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Would you move to a city in a foreign country you've never visited?

Valencia, Spain: haven't been, don't know anyone there. I'm doing my research, trawling expat boards, etc. Is it enough? If you've made a similar move, how did it work out for you?

by Anonymousreply 2410/17/2020

It will still be a tremendous shock. I have done it twice. Not only expat boards, but, if you don't already speak the language... Get cracking on the basics.

by Anonymousreply 110/17/2020

Been there, done that. Several times. You have to be adaptable, able to observe and learn the local language, customs and making your way. Helps tremendously if you know of the basics of the local language, even though in major cities, most people do know some English. Also remember as long as you're status is "tourist", you're not really living there, you're visiting.

Wonderful experiences, highly recommended, provides a whole different outlook about the people and the world around you.

by Anonymousreply 210/17/2020

Yes, as long as I knew I'd have job/money to survive.

by Anonymousreply 310/17/2020

Depends how old you are. Some things are possible when you are in your 20s, not after.

by Anonymousreply 410/17/2020

The older you are, the harder it would be. Like R4 said, in your 20's it would probably be pretty easy but by the time you are in your 30's or 40's you are very set in your ways and your philosophy of the world. It's a lot more than just a different language and aesthetics. Major cultural differences like bureaucracy that takes months instead of weeks, or corruption as daily life barter situation, or food rituals where dinner doesn't start until late at night 10pm or and takes hours to complete. Or streets that close up in the middle of the day for a 2 hour siesta. And those are the little things. And forget about ordering everything online like you do in the states because some countries have really, really high taxes on those good, like 50% to 100% of the price of the product.

Sometimes it's just odd things like most houses and apartments don't have dishwashers. Or the laundry machine is in the kitchen. Or no one has a refrigerator larger than a mini bar and ice in your drink makes you a freak. Sometimes it gender things. A good friend I knew in college who came from a wealthy family in Mexico told me he never had a salad until he came to the sates because it was considered feminine for men to just order a salad. Gender specific food basically. In some countries in Europe they heat horse meat like we eat cows. In places like Greece domesticated animals like dogs and cats roam the island which looks charming at first until you realized is an abusive thing and they are treated and seen as rats to die of disease and starvation.

by Anonymousreply 510/17/2020

No. I'm not a moron. I would go visit the city first, several times if possible. If I were moving for business, and I knew it was not a permanent move, no problem.

When I was younger, I would also need to know if the local men were appealing and I to them. Because I was a SLUT! Yet open to romance and relationships.

After the age of 35, you're going to have challenge blending in socially to already established cliques. A retirement community would be an exception.

You will need a social job that will mix you into local society, OP. Unless you are 20-34 and VERY attractive and charming and extroverted.

by Anonymousreply 610/17/2020

I would definitely try to visit first. I'd be working hard on the language as best I could. Anything's possible. If it was for work or school, why not? Buying a home or finding a job as a foreigner sounds harder! Spain is not the US. Like the others said though, in bigger cities, you can find people with English and you'd find some common big city amenities you could lean on at the beginning. I think I would start with a big city. I found the Spanish generally very friendly but I've been in towns there that I think would be difficult to crack as an outsider.

by Anonymousreply 710/17/2020

Some countries, actually most countries always see you as an outsides even if you live there for 20 years. Not to say they wont be polite or even friendly but the idea that you can move to a country and be accepted as one of them over time is really only an American thing. Especially if that country is very ethnocentric like Japan for example. You will always be "the foreigner" who lives in that house.

by Anonymousreply 810/17/2020

Yes, I've done it. Well, I actually went over with plans to take a 1 month TEFL course, but then I stayed for 8 years. It wasn't easy, but it was also a lot of fun. I wish I had had more money saved and I wish I had learned a bit of the language, but I was young and dumb. Surprisingly, I found a job without too much of a hassle, but waiting for the visa and the contract to start took time. There are many things you will have to think about - accommodation, banking, you'd better have some local friends who can help you out. If I do it again I would definitely spend an extended vacation somewhere first to make sure it's a good fit. Don't make drastic decisions sight unseen.

by Anonymousreply 910/17/2020

Are you high OP? Most people say even if you move to a different part of town when you buy a new house you should drive the neighborhood at different times of the day and night. Moving to a completely different country without staying there for at least a few weeks is insane. What looks pretty during the day might be a crime hell hole once the sun goes down. Google: Rio de Janeiro crime.

by Anonymousreply 1010/17/2020

R8 - yep, always a stranger. I tend to think Canada, US and Australia are probably the most accepting, but in most other countries, you're on the outside looking in.

by Anonymousreply 1110/17/2020

I might for countries that score high on every metric — New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands. I don’t know if, at 60, I would be interested in, or amenable to, figuring out a whole new existence. It took me a good 55 years to figure out this one!

by Anonymousreply 1210/17/2020

It really depends on your industry. The big tech companies have offices all over now and those cities have the ex pat and temp worker population that make it easier to meet people and make friends. Of course, their arrival also makes the cost of living skyrocket. Dublin is now as expensive with the income equality of many US cities. But if you keep your USD salary you will live very well as EU salaries are a fraction of US salaries with higher taxes.

I say for for it, have an adventure. You don’t have to go forever. A year or two in another country is a great opportunity. I am from the U.K. originally, went t uni in my mother’s country- Ireland then for there to Canada and now in the US. Tbh I think it’s just as “shocking” to move form NY to Alabama or vice versa!

by Anonymousreply 1310/17/2020

Why would you move someplace you've never been to? It’s not like there’s an Iron Curtain anymore, where you have to escape from behind a wall & leave your loved ones behind just to get a chance to go the west. We have lots of airplanes ✈️ going all over the world. We have credit cards. You can book a flight online in seconds. Why not just visit a country before moving there?

Makes no sense unless you’re the 5th son of a penniless Honduran family.

by Anonymousreply 1410/17/2020

I didn’t catch the bit about not visiting before! OP prices will be rock bottom when international travel picks up. Hopefully sometime next summer or fall. Get a flight and an Airbnb for 30 days.October would be a good time as the European tourists will be gone and you’ll get a feel for the city as a place to live.

by Anonymousreply 1510/17/2020

Yes, OP — done it many times, and if the city is alrge enough, I don’t even book the hotel until I’m actually THERE.

It’s obviously a bit hit-and-miss strategy. Been surprised by Valencia myself: Very laidback, beautiful atmosphere, small city.

Wasn’t quite as charmed by my spontaneous trip to Oslo. But hey, I’ve seen it and that alone is a privilege.

by Anonymousreply 1610/17/2020

I have done it all my life. Perth, San Francisco, New York, LA, Phuket. It's not about the cities, it's about you yourself, OP.

PS. Hated Perth, Australia, the most. And surprisingly NYC was the best.

by Anonymousreply 1710/17/2020

[quote]It's not about the cities, it's about you yourself, OP

R17 understands all.

Just look at the responses here: 7 lean no and 3 lean yes (and that's more for.moving to another country than the specific question about doing so sight unseen.)

If you're all of 35 years old, a retirement community might be your best bet? WTF?

People who are uncomfortable with change will tell you that you are crazy. People who thrive on changing their circumstances will say go for it.

It depends on who you are.

by Anonymousreply 1810/17/2020

If Trump wins, I will! Australia here I come, sight unseen!

Of course, it'd all depend on circumstances, such as whether I could earn a living there, which kind of rules out any place with a serious language barrier. If an employer wanted to transfer me there and promised to pay for a move, a return move, and help with the local bureocracy, interpretation, and immigration, I'd definitely consider it - and I'm not young. But even if I'm not young I still want to see the world and have adventures, so why not? Pity it doesn't happen in my field.

But there's no way I'd make the move without at least one preliminary visit, even a couple of days would give me time to have a look at the city and its neighborhoods, and to find out whether I could afford to live in a decent neighborhood and navigate the local transport system and grocery stores. I mean I've done that in the US, gone to a city where I'd consider living, and driven around with the app on my phone, just had a look at the home prices in various neighborhoods.

by Anonymousreply 1910/17/2020

Forgive me, I somehow missed the part about "MOVING" to a city in a foreign country.. I was obviously just blabbing about quick little vacations.

by Anonymousreply 2010/17/2020

I did that 18 years ago - moved to Brussels unseen. I enjoyed the experience - though I’m sure it helped a lot that I speak fluent French.

by Anonymousreply 2110/17/2020

^^^ I meant “sight unseen,” of course. At no time during my year-long stay in Belgium was I actually invisible.

by Anonymousreply 2210/17/2020

[quote] Of course, it'd all depend on circumstances, such as whether I could earn a living there,

Yes, that’s right. You don’t get to just pick up & move to another country. The country’s government decides whether or not you get to live there based on your qualifications & current citizenship. You don’t wake up one morning & say “I think I’ll move to the US from South Africa! See ya, family!”

“Italy looks like a nice boot. I think I’ll move there. Will I have to learn the Roman language? I’ve never been there. Oh well. I like an adventure, so off I go for a few years.”

by Anonymousreply 2310/17/2020

Well, it happens, R23. Now visas obviously come into play, but I went to Germany on a tourist visa and got hired by an international company who sponsored my work visa, and ended up staying for years. And there were plenty of other foreigners around who had "just picked up and moved." Some people overstay their tourist visas (not recommended). Some find a local partner and stay that way. If he gets there and really wants to stay, then he can make it happen. Or maybe he will find it's not what he envisioned and come back home. It's essential to have enough of a financial cushion to survive for a long timespan with no income. Especially right now. Of course, OP is hopefully smart enough to not even thinking about traveling somewhere that is closed due to Covid currently.

by Anonymousreply 2410/17/2020
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