Thursday, May 5, 2011

Overseas Exile Feedback

The final question on the poll was asking people about other things they would like to see on the blog. Here are their responses (with one edited to remove an identifying bit, though I think I know the respondent in question and he won't care).

(United States of America) stories of how to go about making the move. planning. contacts. etc.

(United States of America) Skilled or unskilled, I think if a person demonstrates a willingness to work and not be a burden on the state/country of choice they should at least be given a chance to prove themselves over a period of time, say 5 years or less that they will not live off the social system, then they should have a chance to move where they please. A chance to prove they are honest, productive members of society. I love my country but I love traveling and learning new things, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures.

(United States of America) I would like to see more information on rules governing working in/studying in/immigrating to EU countries.

Criticism of one of the poll questions: I had no idea how to answer the question on social issues, because it seemed worded very oddly. The sentence "government should support the culture" is so nebulous as to be meaningless. For example, the "government should support the culture" could apply either to the way that Canadians handle their 'salad bowl' model of diversity, or the way that the Saudi religious police physically hit people on the streets for infractions of religious law. Very few people would support both policies, but the question as worded seems to not distinguish between the two.

(United States of America) As far as opinion posts I think they're fine as long as you present them as your opinion, which I have no doubt you would do. I would like to see some of the reasoning behind why you hold these opinions. I might not agree but I would be curious to see how you came to your conclusions.

Other than that I think this is a fine resource for those of use thinking about moving. If I didn't have a specific destination country in mind for a specific reason you would have swayed me with your information about lesser known but great places to live.

(Brazil) I really like the blog. I believe most of the issues that rise on moving to another country are:

  • prejudice to foreigners;
  • actual integration to the "system", if at all (how long 'til one can really feel at home and call it "his/her" country, treat (and be treated) by locals as one of them, help in social causes, demand rights, vote, etc);
  • cultural shock issues.

(United States of America) French habits that are confusing to Americans. (closing bathroom door when leaving etc). Tendency to be friends with other expatriates. Irish and Finns as friends. What to do with the feeling when your return to 'home' and home has changed too much so you feel not at home. Why foreign friends think 'you will like him - he is American!' - keep it up you are doing a good job!

(United States of America) Our crazy plans for moving to Mexico would involve starting a small business, a bicycle shop. I don't think that financing would be an issue, but I have no idea how to start navigating local business laws and such. I would love to hear more of anything you can come up with about trying to start a business abroad.

(United States of America) I am not actually interested in going "anywhere", rather I have several destinations in mind.

I'd like to spend several years in southern Europe (preferably France) and several years in northern Europe/Scandinavia. Or maybe combine those with time in Belgium or The Netherlands. So getting more information about daily life would be very useful in making a final decision.

I'd also like to spend some time in southern Africa (Botswana or South Africa) and a few years in China (Shanghai or possibly Hong Kong).

If time allows maybe a few years in Perth, Australia and some time in Central America (maybe Costa Rica).

I would be willing to spend more or less than a few years in each place but am not interested in a permanent move.

On a different note: Writing about opportunities to live and travel abroad is what makes your blog unique. If you start writing about politics or economics you become just another guy in a sea of blogs. I don't have time to read that and would unsubscribe. I don't mean this as a threat, obviously there are many other readers who may feel differently, and ultimately this is your blog and must contribute positively to your life for it to make sense.

ps: Some people would regard government intervention in the social arena as necessarily against the culture (if the culture actually supports a position, it wouldn't need additional government action) so 1 & 5 would be equivalent to them.

(United States of America) I'm loving the information and the process. It is good to know where it is hard to move to, what challenges there are, and all the different options.

I'm /hoping/ to move, but I am also willing to stay put, depending on how dire the political situation gets here. I like the idea of the quality of life there, and you forgot to mention healthcare as a real concern. That is my top concern: retiring in America is a death sentence under the current healthcare regime.

So far, I'm considering Holland and Spain. Holland has the jobs, Spain has the weather (and lacks many jobs).

(United States of America) Nb. by "Germany" in the selector I meant "one of the German-speaking countries", may as well put those language classes from high school to work :)

In general, I'd like to see some content related to planned-temporary stays (I'd be interested in living abroad for perhaps 3 years, but would want to settle down back at home for a whole host of reasons)

(United States of America) I enjoy your information on student opportunities. Information for people who want to travel indefinitely (i.e. not working/self-employed as opposed to 'get job get visa') would be excellent. That's how IWantOut myself (/r/epresent!).

(United States of America) Love the blog, could not think of anything to add beyond maybe tips on moving, such as services on how to set things up once you arrive.

(United States of America) Great blog! Thanks

(United States of America) Perhaps interviews with other expats, talking about their specific strategy to attain residency/work permit.

Also, some practical advice such as apartment/house finding methods, processes, paperwork requirements, etc... Other transitional/moving related posts such as transporting personal effects overseas, or do you leave it all behind? The five part series on landing a job fits in this category, and it would be nice to see other practical posts on topics not related to jobs or legal entry.

(United States of America) Maybe more descriptions on your daily life talking about your interactions with others.. it would be nice to see a fuller picture of the life of an expat.

1 comment:

  1. How about a few posts of European substitutes for common American food/activities/etc for those transitioning or considering it?

    Also, in America it's common to have many businesses open 24-hours a day. But there's a perception that Europe shuts down after typical business hours, except for those wishing to party. From my personal travel experiences, I have seen this first-hand. In America, when I'm online at 3AM and run out of snacks, I can walk a couple of blocks to a 7-11 or drive to any of the 4 different massive grocery stores within a mile of me.