When I first realized that with the same amount of money I could live far better somewhere else, I was in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which is not one of the most expensive places in the world, but somewhere on the upper side. This realization made me decide to save on everything I could, which in a year’s time paid me for a 1 year trip around South East Asia (arguably, one of the cheapest places to live and visit).
During the same trip, I went to Tokyo, Japan. I was aware that Tokyo was even more expensive than Amsterdam, but a ticket there was very cheap, so I thought that I might as well do it since I won’t be going back to that side of the world anytime soon. Of course, the low ticket price was a trap. I discovered that when I realized that I was spending around 100 EUR per day, which was over 4-5 times more than what I used to spend in countries like Vietnam and Thailand. And this was with the additional saving I was doing while visiting this amazing culturally rich country, which everyone should visit at least once in their life. In the end, 10 days later and 1000 EUR less in my pocket, I flew back to Thailand, where I proceeded to do little to no saving and enjoy my trip living like a king.
Interestingly, I almost fell for the same trap again when I saw tickets to Australia, which were also very cheap, but I later remembered a number of people telling me how expensive it really is, in comparison to other countries in Southeast Asia, so I dodged that bullet.
In a similar way, I often think of New York, United States as the best and the worst place people can live. If you look at the best side, if you are rich, you will have a lot of opportunities and fun living in this city. On the worst side, if you have a middle to low income job, you will have to hustle hard to make a living. Now, some people believe that the spirit of New York City is to hustle like your life depends on it, paying in everything you earn into rent. However, if you ask me, I would rather live a relaxing life, earning less money, but not stressing too much over my paycheck either, while having a gorgeous view, and I promise you it is possible to live like this
In England, Housing charity Shelter estimates that over half of the 8.5 million private renters experience stress and anxiety over unaffordable rent, poor living conditions, and threats of eviction. I wonder if all this (or otherwise) stress and anxiety are really necessary and can be avoided.
Additionally, I often see people living in busy, polluted, unsafe, and expensive cities. They are often unhappy there, not realizing that with a fraction of that money they would be able to move to cheaper, quiet, and more beautiful places around the world. Yes, they could be in Italy, Portugal, Greece, or any other stunning and warm place, and they would be happy because of their circumstances. Sure, in the long-run they would have to figure something out regarding income, perhaps even changing profession altogether, but overall, there are many ways to earn little and live cheaply, enjoying the overwhelmingly nice view of the outside world.
Overall, everyone should look at their current surroundings and ask themselves whether they are living in a cheap or expensive place. If it’s expensive, it is likely that you could spend your money more wisely living or visiting some other paradise on the planet. Remember, just because you are spending more money on something does not mean you are getting a better deal. Reversely, changing your living conditions can drastically improve your life circumstances. Either way, regardless of where you live, I recommend you to change your living location every 10 years. Over this period, most will get used to their local conditions, no matter how good they are, becoming unable to see the beauty in their surroundings, and starting to focus on the negative side.
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