A great site where you can compare the weather: Wind, daylight hours, water temperature, etc of different cities.

The Nomadist:

Rough estimates of cost of living, and local tips (users can mark areas on the map with their own comments). Seems to be a limited amount of previews on cities and then you need a subscription. Internet speeds seem a bit off because of limited data, but temperature and Air Quality averages seem to be drawn from proper sources.
About my experiences in over the world:
  • Rental prices are insane in Auckland, New Zealand. I have witnessed someone being rented a cupboard space to live in, about 12 or more years ago, for something like 60NZD a week, I guess it can only get worse. But air is clean, very moderate weather, doesnt really get that cold, the most clothing you need is a pretty normal windproof jacket for autumn. Houses are quite cold inside (windows are not insulated).
  • The Caribbean and tropics have very laid back people and lifestyle, and crystal clear waters, so probably my favourite. I liked Curacao, it was small, but it had everything I needed. Also there are alot of expats, especially Dutch who work there longterm or temporarily, since it is a Dutch island.
  • Germany, haven't lived there per se, but I think I spent about a month there a long time ago. I liked Bavaria
  • Switzerland: Super clean and pleasant, I like the mountains.
  • Hong Kong: Modern, busy and vibrant, but also can be quite polluted near the streets. Nothing as bad as what I experienced in some very populated cities in china where the smog literally hurt your eyes etc. But something to keep in mind. It is very weather dependent, because Hong Kong itself doesn't really have any factories, it's more of a finance capital, but the smog blows in from the mainland. And surprisingly for a small place, there are some nice mountains and hiking trails to go on, so that you dont have to feel super closed in, and there are many ferries that go to nearby islands, which are kind of tiny fishing towns but more like places to just go walk. And Hk has some beaches to swim in. It's very warm but more bearable humidity than say Singapore. Singapore air quality is better and probably cleaner overall. Hong Kong is kinda either very fancy in some places or very kinda traditional "sit on a plastic chair on the street" kinda diners still exist everywhere. And for most white-collar workers/locals, Hong Kong is a big mix of tradition and modern life. So people easily like can buy food off the street or go to some Michelin star restaurant. The price difference is enormous, but food is plentiful in variety and can fit any budget. The best for families is you can go to some wet market or vegetable market where you start to have a good relationship with the people working there. Or you can go to some mega department stores grocery dept. The difference between rich and poor is pretty huge, the whole social demographic changes from area to area very quickly because they are close to one another. But overall, it's very safe for a crowded place. Bigger likelihood for petty rather than violent crime, but generally not something very noticeable. Food is plentiful in variety
  • Finland/Sweden/Norway/Denmark: I grouped these all together because there are many similarities, but let's go through the differences first. Firstly, Finland is part of the Nordics, and not "Scandinavia" per se. This has always been a weird cultural and geographic point. Finns are culturally very close to their neighbours, if we think of food, holidays etc. But it is after being also ruled by Sweden for a period of time, and by Russia. Finns generally feel much closer to Sweden than Russia. I think it's because this kinda "Nordic humility" thing, where people kind of dont brag and show off much, especially their wealth, it's kind of a pervasive thing throughout Nordic culture. And general equality, whether for gender rights, and roles of the two parents, or access to education, and social security, and so on. All four countries have high standards of living when it comes to basics, like food, air, water, shelter. I think access to nature is a high point of Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Denmark is just really flat. They do have the sea though. But its literally kinda like holland in the north or something. Finland is also pretty flat too but we do have the highest density of forest in all of Europe, and that kind of makes up for it in my eyes. Which means, you are never far away from a bunch of trees. Finns like to go out to their family hideaway near a bunch of trees and lake and relax and sauna and skinny dip in a lake because their are either no neighbours around or noone gives a hoot, because noone cares who sees who naked here. Its just culturally, largely its not a thing here to care about being naked in sauna, its not much of a taboo here. Sweden I think generally has a bit of superiority complex that they do believe they are kind of the best. Danish prices seem the highest of all, yes, even compared to Norway for some reason. For eating out etc. However, drinking in Norway is probably the most expensive, which is why you might meet drunken Norwegians wherever you go in the world because they somehow feel like they must get drunk when its such a bargain in other lands. Norway has the biggest and most impressive national parks of the Nordic countries i would say. Very dramatic mountains and fjords. The South Island of New Zealand is also similar. All these countries have a pretty similar winter, but depending how north you go, you might experience the "midnight sun" past the arctic circle. It's amazing but you also need light blocking blinds to fall asleep if you are like many people who are not from around here.



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