the best places that I think would be great for Canadians to live in if you want to live abroad. Factors that I’ve considered includes cost of living, ability to earn income online, friendliness, and ease of travel. If I can add more than seven countries to this list, I would definitely add countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia, and Ukraine to the list since those are foreigner friendly and an affordable places to live in. I love doing long term travel and the idea of going back to these seven countries is exciting.
VIDEO – Top 7 Countries To Live Long Term For Canadians
1 – Colombia
My favourite country on this list, Colombia has tons of potential as a place to live in. First off, the country is not as dangerous as it used to be. If you stay in the good areas of each city, you will be fine. Second, prices are pretty affordable. The daily meals I ate at local eateries normally cost me $5 CAD on average. Third, housing is pretty cheap. I have a friend who goes to Colombia on a yearly basis to avoid the cold North American weather. He pays $180 USD for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom townhouse rental with all expenses paid. Internet is extra which he pays $15 USD per month. The property that my friend rents overlook a lake in Guatape which is the nearby town from Medellin.
I was also told by my friend that he was shown a penthouse with 3 floors, 5 bedrooms, with an exercise room and completely modernized for $180,000 USD in Medellin.
So as you can see, Colombia is definitely my number one pick for a place to live in if I did live abroad.
2 – Vietnam
When I travelled to Vietnam, I stayed in Da Nang for almost 30 days and paid $480 CAD to rent a studio apartment. Da Nang is the friendliest city in Vietnam; though, it’s a bit on the boring side as there’s not much to do there. I’ve travelled to Hanoi before and it’s not as friendly (but more exciting) as other Vietnamese cities. Nha Trang was on the touristy side and I wouldn’t recommend living there but it’s a good place to go on vacation.
I’d like to try out Ho Chi Minh the next time I go to Vietnam which ironically, I’ve never explored before. Food in Vietnam is cheap and would normally cost you between $2-4 for a meal. Vietnamese people in general are really friendly but do keep in mind that they are blunt and some people might not like that. I like blunt people so I like Vietnam.
3 – Thailand
This country is one of those places that is overhyped but actually lives up to the hype. When I travelled to Thailand, I rented an Airbnb studio apartment for $312 CAD in Chiang Mai. The rental was good for a month but I only stayed for about 21-22 days. I made the mistake of booking last minute so I could have actually gotten a better place if I had booked ahead of time. But, I still enjoyed my stay there because of the great location.
I was able to eat street food downstairs in the evening and can walk to the mall if I wanted to. If I want to work out at a gym, I can take Uber for just $2 one way. The drop-in cost for the gym there was also $2. When I needed to work, I can rent a private room for $7 or a co-working space for much cheaper.
4 – Malaysia
In this list, I’d say Malaysia is my second favourite place after Colombia. It’s definitely my favourite place to live in Asia. Before travelling to Malaysia, I didn’t think too much about it. During my long term travel back between 2016-2017, I travelled to Malaysia for 11 days and fell in love with the country.
Kuala Lumpur is hands down my favourite city in the world. That’s saying a lot because I hate big cities. This city is the hub for Air Asia so you can easily access other Asian countries from this city. Prices are a bit higher in Kuala Lumpur and will cost you around $750-$800 per month for a 1 bedroom apartment rental close to the city centre.
If you don’t mind living further out, then you can definitely save a lot more money. Your other option is to live in other cities in Malaysia such as Penang or Kota Kinabalu.
I’m not a foodie but I’ve got to say that the food in Malaysia is really good and affordable. A typical delicious meal will set you back between $3-$6 CAD. If I ever decide to live in Asia, without a doubt, my first pick would be Malaysia.
5 – Indonesia
When I first travelled to Indonesia, I was there to visit Komodo Dragon Island by Labuan Bajo. While I have been to Bali, I never got a chance to live there so that’s something I definitely want to explore. I’ve been reading of people renting a nice place in Bali for around $500 USD. I know a lot of digital nomad lives here because of the great price and good vibe for building an online business.
I personally want to check out East Java and see what life is like there as well. Indonesia is a big mystery to me at this point so I don’t have a rank for how much I like or dislike this country. I’d like to go back and really explore it and come to my own conclusion if it’s a good place to live in or not.
6 – Poland
My favourite country in Europe has got to be in Poland. At first, people may seem closed off and suspicious. But, once you get over that first 5 minutes, they are the friendliest people in the world. I felt welcomed when I travelled to Poland when I travelled there for 30 days. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Poland cost about $700 CAD.
My favourite cities in this country are Wroclaw and Krakow. If you prefer a quiet city, Wroclaw is the one for you. But if you prefer a more exciting place, then Krakow is the better option. I’d personally love to try living in each city for one month each.
Polish food is also quite good from my experience and it’s a relatively safe country to live in.
7 – Serbia
The country that caught me off guard on this list is Serbia. Honestly, when I travelled here, it was only to check it off as a country visited. But, when I went to Belgrade, I was treated with much kindness from the locals. Since then, I’ve heard that Belgrade has had an infrastructure upgrade which I am curious to see what has changed.
Serbia is a cheap place to live, you can find a one-bedroom apartment to rent for about $325 USD per month. The locals are friendly and are well educated. Many of them speak really good English making this a good country to hire educated people to work for you. I’d definitely love to come back here and try living here long term to see what life is like and perhaps hire some locals to help me build up my online business.
After getting a chance to travel long term around the world, I have narrowed down these seven countries that I want to try living in at some point in the future. The next time I travel long term around the world, I will do it as a digital nomad and live in each of these countries for at least one month each.
I think that everyone should travel long term at least once in their life. It’s a good idea to pick 12 countries and live in each of them for one month each. Once you’ve figured out which countries treats you best, then it’s not a bad idea to live in those countries even on a part-time basis. The cost of living in Canada is quite high that even doing long term travel or living abroad is more affordable than staying at home. If you can secure a job that allows you to work from anywhere, then there’s really no reason to stay put in Canada. And yes, you can still go back every year to visit family and friends.