My wife and I put together our revised list of assignments we will bid on for our next assignment.  We will be in Seoul, Korea until early 2007, when we move on to another country for two more years.  On January 19, I wrote about my initial list of preferred locations.  The initial and revised lists are not too different.  The list below is our revised list based on further research and our collective preferences.  We discarded some assignments that did not meet our needs.  For example, even though Bogota, Colombia has an assignment I would love to do, my wife does not want to bid on Bogota because of several factors; namely, Colombia is still a dangerous place in which to live.
Dear Reader, I need your help.  Have you been to any of the cities listed below?  Have you lived there, and when did you live there?  Did you have a good or bad experience?  I’m especially interested in reading about your experiences in lesser-known places such as La Paz, Bolivia or Damascus, Syria.  If you haven’t been to any of these cities, which would you prefer?  Where do you think World Adventurers should blog from next year?
Here is our current list of preferred locations ranked in order of preference.  This list is subject to change.  I will submit my final list in about two weeks.
  1. Beijing, China
  2. Wellington, New Zealand
  3. Damascus, Syria
  4. Hong Kong, China
  5. Montevideo, Uruguay
  6. San Salvador, El Salvador
  7. La Paz, Bolivia
  8. Athens, Greece
  9. Asuncion, Paraguay
  10. Shenyang, China
  11. London, England
  12. Kuwait City, Kuwait
  13. Jakarta, Indonesia
  14. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  15. Windhoek, Namibia
  16. Managua, Nicaragua
  17. Quito, Ecuador
  18. San Jose, Costa Rica
  19. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Some of these locations have more than one assignment available for bidding.  I know it may seem strange to prefer San Salvador, El Salvador or La Paz, Bolivia over Athens, Greece or London, England.  However, my list depends largely on the job I’m bidding on as well as standard of living at the location where I will bid.  For example, while London is a first-class city, the housing available in Bolivia is second-to-none while London’s housing is cramped.  The cost of living in Bolivia is far, far lower than in London.  We must take into account many factors when we bid, which is why London and Athens don’t automatically rise to the top of our list.  New Zealand is near the top because the job, the city, and the amenities are all first rate.  Chinese posts get preference because I really want to work in China.  Damascus, Syria is near the top because the assignment is great, the expatriate community is excellent, and Syria is a historical and geopolitically strategic location.


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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  1. jonathan's Gravatar jonathan
    February 13, 2006    

    HI: I’m from Colombia, i visited like two years ago and believe me, Colombia is not a dangerous place to live. In the news all you see is the bad side. Colombia is just like any country where you have good and bad people. So please change what you just said about it.  

  2. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    February 14, 2006    

    I spent almost a month in Beijing last summer and it is a wonderful tourist location. There are beautiful historical sites scattered throughout the city, but I personally would much rather live in Shanghai than Beijing.  One of the friends I was staying with compared Beijing to being a mix between LA and Washington DC.  Fun to visit, but the traffic and smog is not much fun, and the politicians can get on your nerves.  Also, in some parts of the country, foreigners are looked down upon.  Someone once refused to sell me something at the same price he sold the same thing to my Chinese friend (who was actually also an American, he just didn’t know that).  But China is an amazing country and I personally plan to live there when I graduate from college.

  3. S's Gravatar S
    February 14, 2006    

      Hi!! I was very inspired by your blog/lifestyle that I found through my msn homepage! So I’m confused…what is your occupation?? I had fun reading some of your blogs..there was too many too read all though! So since you inspired, to learn some languages and start getting involved in stocks and TRAVEL that I wanted to give you some feedback on the countries that you may bid on for assignments…please explain if you can?..I’m confused on that.  Anways out of all those places on your list I’d have to say I’ve only visited one…which is Hong Kong, but seeing it was 4th on your list of preference I just wanted to assure you how AMAZING of a place it really is…I visited it last year for about about a week…first off it is a very fast pace and happening place, it feels safe as well ( you have a young son so this maybe be important I’m sure ) Almost everybody that is working speaks won’t have to own a car (another annoying expense) and it would actually probably be to your disadvantage to own one..they have a very hightech transportation system called MTRs which are inexpensive to travel by.  They go to all the districts around HK ( where would you be placed..what district? ) Anyways…if you’ve heard rumours about HK being unclean..that’s not true to me it appeared very clean for the most part.  Also once you get to HK..other than housing which is pricey and quite crowded ( kind of sounds like how the housing is that you described in Korea ) the standard of living is very cheap, plus you can bargain which is sooo awesome! Going out to dinner at a fairly nice/moderate place would cost you $10 for a meal. And tell your wife that you can buy a pair of jeans for like $10 as well!  Even in certain malls you can bargain..the malls are all like 7 stories high.  On top of this HK never stops…I was surprised to find so many young people always walking around..and they’re weather is nice too..well when I went around April it was very could wear pants/shorts! Basically the weather is never too too extreme.  Anyways HK is unexplainable..and although I only went for vacation it is the sort of place I could live as always feels like your walking around inside, very cool! (pictures dont’ really justify it either) but check someout to get an idea I suppose! Anyways…I left my e-mail address so you could write back if/when you have time..thanks!!

  4. S's Gravatar S
    February 14, 2006    

     Ooooo yeaaaa, I forgot to say Hong Kong is BEAUTIFUL…they have a couple parks which are very nice…AND most of all why it is so amazing is because absolutely everything you look at is worthwhile looking at…everything is eye popping!

  5. Alexandra and Noel, San Jose, Costa Rica's Gravatar Alexandra and Noel, San Jose, Costa Rica
    February 14, 2006    

    Re destination #18, San Jose, Costa Rica
    I moved here 3 years ago with my son. We did some changes to our lifestyle, like we have less mobility as we don’t have a car, which is fine as we organized life like this, but buses go everywhere. Big cities after all are big cities and San Jose is no beauty, but the country in itself is beautiful with its many national parks, beaches, wild life etc.Cost of living is cheaper as in US, but not as cheap as other Central American countries. Imported goods are expensive, but fruits and vegetables and other Tico stables are not. School should be private and then usually is bilingual. Costa Rica definitely ranges high on the security scale (politically and economically) and crime is there, but not so bad. Feel free to write if you have any specific questions

  6. smpx's Gravatar smpx
    March 7, 2006    

    http://www.wall32.comYOUR WEB PAGE(nice spaces and pics!!!)

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