I usually don’t give out a lot of stats and such until right before I announce the next country I’ll be moving to, but I had such a blast going through the votes that came in the first day that I wanted to give a quick overview of the kinds of results I usually get, and what they tell me.
You’ll notice a graph in the image above, and that’s where things stand right now. India is in the lead with a little over 6% of the total votes, with Australia, Ireland and Turkey in a triple-tie for second place, with about 5% apiece.
The really exciting part is that about 66% of the votes fall into ‘Other,’ which means that there are a LOT of countries being voted for, and that from the get-go it’s still anyone’s ballgame.
This is a stark contrast to how things were when I first started having people vote on where I would move, as back then I had readers suggest countries in the comments of a post, and then I would take the first double-handful of countries mentioned and pop them up on a ballot. This resulted in some excellent choices, but also led to a lack of variety, where generally at least half of the countries chosen were top vacation spots, the kinds of places that folks want to go away to for a few weeks, but they hadn’t really thought through WHY I should go there, other than that it sounds like a good place to go.
These days, however, I’m fortunate enough to have a much larger audience, and one that is very opinionated about where I should go, and why. Below are a few of the great comments submitted with votes this time around:
“Okay you have been to Iceland, but you have not yet lived in EUROPE. Not to mention that Germany is awesome and the people are great and you will LOVE it there. I would recommend Berlin. Hope it works out for you :)”
“Turkey…you could probably use some sultry mediterranean weather…the Hagia Sophia (sigh)…it would be a nice addition to your set…I’m told that culturally it’s Middle East meets West and quite rich in music and literature…I haven’t made it there yet so if you’re at all competitive – throw beating me there on the list.”
“Sweden. They have the hottest chicks! Come on!”
“Ireland. Because if you could pick up an Irish accent, you’d officially be the hottest guy on the face of the planet, and then I get to say that I spent two months in a car with you. Also, because I want to go there, and I’m selfish and want you there, too. Also, because the movie P.S. I love you was so fucking sad, it made me cry. And I never cry. And no – that has nothing to do with anything, but it felt like the right time to mention it. XOXOXO”
“Germany. Because I say so!”
“Canada. We are the most polite part of North America, we have great beer a diverse community and attractive women. Also today is Election day we are voting for a new Prime Minister which means you might be able to see a different type of government. You’d be silly to miss out on such a great place. Also seeing as the United States is close by your family could come visit.”
“UK. Red double-decker buses, witty retorts, Big Ben, cream tea, castles, small talking about the weather that is so common for us that it isn’t actually small talk, the M1, Buckingham Palace, fish and chips, Snowdonia, the stiff upper lip, our incredibly long history, having a chin-wag, queues, our monarchy, driving on the correct side of the road, moors, a really good curry, white cliffs of Dover, the New Forest ponies, punting, Oxbridge, our genius television, a proper English pub with a pint and a slap-up meal, our museums, minding the gap between the train and the platform, all the statues all over the country, our (many) accents, old stone villages in the middle of nowhere, our art galleries, the swear words you have yet to learn, our inability to complain, spying on chavs, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, music, actually being in GMT for once, piers, Camden town, food culture…”
“Pakistan. It would be cool you send your new age message to the talibans!!”
“Netherlands. So many reasons: friendly, easy-going people who don’t make a fuss over everything. Stunning history, cultural and economic. Used to foreigners, English spoken all over the place. Decent coffee. Amsterdam. Certainly no warmongering here. No visa problems, just don’t carry a gun. Less snow than Iceland. Great parties. (OK, I just threw that last one in to sound interesting, I suppose you can have a great party anywhere.) Why, if I didn’t live here already, I’d move straightaway!”
“Since Walt Disney World is not on the list, I will send you to the next most “happiest place on earth”, Denmark. I’ve never been, but I’m fascinated with their lifestyle (government, economy, etc.). I would love to learn more about it via your insights while living there! And if you don’t like my choice, my couch is close to Disney. ;)”
“China will surely be the center of the world in a few years, so it would be a great time to start getting used to Chinese!”
“Completely selfish, I’ve always wanted to go and I have a standing invitation to come visit you any place you may be. :) :) Oh any I feel feeding elephants and taking sketchy transportation is an interesting theme to uphold in our travel-lationship :) BTW I’m sure you heard about Bin Laden… how nuts is that? In true America/Angelino style I’m using it as an excuse to host and “America Fuck yeah” party where we can only drink PBR, whiskey and listen to “the boss” ….wish you were here :)”
“Botswana. This is (supposedly) one of the most successful countries on the African continent. Why don’t you go there and find out why so we could spread this success to other parts of that wonderful but needy part of the world.”
“I have a pony that was imported from Norway, a breed called the Norwegian Fjord Horse, and ever since I have been interested in my little Viking horses birth country. I’d love to read how it is living there.”
I could go on and on and on. I was surprised to find that this voting season I had over 100 votes come in during the first 6 hours, and that of those votes, about 90% had explanations. There are so many more that I could display here for their insight, entertainment-value and cleverness, but that would be a LONG blog post.
These comments left by voters are great because they also give me insight as to why people travel, and what they consider to be important in the places they visit and live. Some folks obviously value culture or stability or adventure or food more than other properties, and that tends to shine through when they explain their choice. You’ll also notice that my readers want for me to have adventures, experience different parts of the world and, in some cases, to be attractive-women-adjacent.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has voted so far, for helping me continue to lead the most fun and interesting lifestyle I can, and if you haven’t voted yet, click here to take part in the democratic process!