Foreign Cities Worth Consideration in the Trump Era

| December 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Yes, it’s a lot easier to say you’re moving to Canada than to bother fighting for your rights and those of your neighbor. But many people, especially racial and religious minorities, may be endangered by the results of the election. We don’t know if Trump will be capable of discriminating against or “punishing” dissidents, Muslims, or even women who have had abortions, as he has suggested he might… and we don’t know exactly what he would do, as he has been so vague in his unconstitutional promises. Some of us are afraid for our families, and wouldn’t mind seeing them in safer places.

While I encourage all my readers to stay in the USA and help work against the worst of whatever comes next, I know that everyone has a unique set of circumstances, and for those of you who wouldn’t mind taking a break with America or feel they need to, here’s my personal get-away list.

  1. Melbourne. Located in Victoria, Australia, Melbourne is said to feel slightly smaller than Boston. It is known for its passion for sports and the arts, especially literature, and has a vibrant graffiti scene. Australia is most interested in skilled workers, like doctors, for those considering emigration.

    photo credit: duncan Melbourne graffiti via photopin (license)

    photo credit: duncan Melbourne graffiti via photopin (license)

  2. New Zealand is actively courting new immigrants and very culturally similar to what Californians, in particular, are used to. You might enjoy the capital, Wellington, or the larger city of Auckland, though keep in mind both cities are very small. But the natural beauty is supposed to be spectacular.

    photo credit: Bronte Lockwood  via photopin (license)

    photo credit: Bronte Lockwood via photopin (license)

  3. Getting a UK citizenship is incredibly hard, and they’ve just dropkicked their economy out the window (drop-defenestrated?). That said, London is beautiful and perhaps second only to New York as an English-speaking cultural center. And I’ve heard Brighton is culturally delightful and very LGBTQ friendly, if we’re looking for a charming, smaller English metropolis. Scotland’s Edinburgh is also lovely (literary, small, wet, and with wonderful cafes — also cheaper than most cities in England!) My favorite spot in Edinburgh is the Elephant House, the site where J. K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter.

  4. Do you happen to speak Spanish? In South America, Santiago de Chile has an exciting literary history and is probably the safest big city to be in long term in South America. It is close enough to Argentina to make it possible to visit the more exciting Buenos Aires. Montevideo, in Uruguay, is also cheap and liberal.

  5. Spain, too, has many options. You will find more English speakers in larger cities, like Madrid, but miss out on many of the smaller gems, like the culinary capital, host of a yearly film festival, and resort town of San Sebastian. That said, Spain’s infrastructure, government, economy, etc. leave something to be desired, so it’s better to go there for play than work. Barcelona is nice if you like Gaudi and can stand both tourists and pickpockets, but perhaps a little overrated.

  6. You have some options in Northern Europe — provided you get a job there well ahead of time. Amsterdam and Vienna, for example, are lovely and basically safe, though the the cost of living (and the quality!) are high. Vienna, for the record, also has an excellent cafe scene. I suspect most people will speak fluent English in both, though perhaps more so in Amsterdam. I have not investigated further North, in cities like Copenhagen or Reykjavik – they are too goddamn cold, as the French say – though I have heard good things.

  7. Canada is a little close to the future Republic of Gilead for comfort, but Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver all deserve some consideration. Getting a citizenship is difficult, as they are looking for particular skill sets, but you could always go there, or to anywhere else on the list, for graduate school.

    photo credit: davebloggs007 Road trip to Banff via photopin (license)

    photo credit: davebloggs007 Road trip to Banff via photopin (license)

That’s all, folks. Stay safe, at home and abroad, and if you do decide to take a gap year or four, let us know how it went — and if I should add anything to my list.

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featured photo credit: Douglas Pfeiffer Cardoso Aterrissando em Dublin, Irlanda via photopin (license)

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