Moving to a new country is a significant life decision, often driven by factors such as job opportunities, adventure, or a desire for a lifestyle change. However, not every relocation results in a positive experience, and many individuals find themselves regretting their decision.
According to a survey by ‘World According to Briggs’, 75% of individuals who moved for work in the last decade expressed dissatisfaction with their chosen country. The survey identified the most regretted destinations and the main reasons for expatriate discontent, highlighting the importance of careful planning and research before relocating for work.
Counting down from number 10, eliciting the least level of regret, to number one with the most level of regret, here are the top 10 countries people regret moving to.
10 countries people regret moving to:
Surprisingly, Canada makes it to the list at number 10. While Canada is renowned for its beautiful scenery and high quality of life, some expatriates find the immigration process challenging and the cost of living higher than expected. Additionally, the cold weather is a common complaint among those who regret their move.
At number nine, the United Kingdom, with its rich history and broad culture, is not exempt from expat regrets. Complaints include the damp, cold weather and a perceived lack of work-life balance, especially in management positions. Some expats also mention the expense of living and difficulties accessing healthcare.
Ranking eighth on the list is Brazil, a country known for its vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes. However, concerns about safety and high crime rates in certain urban areas emerge as primary reasons for expat regret. Despite the allure of the people, beaches, and food, personal safety becomes a significant drawback.
France takes the seventh spot, with expats citing difficulty integrating with locals, particularly in urban areas. Some claim that the hospitality in France is often just a façade, and Paris, in particular, does not always live up to its picturesque image. Cultural differences and a perceived lack of warmth from locals contribute to expat dissatisfaction.
At number six, China reveals a unique set of challenges for expatriates. Many Westerners report feeling ignored or isolated in Chinese society, with language barriers exacerbating the issue. Expats also express frustration with work-related pressures, a lack of work-life balance, and cultural differences that make fitting in challenging.
Japan secures the fifth spot, with Tokyo drawing mixed reviews from expats. Issues such as a lack of work-life balance, prevalent smoking in restaurants, and the use of squat toilets are frequently cited as sources of dissatisfaction. While Japan offers a unique cultural experience, some expats find it difficult to adapt to certain aspects of daily life.
Surprisingly, the United States lands at number four, with crime and racism being significant concerns for expatriates. While the U.S. is often seen as a land of opportunity, the realities of racial tensions and high crime rates in certain areas have left some regretting their decision to move.
Mexico takes the third spot, with ex-pats expressing concerns about crime and cleanliness in certain areas. While Mexico offers an affordable cost of living, issues such as theft and pickpocketing, particularly in border towns, contribute to expat dissatisfaction.
At number two, Belarus emerges as an unexpected entry on the list. Expatriates, especially those from the U.S., report feeling unwelcome and isolated. Cultural differences and general disapproval of non-Belarusians contribute to expat regret.
Topping the list is Vietnam, where expats appreciate the exquisite food but struggle with issues of fraud, crime, and hygiene. Concerns about unhygienic food preparation and a lack of safety standards add a layer of discomfort to the otherwise attractive destination.