Do you feel like a change of scenery? The good news is that there are very few countries where Canadians aren’t well liked, respected and welcomed with open arms.
If you want to live abroad, your most pressing concerns may be the local Covid-19 situation, the latest news in airfare and flights, how far your money will go and how your destination country fares in terms of things like climate, safety and healthcare. But, if you’ve taken steps to protect your health, this shortlist of the best places for Canadians to live (and often work) abroad this year will help you narrow down your choices. Just be sure to check local guidelines for any travel restrictions, as they continue to change.
1 / 20
Ljubljana is not only one of the up-and-coming holiday spots but, according to Forbes, it’s one of the cheapest places to live. The Slovenian capital gives you the charm of a small town with all the amenities of a modern city.
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2 / 20
Bustling cities, beaches, ski slopes, desert, wine country, mountain and lakes: Chile has it all, so you’ll easily find a spot that suits your lifestyle. Best of all is that the country makes it easy for foreigners to settle and start a business, effectively paying you to live there.
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3 / 20
Do your tastes lean more towards vibrant cities, beach towns or little hidden European towns without the tourist masses? Portugal offers all of these along with great weather and it’s one of Europe’s cheapest countries to live in. While speaking Portuguese will help, you’ll find plenty of English-speaking expats here too.
4 / 20
Vietnam is not just one of those inexpensive holiday spots popular with backpackers anymore. According to the Los Angeles Times, many retirees are now discovering the South East Asian country as a great place to live, with good weather, healthy food and amenities like modern hospitals.
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5 / 20
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is still one of the most popular places where Canadian snowbirds retire and the reasons are obvious: a warm climate, low cost of living, modern amenities and a huge expat community. The friendly and welcoming local population also makes the transition to a different culture much easier.
6 / 20
One of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets, the Honduran island of Roatan has a large expat community and you’ll have no trouble finding other English speakers. According to International Living, once you get a retirement visa, it’s easy to get settled here as well.
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7 / 20
The Peruvian capital of Lima is a good choice if you’re looking for cheap and stylish global retirement spots but you’ll also find wonderful places to live in the rest of Peru. As Time says, the varied topography means you can choose from beaches, mountains and rainforests and the country also offers a retirement visa.
8 / 20
Panama is home to some of the best hidden gems of Central America and, as International Living points out, it’s also the region’s most developed country. While this makes living in Panama more expensive than in some of its neighbours, the country’s Pensionada visa comes with all kinds of perks and discounts for retired snowbirds.
9 / 20
Costa Rica isn’t as cheap as it used to be for Canadian travelers, but it’s still one of the best places to retire if you hate the cold. In fact, the country’s Pensionado visa program encourages retirees to move here by giving them temporary residence. English is widely spoken on the Caribbean coast and in tourist towns.
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10 / 20
Everyone wants to buy a rambling old house in the south of France, but with the property prices in Provence and along the Côte d’Azur, for most of us this is nothing more than a pipe dream. However, as Forbes points out, you can buy property for half the price in the Languedoc region and live among the vineyards.
11 / 20
Barbados is surprisingly affordable if you choose to live here, considering it’s one of the top 25 Caribbean islands. You can even switch to a career in politics if you move to Barbados, since Commonwealth citizens have the right to stand for election to the country’s parliament.
12 / 20
Fine wine, delicious food, medieval hill towns and sunshine are what draw people to Tuscany, but in the Abruzzo region you get all of these at a fraction of the cost. Abruzzo also offers great beaches along the Adriatic coast and is considered one of Europe’s greenest regions.
See also: Italy's most beautiful small towns.
13 / 20
Malaysia is not only an affordable country with great weather, but it also offers many opportunities for those who want to make money while living abroad, whether it’s in tech or tourism. If you meet the criteria, you can qualify for a 10-year renewable visa and Malaysia is part of the Commonwealth, which brings with it some benefits for Canadians.
14 / 20
While the cost of living here is very high, making it a less desirable option for retirees, Singapore is considered one of the best countries to live and work abroad. Many multinationals have their Asian head offices here, and you can find opportunities in a wide range of industries, including banking, tech, publishing and advertising.
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15 / 20
If you want to experience a different culture while making a good living, China is a good option. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai are among the best places for tech start-ups, but if that isn't up your alley, simply being able to speak English will open up well-paid opportunities like teaching.
16 / 20
Qatar is fast becoming the new Dubai among expats, with more and more people moving here to work. Salaries are very generous and your remuneration package may include a car and housing allowance and even airfare and education for your kids.
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17 / 20
Whether you want to live in a big city or a laid-back beach town, you’ll be able to find your perfect spot in Mexico. A favourable exchange rate makes Mexico very affordable and with more and more Mexicans being able to speak English, the language barrier is easier to overcome.
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18 / 20
Belize may not be the cheapest country to live in, but the weather’s great and so is the scenery. The national language is English, residency is easy to get and as a fellow Commonwealth citizen, you can register to vote in Belizean elections if you’ve lived here for a year.
19 / 20
New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world, but this isn’t the only reason to move here. Skilled workers are welcomed and won’t have much trouble getting residency. Once you’re a resident of New Zealand, you’re expected to register to vote and have a say in the running of the country.
20 / 20
South Korea is a fantastic option if you want to work abroad, with a range of opportunities that go beyond simply teaching English. Often your job comes with accommodation included, which makes a considerable dent in the cost of living, while tight-knit expat communities mean you’ll have a support system.
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