NZ rated in top 5 places to live but France remains ....

{Village of Sarlat, another pretty village in the Dordogne}

Number 1!

I smiled when I saw this article in the NZ Herald.........

NZ rated in top 5 places to live

New Zealand is the fifth-best country to live in, according to an index run by magazine International Living.

That's up four places from ninth last year, when the magazine described the country as an Antipodean outpost, "stunning" but with "drawbacks" such as being 12 hours from the United States and the difficulty with immigrating here.

{A busy road leading up to Mount Cook, New Zealand}

The American index is pitched at those who are retiring or want to migrate. It ranks 194 countries which offer the best quality of life, considering cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.

This year, the survey raved about "pristine landscapes", the Auckland waterfront and Southern Alps - calling Godzone the type of place younger migrants could relocate to and raise a family. Positive, too, it said, are rebounding property prices.

The magazine then cut and pasted from Immigration New Zealand's website other reasons why the country deserves to be in the top 10.

"In many ways it's not what we have that's important to our quality of life - it's what we don't have. We don't have high crime rates, our police don't carry guns and instances of corruption are virtually unheard of. We don't have abject poverty or hunger and we don't have the pollution, congestion, health issues and cramped city living that we see elsewhere."

Australia improved from fifth overall in 2009 to second, on the back of the way its economy weathered the global financial crisis.

Despite "it's tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes", France, for the fifth year running, was ranked first. Outweighing those factors were the world's best health-care system.

Staff writers also waxed lyrical about the difficulties of measuring a country's "heart and soul".

"But it's impossible to enumerate the joy of lingering for hours over dinner and a bottle of red wine in a Parisian brasserie. Or strolling beside the Seine on a spring morning, poking through the book vendors' wares. Or buying buttery croissants in bohemian Montmartre...

{image from here}


1. France
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Germany
5. New Zealand
6. Luxembourg
7. United States
8. Belgium
9. Canada
10. Italy

You cannot take the kiwi out of the girl but nor can you take the kiwi girl out of France......

France - Je t'aime beaucoup toujours .

L x


  1. Great post! Thank you for taking me to all those beautiful places with those gorgeous photos. I am so glad to see Italy as number 10 and the U.S as 7. I would rather be somewhere in Europe than United States Ciao, lulu

  2. I believe it. I would love to live in France one day.

  3. I am a neighbour, i live in France exactly in Normandy!

  4. Oh dear,
    The U.K. doesn't feature at all. It's funny but, I've travelled all over the world but I couldn't live anywhere other than Great Britain. I guess I'm easily pleased !! ..... I do love France, though Leeann. XXXX

  5. Hooray for New Zealand! I can tell you it is at the top of my list at the moment..I am missing my daily view of Rangitoto off the coast of Auckland! Saying that I am easily placed to explore the rest of the list now that we are in the UK...always a silver lining somewhere!
    Jeanne :)

  6. Hi I used to work with a Kiwi who loved NZ but came to work and live in the UK because of the historic houses, the last time that I spoke to him he was managing Snowshill Manor. He told me that I would love NZ which I would, I have only travelled through France once from Calais across West and down the Atlantic coast to Bergerac. My son who was about 6 always remembers the fireworks over the river on Bastille day, the best display and atmosphere ever. My partner and I plan to move to the coast and I still think that we should do the safe move and stay in the Uk but I would dearly love to move to France.

  7. MONTMARTRE. That's where I would live.
    I love it there. My dream was a rooftop apt.

    The US is getting worse, we will soon be a third world country, if they don't get some HONEST people in D.C. 90% of them are on the TAKE. Greedy,Liars. That's my take anyway.

  8. Très intéressant. After 15 years nearly - the beaurocracy, corruption and general 'it's not my job' sort of attitude, is starting to rub me the wrong way. Then again, I could just do what the French do and sigh, shrug my shoulders and pretend it isn't happening. I think I need a quick holiday home to NZ to get a dose of some real values, a big grin and a 'not taking ourselves seriously' attitude then I will be able to come back and enjoy the café and croissants, and not worry about the rest either! Great post Leeann!!

  9. what a great post.
    i drool everytime i look at your blog...i just love it.
    thanks for bringing france to me!

  10. I love the part about it being difficult to measure a country's "heart and soul." I can only imagine how it would feel to live in France. Lucky you Leeann! --Lili

  11. A timely post since we are considering how to get OUT of Vermont where we have been stuck for 3 years due to employment. Possibly we should consider another country. Your list gives us a great reference. Still, I think Australia tops my list. There is something about the honesty of the soul there that appeals to this New Yorker who loves the friendliness after living 20 years in the southern USA.

  12. J'adore France. I'm aching to return....10 years is TOO long to be away!

    Happy Wednesday!

  13. I can't believe Italy is only number 10! And where is Scotland, my home country? I love France and I lived there for a year but my personal choice would be Italy or Scotland for no.1 (maybe I'm a bit biased though!)

  14. What a great post! I hadn't seen this report and I'm always interested in seeing who won. I've never been anywhere but US and Mexico so I can't say where the best place would be. Someday I hope to travel the world before I'm too old so I can really compare them for myself. I am surprised that America is in the top ten though. :)-Jennifer

  15. NZ more then deserves its place on the list, in my opinion it should be higher up the list! I love how Americans think that Australia and New Zealand are so horribly far away.

  16. What a great post Leeann! Having just returned from 4 weeks in NZ, I have to say I miss it more than the day we left to live in Oz 4 years ago... gorgeous country-side, fresh produce, friendly people, comfortable temperature, shall I go on! Having said that, France is way up there on my list of places to visit :o)

  17. what a wonderful post Leeann, I love both France and NZ, and I consider that I am really lucky to live at the foot of Mt Cook, and wake up to Mt Cook views every morning.But I have been in many arts of France, altho not lived there, and can see the attraction for being in such a lovely place. ...and I don't actually mind the Americans thinking that we are so far away...

  18. Great post - thanks for sharing. France and Australia right at the top - couldn't agree more.

    jules :)

  19. I am sure this made you just a little bit homesick non,Leeann? But you are in such a fabulous place...
    Whay Hey!! we are living in the number 2 spot though!! :-)
    (but my homeland does not even get into the top 10!)

  20. Could not agree more. The intangible aspects of life in France are beyond compare.

  21. Wonderful post! Sad that the U.S. is ranked 7th. I think we would all love to live in France, I know I would. Wishing you much joy, love and laughter in 2010.

    xxx, Michelle

  22. Of course France is Number 1, it is the best country in the world. I so wish I lived there. I can't believe Italy is Number 10. I would live there too. I love your blog! BTW, I want--no I NEED that wonderful burlap pillow in your store! Any chance you will get more? --Delores

  23. I want to sit at a cafe dressed in a ball gown! Oooh la la chic!

  24. Hi Leeann,

    Very interesting post and good to hear that NZ is # 5 ~ France would be one place I could live for a while, if the chance came up.



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