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Have any of you travel lovers tried to solve your "addiction" by moving to Europe for an extended stay?

Have any of you travel lovers tried to solve your "addiction" by moving to Europe for an extended stay?

Aug 24th, 2000, 05:37 AM
  #1  
Kristin
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Have any of you travel lovers tried to solve your "addiction" by moving to Europe for an extended stay?

I have been to Europe each summer for the last five years for a 2-3 week vacation each summer. Every time I come back, like others on this board, I am just starved to go back again and planning the next trip for most of the next year is interesting, but not totally satisfying. I am considering moving to Slovakia for a school year to teach in a church school (which our church supports). Has anyone moved to Europe and did it "cure" or only aggravate your travel "addiction". Would love to hear from those of you who have done this. Thanks.
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 05:44 AM
  #2  
Santa Chiara
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I moved to Italy in April 1999, and it only served to make me a hard core addict. I have so many choices of places to travel to, I am often paralyzed with indecision about where to go next, and I have gone broke ordering travel guides from Amazon.com and buying travel magazines at the newsstands. (Italy publishes some outstanding ones, including Bell'italia and Dove.)

Although I can easily travel bordering countries, I could also spend a lifetime and never see all of Italy. Like all addicts, however, I will conspire to drag you down to my level by advising you to go, go, go.
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 06:22 AM
  #3  
Paige
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I'm right there with you, Santa Chiara. We moved to Germany 2 years ago and since we get 6 weeks vacation and lots of holidays, we travel all the time. I, too, spend loads of money on travel books and my list of places to go just keeps growing. I'm a hard core addict! But I love it!! I live in fear of the day that I have to give this all up and move back to the states!
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 06:23 AM
  #4  
Paige
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By the way, Kristin, GO FOR IT!!
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 06:23 AM
  #5  
Beth Anderson
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well, let's just say I am trying to get a job overseas... it seems to be a long hard rwo to hoe so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

what is making it hard in my case is that I can't afford to merely go over there and sweep floors or wait tables - I have law school debt which means I have to make enough to cover the debts I have gotten myself into. for the time being it is easier to just travel over there as much as possible.

I would say, if you want to do it, do it! do it while you are young and before you have obligations. Had I done this when I was 24 things would be a lot different right now. (I probably wouldn't have gone to law school, for one thing - but then again you never know...)

Beth
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 08:52 AM
  #6  
jim
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I moved to Paris this year to live in what I always considered to be the most beautiful city in the world.

Part of this was novelty (I'm from Canada) but also, I must admit, there is something to the place.

Unfortunately I've never been able to duplicate my first trip (a strange awe-inspiring feeling). Now, day-to-day worries like work, rent, overwhelm the feeling of living in what I would have thought was a paradise.

Still, it's nice to be here for those small moments like standing in the Palais Royale Court or crossing the Pont des Arts. But it's just not the same as travelling.
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 09:07 AM
  #7  
Lesli
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Still trying to figure out a way to do it! Would gladly wait tables, teach English, or whatever in France or Italy, but without EU papers, it's not that easy. I welcome advice from those who've managed it; Santa Chiara, Jim? (E-mail me directly, if you prefer.)
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 09:19 AM
  #8  
lola
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Moved to London in the 1970s for a year, while my husband was preparing for his PHD. Traveled all over Europe for months and loved it! Kept my addiction going for all these years, but I am so grateful for the perspective it gave me ever since.
 
Aug 24th, 2000, 04:51 PM
  #9  
Kristin
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Beth -- I didn't do it when I was young! I am 58 and we have sent all three daughters through college, so it is our turn now to do this, I think! Thanks to all for your thoughts. Any others who want to weight in?
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 05:55 AM
  #10  
Jerry
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Moved to Brussels 2 years ago with 2 children and have never regretted it. We saw 3 big advantages.

1. You can make travel mistakes and not feel like you got cheated.

2. You can slow down and take Europe at a European pace rather than a hectic pace.

3. There are experiences you get living here that can never be matched by travelling. Getting to know your favorite baker, butcher etc.

To answer your question, it fortunately aggrivated my addiction.

To echo Paige's 'go for it', let me add some specifics. Don't live in a US ghetto when you go. Learn the language, even just a little. You will be amazed at how much better you are treated. And, in general, dive in. Even if you don't recognize the food, eat it anyway and ask questions later.

Good luck, Kristin

 
Aug 25th, 2000, 12:47 PM
  #11  
Kavey
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I love to travel.
I would almost go as far as to say I _have_ to travel.

So it wouldnt matter where I moved to... I would still want to do it...

I live in London, and travel in Europe, in America, in Asia and Africa...

Now I am not saying I could live anywhere, I would miss my home and funny little things about London.

But if I _did_ live elsewhere that would still only be one place, and there are so many places...

So many places so little time...

Places Places Gotta catch em all...

Kav
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 01:17 PM
  #12  
Bob
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A few years ago, I took an extended vacation of 7 months, after saving up and taking time off work without pay. Though I did travel a great deal, I also settled down too, for 3 months in Pau, in SW France, and in La Rochelle for 1 month. In both cases I was studying, and got to know many others, mostly Europeans, and some locals. While 1 to 3 months is not extended in comparison to a year or two, it still gives you the chance to feel settled and get to know people, the area, the language and the culture much more than when you are constantly on the move. As for solving an addiction, I don't think it can ever be solved, and besides, I don't want it to be! In fact, I have found a house to rent in Provence next summer, and am looking forward to spending time there with friends.
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 01:54 PM
  #13  
Paule
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Those of you who were lucky enough to work and live in Europe, would you mind sharing HOW you did so? I'm always curious about what people do that allow them to live elsewhere. It's definitely a fantasy of my husband and mine to live in Europe sometime.
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 02:14 PM
  #14  
John
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Did postgraduate work for a couple of years in the UK and managed to finagle a work permit to teach for a few more. Of course it didn't cure any addiction, just left me with a taste for stronger drugs. (Metaphor, that.) Studying or teaching are great, because of the time off (many European universities have even stranger academic calendars than in N. America), the diversity of the students and teachers, and either cheap student fares or else reciprocal access to university faculty clubs, which always have the cheapest lunches and beer. Like a happy inebriate in Glasgow once said to a pal and me, "Here's to you, Scholars! You're the last privileged class!"

 
Aug 25th, 2000, 02:47 PM
  #15  
luigi
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Kristin,
I had to think about this for a while before answering as it is a subject a little too close for comfort. For quite a while I have been longing to move to Rome to see if it did solve the "addiction" or just because when I am there, I feel so "at home".

The problem is, the last time we were there, two years ago, my girlfriend and other friends say that when I came home I said I had gotten it out of my system and wouldn't want to live there. Now I can't stop thinking about it. We are going for two weeks in October and I am really anxious to see how it affects me this time.

The other problem is, my girlfriend has made it pretty clear she doesn't want to live there and it would probably come down to a choice of her or Rome.

When I was much younger, I dropped out of college and went to Europe for an extended trip. I lived and worked on a kibbutz for a month, lived and worked in and around Athens for about five months and stayed with friends in Germany for about a month. I hitched around and slept in parks and wherever I could find a flat place to put my sleeping bag. You might say I was one of the original homeless people. ;-)

BUT, the whole time I was there I kept feeling like an outsider, like I was playing at being there. I never felt like "one of them" and in the end, partly because I had to come back and pay off my student loans, I went home. I ended up finishing school, getting a job, a wife, a baby and that was the end of the dream.

Since then I have travelled quite a lot, but have always wondered about the life of an expatriate. Santa Chiara, where in Italy do you live and what have you found to do for income, if you don't mind "us" asking?

Anyway, this got way longer than I intended. There is something very therapeutic about talking with all of you "fellow wanderers" or kindred spirits, if you will. If you won't, send me a bill for the session!!!
ciao,
luigi
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 03:57 PM
  #16  
Kurt
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Yes, Yes, Yes!

I moved to Europe about 7 years ago and achieved all my goals that had frustrated me since I left home at 17. I learned two languages fluently. So much so that most people didn't feel comfortable speaking English with me for fear that it wasn't as good as my Italian or German. Visited every country in Europe extensively except for Norway.The dilemma now is how and when to retire in Europe. So, yes it did satisfy a very large part of that urge to live in another culture and assimilate.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 04:34 AM
  #17  
Maira
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I wish I could just pack and go! However, it is part of our retirement plans. I already picked up the areas in Scotland and Spain where we are planning to have extended stays!
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 05:09 AM
  #18  
Al
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As a young man, I lived overseas (and on the seas) against my will as part of the Navy. I've seen every continent (except Antarctica). From inland China to the Pampas of Argentina, from Greenland to the southern coast of New Zealand, from Kirkenes to Land's End to the streets of Chicago. Let me tell you what I finally discovered: there's no place like home. See it all, enjoy it all, and you will feel ties to home slowly slipping away. Until finally one day you hear a piece of music or the smell of something familiar from home, and your homeland will beckon no matter what your nationality. It's in your blood and bones. That's the great thing about travel -- you discover that you have more than one home but only one homeland. Pity the poor drudges who will never understand you. They are like violins with only one string.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 07:14 AM
  #19  
Debbie Lee
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I am wondering if many of you folk have actually 'taught English' as an occupation whilst fulfilling the 'dream' of living in Italy, or wherever? My husband and I are going for the first time this October for 28 days, but as he is of direct Italian decent, we can also get Italian passports, which means of course, that we can work there. Italy has always been for me, in my blood. The first reason I noticed my (now) husband, is that he was Italian!! Now 15 years and 4 children later, we are seriously 'checking out the land' for a quite possible move this next year or so. Our childrens ages are almost 13, 11, 9 and 2 1/2. Any suggestions for work (he is actually a boilermaker/welder by trade) or any helpful thoughts regarding the children I'd be blessed for the help. Thanks a lot...
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 08:57 AM
  #20  
Elizabeth
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Oh Kristin,

You definitely have touch something near to my heart. My husband has been deligently scanning the Netherlands expatriate page for the last 6 months, trying to figure a way to move there. We both are totally addicted. A thought of Europe enters my mind almost everyday, and I could give you the whole list of reasons why we want to live there. I would have to say GO - GO -GO for this teaching job. Not necessarily to satisfy your European craving, but for the whole experience in itself. I am sure if you don't you will always regret it.

I am also open to any advice on finding a job in Europe - preferably Netherlands or Belgium. My husband is experienced in sales, and has a great affinity for languages. He has been teaching himself Dutch over the last year, and is now planning to take a language course in Dutch. I am a nurse, and unfortunately don't know any other languages, except a little Spanish.
PLEASE ADVISE - Especially Jerry is Brussels.
 

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