08
Apr-2009

Top Four Places to Consider Living for the Adventurous Traveler

Top Four Places We May Consider Living

As the journey to Ashgabat approaches, careful planning is necessary.  We also need to plan for what we will do when we get return, and where we would like to go.  We will travel through some of our favorite places in China and will certainly discover more as we go.  With jobs scarce, careful consideration needs to be given to choose the next destination.  Also, just for fun I have listed the top 5 places I would consider moving to and living for the next year or two.

XinJiang

The Dunes of the Great Taklamakan Desert
The Dunes of the Great Taklamakan Desert

Easily a favorite of mine, the Taklamakan Desert is fabled for expeditions and discoveries; from Maro Polo to Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein, lost cities and ancient ruins are splattered across the desert.  Arguably the harshest desert in the world, surrounded on the west by the Himalayas and the Gobi Desert to the far East, crossing the Taklamakan Desert of XinJiang Provence, China has been a long lasting goal in my mind.  With some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered, Turpan, Urumqi, the capital, and Kashgar – the famous Silk Road trading outpost – would be great places to spend a portion of one’s life.

Uzbekistan

Minaret in Uzbekistan
Minaret in Uzbekistan

Easily a road less traveled for most westerners, Uzbekistan, a former Soviet Republic, is one of the most remote “Stans.”  With a wide variety of languages, cultures and ethnic groups, Uzbekistan would be a great place to discover something new.  Tashkent, the capital, would be a good place to start and find a job.  The famous shrinking Aral Sea is rapidly decreasing in size due to drastic misuses of water from the sea and Soviet cotton production.  Boats can be seen sitting in a sand dune where the harbor used to be 50 years ago.  Having a 50% Muslim population would also add to the illustrious and interesting nature of this possibly misunderstood and understudied country.

Thailand

Thailand Cave, Beach, and Rock Formations
Thailand Cave, Beach, and Rock Formations

Considered the vacation hot spot for Australians and many Europeans, much like the Caribbean is for North Americans, Thailand is a tropical paradise.  With several islands, forests, beaches and sunshine, Thailand would be a significant change from the smoggy air of Shanghai, China.  Although Thailand is currently suffering some political upheaval over their democratically unelected prime minister, it is still a safe and desirable place to live.  Famous for Muay Thai boxing, several areas in Thailand host Muay Thai training camps to give foreigners the change to learn this incredibly powerful art.  For $3500 USD, one can live and learn Muay Thai for one month.  Many foreign companies have set up branches or offices in Thailand because of labor costs and simply for the desire to live on the ocean.

Volcano in Ecuador
Volcano in Ecuador

Ecuador

Right smack dab on the equator, another warm beautiful country, perhaps not as frequented by travelers as Thailand, Ecuador bosts great culture and history on the otherside of the world.  With thousands of years of Incan hisotry, World National Heritage sites like the Galápagos Islands, and massive diversity in climate because of the different elevations, Ecuador would be a great place to live – and learn Spanish.  Also having friends from Ecuador, makes is a very desirable place to consider.  Teaching Enlgish while learning Spanish would be a phenominal way to ride out the recession or just live regardless.

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  • Josh says:

    Xinjiang, you say? Not a bad idea, I think. Although it does get quite hot here it’s still a great place to live.

    I would like to point out, however, that all the cities you mentioned are hours from the Taklamakan Desert. Might want to try some smaller place like Korla or Aksu that borders the desert if you want that kind of place, but be prepared for some major dust storms!

  • Nice pictures! I didn’t know it was that cheap to live and learn Muay Thai in Thailand. I am going there in November. I think I might take your suggestion from the link there to double my efforts when I’m in Thailand. Muy Thai in Thailand! Sounds pretty brutal, actually. LOL!

  • David Vilder says:

    Kashgar… I hope you keep this blog updated if you cross the Taklamakan to go to Ashgabat. I am myself going there this summer for 2 months and I’d live to hear from your experiences!

  • For those of you worried about the circumstances in Bangkok, let me advice you, don’t go there!

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