Category: Countries

5 Questions To Ask Yourself To Choose The Perfect Country To Move To

Making the decision to move to a new country is an exciting but intimidating prospect. How do you know that you’ve chosen the right country? Here are five key questions to ask yourself when selecting a new nation as your home.

1. What Is Your Primary Language?

Most people who move to a new country usually have some basic knowledge of the primarily spoken language. If you’re planning on moving to a specific nation, it’s important that you understand the native language if you don’t already know it. Many countries offer free or inexpensive language classes for those who want to learn and integrate into their new home. Look into these classes before deciding on a country, and decide if learning will be an option for you after arriving.

2. What Are The Economic Prospects?

Moving to a foreign land can be an opportunity to start over and make your financial dreams come true. Investigate the economy of the potential destination so you can ascertain which opportunities may be available upon your arrival. Research possible employment prospects, cost of living, currency exchange rates, and any other economic factors in order to make sure that your dream isn’t too far out of reach once settled in abroad.

3. What Is The Cost Of Living?

In addition to economic possibilities, consider the overall cost of living across different countries when deciding where you would like to live permanently or temporarily. Costlier cities normally mean higher salaries which could lead to more easily achieving financial goals that wouldn’t be as conveniently attainable elsewhere. In comparison, cheaper places also offer advantages with lower rent prices, groceries, etc., allowing for more room in one’s budget for other expenses like traveling or recreation activities such as skiing and rock climbing around stunning landscapes abroad!

4. What Is The Quality Of Life?

The quality of life index takes into account many key aspects including levels of pollution and criminality – two important factors when considering how safe people feel in different locales around the world. Additionally, research what cultural events are offered by potential national destinations such as theatre performances or art festivals throughout different times of the year should also factor into your overall final decision on where is best for your own individualized lifestyle needs and wants!

5. What Visa Requirements Are There?

Finally, consider visa requirements when selecting a new country as residency abroad. You must comply with certain protocols set forth by global agreement regulations or bilateral treaties between nations (or even independent agreements). For instance, those wanting permanent residency might need sponsorship from an employer while some nationals may not even require visas at all! Ensure that any paperwork is completed in advance according to international standards so that no surprises occur upon arrival at one’s intended destination!

5 Unique Country Flags Featuring an Animal

There is a lot that goes into the design of every national flag in the world. Almost every aspect of each flag has a deeper meaning to it, with some using colors while others use small symbols. Then, there are some countries that use animals as part of their country’s representation, with some being true symbols of the nation.

Today, we’ll look at five countries that use animals on their flag in a very unique way. We’ll also dive into the history of the flag and how the animals were chosen. Some have a history that dates back several centuries while some are only a few decades. Here are the five most unique country flags of the world featuring an animal.


If you were to focus only on the background of Bhutan’s national flag, it wouldn’t be anything all that interesting. It’s simply yellow and orange split down the middle diagonally. What really draws attention, though, is the foreground, which features a large white dragon with amazing detail. The flag was officially adopted by Bhutan in 1969 and was designed by Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji.

Dorji made sure that the dragon was split equally along the different colored backgrounds, showing that there was a balance between the country’s rich traditions in religion and civility. The dragon is white due to its purity and is meant to show that the citizens of Bhutan are always on guard for their country. While the colors don’t really give off a vibe that the country is ready to defend, the dragon sure does.


There are multiple countries that use an eagle on their official flag, but only one of them has two heads. With a simple all-red background, the foreground features the two-headed eagle with symmetrical features front and center. This isn’t a new flag, either, as it was designed by Sadik Kaceli all the way back in the mid-15th century. Back then, the flag was used by Albanian nobility but went unused for years.

Nationalists who fought against the Ottoman Empire brought the two-headed eagle flag back into regular use. As the country was fighting for its independence, it became a symbol that Albanians could get behind. The result was the flag becoming adopted in 1912 and it has undergone a couple of slight alterations since then. The eagle itself is used to honor the freedom fighters who made Albania independent.


You can’t discuss flags with an eagle without discussing the truly unique flag of Mexico. The flag is also one of the newer ones used by a developed nation as it was adopted in late 1968. The background features green, white, and red colors, with the meaning changing over time. These days, the green is for victory, the red is for the fallen soldiers who fought for independence, and the white shows national unity.

As for the eagle, he’s a little preoccupied in the middle of the white bar. With one talon planted firmly on a cactus, the eagle is chomping away at a rattlesnake while also hanging on tightly to it with its other talon. The Sun is important to Mexico’s rich history, and the eagle represents just that. It also represents Aztec lore, specifically Huitzilopochtli, the god of victory.


The birds that were used on the national flags of Albania and Mexico are extremely aggressive, but that’s not the case for Zimbabwe. Instead, the country uses a stone carving called the Zimbabwe Bird that has been part of the national coat of arms for centuries. The bird can also be seen on the nation’s currency, as it is used prominently throughout Zimbabwe.

Not much is known about the meaning behind the birds, as they were discovered in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. There are several theories to the symbolism, with many agreeing that it’s a bateleur eagle, which was said to be the messenger of God. Whatever the root symbolism, this flag that was adopted in 1980 is given its own space while the rest of the flag has green and red stripes with a singular black stripe in the middle.


The list started with a dragon and now wraps up with one, but this time with a European country. Since the seventh century, the red dragon has been a symbol for the nation of Wales, originally representing King Cadwaladr. Two centuries later, the dragon became a symbol of independence and was seen as a messenger.

Wales became a country in 1056 but wasn’t officially recognized until the mid-16th century. Throughout most of that time, the red dragon was used prominently, but it wasn’t until 1959 when the dragon in front of a green and white background was adopted as the national flag.

5 Countries Whose Climates Have Changed The Most In The 21st Century

Climate change has affected the entire world as average temperatures continue to rise on a yearly basis, but there are some parts of the world where it has been more obvious. Between natural disasters and rising water levels, the evidence of climate change is felt in some countries to the point where natural disasters are almost expected at this point.

There are dozens of countries that have been heavily impacted by climate change, but a handful really stand out as having some of the more concrete evidence. Here are five countries whose climates have changed the most in the 21st century, the effects of that change, and what to expect in the future.


There has been a long list of natural disasters in the island country of Haiti, a lot of which are attributed to earthquakes that can’t really be placed on climate change. However, there have been plenty of tropical storms and hurricanes, which have been more frequent and intense due to changes during the 21st century. The average air temperature in Haiti climbed steadily during the 1980s and 1990s, plummeting briefly in 2011 before skyrocketing back up to an all-time high.

That massive increase in temperature in 2012 was responsible for the severity of Hurricane Sandy, which came while the country was still recovering from a massive 2010 earthquake. Sandy left hundreds of thousands without homes while killing more than 100 people due to massive floods. Other hurricanes in the 21st century include Matthew, laura, Tomas, and Gustav.


Unlike Haiti, Japan is well-equipped to handle earthquakes, but other natural disasters can cause havoc in the country. Most people know about the earthquake in 2011 that was the largest recorded in Japan’s history, as well as the tsunami that followed and left nearly 20,000 dead and thousands more missing. That disaster was not an indicator of climate change, however.

Japan hasn’t seen as extreme of a temperature increase over the 21st century as many of the other developed nations around the world, but it is still apparent. Japan has received a ‘highly insufficient’ grade for its policies regarding climate change, and even a slightly continued increase in temperature could cause extreme damage. With rising water levels, Japan as a whole is in danger, and experts predict that Japan’s coasts could suffer $1 trillion in damages over the next couple of decades.


Very few countries have seen the type of temperature increase in the 21st century quite as Afghanistan has. For much of the 20th century, the average temperature was actually below average and had a downward trend, but that all changed in the 2000s due to a wide range of factors. The country has been designated by experts as one of the world’s most vulnerable, especially as they rely on hydropower.

Extended periods of drought and rising temperatures have left Afghanistan in a food crisis. There are even some residents who have said that they fear the lack of food as a result of climate change more than they do the Taliban. This has led to a mass exodus of citizens from Afghanistan who are hoping to find greener pastures, as the country is expected to be devastated in the coming decades.


Canada doesn’t really seem like the type of country that would be on this list, especially as they’ve taken more action toward climate change than many others. However, Canada is still one of the leading oil-producing countries in the world and, as a result, has had more greenhouse gas emissions than all but six other nations.

The country also has the highest emissions per capita, while deforestation has also played a large role in Canada’s climate. There are more extreme weather events in Canada each passing year, and this includes wildfires, torrential downpours, and drought-laden heat waves that affect the country’s crops. Sea levels have been rising in Canada, especially in the southwestern and southeastern regions.


Germany is another one of those countries that are leading the fight against climate change after seeing its nation affected heavily. Temperatures in Germany have risen at a faster rate than in many other developed nations, and it has caused the Alpine glaciers to melt at a faster rate, and has led to flooding. While it’s a good thing that the glaciers are melting, it needs to be slower to be sustained.

Eventually, no water from the glaciers will cause rivers to dry up and lead to extended periods of drought for Germany. Experts also say that in a few decades, there won’t be any colder parts of Germany left as the entirety of the country becomes part of a warm climate zone.

5 Countries Which Changed Their Capital City

No matter what type of government a country chooses for operating, there needs to be a central hub for that government to meet. Because of this, we have capital cities, and it’s something that has been around for ages. The capital city of a country doesn’t have to be the largest, it just has to be home to federal buildings and be the home to the leader of the nation.

Not every country has had the same capital throughout its entire history, however. There have been many notable nations that have changed the address of their leader’s home, though many of them happened before any of our lifetimes. Here’s a look at five of those countries that changed their capital city, detailing which one was the first and which one it is now.

United States of America

When the United States officially became a country in 1776, the first capital of the country was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You still see a lot of the history from the era throughout Philly, and it served as the capital a handful of times. After five months, the capital switched to Baltimore, Maryland before returning to Philadelphia.

It then changed hands to Lancaster and York (both in Pennsylvania) during the 1770s before returning yet again. After switching hands between several cities (including New York City), the United States finally found a permanent capital in the form of Washington D.C. The transition was made in November 1800 and hasn’t changed since. What has changed, however, is the venue. The United States Capitol has served as the venue since 1819.


Ever since 1868, Tokyo has served as the capital of Japan and is the largest city in the world (by population) by far. Even though it’s been well over a century since Tokyo became the capital, Japan has had a long list of capitals that predated it. The first established capital was Kashihara and the capital changed a total of 13 times during the era of Emperor Jimmu.

The capital then switched nearly 20 times during the Kofun period and even more during the Asuka period. Things started to slow down in the eighth century as there were six capital venues during this time in Heijo-kyo, Kuni-kyo, Naniwa-kyo, and Nagaoka-kyo. Heian-kyo became the long-time capital during the Heian period in 794, and maintained that position until Tokyo’s establishment in 1868, with the exception of Fukuhara Palace in 1180.


Australia is one of the newer developed countries of the world, having been established in 1901 after many made their way from the United Kingdom. As a result, there haven’t been many world capitals as some of the countries that have been around for several centuries if not more. Australia has only had two capitals, though, with the current one being Canberra.

Canberra is a planned city, and was always meant to be where Australia would establish the capital of the country. During the first several years of Australian history, though, Melbourne served as the ‘de facto’ capital. When Canberra was finally ready in 1927, operations moved from Melbourne, but the country’s first capital is still thriving today.


While it was still under British rule, what is now known simply as Canada went through a lot of different capitals during the mid-19th century while it was known as the Province of Canada. The first established capital was Kingston, Ontario, which was named the capital in 1841. After three years, operations moved to Montreal for another five years.

Toronto and Quebec City traded places as the capital from 1849 to 1866, with both cities serving as the capital on two different occasions. Finally, Ottawa became the capital of the Province of Canada in 1866. When the country established independence from the United Kingdom on July 1, 1867, Canada kept Ottawa as the capital where it has remained ever since.


Brazil has undergone a lot of changes throughout its long history, but it wasn’t until 1822 that the country declared its independence from Portugal and was officially recognized three years later. In the final years of Portugal’s rule, Rio de Janeiro was the capital city, and that remained true when it became an independent nation.

In fact, Rio was still the capital for more than a century after Brazil’s independence. It wasn’t until 1960 that the country changed course and established Brasilia. Like Australia, Brazil used a planned city so that the focus could be on creating government buildings first and foremost. Now, Brasilia is the third-largest city in the country.

Legit Ways To Reduce Tax On Your Salary In Ireland

Ireland Revenue assesses taxes on your income, but if you’re savvy, there are many different ways to reduce your tax liability. Want to keep more of your money in your pocket? Then, check out these tax-saving strategies:

1. Claim tax relief on qualifying expenses.

Ireland Revenue offers tax relief on a variety of expenses. Acquaint yourself with the expenses that you can claim relief on, and then, save your receipts. You don’t need to remit receipts with your return, but you’ll need them if Revenue decides to check your claims. 

You can claim relief on the following:

  • Tuition for third-level education up to €7,000 per course, per person, per academic year.
  • Qualifying health expenses including doctor’s services, hospital care, ambulance transport, IVF treatments, acupuncture, non-routine dental care, and mental health treatment from a psychologist or psychotherapist. 
  • Equipment required for work by claiming the flat rate expense allowance.
  • Maintenance payments made to a former spouse, but not payments designated for child support.

2. Reduce your tax liability with credits.

A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you need to pay, and unfortunately, countless credits arent claimed every year. To shave down your tax liability, look for credits and make sure that you claim them. Here are just a few of the available options.

  • The home carer tax credit for couples where one spouse or partner stays home to care for children. 
  • The age tax credit which is available to people aged 65 years or older. 
  • The widow with children credit which provides help for up to five years for widowed parents of dependent children. 

3. See if you qualify for an income tax exemption

If you or your spouse is over age 65, you don’t have to pay income tax if your income is below a certain threshold. As of 2023, the threshold is €18,000 for a single person and €36,000 for a married couple. If you’re raising dependents, you can add an additional €575 for the first two children and €830 for any subsequent children. 

4. Start a pension

When you contribute funds to a pension, you save up for your future, but you also get to enjoy tax benefits right now. Pension contributions are pre-tax. That means if you contribute €1,000, for example, you don’t face any tax on those funds. 

If you’re taxed at the highest rate of 40%, you would have normally paid €400 in tax on that income. However, by putting the funds into your pension, you avoided that tax liability. 

5. Rent a room to a long-term tenant

With Revenue’s Rent-a-Room Relief program, you can earn up to €14,000 per year tax-free. To qualify, you just need to rent out a room in your home on a continuous basis to someone who is not your partner, children, or employer. 

Generally, you can only claim the relief if you rent out the room for at least 28 days. However, there is an exception for incapacitated individuals who need respite care, full and part-time students, and four-day-a-week digs. Your income may also need to be below a certain level to qualify for this relief. 

Note that you can deduct qualifying expenses from your rental income. For instance, if you collected €15,000 in rent but spent €1,000 maintaining the room, you only have a net gain of €14,000 which is all exempt from tax. This relief doesn’t apply if you rent out your home through a short-term vacation rental site — that income is taxable. 

6. Try biking to work

Through the Bike-to-Work Scheme, you can buy a bicycle, helmet, and all of the other critical accessories with tax-free funds. Participating employers pay for the bike upfront. There’s a €1,250 allowance for most bikes, €1,500 for e-bikes, and €3,000 for cargo bikes. 

Then, you sign an agreement stating that you’ll use the bike for your own purposes and to get to and from work. Finally, your employer deducts your repayments from your checks for the next 12 months, but you don’t incur any tax on those amounts. In four years, you can repeat the process and get another new bike using tax-free income.

5 Countries With Best Urban Exploration Scenes

Urban exploration is one of the fastest-growing hobbies around the world, allowing people to make their way through abandoned manmade structures that were left to rot. They can make for some eerie yet cool feelings when you’re roaming through them, and certain countries have more to explore than others.

If you plan on going on an urban exploration some countries have spots that are a must-see for everyone. Make sure that you’re following all of the laws when going anywhere on an urban exploration trip and always practice safety more than anything. Without further adieu, here are the five countries with the best urban exploration scenes and the signature place for you to visit.


The infamous Catacombs found underneath the city of Paris, France are as interesting as they are terrifying. The location, environment, and purpose of the catacombs make this destination a truly creepy sight to see. 

Holding the remains of more than 6 million people, the catacombs became the historical city’s answer to the overpopulation of the cemeteries. Clearly, that problem has been solved and there’s no need to line underground tunnels with human remains, but the intriguing structures are still available to explore if you dare. 


Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima, is an urban explorer’s dream, with abandoned structures that leave behind a bittersweet history. Hashima Island is one of the many islands surrounding Kyūshū, one of the main five islands that make up Japan. 

Once known for the underground coal mines that aided in the industrialization of the land, the history of the previously abandoned tourist destination has its darker notes as well. The island was home to cruel forced labor upon the people of China and the Koreas before and during World War ll. The history and eerie nature of this island makes it a great place for curious explorers. 


London isn’t just the capital of England, but it’s one of the busiest hubs in the entire world. London is also home to the London Underground, which is known by locals as The Tube. The London Underground first opened up in 1863 and has been serving over 1 million people on a daily basis.

With 250 miles of track, there is a lot of the London Underground to explore, but you just have to be careful. Some of the areas of the Underground are off-limits due to safety issues, and you also want to avoid tracks, especially if they’re being actively used.


Like the ever-so-popular Paris Catacombs, the catacombs scattered throughout Rome were designed for the purpose of providing burial and storage of deceased Romans after the city found the land wasn’t vast enough to hold all of the remains within cemeteries. 

The Roman Catacombs are made of areas that hold those belonging to different religions and some where the bodies of separate religions are buried alongside one another. The eerie and historic underground venture would give any brave explorer a thrill and give them a taste of the rich and odd history surrounding the catacombs. 


The United States has a lot of sprawling urban areas in just about every state, but the one that really stands out is Michigan. That’s because the Wolverine State is home to Detroit, which has become the hottest urban exploration destination in America. If you make your way to the Motor City, you have to check out Michigan Central Station, which was once home to Michigan Central Railroad but closed in 1988.

Thankfully, the building hasn’t been completely abandoned or demolished, though there was some destruction in the early 2010s that made it dangerous for urban explorers. Since the city is planning on using the Michigan Central Station again, making it safe for urban explorers. When there, you’ll see the amazing interior from the Art Deco era of Detroit while still seeing some of the ruins.

5 Countries with the Most Out-There Flags

The national flag is a massive symbol of pride for many of the world’s nations, as we see them waving at every international event like the Olympics or World Cup. People are proud of their homeland for the most part and want to display that by waving their country’s flag whenever possible. There are a lot of simple designs when it comes to flags, though, with some being indistinguishable from one another to the untrained person.

A lot of countries simply have three different colored bars, while others keep it simplistic. Then, there are those countries that really like to make things unique by creating something that you can’t miss. Here are five of those countries that have the most eye-catching and out-there national flags.


Every country in the world has a national flag that’s rectangular, except for one. Nepal decided to go the most unique route possible by ditching the traditional rectangle flag and making it a pair of pennants on top of one another. Nepal has always opted for this style of flag, though, while the designs on the flag itself have changed over the years.

The modern version of the Nepal flag that was adopted in 1962 is red with a blue outline and features a crescent moon with a sun peeking out on the top pennant while the bottom pennant features the full sun. The two symbols represent Hinduism and Buddhism, which are the two main religions of Nepal.


There are always going to be countries that have interesting symbols on their flags, but the combination of symbols doesn’t get more out-there than Mozambique. The flag features teal, black, and yellow bars with a red triangle on the left side. Within that triangle, though, brings up a lot of questions as to what’s going on.

The base layer of the triangle features a yellow star, which is pretty standard, with the next layer being an open book. It isn’t even a specific book, either, as it’s meant to symbolize education. Then in front of the book is a hoe crossed with an AK-47 that has a bayonet. The hoe, of course, symbolizes agriculture, while the AK-47 is supposed to mean vigilant defense of the nation. Needless to say, it really gets the point across.


The Caribbean nation of Dominica adopted a new flag in 1990, and it’s one of the only ones that people would consider “cute.” The flag has different proportions compared to most at a 1:2 ratio, though most of the design is pretty standard with a cross made up of yellow, black, and white bars on a green background.

The real eye-catcher, though, is the symbol in the center. There’s a red circle with 10 green stars, and inside of those stars is a purple parrot. The parrot is the sisserou species, which is native to Dominica and the national bird that’s on the coat of arms. The sisserou is an endangered bird, with only around 300 remaining. Yes, the real-life parrot is indeed purple in case you were wondering.


Mexico essentially has the same flag as Italy with three stripes of green, white, and red, in that order. However, there is one massive difference between the two. The Italian flag has nothing in the white stripe, while Mexico is telling an entire story with theirs. The Mexico flag shows an eagle standing on a cactus while eating a snake alive.

Why such a graphic nature image, though? The symbol is actually an Aztecan one that’s part of the culture’s legend. The eagle was pointing while devouring the snake, showing how to reach the city of Tenochtitlan.


There are a few countries in the world that feature a dragon on their flag, but none go into more detail than the Asian nation of Bhutan. With a 50/50 diagonal background split between orange and yellow, there’s a black and white dragon front and center, taking up most of the flag.

The dragon has changed over the years thanks to new designs, but the symbolism has remained the same. The dragon’s white color symbolizes purity while also looking aggressive in case of needing to defend the country, while the dragon as a whole represents the Dragon King of Bhutan, a.k.a. the head of state.