The 12 best and worst places to live

I am moving for the 30th time this week! I can get used to the idea of moving all the time, but the process remains tedious. Each time, I hate how much stuff we have. The more you have, the more annoying and costly it is to move. I miss the days where I could move with just one backpack and one suitcase.

Sometimes I feel bad for being in my 30s and not having it together. We don’t own a home, and we don’t have wine glasses or nice dinner sets. But you can’t really have too much stuff when you’re moving around all the time. And we won’t be staying in Norway forever. Where will we settle? I don’t think I have found the best place to live yet.

Based on my personal experiences, this is my personal top 12 of best and worst places to live, or, my own happiness index!

12. Egypt

The good:
+ People
+ Cost of living
+ Diversity of food
+ Cultural heritage (or what is left of it)
+ Good shopping options and hours
+ Public transportation

The bad:
– Political instability and unrest (at the time I lived there)
– Safety and security issues
– Human rights issues and sexual harassment
– Animal welfare issues
– The weather
– Local food (sorry)
– Scams (landlords, taxi drivers)

11. Norway

The good:
+ Career opportunities and low workload
+ Nature and scenery
+ Social welfare
+ Work-life balance
+ Smart solutions like BankID
+ A certain focus on sustainability

The bad:
– Weather
– Cost of living
– Not dog-friendly (dogs are not allowed in most places, people often don’t allow their dogs to socialise and are scared of off-leash dogs, people use aversive and outdated training methods including the “alpha roll”)
– Lacking diversity (food, people, dogs, products, hobbies/entertainment)
– Surprisingly inefficient (email response times or complete lack of response, postal service, public transportation, legal system)
– People (sorry)
– Local food
– Limited shopping options and hours
– European but not EU
– Conservative politics and mentality
– Nationalistic and suspicious to anything or anyone non-Norwegian
– Hunting culture (wildlife, wolves, whales)
– In many ways resembling a developing country while maintaining an image of being the best and most developed country in the world

10. Kenya

The good:
+ Weather
+ Cost of living
+ Swahili language
+ People
+ Local food
+ Nature and wildlife

The bad:
– Secluded (where I lived)
– Safety and security issues
– Human rights issues
– Animal welfare issues

9. United Kingdom

The good:
+ Infrastructure
+ Education and career opportunities
+ Very dog-friendly
+ Very veg(etari)an-friendly
+ Good shopping options and hours
+ Diversity of food

The bad:
– Weather
– Cost of living
– European but not EU
– Increasingly nationalistic, xenophobic and racist

8. Cambodia

The good:
+ Weather
+ Cost of living
+ Pace of life
+ Diversity of food and local food
+ Good shopping options and hours

The bad:
– Safety and security issues
– Human rights issues
– Animal welfare issues

7. Italy

The good:
+ Weather
+ Local food
+ Scenery
+ Pace of life

The bad:
– Inefficiency
– Nationalism

6. The Netherlands

The good:
+ Infrastructure
+ Education and career opportunities
+ Very dog-friendly
+ Very veg(etari)an-friendly
+ Diversity (food, people, dogs, products)
+ Nature and wildlife
+ Good shopping options and hours

The bad:
– Weather
– Politics
– Crowded

5. Spain

The good:
+ Weather
+ Local food
+ Spanish language
+ Scenery
+ Pace of life
+ Good shopping options and hours

The bad:
– Inefficiency
– Nationalism

4. Namibia

The good:
+ Weather
+ Nature, wildlife and scenery
+ People
+ Local food (braai)
+ Cost of living
+ Pace of life

The bad:
– Infrastructure
– Human rights issues
– Education and career opportunities

3. Iceland

The good:
+ Nature, wildlife and scenery
+ Moderate climate
+ People
+ Horses
+ Work-life balance
+ Politically progressive

The bad:
– Lacking diversity (food, people, dogs, products)
– Cost of living

2. United States

The good:
+ Education and career opportunities
+ Nature, wildlife and scenery
+ Very dog-friendly
+ Very veg(etari)an-friendly
+ Diversity (food, people, dogs, products)
+ People
+ Infrastructure
+ Good shopping options and hours

The bad:
– Work-life balance
– Human rights issues
– Politics
– In many ways resembling a developing country while maintaining an image of being the best and most developed country in the world

1. Thailand

The good:
+ Diversity of food and local food
+ Cost of living
+ Weather
+ People
+ Culture and customs
+ Nature and scenery
+ Pace of life
+ Diversity (food, products)
+ Good shopping options and hours

The bad:
– Political issues
– Human rights issues
– Animal welfare issues