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Totally changing one's life around - again!

I tend to get bored with places / countries after a few years.

I am German, but went to live in the UK more years ago than I care to remember, and have moved from the UK back to Germany and back to the UK, and then back to Germany and then up to Scotland since.

Last time I left Germany I promised myself that I will never actually LIVE there again. I don't seem to enjoy living amongst Germans all that much Wink

After a holiday in Italy this summer I suddenly decided that THAT is where I want to be, and made some tentative plans. Those plans gathered momentum, and I finally handed in my notice at my day-job and will be moving to Italy in February.

I don't know a single person in the town I have decided to move to. In fact, I have never even BEEN to the town that will be my new home. I did see it fleetingly, from a distance and at speed, from a car window on the way to the airport......

My Italian is "patchy" at best (I can read it pretty well, but my "spoken Italian" is .... urm .... "limited" would be a kind word.) I have paid a hefty deposit on an apartment I have never seen, to a person I have never met. I swapped my very practical (for Scotland) Land Rover for an old Jaguar with air-conditioning, and am hoping that it will take me the 3000 km to the South of Italy, with my cat and my dog, in one piece.

I thought I was pretty organized until someone said "Well, you'll be fine once you're across the Alps" in response to one of my facebook updates, and I read it and thought: "Alps? What Alps? Oh.... *THE* Alps.... OOPS"..... I had totally forgotten about "The Alps" and the fact that "Alps" and "February" generally means "SNOW" ......

It'll be OK. I have already figured out that provided I get through France all right I could, if I needed to, take a detour and go via Monaco (never been there, so "why not?" )

So much for being properly prepared, LOL !!!!

No real point to this post - other than the fact that becoming a freelancer has given me the freedom to go anywhere, live anywhere I want, as long as I have an internet connection. That, in turn, means *real* freedom - something I have always craved when I had to make my decisions based on "Can I work there? Do I speak the language well enough???" - and not on "Do I really WANT to live there?"

To me that freedom is utterly priceless!

Vote Result

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Score: 10.0, Votes: 2
Good for you

Good for you! I want to live in Tuscany too (I've been to Florence and Pisa) but the visa restrictions for Filipinos don't give me the freedom to go anywhere and live anywhere I want.

Want a roommate?

Petra,

I'm so jealous right now, I could spit! Smile I would love to live in Italy or France or the UK or Germany -- anywhere but frigging Texas!! Good for you for doing exactly what you want to do with your life! Good job, woman!

@Aleah,

Why not move to the States? Then once you're here, you can go anywhere you want to go. One of my favorite barn rats is a girl whose parents came here from the Philippines with nothing and now own a dozen donut shops. She's off to a private, very expensive college next year after having spent high school in a private, very expensive Catholic high school here. I truly believe this really is a place where opportunities are made. Smile

It's now or never ....

I decided to do it before I truly turn into a mad-cat-lady and get too "comfortably bored" to totally change my life again!

I've always wanted to live in the USA - but various factors from work-visa to the cost of taking the animals (which are a non-negotiable part of my life) plus the fact that my "boyfriend" is in Europe (not in the same country as me, buy hey, at least on the same continent) means that will probably never get realized!

The funny thing is - had I decided to stay married I'd have moved to the USA and eventually to a gorgeous place in Australia....

Cate, add me to the list of

Cate, add me to the list of envious onlookers too! Visiting Italy and living there for a year or two, well that is one of my biggest dreams. (Want to write a novel while there!) But I wish it were that simple for me!

Financially, yes, thanks to oDesk and freelancing, but my husband's job is here, and while we do move around a LOT, it's always one aviation base or another! And once he retires, I'll be too old for the adventures I always imagine! Too bad there are no timeouts in marriage! Tongue

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

Ayesha...

You're never too old for adventures!!

In 3 years, I'll be financially secure enough to do what Petra is doing now -- and by then I'll be close to 60! I'm already looking at places and ways to travel and work at the same time. So long as I have an internet connection, I'll be just fine. And I know you're much younger than I am.

Plus, won't your husband have an Air Force pension -- retirement pay? Plenty enough to have fun on with what you make! **And who said there are no timeouts in marriage? *** Wink

Wow! I need to spend more

Smile Wow! I need to spend more time with you I guess! I'll be 30 in February, and feel ancient already!

It's not about the money. Sure I have my travel friendly career, and I'm also saving big time.. Using my earnings to buy land, will finalize the deal by the end of the week. Then I plan to build a small home with a large garden on it Smile And yes, my husband will get a pension, plus a home, but he's planning on farming later! He's not into leaving the country and traveling, as he does that day in and out due to his job... :/

I've been married for 9 years, no timeouts here! lol! So my big question mark remains, how do I go out and see the world without disrupting family life. Guess I'll have to sedate him and put him on that plane Wink

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

Tranquilisers; packing

Tranquilisers; packing peanuts; a schnorkel; and a solid travelling crate. Job done.

Lol! Yeah, it's a sound plan

Lol! Yeah, it's a sound plan but it will be one heavy crate!

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

Rail freight or put him on 2

Rail freight or put him on 2 palettes and use couriers.

Two words

Cate B. wrote:

@Aleah,

Why not move to the States? Then once you're here, you can go anywhere you want to go. One of my favorite barn rats is a girl whose parents came here from the Philippines with nothing and now own a dozen donut shops. She's off to a private, very expensive college next year after having spent high school in a private, very expensive Catholic high school here. I truly believe this really is a place where opportunities are made. :)

Two words again: visa restrictions Laughing out loud Besides, I'd rather live in Europe. So many beautiful countries in one continent! (Yeah, a lot of Filipinos dream of moving to America. I don't.)

Aleah, you have a point.

I'd rather live in Europe too! Smile

Well, Europe is very diverse

You get just about everything somewhere in Europe, from constant Ice and Snow to Desert, so many languages, ethnicities, mentalities, cultures, religions, etc etc - I am sure there is "somewhere" in Europe for everyone... It is so rich in History, Culture, Architecture etc etc

My personality does not really suit Germany (despite the fact that I am, in fact, German) and I always felt much more at home in the UK. However, The Scots up here have been a bit of a challenge, and the weather is beginning to wear me down somewhat.

In Italy I seemed to immediately and happily fit in.... It really was the oddest feeling. I stepped out of the airport, burst into tears and felt "at home"

I took these photos the day I decided that I want to live in Italy:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/534029_3286147197425_249213329_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/540472_3286150037496_376601735_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/599759_3286153717588_1282984837_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/533866_3286155357629_466225503_n.jpg

Now you've gone and done it.

I am officially lime-colored with envy!

You know, you probably lived in Italy in a previous lifetime. Not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but there is something to those places and people where you feel instantly "at home."

hehe :)

Cate B. wrote:
I am officially lime-colored with envy!

You're welcome Smile - That is actually the Amalfi Coast. It's Heaven On Earth - sadly I could not afford to live there....

Cate B. wrote:
You know, you probably lived in Italy in a previous lifetime. Not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but there is something to those places and people where you feel instantly "at home."

Maybe. There is very much "a connection" - my significant Other ("Boyfriend" sounds so strange when you're over 40) had the same effect on me. When I met him it was such a weird instant connection.... He's Italian (but lives in Germany) - I never had any Italian friends (the Italians in Germany tend to rather stick together and avoid the Germans to a degree) so he was the first "real" Italian I ever met. And it was as "instant" as my reaction to the country itself. That was 5 years ago....

I've travelled extensively all over the place. Mainly Euroope, but quite a lot to the USA as well. Nowhere felt "like home" that way!

This is "just down the road" from where I will be living

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3269388778475&set=a.3269375618146.2115481.1380025805&type=3&theater

I really love

I really love Italy too. Lucky Petra! (And doesn't your name fit Italy perfectly? It doesn't sound German at all!)

Petra, while you were in the

Petra, while you were in the UK did you ever go to Dublin or anywhere in Ireland really? I don't know why, but I've always really wanted to move there and just might for my master's degree if my (and my boyfriend's) GPAs are high enough, haha. What was the atmosphere like there if so? I kinda always envisioned it as a cozy area with neighborhood pubs where everyone knows each other. *fingers crossed for visions to be reality*

I never made it to Ireland, Rebecca

I meant to go many times but something always got in the way.

Not sure your fantasy is all that accurate Wink but everyone I know who has been to Dublin has loved it, if that's any help.

Aww, haha. I'll have to keep

Aww, haha. I'll have to keep scouting around the world for it, then. That is some consolation! I still would go nuts to go there. Are you already in Italy now!? If not, good luck on your trip/move and HAVE FUN!

Texas

Hi Cate,

I just moved to Texas from Roswell, NM and I rather enjoy it so far that is. lol

Problem with you is you don't

Problem with you is you don't have a Man.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

You WHAT?

Mahesh Walatara wrote:
Problem with you is you don't have a Man.

What a sad, pathetic thing to say.

"Not having a man" is NOT "a problem" - it would be a lot worse if someone got involved with a sad pathetic loser.

I also have no idea who you were aiming that stupid remark at. Not me, as I "do" have "a man" - and even if I didn't - it sure as HELL would not be a problem.

GEEZ !

You need to go drink some more.

Mahesh Walatara wrote:
Problem with you is you don't have a Man.

The problem with you is you don't have a woman.

***now, doesn't that sound about as stupid, sad, and pathetic as everything else you say and do?

It seems to me, Cate, that someone .....

Cate B. wrote:
Mahesh Walatara wrote:
Problem with you is you don't have a Man.

The problem with you is you don't have a woman.

***now, doesn't that sound about as stupid, sad, and pathetic as everything else you say and do?

I think someone clearly left the lid off of the looney bin tonight..... Pathetic little men waving their wi**lies all over the place. Must be something in the air.....

Perfect project for him, Petra.

Petra R. wrote:

I think someone clearly left the lid off of the looney bin tonight..... Pathetic little men waving their wi**lies all over the place. Must be something in the air.....

One that says, "Seeking ghost writers for a writing project for 1 very spicy romance erotic story involving people and animals."

What's a little bestiality to such a great guy, right? Wink

*****OTOH, what in the hell is this place coming to that that kind of job is allowed up on the boards?!! And it already has 15 applicants, most of whom appear to be Muslim from their names. I'm pretty sure that kind of thing is frowned upon in Islam, right?

Have you reported it???

I am pretty damn open minded but THAT takes things several steps too far. It's also illegal in most places.

Whatever next? Some contracts offering writers the chance to write for the pedo market? :s

Yeah, I reported it.

And its still there.

Gee, do you think it has anything to do with the fact that this particularly disgusting client spends money on this platform?

Good luck Petra! I have

Good luck Petra! Smile

I have lived in Spain, Canada, and now the UK. Only one place instantly hits me with that "you are now where you belong" feeling and that's Calgary where I was born and raised. Although I am part Spanish and I've lived almost 20 years in Spain, I never felt quite Spanish or that I fit in. The UK is better, I feel more 'at home' here...

I really do understand that feeling of 'being home' and belonging. You are lucky, not many people ever find that 'home of the heart' and I wish you well in your new endeavor.

By the way, I also brought my cat from Canada - totally understand the 'non-negotiable' idea. Smile

Life is too short to be somewhere that's not "right"

Frankly it was returning from Italy, and getting off the plane to grey drizzle cold foggy stuff. As I was driving back I asked myself "Do you still want to drive around in grey cold foggy stuff in 10 years time?"

The answer was a resounding "NO WAY"

At the moment I am 80% excited and 20% scared.... I am sure that will turn on its head as the journey draws closer. I am not exactly relishing the prospect of driving 3000 km with a very vocal, and no doubt very peeved cat....

Life is definitely too short ...

Petra

I did what you are planning on doing. It took just over 6 months planning, including 1 months notice period and the day after my last day at permanent work in the PeUK, I arrived in the South of France with a smile on my face and my worldly goods in the hire van outside an appartment (albeit borrowed from a relation) and started work as a VA.

I wish you good luck, and thoroughly recommend the drive via Monaco. It will take you through some spectacular scenes as you go through the tunnels into Italy (weather permitting of course - beware of snow falls!), but I do recommend putting the car on a train so you don't have to drive across France. It is not recommended - too many toll roads that cost a fortune, plus the exits are scarce and the petrol stations even scarcer! It doesn't cost an absolute fortune and you can get a high speed train to get there before your car arrives to have a break in travel (yes, you can take your animals onto the trains - there was a lovely Burmese cat in a travel case last time I trained it across France!)

Good luck again,

Jess

Looks like you're in for a

Looks like you're in for a wonderful adventure. Although I haven't reached lime colour yet, I'll admit that I'm a bit jealous Smile

I've always enjoyed travelling and encountering different cultures and places so at some point I definitely want to do something similar to what you're describing. Unfortunately I'm not financially stable enough to afford it now (hoping to get there soon though). Just this year my SO and I considered moving to Spain (again, after summer vacation there Laughing out loud) and it was a really tempting idea. The problem is that while I can work from the top of a palm tree on an island if I want to, my partner's job is kinda country-specific and if we want to move, it'll have to be even bigger change - with new qualification, career path change and all that jazz. Not impossible of course, just needs more planning.

Italy sounds really great - so far I've relied only on friends' experience and everyone who's been there loved it. Now we're going there for New Year's Eve and that'll be my first personal encounter with the country, we'll see how that goes.

As for the Alps - as a mountain enthusiast-amateur I can only say one thing - enjoy the trip. For me snowy mountain = one of the best views you can see on this planet. Snowy Alps = priceless.

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.

Linda, I know what you mean

I felt pretty much "at home" in England. More so than I ever felt at home in Germany. Scotland however came as a bit of a shock to the system. It is also "UK" but not the same. I love the countryside and the dramatic landscapes, but the winters here are really nothing short of brutal. I can do cold and I can do snow, but months of damp dark murky greyness get to me eventually.

If Italy doesn't work out I may well go back to England.

Aleah, "Petra" is originally a Greek name, but it is terribly common in Germany. In the UK it is generally known as a dog's name, immortalised by some Labrador in a very popular children's TV series. Nobody pronounces it right and about 10% of people insist on calling me "Petrol" ........

Jess, just saw your post. I am spending a couple of days with a friend in the middle of France so I am not sure if the the alternative travel arrangements are going to be feasible. I actually love driving and the Jag is incredibly comfy... My dog loves going places in the car and I am kind of hopeful that the cat (a Birman which are well known to be very vocal) will shut up by the time we get to France.........

Well, Petra...

You ARE a bit inflammatory! Laughing out loud

Lol, Cate...... Who .... Poor little me?

Cate B. wrote:
You ARE a bit inflammatory! :D

Lol, and you know what? I don't give a d*mn if I am......

Oh... Dark, cold, wet

Oh... Dark, cold, wet winters... yuck... I hated winters in my part of Spain. It would start raining in October and if you were lucky the sun would shine again in March!! I much prefer Canadian winters - it snows, it's cold BUT you see the sun! It makes all the difference that tiny little glowing orb in the sky between bearable and depressing.

I have (or had) three cats, unfortunately this time around I left them in Spain because they are older and while I could have broken up the pack and taken one of them, I preferred not to. I know that in my heart of hearts that when the oldest passes away that the other two will need each other. Anyways back on track - the 3 are weird travellers... Mia will cry like a maniac if she can't see out of her cage, so we make sure she can see us; Chicho will cry like a maniac if he CAN see where he's going, so I have to cover his cage and Buffy, the youngest, just cries like a maniac no matter what and needs a nice little pill to help calm her down! Laughing out loud There are pills that you can get from vets that are similar to the medicine that adults take for motion-sickness. The are safe, the animal isn't sedated, just calmer. You might want to talk to your vet and have one or two just in case.

Oh, and I know a Spanish family who lived in Italy ten years, be prepared for the latent male chauvinism that still exists in some rural places. For example: My Spanish friend, whose married, went one day to the bank and they refused to let her take money out of a joint account because he husband wasn't present!! This was 5 years ago, not 25! I hear that Italy, while beautiful, can be a real culture shock for those that decide to live there - vacations are fun, but living somewhere is VERY different. Tourists rarely see the real country, although I think that you already know that. Smile

Anyways, have a safe trip, and I do hope it works out for you. Smile

Linda, I grew up with "proper" winters, too

I went to school right at the top of the Black Forest, there was plenty of snow all winter and we were generally able to ski after school from December to at least February. It was quite stunning. I can handle snow (maybe not 5 months of it a year as we've had at times)- it's the grey drizzly insipid cool-rather-than-cold and wet nonsense that gets to me.

Your stories of your cats and their travelling behaviour made me laugh. They're all so different! Hopefully Baloo (who is a Birman) will complain for half an hour and then calm down. He'll be in a cage thing on the back seat with his best friend (Murphy, my Springer Spaniel) next to him. Usually he's ok with things as long as the dog is near him.

Oh and I am well aware of the Italian male chauvinism (latent or not so latent Wink ), I've been involved with an Italian for coming up to 5 years.... Also, I am quite feisty, taller than most Italian guys, and can hold my own if need be.... so I don't tend to suffer too much nonsense of that flavour. I know I'll be an "oddity" down there, as I will (at least initially) live there by myself. At least that'll remove the need to drag "my husband" to the bank.... lol

Yes. I am well aware that going on holiday somewhere, especially the romantic heavenly 2 weeks we had in June, is a totally different kettle of fish than living somewhere.

However, I've lived in so many places, and every time started from almost scratch, making new friends and making a new life for myself, so I am really not too worried about that. In a way it's EASIER to (at least initially) start out on my own, it'll MAKE me go out and make new friends, and will FORCE me to get to grips with the language much faster. Otherwise the temptation would be to speak German with my OH and let HIM do the Italian speaking.

It'll be ok, and I'll be just fine.....

It will beat this depressing crime-and-drugs ridden hellhole of a town in the far North East of Scotland, that's for sure. (In fairness to the area, outside of the towns it can be quite stunningly gorgeous in a dramatic way)

Everything else is there for me to discover!

humph

Petra R. wrote:

It will beat this depressing crime-and-drugs ridden hellhole of a town in the far North East of Scotland, that's for sure.

You mean a beautiful, tranquil seaside resort, full of history and architecture?

For no reason in particular, I think I know which town you're in. It's not the same one as mine, mine is even more idyllic.

the name is similar to mine ;)

Quote:
You mean a beautiful, tranquil seaside resort, full of history and architecture?

And up the road is Fraserburgh - which is no better Smile

I was close

anyway, lucky you. All lovely tropical paradises. I am amazed you get any work done at all when you can just wander down to the beach, dodging gales and beer cans, to watch the dolphins frolic in the surf.

In fairness

I do adore the countryside up here, in all its rough wildness. I love the sea, the dunes, the wildlife, the ruined castles, the Highlands.......

What I don't adore is the drugs, the crime, and the long dark wet winters!

What's wrong with them?

They add *authenticity*. You don't want a Scotland out of a 1970s Hollywood feature. That would be utterly ridiculous. You'd be on the first flight out, and so would everybody else. No, you need character.

Wanna swap, Judith?

Judith B. wrote:
They add *authenticity*.

Yeah. They make "Trainspotting" look like it was written by Walt Disney.

In my day job, I deal mainly with the... shall we say "unfortunate / unlucky" sector of the population. I love my job and it is never boring but I will have been in it for 3 years by the time I leave in January.... That's enough Wink

I'll be on a flight to Germany this time next week - 10 days holiday Laughing out loud I can just about hanle "The Germans" for 10 days....

That'll be my last flight out of here for a while as I'll be driving to Italy Smile

So - roughly how far away from me are you, Judith?

not all that far

Keep going down the coast a bit till you get to yet more seaside paradises full of quaint authenticity. I'm in one of them. We could swap but I am not entirely sure that either of us would notice a difference.

If I had your kind of money

If I had your kind of money then I will travel all around India in a car and just stop by to rest or else drive all day long.

I would like to walk/hike

I would like to walk/hike around India.

Don't know if I can swing it, but I would like to move to Guatemala for retirement.

How's the

How's the internet connection in northern India? Am backpacking there next year in time for Holi and I want to be able to continue working.

Great internet connection. Go

Great internet connection. Go for Tata photon, vodafone or airtel broadband connection. They are available as wireless dongles, so don't have to worry about wired connections and work whereever you want.

Yea, I know should look it

Yea, I know should look it up.

How long are tourist visa good for on entry?