When the US starts feeling dull, and you crave a change, pack up your bags, and join nine million Americans living abroad. If the warm welcome and hospitality are your top priorities, consider putting down roots in some of the friendliest countries in the world. Feeling appreciated by the locals can help you find your footing faster and inspire you to broaden horizons by learning more about cultures and traditions.
While professional movers are packing your belongings, you should seek answers to questions What is the friendliest place on earth, or Which country is most hospitable? We made a list of nations that, according to the InterNations survey, showed very welcoming and friendly towards expats. Take a look; one of them might be your next home.
#1 Ireland Makes Everyone Feel Welcome
Irish are famous for their beer and charming personalities that make newcomers feel accepted. If you are considering international relocation, settling down on this island in the North Atlantic might be the best solution. After all, it is home to approximately 10,500 Americans who are not bothered by 225 “wet days” a year. When it’s not raining, you can go outside and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Emerald Isle and learn about history. From the Rock of Cashel medieval buildings to Killarney National Park, every corner of Ireland has something interesting to offer. Also, according to InterNations, almost 70% of immigrants feel at home in Ireland and are satisfied with the jobs.
Dublin Is the City With Vast Employment Opportunities
If you are moving to Ireland in the pursuit of a career, consider Dublin as your destination. Not only is it the economic center of the country, but it is also the fourth richest city in the world by purchasing power. Working in Europe as an American, especially in Ireland, won’t be stressful. There are many multinational corporations in sectors such as digital media, pharmaceuticals, informational tech, and finances, where you can land a job in no time.
#2 Morocco Is One of the Friendliest Countries in the World
If you are ready to embrace a foreign culture very different from the one you are accustomed to in the US, pack up your bags and head to Morocco. The doors of this African country are always open to immigrants, and according to the InterNations survey, it ranks first when it comes to relationships with local folks.
While in the process of international relocation, try breaking the language barrier, and start learning Arabic. Although French and English are the two most widely spoken foreign languages, it is always appreciated when a person knows a bit of Arabic. This can especially come in handy if you are looking for a job in one of many major industries such as tourism, agriculture, and mining.
Travel Around and Have a Taste of the Most Diversified Cuisine
When traveling around, you will see that centuries-long interactions with other cultures have made Maroccan cuisine unique and put spices as one of the pillars of every dish. From saffron and mint to sage and anise, the flavoring is a big deal. Travel around and try the famous couscous, pastilla, and Rfissa. A big part of daily nutrition is also bread known as khobz, while the most popular drink is atai – green tea with mint. Tea plays a significant role in the culture of Morocco, and it is considered an art form.
#3 Portugal Is One of the Most Welcoming European Destinations
Portugal is one of those places with a high quality of life where immigrants can quickly settle in. A relaxed lifestyle with some of the best leisure options only adds to Portugal’s attractiveness.
Locals are always there to help immigrants, and more than two-thirds of newcomers had little to no trouble making friends. Survey data shows that even while immigrants are in the process of learning Portuguese, they can create meaningful relationships.
Portugal Has Some of the Best Weather Conditions
One of the main reasons people move to Portugal is the weather. If you crave sunny beaches and open spaces with the Mediterranean climate where the average yearly temperature is around 54°F, pack up your flip flops and head abroad. Even though Portugal has about 2300 to 3200 hours of sunshine annually, due to the oceanic influence, summers are not too hot, and winters are not too cold.
#4 New Zealand Is a Friendly Spot With Breathtaking Scenery
New Zealand is one of the best places to live abroad with family because of low crime rates and highly rated public education that is free. Because of the fast-growing economy and lack of skilled workers in many fields, expats are more than welcome. If you are looking for work in finance, tourism, IT, or healthcare New Zealand could be your next home. The government even relaxed immigration rules to help workers, innovative entrepreneurs and companies to easily relocate.
Adventure-seeking people will have a blast in the land of Kiwis, because the entire place is roaring with volcanic activity, and it is full of brightly colored lakes and gigantic waterfalls. When you want to take a breather from work and everyday lifestyle, head out to Abel Tasman National Park. You might be impressed by the towering granite cliff or golden bays. If you are not creeped out by tiny crawlers, check out Waitomo caves, a space filled with remarkable tiny glowworms. All of this breathtaking scenery plus the laidback and relaxed attitude of Kiwis who accept different cultures and customs, and you got yourself a place where you can put down some roots.
#5 Mexico Is Home of Many Americans
Did you know that Mexico is the country with the most American expats in the world? Almost 900,000 US citizens have relocated to our southern neighbor. What makes Mexico such an attractive destination? Besides the Mediterranean climate, similar to the one south California has, locals are always happy to help you find your footing and learn some Spanish.
In Mexico, you will be able to afford all kinds of luxuries like having a gardener, maid, or a cook. Then you will have all the time to relax on the beach or explore the culture and history.
10 Popular Expat Locations in Mexico
Mexico is the 13th largest country in the world, and you can choose to live in big urban areas such as Mexico City or check out smaller communities. You should check out these 10 popular locations other expats seem to love:
- Chapala in Jalisco state
- Merida in Yucatan
- San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas in Chiapas
- Ensenada in Baja California
- Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco
- San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato
- Guadalajara in Jalisco
- Riviera Maya in Quintana Roo
- La Paz in Baja California
- Mazatlan in Sinaloa
#6 Bolivia Is Not Unfriendly, Just Misunderstood
Even though the population of expats in Bolivia is small, the government has implemented several policies that will encourage foreigners to relocate and set up the business here. Immigrants in Bolivia are mostly found in big cities like La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz.
If you want to give Bolivia a chance, expect diversity in every sense. The culture is rooted in multi-ethnicity that is strongly affected by the Spanish occupation and five neighborhood countries. Geographically, here you can find everything from Cordillera Real soaring peaks to the tropical rainforest of the Amazon Basin.
Bolivia Might Be One of the Best Places for Expats
Don’t let the low number of immigrants discourage you. That might be due to the fact that Bolivia was once one of the poorest places in South America. However, with natural gas, oil, and mineral resources being discovered, it is starting to experience some economic growth. This will inevitably lead to the growth of the expat population.
#7 Canada Is a Tolerant and Open-Minded Country
The neighbor from the north, Canada is world-famous for having some of the most open-minded, tolerant, and kind-hearted local residents. According to the survey from InterNation, newcomers found it easy to settle down and find friends. Also, when you decide to move to Canada, the chances are that you will live within 100 miles of the border since 90% of the total population does. This is ideal because you will be near the homeland, and whenever you’re feeling nostalgic, you can just stop by.
One of the Friendliest Countries in the World for Americans
Around 740,000 Americans living in Canada have relocated in pursuit of employment, relationships, or better living conditions. Canada has a lower population than the US, making it a great spot for career chasers because it provides diverse job opportunities. Additionally, English is one of two official languages, so you don’t have to learn French.
#8 Fiji Folks Are Always Happy to Share Their Tradition With Newcomers
Would you like to settle down in one of the happiest destinations? According to marketing research company WIN-Gallup, approximately 90% of Fijians stated they are pleased with their overall lifestyle. What’s there not to be happy about? The explosion of vibrant colors all around make these South Pacific Ocean islands a real feel-good spot.
With temperatures between 79 and 88 °F, clothes are worn out of modesty, not out of necessity. No matter where you choose to live, you won’t end up vitamin D deficient. Fiji residents with their friendly attitude will make you feel very comfortable and accepted in the new community. This tight-knit area is mostly village-based, where the largest city Suvo has around 77,300 residents. Kids and grownups take care of each other and create strong bonds with everybody, local or newcomer.
Fijians will invite you to share some tasty traditional meals over some kava, a ceremonial narcotic that is more popular than beer in these islands. After a while, people start singing, playing the guitar, and slapping their knees following the rhythm of the song. Nobody is too serious, and you can relax and enjoy the summer breeze knowing that everybody around you is happy you are there.