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Countries To Move To If Trump Becomes President

For the last few months we have been subjected to the spectacle that is Trump running as an actual candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. And to all of our surprises, since July he has been the front runner for the coveted Republican party nomination. As I have been traveling the past few months I have gotten a number of questions from foreign friends as to the validity of Trump’s bid for office and as much as it pains me I have to tell them that it is very real and he has A LOT of supporters in the US, hence his rise and permanence at the top of the polls.

This past Monday, Donald Trump made his most incendiary comments to date and rather than back down he has seemingly further distilled his plan to ban Muslims from the United States. While many may view this as simply the views of a candidate playing on the fears of the masses, the fact is many of these masses are cheering him on with even greater fervor. I for one have no interest in living in a Nazi-esque USA so for those looking for a new home, below I have suggested eight countries to move to if Trump becomes president.

Remembering that no country is perfect I have highlighted the countries selling points and the biggest drawback in my mind.

Canada

The skyline of Toronto, Canada | © xsblue

Canada is the most obvious and easiest choice for American immigrants. Our large neighbor to the north offers a similar feel of the US, but without all of the violence, no need to learn a new language, relatively similar costs of living, and you can pack up the family car and just drive north. Canada, which appears on lists such as the World’s Happiest Countries and the World’s Most Peaceful (Safest) Countries, is a great alternative to its southern neighbor. Basic offerings such as universal healthcare coverage, cheap universities and only four percent of the population reporting working more than 50 hours per week may have you packing your bags before next November. And even better news, Canada has tons of land and is fairly sparsely populated. So there should be space for several million Americans, with the added bonus that its proximity to the US will allow people to easily visit family members sticking it out at home.

Drawback: Canada gets cold. Unlike in the US where we can escape to our warmer states in the south, Canada has no such option. When it is winter in Canada it is winter all over Canada. Given its geographic proximity to the North Pole this is an obvious issue, for me at least. Most of the population in fact lives in the south of the country because many parts of it are uninhabitable due to the climate. Bundle up!

Rwanda

One of Kigali’s many hills | ©: Gwendolyn Stansbury/ IFPRI

Though 21 years have passed since the 1994 genocide many people cannot move past that image of Rwanda, but you should! The country of one thousands hills is lush, beautiful and rapidly developing. Kigali, the small but expanding East African capital is the perfect home for would be immigrants (some use the term ex-pats). Rwanda is one of the safest countries on the continent and unlike in many other African capitals you can feel safe walking around whether during the day or night. Another selling point to living in Kigali is it is CLEAN! If you’ve traveled to a few African countries you may have noticed plastic bags littering the ground, well not Rwanda! Prior to exiting your plane, the airline staff will announce that you are not allowed to bring plastic bags into the country so be sure to leave them on the plane or dump them before exiting the airport. I managed to forget this simple instruction and sure enough on my way out of the airport I was stopped and they removed my duty free alcohol from the two plastic bags, disposed of them and sent me on my way!

Beyond safety and cleanliness, Kigali has a great art and fashion scene, delicious restaurants and numerous options for weekend trips throughout of the country. The added bonus is if you live in Rwanda you not only get discounts to national parks in Rwanda, but also in neighboring Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. So if nothing else, spend a few years in Rwanda to live out your African safari dreams. An added bonus is that they have successfully been converting the usage of French in the country to English. English is now the primary educational language so no need to brush up on your French skills, but it is a great opportunity to learn Kinyarwanda.

Drawback: Housing costs are high! With a huge influx of development workers the cost of housing in Kigali has skyrocketed. I’m talking one bedroom apartments for $2500. There is obviously a range of options so you can definitely find cheaper housing, but be prepared you may experience sticker shock.

Editor’s note: Many have expressed that the cost that I mentioned for a one bedroom above is an anomaly, let me clarify, if you want an apartment with amenities, what they call “serviced apartments”,  this is the cost of a one bedroom in the most desired neighborhoods. As I stated you can definitely find cheaper options. You can browse housing in Kigali here: http://www.lamudi.rw/kigali/apartment/

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro as viewed from the Cristo Redeemer viewing deck | © Jessica Nabongo

Because who wouldn’t want to live in Brazil?

Brazil is one of the BRICS countries, which is a group of emerging global economic powers. With the relatively recent rapid economic development, Brazil offers the modernity that many Americans may be seeking, but without all of the artificial food. Being the world’s fifth largest country by land area means they have space for newcomers. Rio is the obvious draw as a place to live with its expansive beaches, seemingly perfect weather and lush mountains, but Brazil has more to offer. One can choose from a more urban environment in São Paolo or the lesser populated, but equally beautiful state of Bahia or one can head to one of the islands such as Florianópolis. Brazil offers variety!

The people of Brazil are quite a mixed bunch with German, Portuguese, African and indigenous heritage this is a very cosmopolitan country. I find Brazilians to be quite welcoming and very open people. Then there’s the food: the agricultural powerhouse offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, for meat lovers there is the world famous churrascarias, and caipirinhas. Oh and in terms of more practical reasons to move there, Brazil has universal healthcare and approximately 35 paid vacation days.

Drawback: For a smooth transition you should learn Portuguese. Brazil is a massive country and most of the population is on the Atlantic coast far from any neighbors so many people speak Portuguese and Portuguese only. While you can try to get by with English and Spanish it will not be easy so just go ahead and buy your Rosetta Stone now.

Costa Rica

HDR image of the sunset seen from Buena Vista Villas & Casas near Quepos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. | © kansasphoto

HDR image of the sunset seen from Buena Vista Villas & Casas near Quepos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. | © kansasphoto

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint? Look no further than Costa Rica. Ranked by the New Economic’s Foundation as the greenest country in the world, Costa Rica aims to be carbon-neutral by 2021. So if you want to live in an environmentally sound country, this Central American nation is it! With beaches on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica offers plenty of options for beach lovers and surfers alike. San Jose gives you an option for more urban living if you are not into beautiful beaches. Coming in at number 12 on the World Happiness Report Costa Rica is one of the best countries to live in in the Western Hemisphere.

Costa Rica offers a slow pace of life, healthy and natural foods, a tropical climate and universal healthcare! The UN has ranked Costa Rica’s public health system within the top 20 worldwide and the number one in Latin America.

Drawback: The slow and relaxed pace of life seeps into the services sector meaning that services can be slow, whether government, private or public.

Australia

Sydney Harbor | © Michael McDonough

Sydney Harbor | © Michael McDonough

This humongous country that is also a continent, like many of the previous suggestions has a lot of space. Most of the population lives along the coasts and with over 10,000 beaches, who wouldn’t want to. Australia offers an easy transition for Americans since they speak English and are part of the so-called western world. Though it began as a colony for British prisoners, Australia now has minimal crime and specifically gun violence. In response to mass shootings, the Government of Australia changed its policies with regards to guns and now less people have them and less people are being killed by them. Simple.

Another benefit to living in Australia is quick access to the beautiful islands of the South Pacific. Imagine taking weekend trips to Tahiti, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Drawback: When I first visited Australia in 2009 I instantly said, I could definitely live here, if it wasn’t so far. Australia is FAR. Obviously far is relative, but with Sydney being a 15 hour flight from Los Angeles, nine and a half hours from Tokyo, and what seems like days away from Europe being in Australia can feel a bit isolating.

Thailand

Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai | © Jessica Nabongo

Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai | © Jessica Nabongo

Thailand is high on the list of most world travelers because of the delicious cheap eats, the interesting ancient Bhuddist culture and the beautiful landscapes that switch from lush mountains to white sand beaches as you travel from the north to the south of the country. For those looking for home, Thailand may be a good fit for these reasons as well as the overall cheap cost of living. Most Thai people speak enough English that not knowing Thai is not a barrier unless you’re in very rural parts of the country. And like many other Asian countries, being a native English speaker means an easy transition as an English teacher.

Drawback: The ridiculously hot and humid summers. I recently toured southeast Asia in September, which is not even the hottest month in the region and I sweated more than I’ve ever sweat before. I also spent a summer in Japan. Asian summers can be brutal.

Iceland

Reykjavik | © Marco Bellucci

Reykjavik | © Marco Bellucci

Iceland, which is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Norway has been receiving a lot of visitors recently with a large bump in tourism and for good reason, Iceland is an adventure’s paradise. Between hiking glaciers, relaxing in thermal baths and taking horse rides around the famed Golden Circle, Iceland is not only a great country to visit, but also to live.

Iceland is number one on the list of the safest countries in the world. I don’t know about you, but I can only imagine the peace that comes with waking up and going to sleep in the world’s safest country. Locks on doors? Who needs those! And to add icing (get it ICEing) to the cake, the government offers universal healthcare and everyone has a MINIMUM of 36 paid holidays per year! That’s five weeks of the year that you get paid and do not have to go to work! I suppose that is why Iceland ranks second on the list of the World’s Happiest Countries.

An added benefit to living in Iceland is its location in the North Atlantic, giving easy and quick access to the US and Europe in case you need a break from the extreme cold during the winter.

Drawback: If you want more than an average of four to five hours of sunlight in winter this not the place for you. Because of its geographic location Iceland experiences very dark winters, but on the flip side, in summer you make up for it with SUPER long days, including the famed midnight sun in June when there is usually only two to three hours of darkness.

The Netherlands

Amsterdam | © Diego Portela

Amsterdam | © Diego Portela

The Netherlands was the first country I ever visited and I said to myself, I could raise a family here. The small European country is clean, safe and efficient. I, for one, love the bike culture because not only does it mean that the country cares about the environment, but it means that most people regularly engage in physical activity as a means of transport. If you do not want to bike, the country has a great, fast and extensive train system to move about. It is seventh place on the list of the World’s Happiest Countries, this is probably fueled by the 27 paid vacation days and the best healthcare system in Europe and no need to ask, yes, its universal. The 16 weeks of maternity leave and monthly government financial contribution to the cost of raising children doesn’t hurt either.

Drawbacks: Get prepared for more than a few grey days. The weather in the Netherlands is not nearly as bad as the UK, but not nearly as sunny as southern Italy.

Other honorable mentions include: Denmark, Sweden, Ghana, Spain, and Colombia.


So do any of the countries on this list appeal to you as a safe haven from a Trump led America? What other countries would you add to this list?

This Post Has 64 Comments
  1. love the article–rwanda is definitely on my travel list now. this would be even more helpful if you talked about each country’s immigration/visa policy concerning Americans

    1. Those things not covered can be researched by the person and the country they are going to. Can’t cover everything on each country or the author would still be writing.

    2. Rwanda’s immigration policy is so awesome you would love it…you can’t believe that once you have a Rwandan tourist visa,you can move around in 3 different East African countries,you can be given a decent accomodation in some stunning hotels and lodges around the parks,the breath taking views,the Congo nil trek.And many other great things including the sweet weather,organic food,etc…Things that you will never see anywhere else on the planet.For some deep details,find me on Facebook at my name or e-mail me at: akawilly1@yahoo.fr

      you can keep in touch with me and if you like I can be your agenda,I’m Rwandan,known by his honesty and i have a 4years experience in this domain,I can be your man.

    3. Dear Victoria,warm wellcome to Rwanda,am Viateur ,founder of AnywhereRwanda, ecotourism company that is dealing with eco-tours guide.
      my Whatsapp no is 250722929534,
      we are ready to assist you ,free of charge.

  2. Shoutout to Rwanda! Granted cost of living is high, there are plenty of affordable accommodations in Kigali. I think $2500 one bedroom apartment is an anomaly, definitely not the norm.

    @Victoria Olivier check Rwanda’s migration website for travel info migration.gov.rw

  3. Would like to know more about schooling for each country – pros and cons; but overall great read. Now I know where to look!

  4. What is the deal with Americans thinking they have the option to just show up in any country they feel like being in? In addition, visiting is vastly different than living there! There’s so much more to say, but I’ll stop here.

    1. I believe you have the story a bit mixed up. People from all countries move to different countries because they feel like it, not just Americans. If you haven’t noticed, America has tons of immigrants living in one country that are all different religions and races. America is made up of immigrants so we are open to all these different things which is not surprising if we would want to go to different areas to experience it first hand.

    2. Its interesting you say that. I wondered about that. I desire to move to Ghana mostly cause there was a video invite to come there. Is it hard to move to other countries?

  5. Loved this post! I’m currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam and I’ve considered a couple places on your list for my next move. I love how you included the drawbacks as well. Nowhere is perfect, and our history (even recent) is just as bloody as anyone else’s so that definitely shouldn’t deter us from exploring our options.

  6. why don’t you move to Syria??? Trump as president will be 100% better than obummer…. Obummer is the terrorist he is allowing them into our country and he does not care about the american people.. If he did he would have done something years ago about ISIS…. But we all know what he is good at just remember BENGAZI….. I hope the american people smarten up…

    1. Oh my god, could you please just shut up. I hope you are aware that it was the presidents before him that created ISIS? We essentially created ISIS by teaching them how to fight against the Taliban, who we ALSO created, though this time to fight in the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Trump is so fucking crazy that he’ll end up killing millions and millions of innocent people and will probably kill millions of Americans in the process. So take your head out of your asshole and you can “smarten up.”

    2. “Obummer”? What grade are you in? I’d guess somewhere around 5th or 6th grade because calling the president “Obummer” sounds very immature to me. Your mention of Benghazi shows how uninformed you are as well. Nine different investigations have all concluded after debunking all of the GOP’s outlandish conspiracy theories. Republicans and conservative media have stopped talking about Benghazi because their motives have become very clear to everyone. It was a partisan witch hunt devised to hurt the president and weaken Hillary’s presidential campaign. John Boehner’s handpicked nominee to replace him as speaker of the house, (republican) Kevin McCarthy admitted this in a Fox News interview not too long ago.

  7. It is amazing how my country Rwanda came on 2nd, no one can deny the beauty of Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. And this rent of $2500 one bedroom appt it is a lie, absolutely.

      1. Check this out:
        “Manners in Rwanda” book by Joy Nzamwita Uwanziga, published by Inkwaterpress, an American publishing house. In May 2015. I know you will like it

  8. Liberals & Democrats please don’t come to Australia. We don’t want you. We only welcome sane Americans like Republicans. We have a conservative government and generally don’t embrace liberal rubbish.

    1. so not true. the “liberal rubbish” you are probably referring to is stuff that is already implemented in Australia – free health care, gun regulations, etc.

  9. Great article! I too am now intrigued about Rwanda. They may see an uptick in tourism based on this article. I love articles like this, but my concern is always that the places chosen are based on the author’s travel experience. In other words, the author might have chosen other countries for this list, but they picked from the countries they have visited themselves. I’m sure the author is well-traveled, but there are many beautiful places that they likely have not been to yet. Anyway thanks for the article.

    1. And no one will do your blue collar jobs because y’all think you’re above it. Enjoy making your Big Macs and Chick-fil-as.

  10. Yesss! The Netherlands may suck when the weather is awful, but our government is great. For instance, you can NOT be homeless. And IF you are, you’re just lazy because the government helps you get a job , you obviously have to work very hard for it and it’s definitely not easy, but being homeless here is a choice. Also, we have a politician called Geert Wilders who is a lot like Donald Trump in their nuslim policy… So if you all come here and vote against him we’re good 🙂 (he’s not winning though, but many people still vote for him)

    1. ”He’s not winning though”

      Keep telling yourself that, you know it’s a lie.

      To author:
      If Trump wins and Geert for some freak reason loses, i would gladly swap with you. Netherlands USA

    1. Belize is a fantastic place to live. Many places within the country, however, don’t afford you the same conveniences Americans are used to. They value time spend with their families and friends over gadgets and possessions. The Belizean dollar is widely accepted as a 2:1 currency exchange and USD are accepted everywhere. Having just returned from there, it’s at the top of my list if Trump were to be elected.

  11. I would advise fellow Americans to visit Rwanda regardless Trump’s predicted regime. We welcome friendly visitors not just runaways just be prepared to deal with Mr.Trump as you have dealt with others. Just take your vacation in Rwanda. All told about Rwanda is real and right. Can’t wait to serve y’all.

  12. I am really excited with Rwanda chapter. is a beautiful country with beautiful people, with high hospitality and security. please go there and experience yourself.

  13. I agreed with everything that has been said about Rwanda. I grew up in the thousands hills and there is no doubt that it is one of the greatest place to leave in on the planet!

  14. Thanks for the information. I will definitely keep these in mind no matter what xenophobe is leading the country. Unfortunately Trump’s huff-and-puff is not the only political and social blowhard running for office. I take this article very seriously. But if all of us flee who will be here to embrace the alien, the stranger on our shores who is fleeing their fate in other countries. With the illusion that we will be safe from others even if Trump doesn’t get the presidency, our future is will still be bumpy at best.

  15. Brasov, Romania si a wonderful town to live in. Fast and cheep internet connection. Scenery, proximity to other countries and culture, you can get by with English only 🙂 and it’s just beautiful.

  16. I lived in Holland for about three months, and the Dutch are a lovely bunch. I could live there. Most speak English and the restaurants were amazing. I was very happy to be home, though.
    I wonder why the UK wasn’t on the list?

  17. Does anybody know what the rules are about collecting US Social Security and VA Compensation when residing in other countries? Do you need to maintain a US address and bank?

    1. Social Security must be deposited in a USA account only. I lived in Nepal for 3 years and used the ATM’s. Try to get a bank that has free overseas ATM fees. It can get a bit pricy. Not mentioned here is the fact that it can be much less expensive to live in other countries on a retirement income. In Nepal a nice 2 bedroom 2 bath was $200 US per month in Lakeside, Pokhara.This is a beautiful area with the white capped Himalaya’s in view 30 miles away. It is great to live in another culture! Try it out!

  18. So if you do not like the USA and what it stands for, leave. Trump never said he would bar Muslims from the USA. He said that what needs to be done is before we open the flood gates to muslim refugees there needs to be a clearly defined process of how they would be vetted to insure that no terrorists were entering the country. For those that do not know history this was done during WWII with the Nazis and the Japense. In fact the Japanese were put into camps until such time they could be clear. Look at France now. The doors were opened to regugees and pople from North America and other Muslim Countries. I would suggest that if ” Muslims” do not want to treated ” Unfairly” take control of your religion and destro the ideliasts that are destroying the reputation of your religion. To date all you have done is sat back and ignored your problem. Muslins are killing not only christians in the middle east but also in africa and in fact the usa and Europe. So those pople that do not like Trump and would want to leave the USA, please leave now. Times are changing in the USA and it will happen soon. The common american is tired of the liberal BS and the propoaganda that is fed to those that are dumb enough to follow people like BO and Hillary. Remember that stupiity attracts stupidity and stupity will follow stupidity. Just leave. Go back to where you came from and enjoy yourself.

    1. There’s already a well defined process for vetting refugees, specifically the Syrian refugees I believe you’re alluding to. The process for them takes years of background checks from many international and domestic sources and in-person interviews. They have the most stringent process of all refugees entering the US. Muslims have played a pivotal role in helping I’m the fight against extremism, and trust that if the greatest military power on Earth can’t seem to stop it (even if they did help start it) after 14 years of effort, then what makes you think some ragtag team of civilians and poorly trained armies are going to succeed? We’re talking about sheltering civilians in war zones, where’s your empathy?? Trump is pandering to uneducated people who take his words at face-value because he validates their racist, xenophobic thoughts and fears. Trump is indeed saying what some people are thinking, and they should know if that’s the case then they’re idiots.

    2. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am looking for a place to move if HILLARY wins. If Trump wins, we all win.

  19. MDY, Shame on anyone who doesn’t know that taking our Japanese citizens from their homes and putting them in camps was our disgrace !

  20. It’s a common misconception Iceland has extreme cold during the winters. In fact, thanks to the Gulf Stream it’s quite temperate and barely reaches below freezing in the southern half. The northern half is typically a little cooler but only by another couple degrees.
    A beautiful country to visit but also categorized as one of the most expensive places to live (HuffPost deemed it #4).

  21. I’ve been living in Rwanda the past 8 months and it is a beautiful, peaceful place! There are a lot more expats (and the things that come with them- western style restaurants, wifi, gyms, coffeeshops, credit card machines, etc) here than in other places in East Africa (namely Uganda and Tanzania). Rwanda’s development is ambitious, there’s a big focus on IT and education and healthcare are universal for Rwandans (I think most ex-pat kids go to private international schools, not sure about the healthcare side of things, I just walk into the pharmacy and tell them what’s wrong!)

    However, your housing estimates are a little absurb. Although I live in a more “local” style, modest house, I pay $200 a month for 3 bedrooms. Some other people I know pay in the $200-$400 range for a room in a shared house. I think only the expats with really good gigs at UN agencies, embassies, or NGO’s are renting apartments for $2,500. I certainly don’t know anyone blowing that kind of money here!

  22. Rwanda is the best place to visit and live as well!! People are so nice more than anyone could tell.
    Accommodation Issue, 500$ is enough to rent a big and nice house around the city.

  23. Would you like to do some Projects (humanitarian and/or development Projects) in Rwanda and the East Africa?
    Would you like to do business in Rwanda,to own a property or just to visit?
    If yes,you can get in touch with me and I can help you out…I’m a young man of honesty and integrity and I have worked with so many Americans before who can witness my outstanding qualities and abilities to help in various Projects and services.
    I can be your agent.

    Please read more about me and get in touch on LinkedIn at:
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/williamakami

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  25. Listen, you sold me on Rwanda. I had never considered. I’m planning to get back to Africa by the end of the year if I Can get some training/consulting contracts but now I need to see Rwanda. Do people speak any Swahili there or is it too far from the coast? You got me wanting to make sure I take a trip to Kampala once I go back to Nairobi.

    Also, Ethiopia is on my list. Low prices, pretty safe (as long as you don’t engage in politics) and the people are all pleasing to the eye. The history is great and in Addis Ababa the infrastructure is pretty dope. Even out in Dire dawa (towards Somalia) things are well put together. Ethiopia is a great place if you are into Ethiopian-ness is a good way to put it.

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