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Moving to a different country

Old 01-30-15, 06:27 PM
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Moving to a different country

Hello! I don't post much here in Chit Chat but I guess it's where the topic is most appropriate.

Lately I've been having an itch to move out of Atlanta (Roswell). I've had a good run in GA and I enjoyed it for what it's worth but I do want to give something different a try. When I mean different I don't mean another state, I mean another country all together.

I've only lived in two places, San Juan Puerto Rico and Atlanta GA. They are culturally diverse and not similar at all but they each have their own pluses and minuses. I think Puerto Rico has more culture and personality but GA has opportunity and quality of life. In Puerto Rico I had the advantage of knowing everybody in the business scene, here I have the advantage of good business overall. Where I plan to move, I have neither.

I want to move to Europe, particularly Italy. That may sound crazy due to their current state of affairs but I have that mentality of better loved and lost than not loved at all. I also have the advantage of my wife being a european citizen. I can move there, get my citizenship and worse case scenario move back to the USA in the future. I also plan to move within my company, which has offices all through Italy. Given that economic quality of life is lower in Europe than America I expect to downsize in almost every department. But what I am willing to give materially I hope to gain in experiences and travel.

I am definitely nervous because I am not getting any younger (although still very young). I think I can still a mistake and recover, however I don't want to throw myself into a fire pit blindly either. I am willing to take a measured risk. I can partially speak the language but not the lingo. I also have 0 clue about their business practices or etiquettes, all I know is they seem to work 2 hours a day, sleep 4 during lunch and drink 2... Very ignorant to a certain degree but my wife is not able to tell me much since she moved here when she was 9 and her parents were in the small town local construction business which is not the same as multinational corporate (not bashing, it is what it is).

Anybody done something similar? I am giving up potential career opportunity to live somewhere where I "HOPE" to experience life differently. Not saying I will go live under a bridge, but I may be giving up substantial opportunities for a life of dreams in Europe.

We are actually going to Paris in about a month and a half to have our honeymoon that we couldn't do because of my father's passing immediately after the wedding.

Additional info: I am 27yo, OK financially, fairly educated with a BBA, a few Reinsurance and insurance certifications, licensed insurance agent, 100% fluent in Spanish, english and can get by OK in Italian, community oriented and love a good challenge. Very interested in a fulfilled career but also in culture and quality of life.

Thank you,
Luis

Our last trip to Italy

Riomaggiore Cinque Terre



Posing like a true Italian in Venice.

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Old 01-30-15, 06:55 PM
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I have moved to a different country ... 5.5 years ago, I moved from Canada to Australia.

A tip ... embrace the culture, don't try to change it. "Well, that's not how we did it in the USA" is not going to fly. Even moving within a country that sort of thing doesn't fly ... very quickly I caught on that "Well, that's not how we did it in Victoria" doesn't go over too well with Tasmanians.

Also, can you go there and spend a few months there before committing yourself? That helped with my move to Australia. I had been here twice, once for 3 months and once for 2 weeks. So I had a reasonable idea how things worked.
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Old 01-30-15, 09:50 PM
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Ditto what Machka wrote. I've got relatives all over the U.K. and Ireland, and have spent time there (longest stretch was 4 weeks), but I can't see moving there. I've also looked at moving to a few select other places in the USA (including possible retirements locations), but backed out after visting those places. To me Southern California just has too much to offer - mild weather, beaches, mountains, desert, good employment prospects, some family members . . . no where else comes close.
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Old 01-30-15, 10:40 PM
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The U.S. Department of Commerce has information on doing business in Italy. It might give you some insight.

Export.gov - Doing Business in Italy
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Old 01-31-15, 09:55 AM
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I wish I would have had an opportunity to do that years ago. Go for it, I doubt you'll regret it later.
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Old 01-31-15, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I have moved to a different country ... 5.5 years ago, I moved from Canada to Australia.

A tip ... embrace the culture, don't try to change it. "Well, that's not how we did it in the USA" is not going to fly. Even moving within a country that sort of thing doesn't fly ... very quickly I caught on that "Well, that's not how we did it in Victoria" doesn't go over too well with Tasmanians.

Also, can you go there and spend a few months there before committing yourself? That helped with my move to Australia. I had been here twice, once for 3 months and once for 2 weeks. So I had a reasonable idea how things worked.
Wow, that's a pretty big move. Did Australia meet your expectations in the long haul? Have you had other major struggles besides the culture shock?

I don't think I can afford to live there for a few months, at the moment at least. I was able to go there for 2 and a half weeks last year but it was not to the cities I am most likely to live in. The cities that will probably provide me with the most chance of a career are, Milano, Roma, Firenze, Genoa and Torino. I've visited Rome and Firernze before but not long enough to have an idea of the life style. I am hoping this next 10 days in Paris will more or less teach me something about big European cities.

Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Ditto what Machka wrote. I've got relatives all over the U.K. and Ireland, and have spent time there (longest stretch was 4 weeks), but I can't see moving there. I've also looked at moving to a few select other places in the USA (including possible retirements locations), but backed out after visting those places. To me Southern California just has too much to offer - mild weather, beaches, mountains, desert, good employment prospects, some family members . . . no where else comes close.
While probably not as nice as Southern Cal, GA also has a lot to offer. There are companies to boot with great employment opportunity, the weather is mild, the scenery is pretty nice, the riding culture is above average and the cost of living is very low. Things I don't like? Lack of culture, far from EVERYTHING (closest city worth visiting is like 5 hours away), everything is FAR (nothing is walking distance), horrible transportation system and intolerant population. Needless to say that even the suburbs are becoming increasingly hostile and southern hospitality died with general Lee.

Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
The U.S. Department of Commerce has information on doing business in Italy. It might give you some insight.

Export.gov - Doing Business in Italy
Thank you for that. I will take a look into it.

Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I wish I would have had an opportunity to do that years ago. Go for it, I doubt you'll regret it later.

Thank you . Makes me feel a tiny bit more confident.
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Old 01-31-15, 10:31 AM
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I am also taking into consideration that Europe is in a state of deflation with their currency plunging as well. I am waiting till their currency hits rock bottom and the supply in the housing market increases so I can get a city center apartment, where it's less susceptible to the ups and downs of the real estate cycle, for dirt cheap. At some time the EU will take some corrective action. Inflation and prices will sky rocket so I want to take advantage of the market at it's lowest. From there on I can ride the cycles once I have property in Italy.

I will keep some sort of off shore investment that will still come in USD (if it can be done that way)which by then will be very strong relative to the Euro.

hmm.. I am dreaming big .
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Old 01-31-15, 11:12 AM
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Good luck, and have fun - you only live once, so enjoy all you can.

p.s. Your wife is a lot better looking than you are.
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Old 01-31-15, 11:26 AM
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Got something to offer other than Austerity and Unemployment they may welcome you .

bring a company with few job vacancies to fill with the locals with you..
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Old 01-31-15, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Good luck, and have fun - you only live once, so enjoy all you can.

p.s. Your wife is a lot better looking than you are.
thank you. I'll take that as a compliment

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Got something to offer other than Austerity and Unemployment they may welcome you .

bring a company with few job vacancies to fill with the locals with you..
You've got a good point. Gonna have to give some thought to that.
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Old 01-31-15, 06:53 PM
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Vicenza Italy... Home of Campagnolo and Liotto .... Flat to real mountainous rides in less than 40 kilometers... Good weather all year... Bicycle friendly population...
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Old 01-31-15, 07:04 PM
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I have two daughters, one in Barcelona, the other in Milan. The older daughter lived in Rome for two years before going to Barcelona. She loves Barcelona. My wife is a native Italian and a graduate of the University of Rome. Both daughters are fully bilingual and can pass as native speakers in Italy. It's not to difficult to learn Italian if you know Spanish.

My daughter in Milan likes her new home very much. Even though her Italian is very precise, and she will complete her degree from the University of Milan this year, most of her friends are expats who speak English as a second language. Milan is far more international than any other Italian city. The career opportunities are best in Milan.

Both daughters teach English. Native speakers of English can usually find enough work to make end meet without too much special effort.
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Old 01-31-15, 07:56 PM
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If I were younger and unattached or attached to a willing person I would go for it. But Machka's right just get into the Italian culture and if it fits you you'll be fine.
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Old 01-31-15, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
Wow, that's a pretty big move. Did Australia meet your expectations in the long haul? Have you had other major struggles besides the culture shock?

I don't think I can afford to live there for a few months, at the moment at least. I was able to go there for 2 and a half weeks last year but it was not to the cities I am most likely to live in. The cities that will probably provide me with the most chance of a career are, Milano, Roma, Firenze, Genoa and Torino. I've visited Rome and Firernze before but not long enough to have an idea of the life style. I am hoping this next 10 days in Paris will more or less teach me something about big European cities.
I didn't really experience culture shock when I moved to Australia. I spent 3 months here cycling around the country in 2004 and then 2 weeks in the area where I moved in 2008 ... and then I moved in 2009. So I had a pretty good idea what to expect. And Australia is quite similar to Canada anyway. The differences are subtle.

One difference is the dress code. If you're an office worker, you dress up to go to work. Some places will have a casual Friday, but even then, we don't go too casual. And if you're a "blue collar" worker, you'll wear the yellow or orange hi-vis clothing ... rarely the jeans and T-shirts commonly found in North America. Even going out to the movies is a somewhat more dressy affair. Having spent several months in Europe (but not in Italy), I would imagine that you'll find a similar dress code in the areas you plan to go.

Recently, I start riding the bus to work. The buses here are the same as Canadian buses, but the subtle cultural difference is that everyone thanks the driver when they disembark. In Canada, you just get off the bus and rarely say anything to the driver, but here, we all politely thank the driver as we get off.

And there was a language difference ... during my first year of working, I came home to Rowan (who is Australian) almost every day with questions about what this or that word or phrase meant. It is better now, but every now and then, I still find myself having to re-write things for work in Australian ... I write them in Canadian, and then have to go back and change them into Australian. Little things, like what I call a binder, they call a folder.


Now when I moved to Australia, the area where I moved (where Rowan was living at the time) had just been through a devastating bushfire and many people lost their homes (including Rowan) and too many lost their lives. So Rowan and I ended up living our first year together in a shack in the hills completely off the grid. Power was supplied by a generator at first and then solar panels. Heat was a fireplace, and I cook there too sometimes. Water came from the rain collected into water tanks ... and once or twice from nearby creeks when there wasn't enough rain to supply us with water. That was a bigger adjustment than the move to Australia.
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Old 01-31-15, 09:19 PM
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do it

besides being limited to indulging in certain foods and even fast food only twice a year, i dont miss anything else about the us.

its a completely different lifestyle you'll be living. even different to paris. so that wont give you a proper glimpse. they share the same continent but not much else -- gigantic multi-cultural metropolis vs a slower "latin" way of life.
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Old 02-02-15, 01:24 PM
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My brother moved from Atlanta to Malta in October 2012 to work at a startup. When they shut down last summer, he had until October to find a job in Europe to maintain his visa, or move back to the US. He's now living in my spare bedroom while he looks for work in the US.

He did enjoy travelling in Europe while he was there, although since he was based in Malta, he had to fly to Italy & back to do any travelling. If you're going to be based in Italy, that won't be an issue.
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Old 02-02-15, 01:55 PM
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I've lived in Europe pretty extensively. I don't think you're giving up much. Salaries will be lower but risks tend to be spread across more of the population (that's the trade off when you live in a social democracy). The transition from Spanish to Italian is not difficult. The cultural shift is not a huge one either. The bike riding will get a heck of a lot more interesting.
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Old 02-02-15, 02:06 PM
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At two times in my life separated by a decade and a half, I a) lived in Italy, and b) gave up a lucrative position for one which was much less stable, but more enjoyable.

We lived in Italy '76-79, Dad was in the Air Force, and we spent 2 years in Rome at the US Embassy, 1.5 yrs in northern Italy, Aviano AFB/San Quirino. Loved the Italian experience, even as a kid. Based on that, plus friends whose parents were international, living in Rome, I'd say go for it.

Got out of one career and into another, making less money, but doing something I'd rather have been doing. Didn't regret it, haven't regretted it, even though I'm now back into the first career again.

Basic question to ask yourself: end of life, would you look back and regret not having done it...?

27 is young, easily enough time to bounce back from one bad decision. If wife is on board, I say go for it. Even if it doesn't work out, it's bound to be exciting, and you'll have something awesome to talk about at parties.

Just note that Italy is not a small place, there are many different regions and urban centers which are very different from each other. While you certainly can travel while you're there, make sure you end up someplace you don't think sucks most of the time... Living in Italy is much different than visiting. People tell me they are going or went to Rome for a week... they will have seen only a fraction of what there is to see in Rome, let alone the rest of Italy. An immersive situation really is fantastic. And of course, Italy is home to Ducati, MV Agusta, Benelli, Moto Guzzi, and Aprilia. With glorious roads and high speed limit Autostrada...
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Old 02-02-15, 05:12 PM
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Regarding the size of Europe ... its area is 10,180,000 km˛

Compare with the area of USA ... 9,857,306 km˛



Also, the distance between Rome and Paris is about 1400 km. That's approximately the same distance between Atlanta, GA and New York or Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX. If someone were to say to you that they are going to New York or Houston to see how things are done in Atlanta, what would your reaction be?

Paris will be a good experience (I love going to Paris), but it could be quite different from anywhere you end up in Italy.
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