There is nothing like that feeling where you open up an atlas and try to decide which country is going to be your new destination. But with the whole world to choose from, how can you possibly make up your mind?
The first big decision to make is whether you want to travel to a developed country or a developing country, so here are seven reasons why choosing a less economically developed destination might just might prove to be the best option…
1. It's Cheaper (usually)
This is the obvious benefit, and one which may swing your decision all by itself. Usually--but not always--living in a developing country is cheaper, and for those who want their money to go as far as possible that can be very tempting.
In general, it is cheaper to travel on the public transport, to buy your weekly groceries, to rent accommodation, and to eat out every night. Yes, living in a developing country can certainly make you feel like your pockets are very deep indeed!
However, just be aware that it isn't all cheap all the time. In many developing countries you may find that some things are in fact more expensive. In Argentina, for example, electronic goods are FAR more expensive than in the United States and Europe due to the hefty import taxes. But if you can go without purchasing the latest smartphones and notebooks you'll be fine.
2. Less Competition for Jobs
In expat hotspots around the globe, the fact that you speak fluent English or even that you have an MA in psychology may not help you to stand out much from the competition. Other expats have already got there before you, and there is a constant supply of young, intelligent competitors to swipe the most lucrative and exciting opportunities from under your nose.
But in a developing country the competition may be far less and you may therefore end up competing in a market where you can stand out further. Here, speaking English really might be all that you need to land a top job.
3. More of a Challenge
Living in a developing country is often a greater challenge than living in a developed one because everything becomes a question of patience and endurance.
Instead of timetables, you have to wait three hours for a bus to fill up before it leaves; instead of ordering your groceries online, you have a two-hour walk to the nearest market; in place of efficiency and speed, you have queues and frustration.
A stereotype? Maybe to some extent. But if you like a challenge, you're likely to find it in abundance in a developing country.
4. Cheaper to Grow Your Business
If you want to set up a business and grow it from abroad--whether it is located in a new country or operated purely online--being based in a developing country may provide you with a steady stream of cheap labour. Even paying above-market rates in a developing country may still lead to significant savings, which could allow you to grow your business faster and more profitably.
5. A Complete Change
People go abroad for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is to escape from the norm.
And you cannot get much more different that going to a developing country. If you live in the USA and travel to France you will undoubtedly find it very different… but there will also be a lot of similarities.
In a developing country, on the other hand, you will see things on a daily basis that you would not see in a million years back home. If it's a complete change you are seeking, you won't be disappointed.
In a developing country you can find inspiration in your surroundings in a way that it is difficult to achieve elsewhere. Poverty opens your eyes to the reality of the world in which many people live, and seeing it for yourself may help to inspire you in ways that you could not have previously foreseen.
In addition, many developing countries are spectacularly beautiful, and that can mean they are the perfect place to find inspiration.
7. The People are Friendlier
It may sound like a stereotype, but people in developing countries are often very open and friendly in a way that is often lacking in the developed world.
Sometimes in the developed world we do not have the same openness, the same custom of welcoming strangers into our homes without question, of stopping to discuss the world with anyone who happens to be passing. We are more suspicious, less trusting, less welcoming.
Sometimes the hospitality you find in developing countries can be quite overwhelming as it is so different from what you are used to. If that sounds like something you want to experience for yourself then choosing a developing country as your destination could be ideal.
Could a Developing Country Be Right for You?
Of course, choosing a destination in a less-developed country may not be the best choice for you. But never dismiss the option of moving to a developing country based solely on the fact that it is too unfamiliar. You never know, it could turn out to be the adventure of a lifetime.