We bet you always thought it would cost a fortune to live in paradise. Actually, you might be surprised to learn that you can live well in a terrific place, and for a relatively small amount of money, too. Here is a list of five low-cost – yet wonderful – countries where you can live without much money.
Nacula Island, Fiji
Only 100 out of 325 of Fiji’s islands are inhabited, and tourists very rarely visit more than a few after landing at Viti Levu, the largest island in the archipelago. The Fiji islands are generally best known their rich culture, clear blue waters, bright blue lagoons, and palm tree-lined beaches. Fiji is, surprisingly, among the twenty cheapest countries on the consumer price plus rent index. Viti Levu is filled with exuberant resorts and is the jumping off place for flights and ferries to dozens of other islands with magnificent beaches that offer hut-dwellings where beer chug contestants can stay for $20 a night. Instead of staying within your comfort zone like many visitors do, we recommend that you bring along some of that adventure-seeking, adrenaline-junkie spirit and visit Viti Levu’s rocky mountains and the remote areas which often require an invitation from the local chief to enter. Many of the shops in the big cities are run by villagers from the mountains who will invite you in for kava, a non-alcoholic, non-narcotic beverage made from the ground root of the pepper plant, which contains massive amounts of vitamin B, a natural muscle relaxant and anti-depressant.
Podgorica and the Moraca river – Montenegro
Finally free of any traces of Communism from the Yugoslavian era, Montenegro is booming. The citizens are all about the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle. This country offers it all, from rocky mountains to a gorgeous Adriatic coastline. Its capital, Podgorica, offers open-air restaurants that look down on the Morača River, where ethno folk bands with accordions and harmonicas take center stage. Experiences like this do not cost much, and the official currency you will use when visiting, or even moving to Montenegro, is the Euro. For those ready to invest more money in an unforgettable experience, the soulful village of Perast, on the Adriatic Sea’s Bay of Kotor, offers you exactly that with the bay and mountains illuminated by majestic sunsets.
Chisinau, the capital city of the Republic of Moldova.
Eastern Europe’s least-visited country is a tiny piece of land that lies between Ukraine and Romania. Being Europe’s poorest nation certainly does not help Moldova’s reputation. After breaking up with the USSR, Moldova suffered a major economic setback. But if you do not mind cold winters or Soviet architecture, this country has a lot to offer, beginning with the cost of living, which is 62 percent lower than the U.S. And Moldova is one of the biggest wine producers on earth. The country’s capital, Chișinău, is quickly establishing a reputation as the party capital of Europe.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgaria has the lowest living costs in all of Europe. However, this doesn’t mean that Bulgaria has nothing to offer. On the contrary, this country will offer you historic towns, green mountain ranges, sun-kissed beaches, and a welcoming and friendly people, all for a small amount of money. One can find a two-bedroom apartment for €230 a month in Veliko Tarnovo, or in Plovdiv for only €170. Since many Bulgarians have moved elsewhere in Europe to look for work, one can purchase real estate here for less than a car would cost in the USA.
Thanks to its mountainous terrain and its position directly on the equator, you can choose almost any climate you like in Ecuador simply by moving up or down in altitude. Ecuador is also on the top of anybody’s destination list for its affordability and the availability of real estate to rent or buy, especially for expats, thus attracting refugees as it’s also one of the easiest countries in the world for foreigners to get residency. The income requirement is only $800 a month. This can mean significant long-term savings for anyone considering Ecuador as a permanent or semi-permanent residence. The country also offers great retiree benefits, and health care is generally good. However, moving to Ecuador will mean adjusting to new customs and learning a new language, but with the motivations stated above, I bet this won’t be a problem for many potential new residents.
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