Where to go?

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Where to go?

Postby Mustardseedmama » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:19 am

If you and your family were seriously thinking of leaving your country----permanently----where would you go and why?
What if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:00 am

Putavimus, venimus, vidimus, remansimus.

It's not that we were unhappy with life in the UK - fine place with, in the real world, good health care, good education, law & order and a high level of personal freedom - but we thought we would do better in France.

We wanted a more joined up family life, more space, an affordable rural lifestyle and our own little business in the hospitality line. Plus we liked France, the French, the food, the wine & the climate.
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Re: Where to go?

Postby demi » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:49 am

My husband's Macedonian and we met in Chania on Crete, Greece and were planning on staying there because it's a beautiful place and we knew a lot of people. But when i was pregnant we went back to Scotland because giving birth in Greece was going to cost around 4000 euros and they only do ceserians, probably to get you to stay longer in hospital to get more money out of you! We never wanted to stay permanently in Scotland because it's cold and wet and expencive and we'd need to take out a morgage that we'd be paying back for the rest of our lives. We didn't want to work stressfull jobs and never have time to see the kids. We didn't want to be stuck in the house everyday because its raining. And my husband couldn't find a proper job with his degree in Scotland , he's got a masters in agronamy and a post graduate in sustainable agriculture and its all just sheep and cows in Scotland. If we moved to England for him to get a job then we'd be isolated from our family and friends and they'd be no one to help with the baby. Maybe we wouldn't be able to survive on his salary alone and id have to work too instead of looking after our baby daughter, then we'd have to pay for child care ect ect ect ect.
My husband's grandmother was living alone in this big old turkish town house which has plenty of room for us and future children with a big garden right in the center of the town in Prilep, Macedonia. Its morgage free as its been in the family for generations, and its got 2 stores on the front which are rented out and that money covers all the bills in the house, esentially sustaining itself. So of course Macedonia would seem like a better option for us. It has 300 sunny days a year, we get a free house, our brittish pounds go futher here so we were able to save up to rennovate the house ( it's almost done! ) and when we were back in Scotland when my son was born we saved up again and bought our land so we can produce our own food which is somthing my husband and me always wanted to do. We still have a lot of plans, cleaning out the well for water so we can go off grid and possibly getting PV solar pannels ect ect.
But i really believe it is better here for bringing up kids, there's more freedom, its sunny nearly everyday so you can go out whenever you like, there is less crime, especially violent crime.

There's alot of downsides too. The education system is crap, corruption is everywhere, the government are crazy nationalists envolved in this rediculous disbute with Greece and building huge statues of Alexander The Grate everywhere with fountains and fancy lights when the schools and hospitals are falling apart, people are really superstitious and are like 50 years behind on medical and health advice especially when it comes to raising kids , the dental hygene is appolling and most of the wee kids have baby bottle tooth decay. I could go on.

But i can live with those things. I'v already been arguing with doctors who were trying to give my daughter a drip because she had a cold just so we pay for it. I always google what the right treatment and advice is for the kids and make sure the doctors don't push us to get all these unnessesery tests and treatments just to get more money out of us.

Overall it's still better to be here than in Scotland. We have family and friends here and we have a free house and land to grow our on food and my husband has just gotten a job for winter too for some people who are setting up a plant nursary.
When the kids are in high school we're planning on sending them to stay with my mum for 5th/6th year during term time so they can get their highers there and get into a ( hopfully still free ) Scottish university because a degree from Macedonia isn't recognised anywhere else other than Macedonia because the exams are corrupt and the teachers favourotise students who's parents pay a 'donation' to the school or even just to the teacher.
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Re: Where to go?

Postby boboff » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:19 am

Seychelles, or some Carribean Paradise Island.

Laying on a hammock in the warm wind trailing my hand at the lapping clear water, sipping on a Cider, ipod on repeat Bob Marley songs...............

Why MMM? you considering a move?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:26 am

We did leave the United Kingdom 4 years ago and moved to Southern Ireland. We liked the countryside and the space and the general slower pace of life as our busy town in Berkshire was driving us mad. Did we do the right thing? There is a two tier health system here, if you earn money you have to pay for medical cover whereas if you are not in a job you can get a medical card for free health care. The price of property is cheaper but this is because there is no work especially in the North West of Ireland, there are only 4 million people in this part of Ireland which is a tiny population and tricky to start a business that requires repeat sales. It rains a bit more here than SE England because we are so near the atlantic, but it does help the grass grow and the people in the countryside are very friendly. A year ago I would have gone back to England (house prices here have slumped so our place is worth half what we paid), but now I don't think I would, it has taken this long to settle into a new place, even though we speak the same language (sort of) and drive on the same side of the road (depending on how drunk you are), but I know everyone now and love the place
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Re: Where to go?

Postby merlin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:03 am

Pretty much the same as the riff raff element.

I didn’t leave the UK because I hated it, or because I couldn’t find a job. My children are grown up now so I decided to give this a go.

It was a funny thing, I was in my allotment one day with one of my daughters and the chap in the next allotment called me over. He said “guess what’? “go on” I said, “ I have brought a house in
Bulgaria” he said, “crackerjack” I said, “where is Bulgaria”?

Anyway, the following week I was flying to Bulgaria with my daughter, just for a peek, mainly because I didn’t think it possible that I could purchase a house and land for sort of money that my neighbour was talking about.

Well, we arrived in Sofia at some crazy time of the morning and after everybody had left and the carousel had stopped turning it became apparent that we were all on our lonesome. When a couple of right bruisers came walking over, gesturing in a manner that gave me the idea that they had come for us. I remember thinking that I may have gone too far this time, bringing my daughter along to a place like this.

We drove for what seemed like days to arrive in Elhovo, it was still dark and the chaps took us to a small block of flats, showed us to a door and said morning, morning pointing downstairs into the darkness.

Anyway, we opened the door and turned on the light. I was surprised to see a modern flat inside, happy, but surprised. So we went off to bed.

The next morning, it must have been around nine when we woke, I could hear voices in the street below, gingerly, I opened the blinds. Well, right there, I fell in love with the place.

I was looking down on a pedestrian walkway with pavement cafes dotted around interspersed with pastry shops, book shops, cafes, clothes shops and all manner of stalls selling bits and pieces. It was market day, the big market is down the town a bit, but the centre also has bits and pieces on market day.

I said to my daughter, I’m not missing this, lets go for a coffee.

Now then, not so fast. If anybody has ever been to a place that uses the Cyrillic alphabet as a means of communication and nods their heads to indicate no, well it’s a bit of a laugh I can assure you.

The people were lovely, I know now that we were among the first foreigners to be sighted in the town, and we must have been a right spectacle trying to order a pastry and coffee, but it happened none the less.

The gesturing downwards was apparently to indicate that we should go the agents office at the bottom of the building in the morning. We did end up there, I say end up there because after finishing our coffee and trying to pay with Euros, Sterling, and dollars (no levs on sale in the UK at that time) the owner gestured ‘not to worry’ and bid us good day. We were still walking around about an hour later when two police men came up to us, come, come one said. I thought it best to comply.

We were taken to the police station and some forms were filled out, PASSPORT, the desk sergeant said, that put the willies right up me, I couldn’t help thinking that I should have insisted on leaving some sort of cash for the coffee, but it all seemed so congenial at the time.

Anyway, we were just being told to sign the slips of paper when one of the bruises came in with another policeman. “you guys must be from England” the officer said in an American accent! He went on to inform us that the policemen had asked us to come to the station because once in Bulgaria a foreigner has 48 hours to register at the police station, and they did not want their guests to be fined or deported.

The bruiser was the owner of the estate agent, and I now realise that many Bulgarian men are stocky. We signed the registration documents and went off looking at property with the chap.

I was really taken in with the whole experience, we had a great week driving around looking at property, I don’t know what I had thought about the weather, Bulgaria sort of sounds cold in a way, but the summers are so long and warm, that week was very pleasant. I brought a nice house by a stream.

It seems that I have gone on a bit reminiscing for a moment, but suffice it to say it was the best thing I have ever done. That was back in 2004, Bulgaria is in the EU now, so no 48 hour registration, and you can get levs in the UK without waiting 2 weeks for them.

So now it’s November 8th 2012, I am looking out of the window at the mountains, I moved to the edge of that pretty town so that I could have the best of both worlds, a nice size piece of land, comfortable house and all modern amenities, broad band, gas, sewerage etc,. We help people to find a place and settle down here now, really nice business because the people all as exited as I was, they can’t believe how nice it is here, and what they can get for there money. We have done ok, no mortgage, and a living, but who would have thought it possible that dark morning in Sofia. I’m happy!

And my daughter, she is doing her 4th year in Chef school in the UK and has just received the student chef of the year, not that I want to tell everybody of course :oops: guess where she wants to come and open a little bistro?
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
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Re: Where to go?

Postby contadina » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:22 am

We chose southern Italy for a more relaxed way of life and because self-sufficiency is the norm. There are no large farms near us, just families tending their small plots of land to provide for their families and sell any surplus.

Like others have warned; where ever you choose, do it because you want to live there, rather than to escape from somewhere else. You'll get more out of life this way and integrate much quicker. Generally people who move overseas because they hate their previous abode are the ones who don't last, as they can't cope when they experience problems. The grass isn't always greener and everywhere has its pros and cons.

We've lived in Puglia for almost eight years now and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I enjoy visiting friends, family and shops :icon_smile: on my annual trip to the UK but long to return home before the week is up. I've lost my London legs and feel like such a tourist.
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Re: Where to go?

Postby Mustardseedmama » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:19 pm

contadina wrote:We chose southern Italy for a more relaxed way of life and because self-sufficiency is the norm. There are no large farms near us, just families tending their small plots of land to provide for their families and sell any surplus.

Like others have warned; where ever you choose, do it because you want to live there, rather than to escape from somewhere else. You'll get more out of life this way and integrate much quicker. Generally people who move overseas because they hate their previous abode are the ones who don't last, as they can't cope when they experience problems. The grass isn't always greener and everywhere has its pros and cons.



Thankyou (sincerely!) for that harsh-ish smack of reality. I know we need to calm down a lot before we start searching.

Not to stir up any political argument, but we don't want to have to struggle the second half of our lives away under the tyranny of communisim, and I truly believe that is what we are rocketing towards over here.

I spent yesterday mourning the loss of the country I grew up in. I think we could get along in another place,...we are used to problems and setbacks, (layoffs, health problems, family problems, accidents and injuries)...and now that we don't live in "America" anymore it's very tempting to try it,...even with all the challenges it would bring.
What if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby safronsue » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:56 pm

people's stories are so interesting and its wonderful reading about ventures where families have gained a better way of life. mine is one of these stories too BUT i'm sure i'm one of the numbers of expats wondering if they have indeed burnt their bridges and are left on a sinking ship with tricky options out. not least because i'm pretty sure i don't want the uk life anymore!! but here in Greece things are getting very sticky indeed and we wonder how we will be able to cope if the financial situation gets even worse. which it will.
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Re: Where to go?

Postby merlin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:05 pm

It’s interesting about Greece, I don’t pretend to know much about the politics of any country, but something is happening there. We (in Bulgaria) are getting quite a few Greeks and experts resettling from there. Perhaps it is because we are an hour or so from the border, close to home for them perhaps.

We have had a lot of expats over the last couple of years from Spain as well, they normally go to the seaside though. I think the difference with Bulgaria as I see it (and as I say, I am not well travelled), is that the economy has benefited from EU membership in terms of infrastructure such as road hospitals schools etc, things that people actually notice day to day. The more mature people that come to resettle make comments like ‘it is like the 60’s and seventies in back in England’, not too much red tape from day to day, bins emptied if they are full of concrete, that sort of thing.

You can get by quite well on very little, and I think the big difference with other places may be that the economy has remained poorish, but stable. The wages can’t really go up much because people simply don’t have the money to pay huge amounts. There are about 7.5 million people here, it’s about the same land mass as the UK, you can understand why the economy is not about to burst into a shopping spree forcing up wages, so my feeling is that it will move at a slow pace in terms of the cost of living.

One thing that people comment on is the amount of freedom one has to keep animals without any fuss and generally do what you like on you own land (within reason)!

This place was officially Communist until the mid eighties, although you would not know it now, and when you speak to the older people, they never had it bad, I think Bulgaria was on the limit of the controlling influence, for example, this town was over 20,000 strong and they had one communist officer and two soldiers stationed here, it is twelve and a half thousand now.

The thing is, I did not leave England because I hated it, and from time to time I do miss it, I do find it a little sad when people come over to look for property and all they talk about is how the UK is finished and horrible, I agree with the earlier comment that you really need to want to move to a place, not just to leave the place you are in.
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/
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Re: Where to go?

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:49 pm

Mustardseedmama wrote:Thankyou (sincerely!) for that harsh-ish smack of reality. I know we need to calm down a lot before we start searching.

Not to stir up any political argument, but we don't want to have to struggle the second half of our lives away under the tyranny of communisim, and I truly believe that is what we are rocketing towards over here.

I spent yesterday mourning the loss of the country I grew up in. I think we could get along in another place,...we are used to problems and setbacks, (layoffs, health problems, family problems, accidents and injuries)...and now that we don't live in "America" anymore it's very tempting to try it,...even with all the challenges it would bring.


Your politics are your own affair, and I'm not looking for an argument either, but, objectively, you must remember that there are very few places in the world that would offer you a similar level of personal freedom coupled with a lack of authoritarian interference to that which you currently enjoy. I've never lived outside of Europe, but I suspect that you would struggle to find anywhere here that would not appear decidedly "socialist" - have you got anywhere in mind at all?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby oldjerry » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:55 pm

Mustardseedmama wrote:[quote="contadina"






Not to stir up any political argument, but we don't want to have to struggle the second half of our lives away under the tyranny of communisim, and I truly believe that is what we are rocketing towards over here.

I spent yesterday mourning the loss of the country I grew up in. I think we could get along in another place,...we are used to problems and setbacks, (layoffs, health problems, family problems, accidents and injuries)...and now that we don't live in "America" anymore it's very tempting to try it,...even with all the challenges it would bring.[/quote]



With the greatest of respect,and I really mean this,I think that's the saddest and least viable reason to emigrate.I'd still be living abroad were my body not falling apart(Partner and kids Italian citizens) and to be honest,in my experience,the most miserable expats are always the ones slagging off their mother country,as well as usually the country they've moved too.
Politics aside,and I would expect yours and mine would be somewhat divergent,nevertheless whomever had won it would have highlighted a country that's desperately divided,and wether you love or despise the victor, that's just an unhealthy situation.
I would point out too,that many of the people who see the present regime as too far to the left,would find most places in Europe (outside the Russian Federation) hotbeds of Marxism and completely unacceptable.

I hope you and your partner can find peace of mind and solace in your family and home, BWs.




)
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Re: Where to go?

Postby Mustardseedmama » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:24 pm

[quote="The Riff-Raff Element.]

Your politics are your own affair, and I'm not looking for an argument either, but, objectively, you must remember that there are very few places in the world that would offer you a similar level of personal freedom coupled with a lack of authoritarian interference to that which you currently enjoy. I've never lived outside of Europe, but I suspect that you would struggle to find anywhere here that would not appear decidedly "socialist" - have you got anywhere in mind at all?[/quote]

Yes I knew that---that's sort-of why I asked the question in the first place. However I differ with you in that I don't believe we will much longer be enjoying these levels of personal freedoms. We have currently less than half of the population supporting the rest,...and our "government" is getting ready to increase our taxes so that they can give still more away. The "supportees" seem to have lost all incentive and/or desire to work...and why should they have to? I mean after all, Big Brother will take care of them...for a small price...complete comtrol of everyone's lives.

They are actually sending out pamplets to local welfare offices instructing them how to get more people latched-on to the government t*t!

This isn't about "wahhhh,...our guy lost!!!". I never believed this nation was greater than any other, but I had very firm ideas about why I loved this country. It's all gone now. Since Tuesday night I have had a tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing properly, the likes of which I haven't had since my Dad passed away. No I'm not having a heart attack---but I am heartsick and homesick...and wondering if some Prozac might be looming in my near future!
What if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby Mustardseedmama » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:28 pm

oldjerry wrote:
Mustardseedmama wrote:[quote="contadina"






With the greatest of respect,and I really mean this,I think that's the saddest and least viable reason to emigrate.I'd still be living abroad were my body not falling apart(Partner and kids Italian citizens) and to be honest,in my experience,the most miserable expats are always the ones slagging off their mother country,as well as usually the country they've moved too.
Politics aside,and I would expect yours and mine would be somewhat divergent,nevertheless whomever had won it would have highlighted a country that's desperately divided,and wether you love or despise the victor, that's just an unhealthy situation.
I would point out too,that many of the people who see the present regime as too far to the left,would find most places in Europe (outside the Russian Federation) hotbeds of Marxism and completely unacceptable.

I hope you and your partner can find peace of mind and solace in your family and home, BWs.

)


Thanks O.J.--I appreciate you very much. I agree, it's terribly sad...you'd be amazed how many people I have talked to who are considering just that though. We are now a "hotbed of socialism" HERE---it's only a matter of time.
What if you're wrong? What if there's more? What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
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Re: Where to go?

Postby oldjerry » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:55 pm

But RRE is so right. You guys may think you've ,lost a lot,but compared to Europe, you STILL have SO much autonomy.We cant move an animal without filling in at least 3 forms,Some halfwit working for a government department can turn up at will and close down your holding, without appeal......it might feel like the sky's fallen in,but believe me ,it could be so much worse,...try living over here!...BWs.
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