And the Best Country in the World to Live in is…

Now, if you think you are suffering from déjà vu and you feel you have read this before, well, you almost have. I have previously written about the best city in the world to live, but today it is about countries. So, which is the best country in the world to live?



Image courtesy of randihausken


And other second best country in the world to live in is…..




I have to say that both countries look stunning, but can you spot the major difference between the two?

  • No, it’s not the skies! Both have beautiful clear blue skies.
  • No, it’s not overcrowding! Both have plenty of space to enjoy.
  • No, it’s not the seaside! Both have extensive coastlines.

Here’s a clue:


I’ll come back to the answer shortly.

So who says Norway is the best country in the world to live?

The United Nations human development index (HDI), that’s who. It’s a pretty good idea, the concept is explained at the hdr website, where they will tell you that “It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests.”

It goes on to say that the basic human capabilities are “to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community.”

It’s a great idea but did you notice there is no mention of the weather? Which brings me to the answer to my tricky spot the difference poser.

Norway is cold, very cold. Mid-winter temperatures can be around -7°c and average height of summer temperatures are just 16-22°C. On the other hand, Australia is hot, very hot. Especially in Brisbane where I live where 16-22°C IS the winter temperature and the summers average around 32°C and can hit 40°C or more.

That explains why in the picture of Norway the person appears to be wearing a very heavy overcoat whereas in the picture of Australia, which was taken in the middle of winter, the people are wearing shorts and bikinis.

And it’s also why I chose Australia over and above Norway when I migrated from the UK.

If you would like to know how all the other countries fared in the index, the page with the 2009 results has now been updated with the results for 2010 which you can see here. But if you want to look at the full results from 2009, go to this page and download the PDF called Human Development Indicators. You’ll then have the full list from last year and you’ll also get further confirmation that hot weather doesn’t count when you notice that Iceland was third and Canada was forth.

Incidentally, in 2008 Australia were forth, so we are moving in the right direction. The United States is 13th, up from 15th that year with the UK unchanged in 21st position.

But without a doubt, Australia is the best country in the world for human development AND hot weather.

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Linka June 6, 2014, 11:26 am |

    Sure you can go further: into a pool 😛

    I for one am never warm enough, no matter how many layers I put on + at the very least you can cover eveything but your eyes, and a freezing wind chill right in the face is the worst. Also, you can’t wear gloves 24/7… Having PTSD flashbacks to winters in Europe and the NE States. *dies*

    Wow, Darwin will be a huge hange indeed. Good luck!

    • BobinOz June 6, 2014, 6:10 pm |

      Half tax in November, that’s brilliant! How come Norway can have such a great welfare system, aren’t their politicians wasting money for fun like they do everywhere else?

      For all of that though, I couldn’t live there, I just don’t like it that cold. Sounds like you don’t either, what with heading to Darwin soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Charlie June 6, 2014, 6:14 am |

    Hi Bob

    Being a brit and having lived in Australia (Melbourne) and now Norway for the last 6 years, I would agree that weather makes massive difference in quality of living. I miss just chucking on shorts and a Tshirt, and not having to clad my 2 yr old in layers and layers over the winter. However, I just thought Id chip in and say that Norway has quite afew things spot on that many countries don´t have.

    For example, Education, including universities, is free. They even pay you to go, not well mind you, but they give a bursary. They also subsidise kindergarten to a tune of 80%, so all can afford to send their kids. Their social welfare system is legendary, too legendary to be honest as some people take advantage of it, but if you´re ever down on your luck or in bad health the state takes care of everything.

    They also give half tax for everyone in November, so everyone can afford a nice christmas.

    Regarding the cold, there is a saying here that goes, “its not a question of weather, but a question of clothing”. Meaning: always dress prepared. Some might say its easier to be the right temperature here than in Aus. If its too cold, you put more clothes on. But when its too hot, when you get down to your undies there aint a lot further to go.

    That being said, were moving to Darwin next year. Talk about a change in climate…

  • Linka May 25, 2014, 8:23 pm |

    Well, I think congratulations are in order 🙂

    Oh, and I spent the day at the beach today, on the Gold Coast. For someone who HATES the cold, that’s really saying something. I didn’t actually go in the water, of course…
    Still, not bad for practically-winter! WaterWorld is on the cards this week if this sunny weather holds up.

    Hey Bob, does your family make much use of the theme parks? …Do you have a blog entry about those? You should! 🙂

    • BobinOz May 26, 2014, 4:06 pm |

      Yes, I have written about the theme parks down the Gold Coast, there is one on my post Nothing More Relaxing Than Fish and then a couple of links from there to articles about other theme parks.

      Mrs Bob bought some season tickets on a deal a couple of times, great value, she and Elizabeth often go down there during the school holidays.

      Now, back to Hitler. Using the search function on the right hand side of every page I searched for “Hitler” and discovered he’s had two mentions before in comments. Good for Godwin, he’s certainly on to something.

  • Linka May 24, 2014, 6:15 pm |

    Had to share – this is brilliant:
    Godwin’s Law. Basically, when you’re scrambling for a solid argument, just make a ridiculous comparison to Hitler and Nazism. It really does happen a lot.

    • BobinOz May 25, 2014, 8:18 pm |

      Well, I feel honoured. After all these years, at last my website has fallen in line with Godwin’s Law.

      My special thanks to all those who have contributed 🙂

  • Linka May 22, 2014, 10:01 pm |

    Yep. You’re really reaching with Hitler as an example though! No one’s jumping to any extreme conclusions like that. (He should have kept his opinions to himself/been content to stay insulated in the kind of community in Germany as he preferred.) I don’t want to intrude on anyone or tell anyone how to live, but I’ve seen the worst of certain Islamic CULTURES, and I did not like it. I’ve also seen the best of it; and I I have Muslim friends whom I respect immensely, and I’ve enjoyed my time in Islamic communities too, so I know it’s complicated and varies around the world. But for the most part, life’s short and I’d rather avoid it in order to avoid those bad parts. I’d just prefer to find myself LIVING in a South East Asian culture that is, for example, based around Buddhist beliefs, where I feel more comfortable. That’s just my personal preference. I don’t presume to have experienced all of Islamic culture, or to have experienced EVERY Islamic nation/community. Nobody could, you’d run out of time. But I’ve seen enough not to want to spend any more of MY time on it.
    And you are right about Sharia law (and this applies to the teachings of the Koran too) where its application and observation in real life is warped by cultural, not religious, practices and misinterpretations. But that goes for the Bible and the American Constitution too lol
    You may note that I have not truly enjoyed/felt “at home” in ANY place I’ve lived so far, no matter the predominant race, religion or color. I’ve hated white & Christian places just as much (if not more) than I’ve hated some Muslim places. So it is NOT about Islam per se, or anything else. It’s about me being extremely particular!
    And no, hurting people’s feelings isn’t funny, but it’s unavoidable and inevitable amongst people who care to form opinions and know anything about, well, anything, so people need to stop whining and stop taking everything so personally.
    And you must remember that there are very few absolute truths out there. MOST of the things we discuss are innately subjective, and I think that failing to recognize and accept that is that spark in your gunpowder.
    I haven’t presumed to give any hard facts beyond my personal opinion and experience. You’d hope anyone reading would know that and be capable of forming their own opinions in turn :/

    Just in general, I think people harp on about “racism” far too much. It’s basically become a buzz word.
    And I really hate that white people will get labelled “racist” at the slightest provocation, at the most banal expression of opinion, whereas someone of another culture or race can get away with a LOT more.

    How’d you end up in Canada? And how come you want to leave? I’ve heard it’s great! If it weren’t so darn cold, it would be at the top of my to-try list 🙂

  • ifeetugga May 22, 2014, 7:51 pm |

    Much as I wanted to, it seems that preventing this discussion from going off topic couldn’t be avoided. That’s regrettable(Not blaming anyone or pointing fingers)! I didn’t want to go too deep into this matter with Linka, and at best, it should’ve been a friendly, logical and personal conversation between us and not something that became so..well…public. All I wanted was to let the readers of this blog think twice before coming to conclusions/forming opinions that could be biased. I only dream of a world where people can get along with each other. Difficult, but not impossible, I hope.
    Linka gave her views, I’m trying to give mine, hopefully in a logical and polite manner. Pity it got a little controversial. But if we learn something from it…..that’d be worth it.
    I previously said that because I don’t know about her background, I’d try not to comment about her feelings, experiences and thoughts about Islamic nations and only if she wants, this can be discussed in private between the two of us by e-mail or some other means she might prefer. These things can sometimes get out of hand and I for one didn’t want that. Sorry about that folks(and my apologies to you too Bob). Again, I just want that people shouldn’t form opinions without looking at the whole story. I hope I didn’t give any impression that Linka’s comments offended me(it didn’t), but rather, I’m more concerned about what impact it might have on other readers or that she might be harbouring ideas and opinions that might be incorrect, that’s why I’ve been making such long, arduous posts which I’m hoping the readers will find informative and hopefully, not annoying. We should try and form unbiased opinions, be it about Australia or Islamic nations. It’s not right to think that Islamic nations are by no means good places to live in as say, North America or Europe or Australia. Many non Muslims give good accounts of their stay in Islamic countries too.
    I’m sure that Linka has realized by now that I’m Muslim! Muslims come in all shapes, sizes, races, etc which I’m sure you know and if anyone didn’t guess that I am one previously, I hope their opinion about me won’t change now that they know! Most importantly, as a human being, I wanna get along with others, so I put forward my points using logic as best as I can, because I repeat, we should expand our knowledge of other cultures, religions, etc. so that we don’t form biased opinions, and I mean the bad kind. One’s bias can be good, or bad. You can always present your point of view and also listen to what others have to say and keep an open mind.
    I’m afraid that because it has become part of this discussion(Yes, we have sadly swayed off topic), I must address some of Linka’s views and let others(including her) decide and consider. Like many others, unfortunately, she seems to have developed an apprehension for Sharia Law(I can understand she is free to form such opinions. Don’t blame her in any way). I’m no expert, but here’s the thing: Linka mentions about rape and beatings by husbands, etc which she witnessed among the Muslim women she worked with but why didn’t she mention that under Sharia law, a wife has EVERY RIGHT to divorce her husband if he is abusive for no reason? As far as I know, Ireland, a predominantly Catholic nation, just recently legalized divorces, while, believe it or not, under Sharia(the more clearly defined laws that many Islamic scholars unanimously agree upon. Please note that no Islamic country has all the laws of Sharia “carved in stone”), measures are in place which virtually makes divorcing your spouse quite simple should the need arise, and at the same time, because divorce is least desirable, laws are there so that it’s not abused and that it’s the last option to consider. I won’t go into the details of these laws because it’s not the topic under discussion, and remember that I had previously mentioned that sometimes people mix cultural beliefs with religious beliefs (I believe you agreed with me on that. I really appreciated that! But with all due respect, and I’m sorry if this seems a little personal, I fear that sincere as they may be, some of your comments and views could be hurtful to some. You can’t, and shouldn’t, brush that off. I don’t think hurting people’s sentiments is funny in any way whatsoever). Unfortunately, either many Muslim women (and men) don’t know about what I’ve just mentioned or they are just too afraid of how society will judge them, so they carry on with this kind of abusive relationship. That, from my observations at least, is often the case.
    Who, or what, should one blame for that?
    If you wanna walk away from something, it’s your choice, but why walk away without knowing the whole story or remain adamant that you don’t want to know? Not accusing anyone, but some people have that mentality, don’t they?
    Hopefully, you don’t think like that or feel that way.
    One might have a biased opinion and not act on it, but in the real world, it seems that a lot of people do. What do you call Hitler’s anti-Semitic ramblings and doctrine? Didn’t they start as opinions once and later turn into a despicable policy? Look at how many followers he was able to gather(pure Nazis) because of it and most importantly the tragedy that ensued! The world is not a simple place I’m afraid. Not everyone is just keeping their opinion to themselves and not acting on it. It takes a simple spark to ignite a keg of gunpowder, but think about the consequences! It’d be naïve to think that even opinions can be harmless, especially those that are formed based on a lack of info or on half-truths. Sadly, many of us build our opinions based on these things 🙁 . We as humans should think about the feelings of others too and not just focus/give precedence on what we feel or believe or have opinions about, it might hurt those who don’t deserve it.
    Sorry again for digressing, but under the circumstances, I felt that I had to comment if someone had formed ideas that might be incorrect and based on what might not be true, hard facts (and could be misleading).
    Anyway, I appreciate Linka and Bob’s encouragement to explore Australia, I think it’s time that I started saving for that trip, or even moving there to see for myself whether or not the “land of Oz” is right for me. I welcome opinions as part of my research/quest from all those who might have a logically sound opinion to give…I’m open to it… for sure!
    And thanks Bob for your link on Racism in Australia. I agree with you that racism is a problem anywhere. It’s brilliant how you point out that there will always be that idiot with sick, twisted racist views, no matter where you live. Well put :-)!

    • ifeetugga May 22, 2014, 7:53 pm |

      P.S. sorry about such a long post!Thanks to all those who were patient enough to go through it.

  • Linka May 22, 2014, 1:36 pm |

    No, that is very different. Your example ended in the conclusion “…and they should be all *expletive*.” I have said no such thing; made no such summation based on my opinions. There is no offensive, pro-active action involved. My only conclusion was that since I am uncomfortable with major facets of those cultures, I will just avoid them and seek places that suit me better. The first part of your example (“I think so-and-so sucks because of so-and-so reason”) followed by walking away is called HAVING AN OPINION, and not acting upon it; upon anyone else as a result. If a mere statement of opinion offends someone, well, tough. That’s called LIFE. Not everyone gets along. Whether it’s because of incompatible culture, religion or music taste.
    I’m not offended, and I don’t know why you should be since I haven’t insulted you or anyone else specifically. But I am really sick of this PC stuff.
    Do you know ANYTHING about sharia law? About the beliefs in Muslim countries? Rape within marriage is not recognized. When a woman is raped, the shame falls on HER, not the the aggressor. Husbands are allowed to beat their wives.
    That’s not racism or bias. These are FACTS. Yes, they differ in degrees depending on the country/community/etc. but saying I do not want to be a part of that kind of culture is NOT a blind prejudice, it is based on (observed) fact.
    If you must know, I have known and worked in rehabilitation with women who have escaped from Muslim countries after being subjected to such (socially acceptable!) treatment, and it is HEARTBREAKING.

    I can judge Australia because I grew up here and while there are many great things about it – and approaching the matter objectively I would in fact recommend living here – socially (I am glad I grew up the education and health care system here, rather than in the United States!) I PERSONALLY dislike the culture. E.g. I don’t think news anchors reporting hard news stories should be using terms like “bloke” or “mate”; I don’t think that drinking beer daily and wearing flip-flops year-round is anything to boast about… But that is a judgment that can only be made based on experience, so you might enjoy it.

    Lol, Bob. Bob is not unbiased or neutral. The reason he created this website is precisely because he loves living in Australia! That is the epitome of having an opinion. And good for him 🙂 I’m glad he’s found a place to call home – I only hope to be able to do the same one day 🙂 Maybe one day I’ll find myself starting a blog about Zimbabwe or something hehe
    (Although you really can’t listen to anyone. You can look at the facts, as you must have already done if you have a research background as you say, so I’m sure you know that the standard of living in Australia is high & all the associated data in that stead paints a good picture, but if you know all that, then the ONLY way you can find out more is by moving here yourself. You can listen to personal opinions and experiences until the cows come home, and you’re always going to find as many negative as positive ones because guess what? People have different opinions.)

  • ifeetugga May 21, 2014, 8:09 pm |

    I can understand what you’re trying to say Linka. Here’s the thing though: while we are all entitled to our own opinion, imagine if someone says something like “In my opinion, so and so sucks because of so and so reason and they should be all (insert any expletive you can think of)”. Now, does having an opinion entitle any of us to offend or hurt someone’s feelings? Most of the time, such ‘opinions’ can result from prejudices towards certain groups in particular, can’t it?
    Feel free to express yourself. If possible, back it up with logic. But getting personal or expressing oneself using racist comments and claiming that they are part of one’s personal opinion/freedom of speech should always be a no-no. Sadly, often many people do that. Not cool, I’d think 🙁 . Maybe you don’t do that, but unfortunately, it happens a lot, so I feel that we should think a little before acting on a whim or expressing what’s on the darkest part of one’s mind. We can avoid several unwanted incidents that way and not offend those who don’t deserve that kind of treatment.
    And if you’re uncomfortable, feel free to back away, but a human being in this day and age shouldn’t live out his/her life with biased opinions that are incorrect.
    Just saying!
    At least you and I had a frank discussion and hopefully no one got offended. Here’s hoping we all got some food for thought :-).
    I’ve listened to your views with interest about Aussie culture, but with my background in conducting research(utilizing whatever knowledge of Economics and Marketing that I could fortunately muster and applying logical thinking), I’d also prefer to listen to what others, such as Bob or any other sane, open minded, unbiased and neutral person, has to say about Australia, it’s people and it’s values(cultural and others). Only then should I (or anyone else I’d think) come to a conclusion. That’s what I’m hoping to do when it comes to understanding Australian culture. I suppose the best way to do so is by traveling(or moving) there. It’d be fun/enjoyable/interesting for me at least! I feel that, we should, if possible, travel to other parts of the world to broaden our horizon and learn about other cultures and even try and develop to respect other cultures before doing something like branding it negatively so quickly and impulsively.
    As they say, “The World is your Oyster”. Perhaps certain oysters taste better. For me, the oyster that is North America, tastes pretty good, although some parts can taste a little bitter from time to time. But others should taste it too and decide on which is the best tasting one out there.
    Keep chillin!

    • BobinOz May 22, 2014, 12:26 am |

      such as Bob or any other sane, open minded, unbiased and neutral person” – there’s an oxymoron in there somewhere, but I’m not letting on exactly where.

      Anyway, this conversation is getting slightly off topic, we are talking about the best country in the world to live in here, maybe you should check out my post asking Is Australia racist?

  • Linka May 21, 2014, 5:21 pm |

    Oh, I think people confuse being prejudiced/biased/racist with “having an opinion” all too often these days. I don’t judge anyone for anything seriously, but if I’m uncomfortable with a particular culture for ANY reason, I’m allowed to say I want nothing to do with it. And it’s not about race or religion, because I HATE Australian culture too!

  • Linka May 20, 2014, 7:57 pm |

    No, I get it, don’t worry, I’ve travelled a lot and I have enjoyed my time in some “Islamic” areas etc. I guess overall, I’m biased against ALL religions. I just think religion is a bad idea lol
    But you’re right in pointing out that there’s a difference between religion and culture! Obviously, chauvinism, oppression, violence etc. aren’t mutually inclusive via-a-vis Islam and the cultures/nations that practice it.
    Ah, well I hate being called an “Aussie” …but then I do NOT identify with Australian culture, despite *technically* being born & raised here :/ (I’d choose to live in Malaysia over Australia any day! – So there you go :P)

    • ifeetugga May 21, 2014, 4:20 pm |

      Well you do have the right to choose to hold and practice any religious beliefs…or not should you want to do so.
      I just wanted to give give you something to think about so that you’re not biased against any religious group/ethnicity in particular (and I’m glad that you paid heed to what I had said. You’ll notice that this forum has NO PLACE for those holding views that might be considered racist, and I really like that policy being implemented by Bob. Hope he keeps it up as best as he can). I don’t have to tell you that such bias can’t be healthy. the world already has too many problems…and no nation has been spared. it’s just that, to me, some nations are more well off than others. at least that’s how I feel about North America…and Canada in particular… not too biased I hope:-)
      How I’d love to get a new perspective by moving to Australia!
      Looks like you and I are travelers who are still searching for some place and something new.
      I hope that we both find what we are looking for.

  • Linka May 19, 2014, 7:46 pm |

    Oh, I’ve spent time in Thailand, Bali, Singapore and Malaysia so I know what to expect. Bali isn’t Islamic though. But I’d be happy to take any great job opportunity in any SE Asian nation. As long as it’s hot, I’m happy! I love Asian cultures, and I know that there, even the Islamic regions are a toned-down and diversified version… Singapore being expensive is definitely a factor, but if my salary were to be high relative to living costs, well, who cares? For now, I’ll be spending a few months at the end of the year in Thailand for modeling!
    But I think I’m biased for the right reasons. It’s hard for you to understand as a male, but I can assure you that it is NOT a pleasant experience living alone in Islamic areas as a female.

    Oh, I’m used to squirrels (probably more so than kangaroos, etc. because living in Europe and the States you come across them a lot more often there than you would Australian animals here) but I still think they’re adorable 😀

    Oh, and can people please stop calling it “Oz”, or calling Australians “Aussies”? I don’t call Americans “Yanks”, or Canadians “hosers” haha
    Thanks 😛

    • ifeetugga May 20, 2014, 3:10 pm |

      Since I don’t know about your (Linka’s) background or past experiences, and because it sways from the topic, it’d be better if I don’t get into what constitutes truly Islamic or what is your idea about “Toned down Islamic”, that could only be a personal discussion/conversation between us. However, think about this: Often, religious practices get entwined with local cultural practices, eg, many of the Christian communities in some of the predominantly Christian African nations combine elements of Animism with Christianity; that’s no reason why one should be biased against Christianity as a whole or view Christianity in a bad way.
      No offense/criticism intended…just something to think about.
      I was fortunate to have also lived in some of the middle eastern nations, and although, say, Saudi Arabia, can be stiff for females(locals and foreigners), the U.A.E, to me at least, seemed more liberal. Like I said, it is sometimes a matter of combining local cultural values with religious beliefs. You made a good guess in assuming that I’m a male, but I’m also a strong believer in basic human rights, whether it pertains to males or females. It’s just that, I’ve often felt that our biases, and by that I mean the bad ones, is a major reason why we as humans can’t get along, be it with our neighbours in the area that we live in or our neighbouring countries.
      I hope that I didn’t digress into something that’s off-topic.
      Personally, I feel that some of the middle-eastern nations or south-east Asian nations (Islamic or non-Islamic) are wonderful places to live in. However, in order to broaden my horizon, I’d really love to move to Australia someday if I’m lucky.
      Oh and feel free to call me a Hoser/Canuck if you want, I don’t mind(Although Hoser does have a rather pejorative meaning in Canada)! I’m certain Bob doesn’t mind being called an Aussie either, in fact, I’m sure that he’d be proud of it :-).
      Maybe it’s a guy thing 🙁 ???
      All the best with wherever you want to move to or with whatever aspirations you might have regarding your career/life.

  • Linka May 18, 2014, 5:12 pm |

    Oh, I mentioned pet stores RE rabbits, not kangaroos. Kangaroos are NOT pets, except in the way that sheep or chicken can be “pets” if you live in the middle of nowhere. Pass.
    People really have to realize that the whole kangaroos/koalas thing is a PR gimmick. They are wild animals. I’d liken them to deer elsewhere…. (Some of the smaller breeds of kangaroo could be kept in a house, but I don’t even know if that’s allowed?)
    I love squirrels! We don’t have them here. I’ve only encountered them whilst living in Europe and the States. Cuter than any Australian critter, if you ask me!

    I have heard it can be hard to get into Australia even with skills/qualifications etc. :/ But they seem to let any and every refugee in, so hitch a ride on a leaky boat? Eek. Though they’re curtailing that lately, too. Phew.
    I didn’t say there’s a lack of jobs? Just a lack of good, interesting jobs, in my opinion. Anything interesting involves traveling, or moving overseas. I find Australian society & culture pretty dull. But that’s just me. Some people love the cruisey lifestyle, including the rampant poor grammar and ridiculous colloquialisms. Ahem.

    I’m thinking Singapore for the job opportunities. I don’t care about space – I like sterile, clean, high-rise cities. I’d pass on Malaysia because I’d be too weary about living in an Islamic country. But Thailand, Hong Kong, Bali, etc. are all on the list too…
    I really liked Florida. I’m going to move to LA for a while first, though, see what happens there. I’d say that Cali and Texas would both be too cold for me though!
    Canada sounds pretty great, but weather-wise, I’d label it “unlivable”.

    • BobinOz May 19, 2014, 2:16 pm |

      I see kangaroos quite often, for example Kate and Wills in Australia: And a Kangaroo Skipping. Definitely cute, just don’t get into a fight with one.

      • ifeetugga May 19, 2014, 3:21 pm |

        I guess we all have our own preferences when it comes to finding beauty in animals. Being so used to squirrels, they hardly appeal to me anymore. I suppose that’s how many Aussies feel about Kangaroos.
        You have the right to choose where you wish to settle down, work, etc. so if Singapore is your choice, so be it. All the best! I recommended Malaysia because it’s cheap and almost as developed as Singapore. You really shouldn’t feel weary about living in an Islamic country. Malaysia is a pretty safe country with diversity in its population (Malayas, Chinese and Indians) and it’s rare that conflicts arise. It’s my earnest hope that you won’t (and you shouldn’t) judge or stereotype entire communities just because of certain bad experiences or what you hear/see in the media. At least, not in this day and age.
        I also noticed that you might want to consider Bali. I’m sure you know that Bali is part of Indonesia, which is a nation with the largest Muslim population in the world. Indonesian and Malaysian culture is practically the same(I was fortunate to have made friends who hailed from both nations), but I got the feeling that Malaysia is more developed in certain aspects.
        Anyway, just giving you some things to consider so that you don’t get biased for all the wrong reasons. At the end of the day, it’s your life. Live it wherever you find peace, be it in Oz, the U.S or like I do in Canada(but would love to give Oz a try someday if I’m lucky, just like I was lucky to be part of Canadian society).
        Oh and those are some cute pics Bob. really cute Kangaroos. Isn’t that an Eastern grey Kangaroo(I’m talking about the lone kangaroo that appears in the post about Kate and Will)? These are a common species over there, correct?.

  • Linka May 18, 2014, 12:06 am |

    Oh and ditto about the “good” animals – rabbits, kangaroos, etc. You’re also not going to see them unless you live well out of the city. Or at a pet shop or zoo. Seriously, Australia is like any other place in that regard. Maybe more so… I mean in Europe or the States, for example, you’ll see squirrels in inner-city parks, or deer in outer suburbs… it’s not even like that here with Australian animals. You might see parrots at best?

    • ifeetugga May 18, 2014, 3:20 pm |

      I didn’t know that you could find Kangaroos in pet stores in is that possible? I mean, once it grows, isn’t a Kangaroo almost as big as a human being? How do you keep a pet that big in an apartment or small house? I’d think that the only way you can have one as a pet would be if you own a farm and have access to acres of land. Maybe that’s the case with Skippy the Bush Kangaroo…well, that’s my impression having watched the reruns as a child…obviously, I wasn’t even born when it aired during the 1960s. Made me think (back then having watched the reruns) along the lines of “Wow! What a nation. you can have a cute Kangaroo as a pet”. Our were they (the 1960s)simply a different time and I was just a naive kid?
      I don’t wanna get started about the squirrels in North America; at my campus those critters would be running around everywhere (this was in Texas), I nearly ran over some of ’em…that too on my bicycle while trying to get to classes!
      I suppose we all have our own versions of what one would aspire to do or become. Personally, if I got an outrageous salary for an easy job, I’d be over the moon! An easy life…bring it on! Assuming of course, I got my dream job, or at least some kinda job befitting of my qualifications in Oz. But I find it hard to agree with Linka about the lack of jobs…as far as I know, Australia only lets in those with experience in skills/jobs that’d come in handy over there(Canada is doing it these days with its immigration policy). At least, that’s how it is these days. Am I wrong?
      Just a suggestion, but maybe Linka should consider Malaysia instead of Singapore…it’s cheaper and the salaries are decent from what I’ve heard. And Malaysia is more spacious than Singapore. If you wanna move to the States…Florida is a good wise. California works too. As for Texas, well if you grew up in Western Australia or the Middle East, you’d feel right at home.
      Just my two cents. Hope I didn’t sway from the actual topic. I personally still find Oz to be a wonderful place to live in. but Canada isn’t too bad either, unless you truly despise the freezing temps and won’t budge when it comes to the weather.

  • Linka May 18, 2014, 12:03 am |

    Well NZ sounds awful, and the accent makes me want to gouge my ears out. But then so does the Australian accent…

    I think Australia is great to grow up in, so go for it if you have kids, but if you’re coming for work etc. there’s not much going on here, except the weather… and barely, it still gets cold and miserable – it’s no England, but it’s no tropical paradise either.
    I for one am moving to the States and/or South East Asia soon and it’s well overdue. I find that there’s an incredible sense of complacence here. A lack of passion, and opportunity. Life is almost TOO easy. The government throws money at you for nothing (although that’s changing slowly, thankfully) and the most basic jobs pay an absurd minimum wage so there are so many people who just cruise through life comfortably and never aspire to more.

  • Linka May 17, 2014, 12:15 am |

    Actually, southern Queensland is too cold for me. The winter is still miserable.
    I’m setting my sights for SE Asia (Singapore) 🙂

    Unless you live on a farm/out in the country, snakes are not an issue ANYWHERE in Australia. If you live in a city, in a suburb, in a house or apartment like a normal person, you will NOT have any problems with snakes/bugs/etc.

    • ifeetugga May 17, 2014, 1:55 pm |

      Thanks a lot Linka…that makes me feel a lot better!
      I for one love just about all the animals in the world including rabbits and kangaroos(I believe there’s a plethora of ’em in Oz), but snakes, apart from some small pythons, and especially those that are venomous/poisonous, give me the creeps. So I’m sure you guys understand my apprehension. I hear that apparently New Zealand, Australia’s neighbours, doesn’t have any snakes(not counting those in captivity, such as those in zoos) out in their forests(if you can call them that).
      Now wouldn’t that make New Zealand a wonderful place to live in or at least a good competitor with Oz? Any comments?

  • Linka May 16, 2014, 10:46 am |


    I mean, proportionately, more people live in cold climates. I can’t understand for the life of me WHY, but some of them must like it? So you can ‘t be alone!

    • BobinOz May 16, 2014, 4:09 pm |

      Linka, I’m with you, give me warm any day. I just love the Brisbane climate.

      Ifeetugga, Tasmania is absolutely beautiful, the only downside is it’s difficult to find work. But if you like cold, beautiful, countryside and water, Tasmania is your place. Hobart has got a a lot going for it as well, I think it would be a good choice.

      • ifeetugga May 16, 2014, 10:32 pm |

        Thanks a lot guys for your kind response. I really was beginning to think I was a freak for liking cold weather too much.
        I guess one has to weigh all of his/her options and if jobs are a little scare in Tasmania, that would be a bummer; might have to opt for SA instead.
        Just outta curiousity, and please forgive my ignorance, but does Tasmania have a problem with snakes like the rest of Oz? I mean, every time I think Tasmania, I think of the Tasmanian Devil, but what about the snakes over there?
        Thanks again! Cheers!

        • Robert Scott February 15, 2015, 9:07 pm |

          Yes there are venomous snakes in Tasmania, in particular the Viper. I bought a house on the west coast and lived there for 6 years. I didn’t see one but they were about. I now live in Sale, Victoria and I guess there are snakes here as well but haven’t seen one yet. Most snakes tend to stay away from people. In the northern states they have sharks & crocodiles which on the whole are much more dangerous, if you are in their territory they will try to eat you. In fact a few years ago there was a crock wandering down a street in Cains looking for a meal.


  • ifeetugga May 15, 2014, 8:05 pm |

    So, am I the only weirdo who LOVES cold, freezing temperatures? Is this why I take pride in calling North America,or to be precise, Canada, my home? Is that why England didn’t seem too bad when I visited as a child during the 1980s and i feel a longing for that kind of typical English weather?
    I guess it comes down to “To each his own”. What do you guys think?
    If I could live anywhere in Oz, it’d be either Adelaide or somewhere in Tas…Melbourne and Sydney seem to expensive to me compared to Toronto. Again, it’s just me I guess.
    Knowing my affinity for cold weather, does anyone have an opinion about my choice of cities in Oz where i’d fit right in, weather wise, at least?Just wondering.

    • Robert Scott February 15, 2015, 8:54 pm |

      There are many places in Tasmania which would fit the bill. As far as expense though, try the west coast it’s cheaper but infrastructure is minimal.


  • Linka June 19, 2013, 2:11 am |

    My go-to is Bali 🙂 (I also love that our nearby getaway destination is South East Asia, much better than Europe’s Mediterranean/North Africa, or USA’s Caribbean!)

    Oh and all that talk about wanting to have “4 distinct seasons”? Ugh. Who cares. And hey, Brisbane has seasons. Summer is hot, winter isn’t. Voila.
    (Adelaide and Melbourne do. As a kid in Adel, I remember jumping into piles of leaves in Autumn, frost on the windshield in Winter, and flowers blooming in Spring…so Australia has seasons too if you care about something so silly.)

    • BobinOz June 19, 2013, 4:25 pm |

      Not been to Bali yet, but did Thailand a couple of years ago, loved it! They sure know how to cook food and I’m not a foodie!

      South Australia has seasons for those who want them, and so does North Australia as well, but there it’s just wet or dry. But then what more could anyone want?

      Norway, surely, just has cold, so we are ahead of them on that one:-)

  • Linka June 18, 2013, 3:14 pm |

    One of my favorite articles! My thoughts exactly. Why do people not talk about this?
    Living in NYC right now… whoever started the rumor that New York is (one of) the greatest cities in the world ought to be shot. I can’t stand when I say I hate NYC and a local will counter with “Oh it’s great, you just have to get used to it.” Get used to it? I wouldn’t say a marriage was good if you had to “get used to it” haha
    Have you ever thought about how almost all the world’s poorer, developing countries are in warm weather regions, and the “Western” world has, well, s**t weather?
    Fear and suffering breed progress and productivity, I guess. An ideal (perpetually warm) world could over eons atrophy into peaceful demise – an idea discussed in much literature and philosophy… Another reason Australia is so special. It’s really the ONLY developed, Western nation/region with a liveable climate. – Ok so the only major Aus city warm enough for me is Brisbane, but our coldest city is Melbourne… compare that to Chicago, New York, or Paris, London… Ugh!

    • BobinOz June 18, 2013, 8:57 pm |

      If you ever get the chance to check out average monthly temperatures in Norway, then do so. It will send shivers down your spine. How it can beat Australia into second is beyond me, maybe some people like cold weather?

      Here in Brisbane we are in winter and temperatures during the day have dropped to around 20° C. So I’m off on holiday at the end of the month, I’m going somewhere warm! That, of course, counts Melbourne out 🙂

    • Robert Scott February 15, 2015, 8:49 pm |

      You are wrong, Tasmania would be the state in Australia with the coldest cities. Hobart for example. There are many towns down there which would be considered cold as well. For example the semi alpine town of Waratah on the west coast. Temperature range C from about 25 to -10.


      • BobinOz February 16, 2015, 3:22 pm |

        Well spotted. Maybe that should have said “coldest mainland state capital city after Canberra”. 🙂

  • David Azzopardi October 6, 2009, 8:17 pm |

    I’m sure Norway is a beautiful country but those temperatures are way too cold for my liking. I much prefer long, sunny, and warm days, where you can relax at the beach and enjoy the sun.

    • BobinOz October 7, 2009, 12:43 pm |

      Couldn’t agree more David, you can’t beat the heat. I think it’s great just sticking on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and you’re done.

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