I want to live somewhere completely new. Suggestions?
August 22, 2009 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Soon to be free as a bird... and I want to live somewhere completely new. Suggestions?

I want to try liveing somewhere new. I'm single, 21 years old and I will be graduating this fall. I have 8000$ saved up for this. So basically the world is my oyster.

Here is my list:

- I aspire to become a surfer, so idealy anywhere near the ocean

- Shouldnt be hard to get a work visa with a bachelors degree and no criminal record

- Warm climate year round (lived up north canada for 21 years its time for a change!)

- Somewhere there are jobs in general

- Medium size city with a population under 100,000

- Reasonable rent for decent/nice 1 bedroom apartments

I've been haveing a hard time finding such a place on my own which is why I'm posting here on hopes the community can recommend a couple places.

posted by audio to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The medium-sized city thing I don't have a lot of experience with, and it's not as close to the sea as I'd like, but Bandung, Indonesia was an awesome place to live as an English teacher a few years back, has zillions of amenities, and is a quick, cheap flight from Singapore and Bali. MeMail me for more.
posted by mdonley at 11:51 AM on August 22, 2009

Costa Rica?
posted by canadia at 11:53 AM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

New Zealand! It's a fantastic country with tons of outdoorsy options (surfing included)...cost of living is moderate and their economy seems to be doing OK, so job wise you can probably find something.
If you're looking for lower cost of living...SE Asia or S.America are good bets.

Have fun!!!
posted by Cuddo at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2009

Actually, forget my previous suggestion.

If you want to go sooner rather than later, New Zealand has a pretty awesome program that sound just right - the Working Holiday Visa (page linked is for Americans). You do casual work part time while mostly being there to vacation, and in exchange get to live there for a year; there also appears to be a way to convert your visa into a longer-term thing. You have to show that you've got around $5000 (which you do) and aren't a felon or something (which is a letter from your local police department/sheriff's office). Australia does this too.
posted by mdonley at 12:38 PM on August 22, 2009

A working holiday visa for Australia, to live somewhere in Queensland: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, maybe northern NSW. US$8000 will buy you a return ticket (~$1k) and give you six months+ of reasonable living expenses even if you don't find a job (based on my own expenses as a student in Brisbane).
posted by jacalata at 12:41 PM on August 22, 2009

The NZ working holiday page for Canadians is here and the equivalent Australian program open to Canadians is here.
posted by maudlin at 12:49 PM on August 22, 2009

Queensland, australia sprung to mind for me too.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:56 PM on August 22, 2009

Here are some spots in Africa to consider.
posted by aniola at 1:07 PM on August 22, 2009

Live in the closest city to family and close friends that meets your criteria. They're not going to be around forever and it's important to maintain those relationships.
posted by NHlove at 2:00 PM on August 22, 2009

nthing Australia. No doubt. Queensland or Northern NSW. See you there!
posted by adamk at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2009

- Shouldnt be hard to get a work visa with a bachelors degree and no criminal record

Just what kind of work will you get? The issue with looking for work in a town with 100k population is that there are not a lot of choices outside of service or tourism.

I myself relocated to a remote and rural part of Japan after I finished uni, and it was hard to find work at first. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in retrospect I probably should have gone to Tokyo - there's just more work. I've noticed the same thing in Victoria, BC (a town of 350k). It's hard to find work, compared with larger cities such as London or Wellington or Sydney.

Anyway, I would recommend Japan if you like surfing. You can go there on a working holiday, too, and could find work as a teacher. There are prime surfing areas in Chiba, Kanagawa, Hamamatsu, Fukui, Ishikawa...
posted by KokuRyu at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2009

* I've linked to surf website information for each country.

Australia might be fun for you (don't choose Melbourne or Sydney, though; they do get cold in winter, and Melbourne crap most of the year, weather-wise). Depending on what you're used to for one bedroom places, don't expect the rent to be cheap, which is calculated on a per week basis. (Quick search suggests you'd spend about $160-$180AUD per week or $720-$810AUD per month for an okay, one bedroom apartment.)

Also, when choosing Australia, realize that there is no easy way home. Flights are thankfully cheaper to and from Australia now, to say, L.A., but that doesn't change the fact that they are 14+ hours long if you don't take any extra stops. In the three years I've been living here, I've only made it back to the States once, due to the time, money and effort it takes to go back.

For that reason, I think you might enjoy New Zealand more. It's closer to other places, albeit by only a little bit (but it does make a difference), and it's actually much more beautiful than Australia. (Sorry, it's true!) So if you're in general the outdoorsy type, I think you'd love it there. In and around Auckland, the weather is very temperate, you don't have to worry about extremely dangerous jellyfish or the like as you do in Australia, and many things are much cheaper there. I was really surprised by that when I went to Auckland. Again, keep in mind that this is still far away--10 hours or so to L.A. And, of course, most of us, yourself included, have more flights to get all the way home again.

If the costs and distances are a bit daunting, I'd recommend you look into Costa Rica or Puerto Rico. I can't offer any specific advice on them, as I've not been to either, but maybe those links will help you draw some conclusions.

Good luck. I'm sure no matter where you go, you will find you love and hate a lot of things about it, just like anywhere else. If I were you, I'd choose a place based on cost of living, safety and surf waves. Everything else can fall into place okay, probably.
posted by metalheart at 4:34 PM on August 22, 2009

There are probably places in California that meet these criteria, like Santa Cruz. I don't know if there are jobs there, though.
posted by A dead Quaker at 10:10 PM on August 22, 2009

You can't surf in Cairns, there's no waves, and there's deadly jellyfish in the summer.
posted by b33j at 2:44 AM on August 23, 2009

Well, it might be a good chance to explore lowering your standards. I live in Africa for around $300 a month; I don't always have running water. But even at $500 per month, in Senegal for example, you would be living very good - not NGO aristocrat style, but better than 70% of the population.

Since you can go anywhere, start looking at maps and wikipedia and flickr (maybe avoid travel blogs, because you're not going that route). What else would you like to gain? Would you like to learn a new language? Any specific suggestions of where in the world to go aren't going to be too helpful - because even in a specific country, the particulars vary hugely. But look around, research, this is the fun part, where anything can happen.

(I ended up in Mali because of a CD - and I've narrowed down my next move to the countries of Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, French Guyana, or Sao Tome and Principe)
posted by iamck at 6:16 AM on August 23, 2009

Um, I reckon NZ would be a wonderful place to live, but would it not be a bit cold? (Although, perhaps by Canadian standards...).

I would second somewhere in Queensland/northern New South Wales. You might have to do a little research to find somewhere the perfect size though - Brisbane would be too big, but many of the surf towns would be too little.
posted by Emilyisnow at 7:17 AM on August 23, 2009

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