You're a traveler, which means you've ventured far beyond your home town, city, and country and experienced a world you cannot wait to get back to. While there's no place like home, it's much easier to set out again when home is within striking distance of several international airports, well served by public transport, and close to a couple of major highways. If your life revolves around your next trip, here are ten places to live if you love to travel.
Atlanta, United States
Atlanta is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. right now, and for good reason. Between the numerous Fortune 500 company headquarters and its thriving film scene, Atlanta is a hotspot for tech, business, and entertainment. The hiking trails, historic neighborhoods, museums, and culinary scene are pulling in all kinds of people.
For travelers, Atlanta's shining star is the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – the largest in the country and one of the busiest in the world. With direct flights to almost every destination imaginable, jetting around the world is made easy for local Atlantans. If you don't want to fly, Atlanta is an easy drive from the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, not to mention a mere four hours from musical Nashville.
London positively oozes style, sophistication, and sass. Culturally diverse, it has a glut of bars, restaurants, museums, and theaters. Not for nothing do they still repeat the old adage “when a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life,” though in the 21st century city it applies to everyone. The job market’s buoyant and the wages are significantly higher than the UK average which helps mitigate the higher cost of living. Contrary to what northerners will tell you, Londoners are friendly, witty, and have a sarcastic but self-deprecating sense of humor.
Now for travel. Jump on the train and you can be in Paris in a little over two hours. With not one but six international airports within less than an hour of its heart, jetting off to just about anywhere is possible. Amsterdam’s closer than Edinburgh, New York’s achievable in seven hours, and even far-flung destinations like Australia are less than a day away.
The Austrian capital clinched the top spot in the Economist Intelligence Unit's World's Most Liveable Cities in 2022, scoring maximum points for stability, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. It also dominated the 2019 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, a broader index that factors in political stability, crime, personal freedoms, healthcare, education, housing, recreation, and public transport.
The city has a thriving music and arts scene with plenty of palaces and museums to explore on your days off. Best of all there’s a lively café culture – reside there and you can claim Sachertorte as your own. If you can drag yourself away, its central location means you can reach Bratislava by rail in an hour, Budapest in less than three, and Prague or Munich in just four.
Seoul, South Korea
According to recent data from the OAG, Seoul Incheon placed sixth in the list of the world’s busiest international airports. Its focus on logistics and infrastructure has also cemented its position as a freight hub for the region. The airport falls under the remit of the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), together with the country’s second largest port – good news for local job seekers.
But the South Korean capital itself is also a fun and fascinating place to live as an expat or digital nomad. English is widely spoken in this high-energy, high-tech city. Its population density (around 42,000 people per square mile) makes New York City look positively empty, yet crime rates are low if you’re happy to give tiny apartment living a go.
Minneapolis, United States
Winter in Minneapolis can be harsh, but travel addicts aren't going to be around much to moan about it. The airport representing Minnesota’s twin cities punches well above its weight when it comes to its flight schedule, giving Chicago O’Hare a run for its money. Its northerly location makes a weekend in Canada a breeze, but you’ll also find international flights departing for Mexico City, Seoul, or Paris.
Shop ‘til you drop at the Mall of America and spend your evenings discovering a thriving craft beer scene – just don’t be put off by names like Dangerous Man Brewing Co. and Surly Brewing Co. The “City of Lakes” (there are 22 of them to enjoy) is also a great place for runners and cyclists, though you don’t have to be either to appreciate the beauty of Minnehaha Falls, a proper waterfall right in the heart of the city.
Auckland, New Zealand
Tucked away in the far south of the southern hemisphere, New Zealand’s largest city might seem a poor fit for this list. But locating yourself in Auckland opens up the South Pacific, a region often overlooked by travelers. Hop on a plane to Vanuatu, whose active volcanoes and unique cultural attractions are a little over three hours away. The wild and dramatic coastline of Tonga and the fabulous beaches of Fiji involve a similar length journey.
Back on home turf, the city is an easy place to make a home, making the top ten of 2023’s Global Liveability Index. Unemployment is relatively low, healthcare and schools are good. With a sub-tropical climate, work-life balance is easy to achieve. Spend your weekends sailing in the Bay of Islands, sampling the wineries of Waiheke Island or relax at one of the many excellent beaches in and around the city.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan city with a large expat community. The cost of living is relatively cheap here, which makes it an attractive place to live, especially if you’re being paid in U.S. dollars. Though the Turkish government doesn’t permit foreign nationals to work in some industries (such as law and healthcare), traveler-friendly professions such as TEFL are a possibility for qualified individuals.
Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia, an advantage for those who plan to explore beyond its borders. The city boasts two large airports and the national carrier, Turkish Airlines, offers a wide range of affordable flights. In addition, low-cost Pegasus Airlines serves 93 foreign destinations from Copenhagen to Casablanca as well as covering most domestic routes.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
More than 52 million passengers passed through Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport in 2022, making it one of the busiest in Europe. It’s also a significant Europe hub, second only to Istanbul in terms of connectivity according to the latest data from the ACI. If you prefer trains to planes, you’ll be delighted to learn that day or overnight services serve London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Vienna and many more European cities.
The Dutch capital is also an easy place to relocate to – not least because many residents speak English fluently. It’s one of the world’s most multicultural cities, home to more than 175 different nationalities, enjoying a well-deserved reputation as a tolerant, liberal and welcoming place.
Dubai has positioned itself as a hub for long haul routes. It’s a popular stop off for European travelers heading for Australia, for instance, or destinations such as the Seychelles, India, South Africa and Thailand. Direct flights serve U.S. cities such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles. In addition, it’s easy to find a flight to other Gulf States such as Kuwait or Oman.
Dubai has a high concentration of expats who take advantage of an excellent job market and a favorable tax regime. The emirate is geared up to their needs, with a slew of restaurants, shopping malls and leisure attractions including water parks and an indoor snow slope.
This clean and orderly Asian city placed third after Copenhagen and Toronto in the Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities list in 2021. Singapore’s multiculturalism manifests itself in a city filled by Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, and Peranakan communities – its diversity is its strength. In addition, the city has a large expat groups, drawn by its low rates of taxation, attractive salary packages, and stunning environment.
Travel to and from Singapore is as easy as it is within it. Asia’s nations, with their history, culture, and natural attractions are all straightforward to reach by air from the award-winning Changi Airport, routinely voted the world’s best airport. Weekend in Bali, anyone?