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Hi Guys,

I've been reading through a lot of the threads that discuss the best cities to live in / visit. There is a lot of good material there.

I also noticed that there is quite a lot of variety in terms of what members of RVF consider ideal. Probably 30+ cities that could arguably be consider preferable destinations, judging by the comments I've read.

So here is a question on a slightly different tact. What nominations would you contribute to a top ten list of recommended cities for young guys?

These recommendations would be for guys who are at a personal development stage of their lives and are not looking to settle down. Rather, they'd like to live somewhere long enough to develop language skills, build a social life outside of backpacking hostels and actually delve into the local culture on a deeper level.

I think that the following criteria would be best used to consider nominations for this top ten (top twenty?) list:

*Somewhere that you can learn a second language, as this is an impressive feat that always impresses at dinner parties and makes yu a much more interesting person.
*Somewhere that the average Western male would be able to afford to live for six-months to a year. Ideally a place where visas can be found easily enough to last a guy for at least half a year.
*A place where there are plenty of cultural opportunities, somewhere vibrant with a rich sense of history.
*Enough of a nightlife scene to have fun.
*It might be good for it to be a place where quality clothing can be procured. Nothing like setting yourself up with a half-dozen tailored suits for $100 each at 23 years of age. You'll get some fashion mileage out of that that your peers just won't be able to compete with.

Post your suggestions for more criteria and recommended destinations.
I'm really looking forward to your thoughts and input.
NYC fool.
This is a good idea for a thread. Environment and location is incredibly important in the context of self development. As Tim Ferriss says, "you are the average people of the 5 people you see most" (or something like that).

*Somewhere that you can learn a second language, as this is an impressive feat that always impresses at dinner parties and makes yu a much more interesting person.


Bali and Jakarta, INDONESIA - Bahasa is apparently really easy to pick up and pretty practical as an Asian language, as it is very similar to Malay and Indonesia is a gigantic market. I have considered moving to Bali for this specific reason - because Indonesian has the same language script as western languages, I'm sure I'd be able to reach proficiency in a 4-6 month timeframe.

- CHINA - - I would have specified a location but showing up nearly anywhere in China will help you develop linguistically, as long as you are putting the effort in. In terms of Mandarin development specifically, three locations and schools come to mind:

KUNMING - Keats School - http://www.keatsschool.com

I know a guy who showed up there without knowing how to say "hello" in Mandarin and left four months later at an advanced intermediate level. He was far more conversationally fluent than most students I knew at university who had studied Mandarin for two years in college but had not been to China yet. This goes to show that an immersion environment will always beat classroom learning in your own country.,

Kunming itself is a very nice and very tourist friendly city in the southern province of Yunnan in China. This is probably my favorite province in China as it is relatively clean, laid back, and close to SE Asia. You can feel that the culture is a bit different than the rest of China, particularly in cities like Lijiang.

SHIJIAZHUANG - Capital of Hebei province -

you will very rarely find tourists here. This is a place where you won't have much fun but your Mandarin will improve rapidly. You won't get caught up in the tourist traps of hanging out with expats in Beijing and going to Mix/Vics all the time and only speaking Mandarin to cab drivers. This place is legit.

I have a buddy who went here for three months - he started off at an intermediate level and came out advanced by the time he was out.

I THINK this is the school he went to but I am not sure anymore:

http://www.gatewaychina.net/index.htm

Similar to Keats School in the sense that it's four hours of daily intensive one-on-one Mandarin tutoring in an immersion environment.

Beijing / Shanghai / Shenzhen / Taipei


These are obviously the big dog tier 1 cities in China (except Taipei, depending on who you ask). There has been a lot of talk about Guangzhou on the forum lately, although I'm not sure why people are so bullish on Guangzhou specifically. I feel like it has a lot to do with the guys over at The Elevator Life going to Guangzhou. I wonder if, privately, they would do Shenzhen if they could start all over again.

I'd take Shenzhen over Guangzhou pretty much any day of the week - particularly because Shenzhen is a Mandarin speaking city (Guangzhou speaks Cantonese), is better for the specific products that I am sourcing out of China, and is closer to Hong Kong.

Imagine going on a visa run from Grand Central to Connecticut. That is pretty much what your visa runs will look like from Shenzhen.

Language immersion and practical acquisition of listening comprehension needs to be done in an environment where you are listening to that language being spoken in various contexts, all around you, all the time, by everyone.

I have not been to Guangzhou yet so I can't say this with 100% certainty - but I am pretty sure that you will be immersed in a Cantonese speaking environment.

Case in point - my Mandarin improved dramatically faster in Beijing than it did in Shanghai - specifically because I was hearing the standard Mandarin dialect around me all the time instead of Shanghainese. I don't see how Guangzhou, with the Cantonese dialect, would be any different.

Taiwan is a good spot for location independent people. You can definitely pick up Mandarin there but they use traditional characters - and learning simplified characters are already enough of a pain in the ass. However, you won't have to worry as much about fake liquor, tainted food, pollution, and all the other stuff you have to put up with on the mainland. Also, women are noticeably more attractive in Taiwan than on the mainland.

Mexico and Colombia seem like they should be here but I haven't been yet so I'm not 100% certain. Corbett Barr from Free Pursuits and Think Traffic did his whole location independent blog-building experience in Mexico. I can't speak with certainty about the quality of these locales because I lack personal experience. However, it's clear that you can pick up Spanish in these places.


*Somewhere that the average Western male would be able to afford to live for six-months to a year. Ideally a place where visas can be found easily enough to last a guy for at least half a year.


THAILAND, VIETNAM, COLOMBIA, BALI, PHILIPPINES

Not much else to say really. I have lived in these spots or have friends living in these spots on tourist visas. 6 months is nothing for any of these locations. If you are trying to do a year in Thailand on tourist visas, though, you might want to consider getting an education visa or splitting your time up with a different spot - like hopping back and forth between (Bangkok and Saigon) or (Chiang mai and Bali). Something like that.

*A place where there are plenty of cultural opportunities, somewhere vibrant with a rich sense of history.


Eh. You've seen one temple, you've seen them all.

Call me a philistine, but I'm sure those temples, ancient ruins, and culture will still be there after I make a small fortune. Whenever I visit "cultural spots" these days, all I can think of is "why the hell am I in this temple/ruin/church when I can be striking deals????"

This probably adds to the reason why I'd choose a hustler boomtown like Shenzhen over Guangzhou. Guangzhou legitimately has millennia of history and culture. Shenzhen is a free-wheeling capitalist hotspot that sprang up in the last 30 years.

*Enough of a nightlife scene to have fun.

This is very subjective so I won't comment too much on it. I've had a lot of fun in pretty much every city I've ever been to in Asia (except KL) so I'm impartial.

*It might be good for it to be a place where quality clothing can be procured. Nothing like setting yourself up with a half-dozen tailored suits for $100 each at 23 years of age. You'll get some fashion mileage out of that that your peers just won't be able to compete with.

All due respect, I find it a bit odd to choose a spot to live in specifically for clothes. I may have missed the point of this question, though.

You can get nice suits in Hong Kong. You can get cheaper stuff in China/Thailand but the quality will vary.

Bangkok is definitely a place where you can this done though. In addition to endless hordes of tailors, there are also world class malls everywhere with every possible store you can think of. Hong Kong and Singapore are also a stone's throw away via Air Asia and you can go on a dual shopping trip and visa run to those spots.

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My top picks overall, in no particular order:


-Bangkok

-Chiang Mai

-Bali

-Saigon

-Shenzhen

-Taipei

-Beijing

-Chengdu

-Kunming

-Medellin

*caveat* - I have not been to Medellin or Bali yet, this is all based on anecdotal evidence from many people I know in both spots.

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Superb data by YMG. I 'd rep but I think I have already.
Isn't Chinese supposed to be one of the hardest languages to learn, especially for westerners? I think where you would go depends largely on what you're into, and what kind of cultures you are interested in and drawn to, or also what kind of women you like.

For me, based on what you are describing, I'd say somewhere in Brazil or Colombia, I haven't been to Colombia, but I loved Brazil and would like to go back there. Unfortunately Rio is now supposed to be one of the world's most expensive cities, so living there may be tough, but I'm sure you could find a nice second tier city to settle down in, pick up the language, develop a social circle, and pull some quality women.

As far as Asia goes my experience is limited, but Bangkok has got to be a clear winner, it's got pretty much everything that the OP had on his list. Other spots in Latin America that could be nice are Cordoba, Argentina, if you are up for a challenge, or maybe Mexico City, or Guadalajara.
(03-27-2013 02:06 AM)OGNorCal707 Wrote: [ -> ]Isn't Chinese supposed to be one of the hardest languages to learn, especially for westerners? I think where you would go depends largely on what you're into, and what kind of cultures you are interested in and drawn to, or also what kind of women you like.

For me, based on what you are describing, I'd say somewhere in Brazil or Colombia, I haven't been to Colombia, but I loved Brazil and would like to go back there. Unfortunately Rio is now supposed to be one of the world's most expensive cities, so living there may be tough, but I'm sure you could find a nice second tier city to settle down in, pick up the language, develop a social circle, and pull some quality women.

As far as Asia goes my experience is limited, but Bangkok has got to be a clear winner, it's got pretty much everything that the OP had on his list. Other spots in Latin America that could be nice are Cordoba, Argentina, if you are up for a challenge, or maybe Mexico City, or Guadalajara.

Right on. What OGnorcal said, regarding BKK.

Bangkok would be a top 5 on pretty much any city list that this forum could come up with, unless it was a list called:

"Top 5 cities where life is expensive, the weather is cold and crappy, you do NOT have dozens of world class beach destinations within a 3 hour flight radius for $100 USD flight, the food sucks, and there are NOT hordes of attractive women everywhere"

I haven't been to a city yet where you can get quite the same bang for your buck as you do in Bangkok.

BKK is within 3 hours of many of the hottest emerging markets:

Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Macau, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Every single visa run you ever do can be combined with a business reconnaissance trip. Almost all the countries listed there are consistently listed in the top hottest emerging markets in the world. Jim Rogers in particular won't stop talking about Myanmar.

The internet is super fast and there are a substantial number of world class hospitals there with bargain prices. You can live very comfortably on 1000 USD a month.

BKK is a world class air hub. You can find direct flights to most major cities in the world and dirt cheap flights regionally with Air Asia.

http://www.airasia.com

BKK nightlife. That is a statement unto itself, I don't even have to elaborate.

In Bangkok, the following statement is totally reasonable:

hey guys, let's take a four day weekend outside of BKK.....do you want to go:

1. Gamble at Marina Bay Sands (Singapore, 2.5 hours)
2. Go explore business opportunities in Myanmar (Yangon, 45 minutes),
3. Go on a product sourcing trip to Shenzhen/Guangzhou/HongKong (3 hours)
4. Party like crazy in Koh Samui with Swedish tourist chicks (domestic 45 minutes)
5. Have a quiet weekend to relax and chill out on the Mekong (Laos, 1 hour)


Look at Bangkok on a map of East Asia.

http://www.taiwandocuments.org/mapeastasia.jpg

It's right in the "eye of the hurricane", if you will. It's like the crotch of Asia. In terms of flight time, you can get to both Dubai and Tokyo in about 6 hours.


New York, Hong Kong, and Bangkok are probably my three favorite cities in the world. Hong Kong is there almost exclusively for business and banking rather than lifestyle purposes - I do not spend much time there.

Runners Up: Shanghai, Beijing, Paris

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YMG, you are one of the forums MVPs man, glad to see you back.
Good question. Reason number one why i can't see myself relocating to South America/Caribbean right now, i think the young guys on here should focus more in self developing themselves and in my opinion western anglo countries have more to offer in terms of self development than other countries.

My number one recommendation is London (This may sound controversial, because im always talking shit about London).

London universities and colleges offers you so many courses in so many fields that will teach, build and enrich your skills. Remember that London is also very cosmopolitan and you will meet people from most of countries in the world. One key aspect for self development is networking. London is one of the fewest cities in the world where you will network with people from every part of the globe, be it africa, middle east, north and south america, etc. Graduates looking to build key skills in the short term can just enrol in a local college and learn a new skill. Actually i strongly recommend doing short term courses if you dont have a job or you have lots of free time. I have started a welding course recently and i have made new contacts with people from countries that im interested in visiting soon and some people on this course have strong contacts in the field that im interested in (oil industry).

I enjoy reading so finding good bookshops with easiness is one thing i strongly consider when i move to a new city in order to enhance my quality of life. I dont think any other city in the world can compete with London in terms of finding a bookshop with easiness (not even NY comes close), you will find bookshops everywhere you go in London. The bookshops here also encourage reading, you can sit there reading books all day and nobody will tell you shit.

There are many language groups here if you are interested in learning a new language. Want to learn french and dont want to leave London? You can easily go to a meet up language group in west London and practise with other native speaking people.

Dont get me started about all the martial arts you can learn here. The list goes on and on.

Girls? Girls in London will flake you a lot but you can also fuck a lot if you have the time for gaming. The quality is just not that good for me but if your number one choice is white women, you may like it.
This is an excellent topic
But to be honest, "self development" doesn't necessarily equate to those things you listed. To self-develop you have to put yourself in a HARSH environment, work with mean people / deal with insane girls, put yourself through some challenging shit.

What you posted was more like an "easy-path" to an ideal gaming situation

But overall, you will want something with high-density population. Istanbul is a perfect choice for practically everything you listed, as well as a hardcore/badass personality for most of the population.
I think you're on the right track - just going anywhere for 6 months to a year will be a great experience and is something I wish I did right after college. The amount you can develop and learn has to do more with the right approach and attitude than the exact place you go to.

I also think that a lot of the posts on here have been dead on. That being said, I have some insight on a couple of options you should think about:

My brother spent about 6 months in Buenos Aires. That was an awesome choice because it was great for learning Spanish, super cheap (this could be crucial or not that important, depending on your circumstances), it has a vibrant nightlife, awesome food, it is a great walking city, and there are a lot of places within short trip distance (Iguazu, Mendoza, Patagonia, Punta del Este). I think the girls here can be medium difficult to bang, but as your language skills improve, your ease of swooping will improve with it.

I have another friend who went to Barcelona and killed it there. By the time he left, he was fluent in Spanish and Catalan and had working knowledge of Basque (from a girl he dated). It's cheaper than a lot of other places in Europe, but still more expensive than a developing or recently developed country. However, the food and nightlife are both top notch there. Also, it's easy to get around, and obviously there are a ton of places to visit just a short plane ride away. Finally, Catalan girls are hot, albeit somewhat more difficult to bang than Argentines.

For me, these two places make sense because Spanish is a really important language to know, assuming you live in the US. Also, both cities have a lot of young people and good night life. But to reiterate my earlier point, no matter where you go, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do interesting things and meet interesting people - you just have to put yourself out there.
I am in your age range as well. What I do is travel 1 month in December and 4 months in the summer (May-September) and several weekend / week trips throughout the year. This allows me to work, maintain my investment portfolio and study. However, I think much of this depends on your goals in life / background.

Depending on how adventurous you are I've met a few people who had a great time living in Havana as students and living on budgets in the 1000-1500 range monthly. With that said, they weren't going out and dining at the best restaurants frequently or partying at the hottest clubs 4+ times a week on that budget. What they did is get a licensed casa for a couple days to sign up at the university which costs 20-35 daily generally. Then they would switch into a non-licensed casa and pay 100-200 monthly. Which gave them quite a lot of money to spend outside of school. The advantages are you can study spanish for cheap 300 dollars a month (5 days a week (9-1pm)... I believe its 960 for 4 months as a package (better deal). You will be in a small class of say 3-10 students where you can literally touch your teacher from any seat as the classrooms are tiny and meant to be intimate. They will teach you only in spanish. You can on weekends visit other cities. Flights from oneside of the island to the other go for in the 100 dollar range. You'll instantly have a group of foreigners to relate to as they will all be studying giving you a peer group.

With all of that said, if the purpose is to get lots of girls who are highly attractive on that kind of budget it probably isn't happening in Havana. Just not enough money to go around meeting your dates / going out to have a harem. This is more so an adaptation issue as it takes a while to understand the culture and understand everything that's happening around you as it will be completely out of your normal element.

As a Canadian you can stay in Cuba 6 months straight. After 3 months in the country you have to go to immigration with stamps and pay 40 dollars and then you can stay another 3 months. After 6 months you have to leave for a day and pay a 25 dollar departure tax.

You also have the benefit of being in close proximity to home if your in Ontario and can easily hop on a plane home for the weekend for cheap (4-500 return and be home in 4 or so hours.) If you are in western Canada, this obviously doesn't hold true.

Suits and clothing is probably not something you'd want to purchase in Cuba so thats a write off. Although I'm not too sure why this would be a consideration. No offence to the asian suits I've seen but they don't compare with quality italian made suits in my opinion. Beyond that, you could literally send many companies your measurements and they will ship suits to you at maybe 50 dollars more than in store hence, I don't see this as being a big factor.

If you are asian, there are a large amount of asian students studying in general at the university of havana from asian countries...i'm not sure why this is but there were a lot when I was last there...by a lot I don't mean thousands but they have a clique and all know each other. I'd guess there maybe 100's. The ones I met were all nice guys and many of them have been in Havana for a few years studying.

I'm considering personally going back and studying at the university of havana this summer. I only went a few weeks last summer as the partying got the best of me and I couldn't get up for classes but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think YMG has a better pick if your looking to start a business, asia is probably a better bet for that. If you are looking to learn spanish, dance and have an enjoyable lifestyle then Cuba is great.

Top 10 in no particular order

-Cuba (Havana)
-DR (Santiago/ Santo Domingo not Sosua...)
-Bangkok (why not it makes sense but I think it probably wouldn't be very budget accomodating)
-Cali ...not california, Cali, Colombia (Why go to gringoland medellin. I love second tier cities. It's my bread and butter)
-Barcelona
-Hong Kong (I have a friend who absolutely loves it here and is by no means a high income earner, as he is just an english teacher.)
-Guadalajara, Mexico (There was someone who went and studied there and I remember reading the post and thinking that sounds like a great time)
-Brazil (outside of Rio, Sao Paolo and Brasilia as they will certainly blow your budget out of the water)
-Second tier cities in Russia (not st. petersburg or moscow.)
-China

My focus is heavy on Spanish / BRIC nations as I think it would be best to learn either Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, or a popular dialect in India.
Frankly, in terms of personal development, I would say Moscow. When it comes to Russia, it is very necessary to learn the language in the country, as you won't get by aside from a food order at subway here or there. Moscow in and of itself has a very developed fashion industry and holds many expats from places you usually wouldn't see (such as Iran, Central Asia, some Chinese).

Moscow may be the most developed and populated place in Russia, but outside of the central district, is it incredibly cheap and poor. It is Russia, after all. Taking advantage of the Russian economy, which is always in flux, is crucial in this situation, and requires you to learn some Russian and invest in the commodities market, which is always in vogue. Putin's protectionist policies have buoyed Russian businesses to the point where they have no outside competition. While this is highly unpopular with the WTO, the Russian government seems to support it, as it benefits mightily from it. Also, if you're looking for cheap prices on almost everything, supermarkets are where it's at. The girls there are also very different than what you're accustomed to, and gaming REQUIRES knowing Russian in most cases, unless you're in a Uni district.

Moscow will hook you up with many opportunities if you network right and know the language. It is necessary in all cases.
Aer, how is the nightlife that far out of the city center. I was always of the impression to have decent logistics moscow is incredibly expensive. For example, if OP is way outside the city center on a low budget without Russian it seems to me he may be basically condoned to celibacy or a lack of quality options. As going into the city center and then back at night is he going to take public transport? Not exactly a quality way to get laid. Will OP even be able to afford going out to quality discos in Moscow? I mean he said hes 23 and lists his budget as low. I believe under 1500 a month. Moscow is listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world even moreso than whereever the OP lives in Canada.
(04-03-2013 03:20 AM)lavidaloca Wrote: [ -> ]Aer, how is the nightlife that far out of the city center. I was always of the impression to have decent logistics moscow is incredibly expensive. For example, if OP is way outside the city center on a low budget without Russian it seems to me he may be basically condoned to celibacy or a lack of quality options. As going into the city center and then back at night is he going to take public transport? Not exactly a quality way to get laid. Will OP even be able to afford going out to quality discos in Moscow? I mean he said hes 23 and lists his budget as low. I believe under 1500 a month. Moscow is listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world even moreso than whereever the OP lives in Canada.

This is a problem I had with Moscow. But in terms of improvement, you may have to take the option of a low income house (it shouldn't be SO far away from the city even though it's a large metro area) due to the fact that the city itself is heavily populated.

The problem which is usually encountered is the language barrier. If you speak no Russian, then there is absolutely no chance you'll find a cheap house, and they'll constantly rip you off because you have no idea.

A key in Russia is to never overpay. If it seems too expensive for the country, it usually is. Prices can be haggled quite easily.
(03-27-2013 01:52 AM)youngmobileglobal Wrote: [ -> ]Beijing / Shanghai / Shenzhen / Taipei


These are obviously the big dog tier 1 cities in China (except Taipei, depending on who you ask). There has been a lot of talk about Guangzhou on the forum lately, although I'm not sure why people are so bullish on Guangzhou specifically. I feel like it has a lot to do with the guys over at The Elevator Life going to Guangzhou. I wonder if, privately, they would do Shenzhen if they could start all over again.

Actually, the EL guys said about as much in a video a watched a couple months ago. They argued that Shenzhen is an up-and-comer that they would seriously consider if they were just getting their start in China currently.
I would say any of the BRIC nations, seems like Brazil, Russia and China are the places to go.

I spent a few years in London and all I can say it was a great learning experience.
(03-26-2013 08:58 PM)Suits Wrote: [ -> ]*It might be good for it to be a place where quality clothing can be procured. Nothing like setting yourself up with a half-dozen tailored suits for $100 each at 23 years of age. You'll get some fashion mileage out of that that your peers just won't be able to compete with.

Just forget that, a stylish, tailored suit for 100$ doesn't exist in SEA.
I am going to go in a different direction here.

Do not discount areas in the developed world that are doing good. While they might not have the appeal of adventure like Brazil or China, they do have things going for it to make the pursuit of personal development easy.

When I think of personal development I think of:

- Access to good quality food.
- An environment where health and activity is part of the culture.
- Access to education. Not just university, but also good, cheap community college, technical college, night school, etc. Continuing Education as its called.
- An economy that is at once fading, and also being renewed. For example, a shipbuilding industry is fading and at the same time high tech production shops are popping up to feed the growing energy industry. A place where old trades skills are respected, and are integrated into new industries.
- Good quality nightlife. Not just people out getting drunk. But a place where there is somewhere to go 7 nights a week where people will be. Cutting deals, swooping women, getting to know the community hierarchy.

What cities would I put on the list? In no particular order.
- Vancouver
- Ottawa
- Seattle/Portland
- San Francisco
- Raleigh/Durham
- Melbourne
- Sydney
- Singapore
- Tel Aviv
- Vienna
- Malmo

Tier one cities do not suffer from identity crisis. But there lies opportunity in cities that do.
Vienna, Budapest, Munich, Berlin (if you tolerate hipsters), Warsaw. This cities are in the middle of Europe, just a flight or train away from anything you need development-wise. Also, they offer you opportunities for personal development.
Right now, Lisbon is an almost perfect city for the young man on the make.

It's by far the cheapest Western European capital, one of the few year-round climate.
High standards of English (far better than its neighbor Spain), friendly natives, tremendously varied nightlife, beach culture, cheap flights available to rest of Europe.

I'd move there in a heartbeat were it not for the fact that the local women are truly atrocious.
4 months in Guangzhou were a baptism of fire for me. I had to learn Chinese real fast - especially how to read.

It was kind of a poor place to learn Mandarin though, as my fellow bus passengers mostly spoke (sorry, shouted) Cantonese.

It's also a great place for dating. And I learnt to cope with tropical heat, extreme weather (my first ever 15cm thunderstorm), bugs, food poisoning, eating poor quality food and living in a dangerous environment (people driving the wrong way, trip hazards etc. etc.).

It's a fairly cheap place to live, although accommodation prices are higher than in Bangkok or elsewhere (mostly because the police won't [officially] let you live in the cheap neighborhoods).
I won't give a top ten, but here's my thoughts on your criteria.

Somewhere that you can learn a second language, as this is an impressive feat that always impresses at dinner parties and makes you a much more interesting person.

I agree with this completely, in my opinion learning a second (and third and fourth and fifth) language would be the most valuable skill to a young male trying to make it in the world right now. This is one of the reasons Bangkok doesn't rank highly for me here, because you'll be learning Thai, which is not a global language by any means. You'd be putting yourself in a better position by learning Spanish, French, Russian or Chinese, all which have a much wider global reach. Portugese is not a bad bet either.

The obvious candidates here are Russia/FSU, Latin America, China/Taiwan, France/West Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong.

Somewhere that the average Western male would be able to afford to live for six-months to a year. Ideally a place where visas can be found easily enough to last a guy for at least half a year.


Let's eliminate France, Singapore, Hong Kong (all very expensive from my experience).

So we have China/Taiwan, Latin America, Russia/FSU, West Africa.


A place where there are plenty of cultural opportunities, somewhere vibrant with a rich sense of history.


I'd say China, LatAm, FSU, and West Africa would all have something.

Enough of a nightlife scene to have fun

From experience I can vouch for Brazil, Argentina, Beijing and Shanghai. No clue on West Africa or Russia.


So based on what you're looking for I'd say Beijing, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Brazil outside Rio, Taipei. Cities in FSU and Africa I cannot vouch for personally, never been.

My definition of personal development however differs a little to yours. I think business opportunities is also a big drawcard, in that sense I'd also add:

Manila: Philippines being (one of) the outsourcing capital of the world - cheap, efficient English speaking labour.

Bangkok: A business hub in Asia with a much lower cost of living than Hong Kong and Singapore.

Jakarta: Indonesia's economy emerging as one of the brightest in Asia. It's actually the largest in SE Asia, significantly bigger than Thailand, Singapore.

Guangzhou: Can probably buy or get made anything you want here.

Delhi, Mumbai: Probably not a great place for nightlife, but they're English speaking cities with great access to programmers. I have a family member who goes here regularly and has software developed.

In these places you won't have as good a chance to learn a world language but from a business perspective they can be great, so depends on your priorities obviously. Some people have no interest in starting a business, some people have no interest in learning a language.


Anyway, nice to meet yall, I'm new here, been lurking for a couple months and finally remembered to register this month.
Actually, girls here are getting more and more attractive. If you wanna know more about this I can show you legions of photos with 18-23 year olds. I study at a social sciences university in Lisbon, trust me, I know.

(12-05-2013 07:20 AM)Starke Wrote: [ -> ]Right now, Lisbon is an almost perfect city for the young man on the make.

It's by far the cheapest Western European capital, one of the few year-round climate.
High standards of English (far better than its neighbor Spain), friendly natives, tremendously varied nightlife, beach culture, cheap flights available to rest of Europe.

I'd move there in a heartbeat were it not for the fact that the local women are truly atrocious.
Boston Ma

Why is it good for personal development?

1. The town is super insular. In a similar vein like Toronto. Opening women at bars is super difficult and if anything likely to kill the conversation. You become much more aware of who IS interested in talking to you because initially, you don't see anyone want to talk to you. It builds your intuition and makes you aware of the environment. It forces you to adapt. How this adapting worked on me is interesting, I have friends who described me as going from "crazy, ADHD, party guy" to "Don Draper" in the course of a year.

2. The hibernation effect lasts from October to mid March/April (depends on snow). This gives you a few months to sit back and not focus on women. I use the winter as a time for personal development. I'm going to start learning Japanese and start playing my string instruments again.

3. Public transportation is "semi" decent. Boston is no NYC, but starting in 2014 the "T" will be running late on fridays and saturdays until 3am. This makes hitting up downtown clubs and bars a lot safer and easier.

4. Affordable. NYC eats people alive in terms of money. I like the fact that I can buy all of my groceries (meats included) for +/- $100 and my rent is decent too. I also enjoy owning a car which in Boston is a massive DHV especially if you live on your own near a T stop.

5. Quality of girls: It's lower than NYC. I understand that. This however is a good stepping stone for guys who are intimidated by 9s and 10s. There are a plethora of 6s and 7s to pick from which once you get your fill, you will find yourself hungry to move up to the next level.

There are negatives, but if a RvFer came to Boston and didn't know anyone I would be down to show him the ropes. It's a town that gradually opens up to new people.

My ideal city to live in would be warm. I don't want to stay in Boston for more than 2 years beyond this point.
(03-27-2013 01:52 AM)youngmobileglobal Wrote: [ -> ]I have considered moving to Bali for this specific reason - because Indonesian has the same language script as western languages, I'm sure I'd be able to reach proficiency in a 4-6 month timeframe.



KUNMING - Keats School - http://www.keatsschool.com

I know a guy who showed up there without knowing how to say "hello" in Mandarin and left four months later at an advanced intermediate level. He was far more conversationally fluent than most students I knew at university who had studied Mandarin for two years in college but had not been to China yet.

Impressive, advanced intermediate level, after just 4 months in China!
Can you tell us if your friend already had experience studying foreign languages, and have a very good, young memory... and, how many hours per day he studied, at that Keats school, please? just to have an idea...

Also, this : "the same language script as western languages" is I think, almost non relevant to studying a foreign language.

Because you can learn a new, foreign alphabet in one week, or two, the problem is not the new alphabet, nor grammar actually. It is learning thousands of new words, whatever the alphabet they are written in. Just a memory, and time, issue...
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