The Most Thrilling U.S. Cities For Expats

Editorial, 20 December, 2018

Expats may seek any number of things when choosing a destination abroad. Employment opportunity is always near the top of the list of course, and may dictate the destination entirely. Aside from finding a place to work however, or following a job somewhere specific, an expat may seek out a place that's particularly interesting or exciting, or which is most different from home (or similar to it, depending on preference). In the U.S. perhaps more than anywhere else there is so much variety in specific destinations it's important for any inbound expat to do a great deal of thinking about where he or she wishes to set up camp. 50 states spread across a vast area, and a culture famously made of a 250-year "melting pot" of immigrants, have made the U.S. an incredibly dynamic place - even if it may not have the best reputation for welcoming newcomers nowadays. Consider this a rough guide, not of the "best" U.S. destinations, or even the most suitable, but rather of some of the cities that may just thrill you beyond a first impression.

New York, New York

New York is no surprise on a list like this, because it remains one of the most alluring cities in the world. The cost of living can be somewhat extreme, it's true, but if we're gauging this by thrill factor, there still isn't a more exciting place to be in the United States. Many people internationally (and for that matter many in the U.S. as well) don't realize just how vast and energetic New York really is. Past the famous buildings and monuments, this is a sprawling, five-borough city, full of unique neighborhoods and little pockets of culture (and cuisine) from all over the world. The crowd and the pace of life certainly take getting used to, but if you're the active sort, you won't find many places in the world that can keep you busier, if you like it that way. Plus, as much of a so-called "concrete jungle" as it is, New York has a certain beauty to it that is wholly its own.

Boston, Massachusetts

In some respects, Boston is the calmer alternative to New York. The two cities are quite close, relatively speaking, but where New York thrives on energy, diversity, and expansion, Boston is largely about history and tradition. It's a very old city, and it feels like it, but typically in a very charming way. And what you notice above all else in Boston is the sense of unity that just seems to hang over the place. Bostonians are proud of where they're from. They cheer on the same sports teams (which are basically all extremely successful), they largely identify the same way politically, they all know the same neighborhoods, and many of them went to school locally growing up. Saying Boston is one big happy family would be a stretch (people there are also known for short tempers), but there is a sense of something similar on a city-wide level. Besides all this, Boston was also named one of the best cities for job seekers in 2018, which should be of interest to potential expats.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles also made it into the top five (number five exactly) on the list just mentioned, of the best American cities for job seekers as of 2018. More generally, it's essentially the closest thing there is to New York City on the U.S. West Coast, even if the cities aren't very much alike in character. Los Angeles has a bit of a younger feel, and is almost equally vibrant in an entirely different way. Naturally, as the home of Hollywood, L.A. is also a hub for entertainers and celebrities, which tends to mean there's always something fun going on there. And if you decide to live there and you ever want a break from the city itself, keep in mind it's essentially right on the Pacific Coast! These factors all contribute to Los Angeles being a very exciting destination year in and year out. For the next decade though it will likely become even more of a thrilling place to live, as the city gears up to host the 2028 Olympics - an event that's known to largely transform the cities it visits.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Believe it or not, Las Vegas is as exciting as it's always been, if not more so. Some might assume the opposite, because casinos - the town's main draw - just aren't as unique as they used to be. For one thing, other places in the world like Macau, Singapore, Manila, and even the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic have built up some rival casino resort areas. For another, an online casino industry that once consisted of a few crude poker sites now includes an awesome selection of virtual games that are available all over the world. Vegas, however, has stayed ahead of this competition by basically adding more and more entertainment to its stockpile. It's still one of the best concert cities on Earth, it's packed with good comedy and circus performances, there are eSports arenas and VR gaming arcades popping up, and this is all to say nothing of a dizzying array of clubs, bars, restaurants, spas, and pools. Granted, living there is different than vacationing there, but Vegas is still incredibly exciting.

Austin, Texas

Austin has been one of the trendiest cities in the U.S. for about a decade now, and the novelty hasn't worn off. It's not quite the booming metropolis the first four cities mentioned here are, but it's not small by any means, meaning it's able to foster a sort of laid back feel despite being in most respects a big city. There are various reasons it's a great place to live, from a reliable economy, to tons of outdoor activities, to some of the best food in the U.S. Austin doesn't always look as thrilling from the outside, but the people who spend time there tend to fall in love of it because there's always something to do, and always a friendly atmosphere about.

Tags: Expat Services | Expats | United States |


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