Five off the map countries to survive the coming blackout in style.
Many Europeans are already conspiring on how to best survive the coming cold winter. Slowly but surely the idea of blackout is bubbling up on the surface of daily news around the old continent. I have myself survived two European winters completely without or with limited gas supply. How and why I did it is unclear to me, but it kinda happened. Now I am happy for that experience, as I know what to expect. The concept of cold apartment is still pretty foreign to many local inhabitants. I dread this winter to be honest. Not because I fear cold, but because I fear unchained, angry mob running around. So tonight, meditating over a glass of red wine, I came up with list of countries, that you don’t typically hear about everyday and might be your safe heaven this winter and beyond.
As the world situation progress further into what seems to be well planned chaos, one has to act quickly and sometimes even impulsively. Our lives are like a big videogame where we have always just one chance, so whatever decision you make is purely your own and you have to live with it later…
Shortages of everything are to be expected with this coming autumn and winter, which gives us narrow window of opportunity to move places safely and efficiently. In my horror scenario flying might be out of the realm of possibilities, so your choices could get smaller with time. Now let’s have a look at some countries on my list, which I am constantly updating as the world events are challenging my views. Each and every country needs to fulfill at least basic requirements on stability, prosperity and cost to value ratio. We are not necessarily looking for a new Singapore, but something on that note wouldn’t hurt either…
I will start with a country I know quite well already, as Georgia is a place I was stuck for few months during the first lockdown… My biggest ever culture shock was right here in this amazing Caucasus country. The air itself tastes different in there. Nature is on the level of Swiss alps at certain regions and the access to the Black sea makes it amazing combination. Sure, it is by no standard developed country and even though their roads are constantly improving, you will find really old cars (and drivers) still cruising around like there is no tomorrow.
The capital city is architecturally absolutely stunning as it seamlessly connects local shantytowns with classical Paris-like city center and futuristic skyscrapers mimicking middle eastern powerhouses. Georgia is country of contrasts and is full of colors. Local food is one of the best mixtures of Iranian, Turkish and Russian/Ukrainian cuisine. People of Georgia eat and drink a lot. And by that I mean loads. Tables are always full and glasses never empty. Even Alexander Dumas was absolutely mind blown by Georgian ability to drink. And he was no beginner himself. In fact he fell in love with this country and couldn’t get enough. The traditions and history are ever present mark and are hard to avoid. Non drinkers beware…
Now if we move slightly forward into present time, we shall examine Georgia’s economical situation. This small state is in fact growing faster than any EU country at the moment. There was recently reported a 10% GDP growth in this post-soviet economy. I would thereby assume, if conflict with Russia doesn’t spread, Georgia could be up for a lucky decade. In fact, it has one of the best banking and with it connected Bitcoin laws in the region and worldwide. So take your chances crypto kids and book your flight to the moon. Ehm, I mean Georgia.
With what looks to be one of the cheapest electricity in Europe, I wouldn’t be overly pessimistic about the coming winter. Heck, there is always Batumi. Charming holiday resort at the Black sea coast, with it’s micro climate, where you can survive winter without gas whatsoever. In the worst case, you keep some Bitcoin miners running in your living room, right…
Now, second comes Norway as it is also a country I have had a chance to visit, thereby I have still a good idea of what to expect and I can give you also some personal experience.
I have picked Norway purely based on its gas reservoirs. It is the single country in Europe, which might not pay premium on having nineteen degrees at home. Some winter loving individuals might as well enjoy it’s long and snowy nights, for bigger part of the year. In fact in Northern part of the country, they might not know the word summer at all. But, I am not here to hate on Norway’s weather. Actually on my visit, during one of my bicycle trips, I have had a chance to experience what was apparently the hottest summer in hundred years. I have spent ten days urban camping in Oslo and I was loving it.
The only problem of this Scandinavian giant is it’s prices. Norway is really expensive. Never mind cheap gas, you’ll pay double or triple for almost anything. Not really digital nomad’s paradise. But for seasonal job hunters or skilled professionals, Norway can indeed be awesome place to save some money or start a new life totally. Locals are of course a little colder than usual, but I have a feeling that it is changing with the new generation that grew up online and loads of foreign migrants coming to the country.
I remember Oslo as place of culture, luxury and abundance. Not only personal income levels are off the charts, you also have the sea at your doorstep, skiresort connected with the city bus, art galleries and activities both indoor and outdoor on weekly basis and much more. Although the rest of the country might be a little depressing in winter and I would be careful with choosing another place than the capital. Out in the Norwegian countryside are one of the highest suicide numbers from all around the world for some unknown reason… Or, could it be isolation and lack of sunshine?
With inflation finally hitting all continents and countries, I must have Argentina on my list. A place which almost represents crisis and economical instability. What are people in Western countries experiencing now, is a good year in Argentina. It’s Peso became a meme in around trading circles. Although interestingly enough, only hundred years ago it was one of the richest countries in the world, standing strong next to the United States and UK as an example. Demand for beef and agriculture products in general during first and second world wars made Argentina shortly richer than Switzerland. Could something like a war driven boom happen again? Well, maybe…
I must say, out of all the Latin American countries, Argentina stands out a lot and high up on my list. The most European culture on the continent, great food and beautiful women, that all plays into cards of a wannabe emigrant. Buenos Aires is surrounded by mystery to a foreign observer. Mafia stories like from Sicily and general ‘dangerousness’ makes it a perfect place for a novel of some sort.
Argentina is also a pretty damn big country offering great variety, from tropical north to snowy Patagonia in south. From surfing at the coast to snowboarding in the mountains, Argentina can satisfy the most demanding adrenaline junkies. The only stormy weather can be on the political front and people trying to settle down around there might find it difficult as the situation is changing rapidly every time major votes takes place. Stability is just not Argentina’s second name.
With the easing of travel restrictions we should not forget about Southeast Asia. Once hippie hideout paradise, now retirement tourism hot spot, Thailand has lot of things to offer. The latest being legalization of cannabis use. Wow, who would have guessed that. Small Asian country offering more personal freedom than many other ‘freedom’ representing democracies. This proves to me how inefficient democratic process really is. But Let’s not get too much into politics this time around.
Even the cult movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was situated in Thailand. Does it mean Thailand has the best beaches in the world? Could be, but it definitely attracts hippie style travelers and all sorts of what some would call ‘low life forms’ from first world countries. To me it even represents what is wrong with our society. How people not that accepted by the system, lacking comfortable economical lifestyles and opportunities in their home countries take advantage of the possibility to escape to paradises like Thailand to forget about the misery they have been through at home.
Other movie called The Hangover, represents the second category of tourists coming to Thailand and that being the party goers. It is what it is, the television presented this kind of lifestyle so much to us, that it is truly encoded in lot of us. What can we do other than reprogram ourselves… Or maybe experience first, what we’ve been craving for, for so long and made an experienced decision later, if such lifestyle is worth living.
In any case, I don’t expect people of Thailand to have problems heating their homes this winter and one mango tree or two are always just around the block. As a necessary survival place for winter, it might be a winner, if of course China and the US will not start a new conflict in the area…
Last but not least comes a rather forgotten place in central America. Nicaragua is on my radar for quite a while already. It seems like a land of opportunities. Be it it’s relaxed immigration politics, cheap prices or stunning geographical location, Nicaragua is to many a surprise.
San Juan del Sur, is the country’s expat capital. This sleepy fishing village is a perfect place for surfing trips all around. With monthly rent as low as 200 dollars, who can not survive winter here. Nicaragua has also some of the cheapest land in Latin America, which foreigners can own. This makes it a great investment opportunity if you thing you’ll survive the coming third world war and tourism will once again thrive. Nobody knows for sure and near future will have to tell us, but if there is a chance somewhere, I see it in Nica…
The country has the biggest sweet water lake around, important asset in the future of dry climate and shortages of things. Water is truly a must. An active volcano is overlooking the country’s capital Managua. Maybe not the most interesting place in the world, but it is where you’ll get to find some, if any supplies for your bug out property in the middle of nowhere on the Pacific coast. You can’t really find any meaningful employment in there, so with this option I am probably pointing out to the business minded individuals. It seems like the local government is pardoning new enterprises from taxes in first three years of their existence. That is a big plus and for a short time, one can enjoy the brand new, good old wild west…
With many other similar size countries around a visa run should be easy to do, although covid documents are probably still needed around that area of the world.
Whatever motivations or reasons you have for trying to internationalize your existence, I wish all of you the best of luck, as I know how hard it is to settle somewhere else in the world. The coming times will be very challenging to all of us and one should always search for his or her own alternatives, as we all have different passports, cultural backgrounds, economical possibilities, hobbies etc. This is only a short list of countries that I am currently looking at and my own personal opinion, there are for sure many more to visit or live in, as the world is such an amazing place to explore! Make it you playground and don’t let the government games put you down.
Until next time,