March 14, 2014 by Liberty
One of my most popular articles is about the most libertarian countries in the world. It’s brought me more love (and hate) than I could have ever imagined. I’m always a little thankful when someone is just asking a question about it.
I love the site but I don’t think you’re specific enough about options other than the US. You’re always saying to move but you’re never pointing to anywhere better. You even have the US as one of the most libertarian countries. I was thinking of moving somewhere in Asia but a lot of the countries aren’t really all that great. They’re just different. Where do you recommend?
Great question but the answer might disappoint you.
There is no perfect libertarian country. In fact, looking back on it, I believe making a list of the 5 Most Libertarian Countries might have been a mistake. That’s because there are no universally objective standards that I’d feel comfortable judging countries by. It’s all silly subjective details.
One country might provide a comfortable environment for weed smokers, or homosexuals, or lion tamers, or prostitutes but completely miss out on every other freedom. (Yes, it’s hard being a gay weed-loving hooker that tames lions.) Looking at ranking countries by libertarianism is naive. It was a bit of a blunder.
When you’re looking for the right country to move to, you should probably not be looking in terms of libertarianism. Unfortunately, libertarianism will rule out pretty much every location in the world. You should be looking a the countries from your own personal lens of what’s important.
Certainly, America was one of the freest countries in the world 200 years ago but if you were black, you probably wouldn’t think of moving to Alabama 200 years ago. It’s just common sense. No one else can look at the world from that perspective for you.
What is important for your own life?
If you want to be able to smoke marijuana all-day, everyday, then you should look for countries that you could do that safely. If you’re a women, you might want to rule out a number of nations in the middle east (or maybe you’d like it.) It all comes down to the things that are important to you.
After finding countries that value the things that you value, you need to go there to find out for sure. I remember having a number of amazing travel dreams shot down in my first 48 hours in a country. Many places look better on paper than in reality. (Many Central American countries suffer from this. That’s, of course, based on my world view. Get your own.) Often, going someplace else helps you truly understand the things that you value most.
That being said, I don’t want to leave you with nothing of value. There are general trends but make sure that you get your feet on the ground to make sure you know for sure.
Asia: Many of the countries are growing at an amazing rate. This is the place I’d be going if I were looking into starting a business. It’s a common choice for expats for a good reason. Culturally, it’s a bit of a shock but, if you can manage, it’s a great growing area without many restrictive business laws of the major countries.
Central America: Central America is okay for people looking to sit on their money or work an internet business while staying near the US. One of the only reasons I would consider moving to this region is to be close to family. Many areas are a lot nicer than most people give credit for but after walking through a few bullet ridden towns the good places lose some charm. That being said, if you have the money to sit in a nice area and enjoy it, there are some real positives in the price and weather.
South America: South America is a bit of a grab bag but some of the better opportunities are like a combination between South East Asia and Central America. There are some countries that I’d consider moving and some that I’d avoid altogether.
Europe: Europe is an interesting region of travel. It’s not too much different than the US otherwise.
Africa: I have virtually no experience understanding this region. I, for the most part, haven’t considered it a possibility. You’ll have to do your own research on this one. Some countries are growing like crazy but you’ll need to find a better source to see if it works for you.
Middle East: This is one of the strongest cultural shock regions. There is a lot going on in these nations but I wouldn’t make it a first choice for those cultural (and temporarily safety reasons in some areas.)
First World (US, UK, Japan, etc.): For many people, first world countries are still not really oppressive. While they’re taking more information than ever, if you’re looking to live a “normal” life then they may be appropriate. You can get a job (don’t start a business.) Pay your taxes (don’t question authorities.) You can have moderate freedoms with your personal life (but the freedoms you don’t have are caught and punished hard.) Most people can be reasonably comfortable in these nations for now.
The US is one of the more risky first world countries to be living in. By risky, I don’t necessarily mean you’ll need to worry about bombs. I mean creepy and oppressive. Most countries in the world don’t have the resources to subtly control things as well as the US government. Imagine, the NSA even knows that you asked this question.
If you have a paranoid bone in your body then the US is definitely not your first choice. Economically, it’s also a bit of a mess.
You should not be picking the country you want to move based on anyone else’s political preferences. It ultimately comes down to what you’re willing to live with and what you never want to live without.
The majority of people asking this question have never even left the US. Travel! Traveling expands your world view in a way that no explanation can. The way I look at a country is going to be different than the way you do. If you don’t know where you want to go then you probably need to keep on looking for yourself. Travel is an amazing experience (even if you don’t want to leave long term.)
Find someplace YOU love.