Paradise Found: Where Do Backpackers Settle Down After Their Travels?

by Jules on July 26, 2013

Backpacking, to all those that have done it, is definitely a contender for the experience of a lifetime– wedding and firstborns aside, perhaps.

From visiting new countries, meeting a range of people and discovering so many fresh tastes, activities and music, a backpacking journey can last anything from two weeks to many years.

Unfortunately however, there often comes a time when all such hedonism or exploration must end; bringing with it the usual hangover of reality.

For those facing the prospect of having to go home, or in the least, staying in one place – it isn’t the end of the adventure.

The world of the expat is quite probably the next step for many backpackers. Whether they move to Thailand, Indonesia or Australia, moving across the world in the 21st century is relatively easy thanks to international relocation services like

So when backpackers become expats, where do they choose to live?

For the most part, the travel bug is a terribly hard thing to shake and can follow a person around like a shadow in their day to day life.

Of course, moving completely to another country is one convenient way of not only curing yourself of it, but also of experiencing life elsewhere on an everyday basis.

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a hefty amount of financial backing, the average backpacker can’t really afford to pick up sticks and plant them permanently on a white sandy beach in Vietnam; though there are countries were you can go to live comfortably due to the lower cost of living or to progress in your career.


With that thought in mind, a large number of backpackers register an interest in moving to Australia; the combination of tropical climate while remaining (roughly) Western in outlook is an attractive one to many.

In addition to this, Australia’s education system, health care and happiness level is considered one of the best in the world. Another appealing aspect of the country is the fact that skilled persons currently living in the UK are more likely to earn a higher wage if they head off down under.

A nurse with two to three years’ experience, for example, can earn roughly $45,000 (£27,000).

New Zealand

Though not known for being one the most tropical countries in the world (though its climate is comfortable), it is one which is known for its idyllic countryside, welcoming people and to add to this, it offers some of the best backpacking trails in the world.

In regards to visas, Hilary Osborne of The Guardian says:

“It is crying out for skilled young workers and offers Brits under the age of 30 the chance to apply for a working visa that lasts almost two years. Skilled migrants can be granted a stay of up to five years.”

Interestingly, New Zealand also has three official languages (English, Maori and New Zealand sign language), so if you’re worried about missing out on new cultures, you really don’t have to worry about moving here.

Where else in the world is good for ex-backpackers?

Many people, once they have scaled the world also enjoy the idea of teaching or charity work in foreign countries.

Japan is one such country that welcomes English speaking teachers with open arms, and Uganda is one very popular African country where people can go to help teach underprivileged children.

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