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where would you choose to live?

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Jan 21st, 2013, 05:52 AM
  #1
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where would you choose to live?

Where would you recommend a 45 single female who works from home, has no other languages but willing to learn, has worked in different countries before, and has travelled alone on a number of occassions, move to? Preferably somewhere in Europe, perhaps on a coast?
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Jan 21st, 2013, 06:47 AM
  #2
 
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Unless you have an EU passport your chances of moving to Europe on a permanent basis are small, not impossible, but not that easy.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 07:09 AM
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City or small town. What climate. Rent or own. Lots of money or little. What are your interests.

You're not saying anything about yourself to make the task easier. All you'll get is advice that it's not going to be easy to move to Europe and where other people would move to. You might as well throw a dart at a map.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #4
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A dart in the map is an option. I've an EU passport so visa not an issue. I want to rent - somewhere sunny and inexpensive. Interests are reading, food (cooking / eating), walking (though not hiking), people watching - i.e. rule out anything sporty
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Jan 21st, 2013, 09:28 AM
  #5
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Given what little I know of your situation I would go for the South of France, however it's probably not cheap.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Portugal. Sunny and very inexpensive. I've not seen all of Portugal but I would choose Lisbon (or some place not far on the coast with easy access to Lisbon). The small towns in Portugal (as in other countries) shut down in the evening. You'll get more diversity and evening activities (people watching) in cities.

The food is really good and inexpensive; the wine as well.

Nice people.

Are you concerned about loneliness? Need an English speaking expat community?
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Jan 21st, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Do you want all year warmth? If so then southern Spain or Portugal are the obvious options. There are big ex-pat communities in both places which may be important since you don't have a foreign language.
Another area popular with Brits and pretty sunny is the Languedoc-Rousillion area of France. When we holidayed there (out of season) we heard nearly as many English voices as French. Again the ex-pats can help you settle in. Plenty of reasonable places to rent down there.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 10:12 AM
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I'd go to the south of Spain or France-a place with a high expat community since you don't speak any languages. However, like others have said-rent can be highly expensive in Europe and unless you have a trust fund or want to live in a box, can be quite expensive.

Perhaps a town that has a university since there might be more people who speak or understand English. I did meet a young woman who moved to Paris on a walking tour and just wanted to be around people who spoke English. She said that it was a bit harder on her than she expected.

But I'd probably go with Lisbon based on expense.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Will you have a car?
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Jan 21st, 2013, 11:03 AM
  #10
 
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Rents on the Italian Riviera are not anymore expensive than the US if you don't pick Portofino. Another plus is that you don't need a car. You will pay more for utilities, but overall, depending on what size apartment you pick, you won't be paying more of a monthly "nut" than you do in the US. If you don't like hiking, it is better to look on the stretch of the Italian Riviera between Genova and France, because it is not so steeply hilly as the other "side" of the Italian Riviera.

Another consideration is your proximity to quality medical care, in case of an emergency. Worthwhile, I think, to consider how much austerity has affected the quality of medical care in Spain and Portugal and Greece, and it has always been an issue in southern Italy.

Italians will be quite helpful when it comes to "settling in" and you can generally find enough Italians who speak enough English to transition in. You don't need to be in an ex-pat community unless you want the company.

Bring a Kindle if you want to keep up with your reading.

If you are going to invest in learning another language, you might want to think about where else in the world you can use the new language you learn.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 11:46 AM
  #11
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Thankyou P_M. I have visited SoF a few times over the years. It is indeed expensive which is why I've ruled it out. There are other upcoming areas which are affordable but were devoid of things to do or places to go like cafes, bistros, markets etc. Probably best for couples/families.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Barcelona? Fairly cosmopolitan, major cultural/artistic centre, on the coast.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 11:53 AM
  #13
 
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Dinah:
-- Valencia, Spain. No doubts has all you need(you can take a look at my report about the city).
--Otyer than Valencia, the south of France, or the Amalfi Coast(may be more expensive).
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Jan 21st, 2013, 12:02 PM
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I'm considering moving (back) to Europe and since I can't afford London and love mountains I'm thinking about Pau and Annecy in addition to Lisbon. Also western Austria, but I speak some French and no German, so that would be more difficult.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 12:27 PM
  #15
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Thankyou for all the responses - wasn't sure if I'd get any but thought I'd throw the question out there. My first thoughts were Portugal and Spain as cost is a factor - and as Lisbon has been recommended in couple of posts I'll delve more deeply. Hadn't considered the Italian Riviera but will look into it too. I won't have a car - not initially. Loneliness might be a factor although an expat community isn't necessarily something I'd want to settle into unless it was diverse.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 12:56 PM
  #16
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@ thursdaysd - good luck. And yet another vote for Lisbon
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Jan 21st, 2013, 06:09 PM
  #17
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Here's a wildcard--I visited Cyprus and it was incredible. Beautiful Med views everywhere you look and a good number of English speakers due to many British troops being stationed there. I don't know the cost of living though.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 06:52 PM
  #18
 
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I've lived in London and Paris and enjoyed both, but they're both quite expensive and neither is on a coast.

I love Barcelona (the language, the architecture, the vibe, the style, the proximity to water) - but I'm not sure how affordable it is.

La Rochelle in France is worth considering (it's on the Atlantic Coast). I don't know how expensive the housing is, but it's probably not nearly as expensive as the South of France. It gets crowded (and stylish) in the summer, but you might be able to arrange to rent your flat (for big $) and go home for a long-ish visit. Another possibility is the coast closer to the border with France.


I don't know how important it is to live in a large city, but it might be worth considering some inland, secondary cities in Spain or France, such as:

Lyon and Dijon in France
Salamanca, Seville or Granada in Spain

I have enjoyed visiting Portugal, but I don't think it would be at the top of my list for relocation. It is less expensive than some other European countries, but mastering the language can be a challenge. (I speak French and Spanish fairly well, and some Brazilian Portuguese. And it was hard to get a grasp on Portuguese.) If you have thoughts about using your language capability for career (or further relocation purposes) at a later stage, French or Spanish would probably be more useful than Portuguese.

And finally - bit of a wild card, if it was a medium-term relocation, I'd investigate Turkey (in particular Istanbul). I worked on a 2-year project that resulted in regular trips to Turkey and a fair bit of time interacting with people there. It's a fascinating country (sometimes rather challenging to operate in), great food, great shopping, amazing culture, Istanbul is stunning and Turkish people are among the two most consistently hospitable and engaging groups of people I have ever met. (The other group is Egyptians, but I didn't see the Middle East on your list ...) I'm not sure how expensive it would be to live in Istanbul but if I were in your position, I'd certainly investigate it.
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Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:20 AM
  #19
 
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I have a friend who was in a position similar to yours a few years ago. She decided on the UK because of the language issues and spent the best part of the year traveling around sampling places with the question "would I be happy living here" in mind. She had no particular prejudices about locations but had three requirements: good local public transportation, good transportation to London, and an interesting cultural environment. Mild winters were a plus.

The area of Devon near Exeter was very close to what she wanted, especially with good trains to London and the university. She wound up on the Sussex coast near enough to Brighton by local bus and with good trains to London. So far, no unhappiness at all.
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Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:10 AM
  #20
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Oh dear -I think I'm going to sound a bit awkward/jaded. I'm from Belfast originally and returned last year to base myself here (first time living here again in 20+ years). The intention was to take regular trips to Europe to find a place to settle - outside of the UK. It didn't quite work out as planned.
Prior to that I worked in Dubai for a year - still work for same company which provides worldwide medical cover. Perhaps Turkey is worth considering.
So, Cyprus - although I visited it once and did think it was nice - perhaps the British troops were a bit off-putting (see Belfast above).
I have lived in London and spent the summer before last in Paris - just too expensive and although a beautiful city I found it a little overwhelming or perhaps exclusive.
I understand what people have said about learning the language and of it being of use elsewhere - I have some basic french but definitely wouldn't consider myself as having a second language.
What about Palma - a smaller city and supposedly cosmopolitan and cultural? The west coast of the island is meant to be beautiful (there are parts to avoid also). Easy access for family to visit - but for retirees perhaps?
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