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Would you leave your country and why?


pierlu
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Just now, zero said:

little did we know at the time what lay ahead...

2013 leadership vs 2020 leadership is like mother theresa/MLK/Gandhi all wrapped into one leadership vs. KKK toddlers run amok leadership 

One key politician remains a constant throughout these two points in time though: Mitch McConnell.

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I feel rather attached to the Southern Hemisphere myself. Fluent in a few Asian languages and know that région well, but I'd most happily live and work in places like New Zealand, Uruguay, Namibia, Antarctica.

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Australia is also pretty blessed in many ways. I've lived several years each in Sydney, NSW South Coast, West Victoria, Melbourne, Canberra, SEQ and FNQ. Also visited Perth, Alice and Bass strait. Geographically that is a lot of climate variance.

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For the purpose of this conversation I'll call the US "my country" even though I was born and raised in Belgium and still hold that as my only citizenship (after being here 35 years 🤪). My parents brought me and my siblings to the US when I was 9 for what was meant to be a few years transfer for my dad's job. A couple of moves within the first 6 years and it was pretty clear they weren't planning to move us back. They had nothing against Belgium, I think they just got used to living in the US, that's all. Extended family was visiting frequently, and we'd go back and visit every few years as well. Anyway at 16 we moved down the Texas (bleh) and I spent my formative years there. Didn't leave till I was 30, when I moved to Seattle with an ex girlfriend and I've been here since.

I like it here in Seattle but I'm also kind of sick of the vibe (and cost), even though it's the most beautiful place I've lived. I think moving around a lot throughout my life it's hard to feel settled down and want to stay in any one place forever. Also I have no family in Seattle – my dad and one sister still live in Houston, my mom moved back to Belgium where all my extended family is, and my younger sister lives in England since about 2008. Most of the time I'm fine with that but deep down maybe I'm not, and I'm missing out on nieces and nephews growing up, etc. There are a few other places in the US I probably wouldn't mind living, but is it worth the move?

Throughout my entire time living in the US I've thought about moving back (to Europe in general, not necessarily Belgium). I've missed and grown apart from my extended family, I disliked some American attitudes (driving habits, healthcare system, etc.), missed the European lifestyle, etc. but what did I even really know when I was 9? Mostly it's about still feeling like I don't belong in the US. But if I moved back I would most certainly feel like a foreigner, like I do when I visit. Anyway, we're all aware of the political climate in the US and like many, I don't think I can take another 4 years of this dumpster fire because there's irreparable damage being done to American society. The question is, would I be any happier? Every place has its social and political issues. Would I be able to find a great job? Would it pay as well? (No). Would I just be trading in one set of problems for another? There are obvious advantages like being close to family, and especially my mom as she gets older. But damn I've been here 35 years now and even if I've never felt like an American I sure am used to the American lifestyle. I really suck at making big decisions which is why I've never pulled the trigger. Ideally I'd get a job over there and test the waters for 2-3 years, giving myself the opportunity to come back. Guess I can always do that (after I finally get dual citizenship). 

Anywho I'm rambling now. But the answer to the question is Yes, I would leave "my country" and why? Because it's burning.

 

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You never get back the time you miss with loved ones. If you really love your mom go live there. Or whoever is first place in that category. Unless your family is awful, Then this doesn't apply

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9 hours ago, dingformung said:

I guess it's smart to live somewhere where living costs are low and quality of life is high if you can work remotely, as your money is worth more in these places, such as in Thailand. 🤷🏻‍♂️  Hotel costs there might be lower than living in an alright apartment in a Western city.

With any western or northern European or US salary you live like a king in Thailand, especially outside Bangkok. The sort of digital nomad fantasy is that you only work for a few hours per week and that covers everything. That's possible if you got a designer, consultant or similar gig that has an hourly payment of maybe around 30USD/hour or more after taxes. After that a single 8 hour day per week already covers your stay. 1000USD/month is plenty in Thailand or Indonesia.

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1 hour ago, d-a-m-o said:

Seriously ? May I ask where in France ?

Haven't got a clue where to be honest, there are so many nice places. I'm doing a year in France from Autumn 2021 - Summer 2022 as part of my university course so I have some time to experience France a bit more other than staying with relatives.

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2 minutes ago, milkface said:

Haven't got a clue where to be honest, there are so many nice places. I'm doing a year in France from Autumn 2021 - Summer 2022 as part of my university course so I have some time to experience France a bit more other than staying with relatives.

There's only one Nice place :dadjoke:

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16 hours ago, marf said:

Up and moving to a new country like Mexico or more affordable countries like that unless you are some anthropologist type fluent in the culture and language is typically for the middle to upper middle class isn't it? You need good credit, You need a good job usually. If you want the things you weren't getting in the country you are native to.. I know people who move abroad but they usually have family money, a coding job, or have a boyfriend who makes good money and is established.  I mean you can live rough anywhere. 

i wont deny the priveliges i have like a good education, but its really not as hard as you make it out to be.  i applied to various architecture firms from abroad and eventually found a job despite my language shortcomings.  then waited in the bureaucratic line and jumped through hoops like any immigrant.  also should have mentioned that my gf's family is mexican and she wanted to live here so it wasn't completely random.  so i dont have background support nor a coding job. just chose to move and live in another country kinda like any immigrant would.

14 hours ago, marf said:

You never get back the time you miss with loved ones

this is a huge point.. i see my parents getting older and do miss them dearly but try to keep in touch with technology

7 hours ago, zkom said:

With any western or northern European or US salary you live like a king in Thailand, especially outside Bangkok. The sort of digital nomad fantasy is that you only work for a few hours per week and that covers everything. That's possible if you got a designer, consultant or similar gig that has an hourly payment of maybe around 30USD/hour or more after taxes. After that a single 8 hour day per week already covers your stay. 1000USD/month is plenty in Thailand or Indonesia.

90% of the people i have met who self identify as 'digital nomads' were huge pricks.  constantly blabbing on 'how cheap it is here' because they're earning in foreign currency, which is very ignorant of the power dynamics and privelege that money bring.  Basically>> i dont give a shit how you earn your money but its necessary to have respect for, and attempt to give back or be a part of the culture of your adopted country.

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3 minutes ago, markedone said:

90% of the people i have met who self identify as 'digital nomads' were huge pricks.  constantly blabbing on 'how cheap it is here' because they're earning in foreign currency, which is very ignorant of the power dynamics and privelege that money bring.  And at least recognize how that privelege distorts the cost of good/services, and especially housing costs for the people who earn in local currency.  Basically>> i dont give a shit how you earn your money but its necessary to have respect for, and attempt to give back or be a part of the culture of your adopted country.

Well, that's with any kind of tourism, isn't it? And that's what every other tourist traveling to a cheaper country than their home country is going on about, how cheap everything is compared to home? The digital nomads are basically just tourists who work while they travel. They're not trying to fully adapt to the host country because every country they visit is only a temporary stop and what's the point anyway if you're there for only the duration of your 1-3 month tourist visa.

So basically the same criticism goes also for people on packaged tours, backpackers, people buying holiday villas, etc. Is it any different to have bunch of westerners doing work on their laptops at the local cafes to bunch of westerners getting drunk in the local bar on their holiday? Both change and distort the local economy, culture, infrastructure and everything for the better and worse.

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19 minutes ago, zkom said:

Well, that's with any kind of tourism, isn't it? And that's what every other tourist traveling to a cheaper country than their home country is going on about, how cheap everything is compared to home? The digital nomads are basically just tourists who work while they travel. They're not trying to fully adapt to the host country because every country they visit is only a temporary stop and what's the point anyway if you're there for only the duration of your 1-3 month tourist visa.

So basically the same criticism goes also for people on packaged tours, backpackers, people buying holiday villas, etc. Is it any different to have bunch of westerners doing work on their laptops at the local cafes to bunch of westerners getting drunk in the local bar on their holiday? Both change and distort the local economy, culture, infrastructure and everything for the better and worse.

true on all points, the line between travel and 'living' tourism is blurred, and the resulting economic distortions are not always bad.  and i certianly think there is more good to be had from more people traveling and going outside their comfort zone with an open mind.  the phrase "digitalnomads" rubs me the wrong way (on account of some people i met at a horrible party, lol).  but its a problem with any tourism for sure, i think people from amsterdam or barcelona could concur

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3 minutes ago, markedone said:

true on all points, the line between travel and 'living' tourism is blurred, and the resulting economic distortions are not always bad.  and i certianly think there is more good to be had from more people traveling and going outside their comfort zone with an open mind.  "#digitalnomads" rub me the wrong way though.. as I said, i've met a few pricks.

Yup, I'd guess it's the same kind of personality that you often encounter in the start up and "influencer" scenes and those scenes overlap with the self-proclaimed digital nomads a lot.

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17 hours ago, marf said:

You never get back the time you miss with loved ones. If you really love your mom go live there. Or whoever is first place in that category. Unless your family is awful, Then this doesn't apply

Truth, and I've already been living away from my immediate family for 14 years at this point (since moving to Seattle). I don't even see my dad in Houston very often, after the first 5 years I stopped going back every year to visit because I don't like the place and was holding out for him to come visit here (he still hasn't). 

I enjoy spending time with my extended family when I go visit Belgium every few years, but there's no denying we're not as tight as we used to be (how can we be after so many years?). And my French is elementary and rusty, basically it's small talk level which is fine for a few days. I think it would come back and expand pretty quickly though, immersion is the best way to learn and it's my native tongue. My girlfriend, on the other hand, I'm not sure about. She took some French in school and can understand some, but doesn't put any effort into learning (save for a few weeks of using an app every few years). If we moved, we'd likely go to a big city where English is pretty common – I'd need a mostly English-speaking job myself anyway. 

But back to the point, it would be nice to see the extended family a little more often, my mom of course, and my sister with 2 kids that's in England. They're both under 10 and I've only seen them 2 and 3 times. I don't love kids and don't want any of my own, but these are my niece and nephew, would be nice to know them better. Even my niece in Houston (who is now 21) feels like a stranger as I moved out of town when she was about 7. Damn, that just hit me. That's 2/3 of her life I've lived away and only seen her on short visits.

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i went miami -> orlando -> san diego -> portland.  

i have some fam in cali.. niece and nephew and some in north carolina but most everyone is in south florida and i'll never live there again no matter how much i miss my family. I've been outta there since 1997 and missed A LOT but there were long stretches where i spent time there. still.. there's a lot to miss out on. 

i almost moved to asheville NC in 2004 instead of portland.. glad i didn't. 

wouldn't mind being in montreal but fucking cold though.. somewhere in Van BC - too expensive.. toronto? no idea what it's like. 

somewhere in chilled out mexico town would be interesting but i'd worried about being narco'd to death. in hindsight my health issues would've lead to disaster in some places. 

berlin seems cool though. i liked spain a lot and spent about 2 months there in 1994. not sure how difficult/easy it would be to live there. i'm too fuckn old to switch continents now.. so if i was ever able to leave it'd be somewhere in canada.

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I was born in Texas, we moved to the UK in the early '80s for my dad's job. grew up in SW London. moved back to the US late '80s. (I got the best of both worlds really - Thatcherism + Reaganomics!)

after I finished college in the US, moved to Canada (Toronto) where I lived for 11 years. I have dual citizenship as my mom is Canadian. moved back to Texas a few years ago after my kid was born to be closer to my parents.

one thing I experienced as an American who moved to Canada is I was always asked "wait, you're from Texas and you moved here? why would you do that? it's warm down there!" weather was always the number one thing anyone probably 50+ always brought up when I told them where I was from. and then it would shift into taxes. "we pay so much more in taxes up here than you guys do!" "your paycheck goes much further down there!" funnily enough, I had to almost sell a person like this on why I thought Canada was not that bad a place to live. that and give them a few real word numbers of what the average American pays in healthcare vs. the jacked up Canadian taxes.

the other group that looked at me strangely when I told them I was from the states were immigrants that came from countries they were desperately trying to get away from. they all thought it was crazy that someone who had essentially won the lottery by being born in the US would take a step back and move to a frozen no man's land like Canada. a lot of them I understood had tried to get to the US and couldn't, and so accepted moving to Canada as a consolation prize of sorts. I remember a taxi cab ride once where the driver was from the middle east and said "why would you move here if you're American? they hate Americans here! they're socialists in Canada" (lol).

anyway, to any American considering moving to Canada because of trump, etc. - just a reality check that it is really not easy at all to move there if you are not a citizen. I met very few Americans while living there, and the ones I did were much older with high paying jobs (professors, etc.) or were like me and had dual citizenship. 

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12 minutes ago, ignatius said:

i'm too fuckn old to switch continents now.. 

That's another thing I worry about, but really it's more about what I'm accustomed to and how much of a change it would be, as opposed to actually an age problem. (I'm 44). My mom moved back to Belgium in her late 50s. Then again, she wanted to be close to her mom and sisters, and had started a long-distance relationship...but she was also leaving her 3 kids in the US. She needed to be with her mom before it was too late. And I think that's gonna be the same for me.

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3 hours ago, markedone said:

90% of the people i have met who self identify as 'digital nomads' were huge pricks.  constantly blabbing on 'how cheap it is here' because they're earning in foreign currency, which is very ignorant of the power dynamics and privilege that money bring

lol, I know what you mean. There is this type of travellers that are super insensitive to their own privilege, take it for granted and are even proud of it, negotiating prices down at bazars just for fun, even though they could afford it, etc., approaching the other culture in a post-colonial style, if you will, without realising how unfair it is and how modest they should be being the profiteers of an inherently unfair world economy even if it's not their fault that the world is as it is.

Economically tourism is a good thing mostly, though. It becomes problematic when the "targeted" country relies too much on it (as we can see during this pandemic), but it's always problematic when a place is too dependant on a single branch of industry, and it gets problematic when it leads to gentrification where the locals at some point can't pay the rising prices anymore, forcing them to lead their lives excluded from these social spheres. Inequality and classism are the result.

It's good and bad.

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2 hours ago, ignatius said:

i went miami -> orlando -> san diego -> portland.  

i have some fam in cali.. niece and nephew and some in north carolina but most everyone is in south florida and i'll never live there again no matter how much i miss my family. I've been outta there since 1997 and missed A LOT but there were long stretches where i spent time there. still.. there's a lot to miss out on. 

i almost moved to asheville NC in 2004 instead of portland.. glad i didn't. 

wouldn't mind being in montreal but fucking cold though.. somewhere in Van BC - too expensive.. toronto? no idea what it's like. 

somewhere in chilled out mexico town would be interesting but i'd worried about being narco'd to death. in hindsight my health issues would've lead to disaster in some places. 

berlin seems cool though. i liked spain a lot and spent about 2 months there in 1994. not sure how difficult/easy it would be to live there. i'm too fuckn old to switch continents now.. so if i was ever able to leave it'd be somewhere in canada.

 

 

Toas Nm near those earth ships. Build a little studio. Ride a dirt bike everywhere. Ah bliss. I think it could be done affordably

 

I personally hate the humid east coast summer. I love the fall and the desert has cool nights and arid days

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2 hours ago, ignatius said:

i went miami -> orlando

After I graduated from ku - lawrence, ks

I lived with my wife in atlanta

then from her work related lived in

miami -> orlando

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3 hours ago, dingformung said:

lol, I know what you mean. There is this type of travellers that are super insensitive to their own privilege, take it for granted and are even proud of it, negotiating prices down at bazars just for fun, even though they could afford it, etc., approaching the other culture in a post-colonial style, if you will, without realising how unfair it is and how modest they should be being the profiteers of an inherently unfair world economy even if it's not their fault that the world is as it is.

I think the biggest privilege that a lot westerners are not aware of when traveling is the citizenship they have. When you have a western passport you can basically go almost anywhere without having to provide your bank account info for the past 6 months, a certification from your employer that you are definitely going to go back to work, etc. Sometimes very rarely you might need to provide a travel plan or letter of invitation but basically both can be just faked or bought. People bitching about how hard is it now to get a visa to China might want to ask Chinese how easy it is to travel to US or EU for a vacation..

And citizenship is basically something you usually can't even buy, at least not the most privileged citizenships like Nordics, Germany or Japan. So it doesn't even matter if you have tons of money. If you're born in some developing country, when it comes to your global status, you are fucked.

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9 hours ago, zkom said:

I think the biggest privilege that a lot westerners are not aware of when traveling is the citizenship they have. When you have a western passport you can basically go almost anywhere without having to provide your bank account info for the past 6 months, a certification from your employer that you are definitely going to go back to work, etc. Sometimes very rarely you might need to provide a travel plan or letter of invitation but basically both can be just faked or bought. People bitching about how hard is it now to get a visa to China might want to ask Chinese how easy it is to travel to US or EU for a vacation..

And citizenship is basically something you usually can't even buy, at least not the most privileged citizenships like Nordics, Germany or Japan. So it doesn't even matter if you have tons of money. If you're born in some developing country, when it comes to your global status, you are fucked.

Very much true.

I distinctly remember getting off a plane in Amsterdam with immigration officers right at the gate. We all had to hold up our passports. Dark red (EU)? Free to go. Other colors: step over here please.

This no longer works, of course, as other countries have wisened up and given their passports the same color, so now immigration people have to do more work. The principle is still the same, though.

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40 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

Very much true.

I distinctly remember getting off a plane in Amsterdam with immigration officers right at the gate. We all had to hold up our passports. Dark red (EU)? Free to go. Other colors: step over here please.

This no longer works, of course, as other countries have wisened up and given their passports the same color, so now immigration people have to do more work. The principle is still the same, though.

I had a similar experience in the early 00s or even a better example of privileges of westerners traveling.

Me and my friends were coming back from Tangier, Morocco to Spain by a ferry. First of all, we had the cheapest tickets possible but we were lumped together with a first class US tourist group because we were standing next to them and well probably because were white? We got ushered into the first class restaurant that we wouldn't normally had access to. We didn't have any money to buy food there because we were already over budget from the time in Morocco so we put our cash together and bought a bag of candies which we split three ways.. All the other tourists were staring at us probably wondering who the hell are these people.

Then we got to Algeciras, Spain. The Americans queued up to get their passports and visas inspected. We decided that we're not going to just wait there because we have EU passports and don't need to really get anything checked. So we basically just marched past the queue, waving our passports in the air for the immigration officers and they just waved us to go when they saw that we were holding EU passports.

So, even though we had very little money we still had the privilege of skin color getting into the first class and then the privilege of citizenship to get into Spain without any kind of immigration check. Probably for the American package tourists thought we looked like a group of homeless wanderers..

Edited by zkom
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