Thinking of Relocating across National Boundaries

This topic may or may not adhere to the forum’s normal posting guidelines…
And is a pure thought experiment at the moment…

However…


I’ve recently been considering relocating to a different country. I was born in and have lived in the USA for my entire life. I don’t know any other language. I had a year of Latin and 2 years of German, but the only thing I remember is that a bathroom is called a Water Closet… and verbs in Latin make no sense whatsoever. But, with all the craziness going on, I get the feeling I simply would like to find a new location to try out what life is like outside my home country which seems to be getting stranger with each passing day.

Since there seem to be a wide array of nationalities present on this forum, I was wondering what life might be like for an American who moves to:

  1. Russia.
  2. Netherlands
  3. An unidentified tropical paradise island with endless fields of gold and a copious supply of “wonderful”.
  4. Someplace friendly to Americans that I might not have thought of…

And… to try to keep the topic at least connected to the forum… what Internet connections are like, prices of various options, electricity, and other SNO related factors.

Of course, if this topic is deemed to be inappropriate for this forum, I will gladly remove it.

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Just to add, you would also have to take into consideration job opportunities too.

@Alexey can most certainly add perspective for Russian move.

@BrightSilence can add views about options in Netherlands.

@littleskunk & @stefanbenten for Germany .

Others are welcome too.

PS: Just doing my part here :slight_smile:

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Glad to answer questions you might have man.
I’m Portuguese living in The Netherlands :wink:

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Russia is a big country, the internet and electricity are different across locations. For example, in a big cities you likely would have a choice from dozen of ISP, and at least 3 electricity tariffs.

There is one interesting thing - Moscow is a capital of Russia, however, it mostly like a different country: you can have a higher income and higher costs but sometimes even lower than in any other city. The rest of the Russia is differentiate from the Moscow in many cases, the only common is a Russian language (almost).

I’m living in the St.Petersburg, so prices a little bit higher than in other cities (except Moscow of course).
I do not have a gas plate, so my prices for electricity a little bit lower:
Day tariff $0.06/kWh, Night tariff $0.03/kWh
I’m paying for public IP (it’s dynamic, but never changed for the last 4 years) and 100Mbit full duplex around $7.90/month.
You can take up to 200Mbit from the same ISP for $9.34/month
You can easy find offering of 1Gbit for $14.22/month
Food and things, especially electronic are usually more expensive than in US, but costs of services and cost of houses/apartments are lower (except Moscow).

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I’ve always had a sort of rose colored vision of living in Russia. I’m not sure why…

Growing up, I was always told that Russia was a terrible place. And then in university, I met several Russian immigrants whose parents “escaped” Russian authoritarianism… And I met several Polish immigrants who had quite negative opinions of Russia…

So… I’m not quite sure what my personal attraction is based on…

In any case, after reviewing the various Visa requirements:

… it seems likely that the easiest way to visit Russia would be via a St. Petersburg cruise.

I suppose, Russia is probably not accessible enough for me to actually live there. That makes me a little sad… but perhaps, my rose colored vision is a little distorted.

It’s very difficult to figure out what’s based on reality and what isn’t when one is standing on the other side of Earth’s curvature.

However, the price seems right. I’m not even close to independently wealthy, but I have enough cash on hand to pay the bills for about a year without working… after that I would run into some serious problems if I couldn’t figure out the work visa process.


From other reading, it seems many Americans seek out Costa Rica for long term non-US residency.

I just don’t know what the next 12 to 24 months holds. Of course, like most things like this, it’s very likely I will end up exactly where I am at the moment. One needs to dream of change every once in a while though.

I would say, living in Russia having an US passport is much better, than if you do not able to visit any place with a Russian passport without a Visa except Asia.
So, the ideal to have an US passport to be able to visit any country without a Visa except Asia and have a Russian passport to visit Russia and Asia without a Visa :slight_smile: The whole world will be open to you!

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I noticed that when I was reading about the Visas. However, I also noticed that a dual passport holder will be prevented from leaving Russia on an expired Russian passport but a valid US passport. So, both passports would need to be kept updated, otherwise big problems seem to happen.

Alas! That the world was less restricted overall.


On to looking at the Netherlands Visa systems…

I can’t tell you much about the visas, never really looked into it. You’ll find that financially speaking the Netherlands is fairly close to the US. There is better internet available almost everywhere though. I have gigabit internet + cable TV + phone in a package for about 80 EUR per month.
Politically speaking the Netherlands is very progressive. To the point where the democratic party would be a center right party in NL. We pay more taxes on pretty much everything, so there’s that. But we also have the lowest ratio of national debt to GDP. Which during the current mess the world is in meant the government used that to invest heavily in the economy and limit the effect on especially job loss. I’m not saying that means we’re doing great, it’s hard everywhere, but we’re doing better than many others.
We definitely complain about our government, but different from the US, we don’t deeply distrust it. We never went into full lockdown, but rather what our prime minister likes to call a smart lockdown. The most important part of the way it’s dealt with here is that the government gave guidelines and relied on personal responsibility and for the most part, people complain, but they listen.
NL is also pretty tech forward. This shows in a broad range of things like good internet speeds, having some of the worlds highest ranking gamers and to point it back to Storj, for a tiny country, we have quite a large amount of storage nodes.
One of the first things you’ll notice if you come here is that there are cyclists everywhere. We love our bicycles and it’s very common to use it as default for of transportation. I do almost everything short range by bicycle.
If history is your thing, we have a lot more of it than the US. We’re not as young a country. Which gives us a culture that goes back a little further. Some great, which leads to lots of great art and culture and some we’re not that proud of. Lets just say, there is a reason that the English language adopted the Dutch word for apartheid. That’s the thing with history, it tends to cut both ways.
Being an older country also means we have a mixed governmental system. Any deciding element is basically democratically chose, but we’re still a monarchy. We have a king and a royal family, which… is mostly just PR these days, haha. I’m not a big fan of it personally to be honest, I think what limited power they have is still undemocratic and a waste of tax money.

What else… we used to be known for our lax laws on drugs. But the world is catching up on that a little. Weed is technically not entirely legal, but it’s tolerated. It’s a weird construction where shops are allowed to sell it, but not buy and grow it. So at this point many places in the US have now passed us by in legalizing that stuff.

In general, we’re known as down to earth people. We tend to not make a big deal out of things. We’re generally tolerant towards different points of view, but we’ve not been immune to growing populism that is happening all around the globe.

I think that’s enough for now, but please let me know if you’re interested in anything specific or have questions.

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But but but… Dutch!
Impenetrable language :smiley:

It’s not an easy language to learn for sure, but the upside is that almost everyone speaks English as well. It helps that we don’t dub English language TV and movies, it’s just subtitled. And most people have learned English from hearing it constantly on TV while young. So even if you don’t know the language, you can get around here quite well with English only. Perhaps @naxbc can better speak to that. As I’m Dutch born and raised, I’ve never had to navigate the language barrier.

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You’re certainly a credit to your country.
I’ve not been in this forum long but you come across as knowledgeable, articulate, tactful and sensible.
Your posts are a pleasure to read :slight_smile:

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Oh stop, you’re making me blush. :blush:
But thanks.

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American living in Thailand 20+ years. Far, far better. Please don’t come. :smiley:

I moved to Estonia three years ago. I love it here. It’s an easy-going life and Tallinn is a city small enough to walk anywhere. Also it’s the high-tech centre of Europe. You should give it a try.

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My 2c on Netherlands:
Nice country if you like city life or are low-income.

Not so so great if you like a more rural self-sustaining middle class lifestyle. Housing is small and unaffordable, taxes are high on everything except alcohol. Government thinks they need to fix everyone’s problems. Wages are low considering cost of living.

People are friendlier here than elsewhere but if you live here for a long time you may find the collectivist mentality oppressive.

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And your point is? Or do you not have one?

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I appreciate all the feedback.

As usual, I started digging through all the various Visa systems and subsequently got lost sorting out all my old data stored on numerous hard drives lying around here… although, I’m not sure how those two things are connected… :slight_smile:

It seems that, in general, living in a metro area in most places in the world would work out OK as far as the basics are concerned. However, raising children in those areas seems to get complicated rather quickly.

Each location I’ve looked at so far has good and not so good points. The language barrier will be very difficult for me, since I barely know my own “native” language… if there is such a thing. Don’t all humans start out with some ability to learn all languages, including Swahili and click consonants? And then lose that ability during some specialization in the first 2 years? I think I remember reading that somewhere.

It seems that moving across national borders for EU residents is far easier than moving anywhere for Americans. Alas!

Just marry someone here :wink:

Yeah unfortunately most countries haven’t yet realized it’s a global world these days. Immigration isn’t really easy in most places. You either have to marry someone or get temporary work visas.

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“raising children in those areas seems to get complicated rather quickly.”

Ya got that right. I home-schooled one and my youngest is enrolled in an online USA public school (it is fantastic) because the school system is so bad that 80+% of teachers failed standardized tests in the subject they teach (!!!)

That article is from 2010, but nothing has changed. Even worse (perhaps?): The highest ranked university ranks lower than the worst USA university per various world ranking sites. Thailand is great for family life outside the major metro areas and cost of living if primarily working remotely via Internet or living on a fixed income, but terrible for education. :slightly_smiling_face:

I can also share that the shine of stating you are American has certainly gone away. Thank you W and T. :upside_down_face: