You also have to factor in various visa requirements of said countries - if you are an EU citizen, it wouldn't make sense to go live in San Diego. For some reason I get the sense you are a resident of the USA, meaning you're better off there or in Latin America - but visa situations can generate a lot of stress in almost every country that you're a foreigner.
I've heard good things about Ecuador being a very cheap place to live, and you could choose to be by a beach or in the mountains. I imagine New Zealand would also be a great place to live, except for the visa issues. Melbourne in Australia consistently ranks as the most livable city in the world. Nice climate and not too far from a beach.
Those are all places I have never been. My favourite places I've visited are Italy - Sardinia, Portugal - Lisbon, San Diego - USA. I love surfing and girls in bikinis, so I'll trade CO2 for those any day. Same as I'll take genuine Italian cooking over a Peat-centric diet. Plus I figure the sea contains a lot of nutrients, along with all the unfortunate toxic residue, but some benefits.
I did not like South Africa, it still has massive problems, and while most people are friendly, there are many people in desperate situations willing to do almost anything to relieve that desperation. Hence the crime, gated communities, and general paranoia.
A lot of the world speaks English now, plus, it has been shown that learning a second language helps open new neural pathways in the brain, keeping it active. I would be less inclined to dismiss non-English countries. At the end of the day, you'll know where you feel happiest, and if you have a little funding, no harm in travelling and getting a sense of where you could live and how you could work there.