Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The best rural expat destinations

For many, becoming an expat is a career move, rather than lifestyle decision, and so life abroad can often be associated with fast-paced city living in some of the world’s top business centres – London, New York, Hong Kong. For others however, rural living is part and parcel of the expat dream, especially when it comes to raising a family or enjoying retirement.

Here we look at some top rural expat destinations:

Image source: Creative Common/Thomas Steiner

France
Converting secluded properties, walking in the mountains and taking in the beauty and variety of the French countryside are all popular expat pastimes, with the country offering expats many different kinds of rural experiences.
Why not check out the Loire Valley – the so-called Garden of France? The area is known for its beautiful chateaux, multiple vineyards and fruit orchards, historic towns, and, of course, the Loire River.
Or sun yourself by the shores of Lake Annecy (Europe’s cleanest lake)?
From the beaches of Brittany to the snowy mountaintops of the Alps and Pyrenees, rural France is well worth exploring and makes for a great expat home.

Spain
Spain is another favoured European destination for expats seeking a rural retreatment. Think lots of sunshine and a wonderful outdoors lifestyle, whether near historic inland or secluded coastal towns.
Just try to learn the language and make friends with the locals to make the most of Spanish life and start fitting in with the local culture.

Japan
Japan may seem like a less usual choice for expats seeking out a rural idyll but the wonderfully varied landscape - mountains, lakes, rivers – and opportunity for adventurous pastimes such as cycling, skiing, snowboarding, and kayaking can be very attractive.

Image source: Creative Common/Petr Novák, Wikipedia

In the humid summer, the heat can be hard to handle and rural locations often require more knowledge of Japanese than is necessary in big cities, but the opportunity you have to live in such beautiful surroundings and to access a traditional Japanese way of life is invaluable.

What’s your favourite rural destination? Let us know! 

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