The World’s Happiest Country, The Eye-Roll Heard Across a Nation, and Saying Goodbye to an Inspiration

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on March 16, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

Hello Readers,  

I hope this finds you in good health and good spirits. If you are like many who are sick of dealing with winter weather, spring is just around the corner. If you just can’t handle it anymore, why not get out and explore the world?

Have you ever wondered what the happiest place on Earth is? The UN may have found out for you. Keep reading to learn who ended up on top. Also, included in this week’s round-up, read about hundreds of engineers left without a job in Kuwait and how one journalist in China broke the internet with a simple gesture.

If you are ready to begin your journey around the globe, we’ve also found some great creative jobs that could get you started.

Before we get into all of that, let’s pay respect to a great mind that we lost this week…


Saying Goodbye

Earlier this week, world-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, passed away at 76 in his home in Cambridge. The British scientist made huge strides in the scientific community, paving the way with his work on black holes and relativity. The author of the famous book, A Brief History of Time, was not only known for his hard work, he was also known as a caring and kind individual.

Since his death on Wednesday, many have been remembering him fondly. His children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement, “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

British astronaut, Tim Peake, remembers Hawking, saying he “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe.”

Others who paid respect include actors Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, who have both played him in different productions, each noting a rich sense of humor. Many, from the Queen of England, Prime Minister Theresa May, and many large names in the scientific community have praised and thanked Hawking for his hard work and inspiration.

Stephen Hawking has clearly made an impact on many across the globe. We, at Escape Artist, would like to thank Mr. Hawking for his dedication to his field and sharing his light with the world.


Feeling Blue?

If you are feeling cabin fever from the winter months, whether stuck inside because of snow or just tired of the rain, you may be ready for a change. Why not escape the gloom of winter and go to the happiest country in the world? If you like skiing, saunas, and Santa Claus, the “happiest place in the world” may be right for you.

The 2018 World Happiness Report, published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, named Finland the happiest nation in the world. The report ranked 156 countries by happiness level, based on things like life expectancy, social support, and corruption. Finland has always ranked among the top happiest countries since the report was launched in 2012. The Top 10 also includes Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.


The Eye-Roll That Was Worse Than the Bite

Liang Xiangyi, a reporter from the Yicai financial news network of Shanghai, caught a lot of flack after a heavy eye-roll towards a journalist next to her at a Chinese parliament session on Tuesday morning. The journalist, Zhang Huijun of American Multimedia Television, was asking a government official a question regarding state asset supervision.

The eye-roll was captured on state television. Clips, GIFs, and reactions were posted just minutes after the event happened on live television, spreading across the internet quickly. Censors hastily suppressed the spread by banning Liang’s name from online searches and deleting the clip.

Who would have guessed that a simple eye-roll would have made such a large impact in the Chinese news? According to reports, however, the eye roll was appreciated by some citizens and fellow journalists who were fed up with the government as it tightens its grips on domestic media coverage. Questions at press events are carefully screened and are asked by outlets that are trusted by authorities.


Hundreds Left Without a Job in Kuwait

After a new regulation was passed regarding work visas in Kuwait, hundreds of expat engineers are experiencing trouble renewing their visas. The regulation was enforced by the Public Authority for Manpower.

The regulation that was distributed to all labor departments earlier this week states that expatriate engineers will not be able to renew their work visas unless they obtain a No-Objection Certificate, or NOC. In order to obtain the NOC, engineers will have to graduate from a university that is accredited and take courses on the Kuwait Society of Engineers’ master list.

Hundreds are now left frustrated in the expat community after similar decisions have been made in the past weeks. Many engineers are concerned about being forced to leave the country if more complications arise.


Looking for a Job?

If you are an expat looking for a job, or if you want to start your expat journey, there are several job opportunities with the digital marketing agency, Ardor SEO, that either offer remote work that gives you the freedom to work on the road or jobs Consumer Resource Guidelocated in different locations around the world. The opportunities are offered to expats of English-speaking countries:

Have you ever been to Asia? There is a writing job that offers free flight and training to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as a writer. This could kick off your digital nomad lifestyle in an instant. Start exploring the world!

The same company offers a remote position for SEO professionals and WordPress web developers.

If you are a creative individual interested in starting a journey traveling the world and working as you go, start it with Ardor.


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up! If you’re interested in learning what it’s like to expatriate, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. At Escape Artist, we aim to ensure that your travels abroad run as smoothly as they can.

Whether you are planning on living, working, retiring, or investing overseas, Escape Artist can help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to check out the eBook store for the 2018 Expat Tax Guide and our wonderful country guides!

For more information on what’s going on in the international scene, check out some of this week’s newest articles!


Colombia is home to cities that are thriving economically, and they’re gaining recognition in publications everywhere as “Cities of the Future” (aka, cities for future investors). These types of rankings typically take the same categories, or variations of them, into consideration when making these judgements. These categories are: economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, costs, connectivity, business-friendly environment, and promoting of foreign investment.

When the Colombian government signed its peace treaty in 2016 and ended its 52-year-long civil war, President Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize, Colombia was named…

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While Colombia is growing as a popular travel destination in general, it’s becoming especially popular among the foodies of the world. Diversity seems to be the name of the game for Colombia when it comes to pretty much everything – it has the most diversity among bird and orchid species, it has diverse ecosystems and landscapes, and the people even speak different languages throughout (although Spanish is the language most commonly used). It’s only fitting that the food culture is diverse as well. That means that some of the foods loved in one part of the country may be…

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According to a recent study by the World Tourism Organization, Colombia has ranked in the top 20 among the fastest growing travel destinations in the world. Colombia had 18 percent growth in tourism in 2017. This is in large part thanks to its evolving reputation for safety, colonial and historical charm, and its rich biodiversity. It’s also becoming a well-known foodie destination and is said to have some of the best diversity in that category as well. As a result of its (somewhat) recently discovered appeal, there’s been an exponential increase in the number of flights to Colombia now available in places like North America and Europe.

United States & Canada

Five United States airlines provide non-stop flights to Colombia daily. You can find these flights through…

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Cartagena is a highly important city for Colombia. It’s also highly popular. This is all thanks to its historical beauty. The city was founded in 1533 and was used as a port city to run trade to and from Spain. Many of its ancient buildings stand today, with the inclusion of part of its famed walled city and fortress, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 80s. Thanks to all of this history and the city’s access to the Caribbean and to its bay, tourism is a mainstay of the Cartagena economy. This city has a well-established expat population, and they have much to love about their city.

About Cartagena

Cartagena is the fifth-largest city in Colombia, and the second-largest in the region, after Barranquilla. Its urban area is also the fifth largest…

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When you choose a place to retire (or vacation, or simply to relocate), you usually choose an area that has either mountains or beach, depending on your preferences. The mountains offer hiking and outdoor activities, while the beach offers a relaxing lifestyle with plenty of sun and sand. In Santa Marta, you don’t have to choose – you have both! Santa Marta is South America’s second-oldest surviving city (Colombia’s oldest city), and it sits on the Caribbean Sea and also borders the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s not as popular a destination for expats as some of the other cities in Colombia, but that can be a good thing.

About Santa Marta

Santa Marta gets its fair share of…

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This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on March 16, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.