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  1. #1
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    If you could live anywhere in the world.....

    Well the wife and I are chatting about possibly looking into a international assignment. Quick background on us. We have been married 15 years, we are both 40 years old and we have 2 kids which are 4 and 11 years old so schooling and social needs are very important. I have this dreamy vision of living in the south of France and riding the Pyrenees every weekend. Just a dream I think.....but maybe not? So tell me, where would you live outside of the US if you could live anywhere and tell me why. Please don't go into "I WOULDN'T LIVE ANYWHERE BUT THE US" stuff. We are looking at maybe a 4 year assignment then probably come back here.
    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    International assignment? doing what?
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  3. #3
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGuy
    International assignment? doing what?
    The wife works in Human Resources for a Large corporation that has possible locations all over the world that is open to us. From China to France, Spain to Austalia, Germany to Mexico........
    I have been a stay at home dad since our daughter was born 4 years ago. Before that I was a Profesional Motorsports Photographer.

  4. #4
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    The wife works in Human Resources for a Large corporation that has possible locations all over the world that is open to us. From China to France, Spain to Austalia, Germany to Mexico........
    I have been a stay at home dad since our daughter was born 4 years ago. Before that I was a Profesional Motorsports Photographer.

    Ahhh. Hmmm well if that were the case I'd probably go for Japan.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  5. #5
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    Switzerland. Incredible riding, the Alps, lots of bike races, easy access to Italy, Germany, and France, lots of photography opportunities to keep you busy for a lifetime, very friendly, international and cosmopolitan people, very diverse population, everyone speaks english as well as at least one other language, great schools for the kids, VERY environmentally friendly, socially conscious...

    I could go on and on. I think your kids would greatly benefit from being there too. They have GREAT schools. At the very least, they'll walk away after four years knowing 1- 2 more languages.

    Koffee

  6. #6
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    For 4 years...my germany or austria. They have some new mountains opened for downhilling I would like. But really I couldn't live anywhere without my riding

  7. #7
    Lex
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    Italy without a doubt. So beautiful with mostly year-round decent weather.

  8. #8
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Switzerland. Incredible riding,
    I was looking at Switzerland online last night. It is on top of the list for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lex
    Italy without a doubt. So beautiful with mostly year-round decent weather
    Also a big consideration. I am wondering about our kids going there and knowing the language. I am not sure how much of the language the kids...or us could learn before we would go. In that respect, Switzerland may may be a easier transition......

  9. #9
    HWS
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    New Zealand. Best times of my life.

  10. #10
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    I am wondering about our kids going there and knowing the language. I am not sure how much of the language the kids...or us could learn before we would go. In that respect, Switzerland may may be a easier transition......
    Kids will likely adapt better to the new language than you will. Also, look into American schools for diplomats' children, which are often attended by kids of businesspeople stationed overseas.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    I was looking at Switzerland online last night. It is on top of the list for sure.




    Also a big consideration. I am wondering about our kids going there and knowing the language. I am not sure how much of the language the kids...or us could learn before we would go. In that respect, Switzerland may may be a easier transition......
    Switzerland is one place where you won't have to worry about the language. I think kids will quickly pick up the language, and you may struggle a little, but I've met Americans living in Switzerland, and they didn't really express a lot of concern. Living on the Italian side of Switzerland, like in Lugano, would give you the Italian experience, plus make Italy really accessible for you too. It's so easy to hop a train into Italy. In about 4 hours, you'd be in downtown Milan. In less than two hours, you'd be at Lake Como. In about 3 hours, you'd be in Venice. Or you could live closer to the German borders and learn Swiss German and hop a train to Germany or Austria. Or you could live on the French Swiss side and be close to France. Or just live in the middle in Zurich, which makes any country easy and quick to snap over to in a jiffy.

    Switzerland is such an international place with language schools everywhere. I wouldn't be too concerned about learning the language. You could easily just hire a tutor for everyone to come to your house and give you a 90 min lesson once a week, and pick up the Berlitz tapes. All you have to do is know what part of Switzerland you're going to and what language they speak there. Then start taking the language lessons. But because of the diverse languages, the common language between all the parts of Switzerland is English, so you won't be stranded in a country where you can't communicate at all!

    I so envy you. You're gonna have a great time, no matter where you go. But if it's a 4 year plan, I would pick Switzerland for sure. If you said a permenant, I'd pick Italy over Switzerland, but I wouldn't be living too far from the Swiss border while living in Italy either.

    Koffee

  12. #12
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    Oh- the riding is incredible there too... they have total routes/roads/paths that connect up through the country. Riding through the Alps was a dream. Living at high altitude and training at even higher elevations will increase your fitness level even farther than you dreamed. The people and food are so healthy. And you don't have to worry- there's a train that splits through Switzerland straight into France, where you could take your bike and ride through the Pyrenees anyday. You could do the same thing and head into the Dolomites of Italy. But you'll never lack for riding in beatiful scenery. I always tell people Switzerland is like an environmentally and socially conscious, clean, orderly Italy. You just can't go wrong there.

    The gardening was unbelieveable. Everyone- men and women, had gardens and lived off the food the gardens produced. They were proud of them. And rose bushes everywhere. Huge rose trees in nearly every backyard. And the kids were so well behaved and well mannered. I don't normally get along with kids, but in Switzerland, the kids were just wonderful and respectful of adults. I never saw anyone unhappy there. The crime was low low low. People left their bikes and stuff out on the lawns overnight without worrying about someone stealing their stuff. They didn't even lock their doors. It freaked me out... in a good way. I hadn't felt that secure since I was a kid growing up in our neighborhoods. And tons of people rode their bikes to work and school. Kids rode their bikes up the mountain to school all by themselves. That was trippy- kids walking and riding to school unaccompanied by adults, and the adults were telling me about how they could go to the store and leave the kids in the house to play with no problems. You just can't go wrong with Switzerland.

    You know, drop me a PM. I'll dig up some stuff from when I went to Switzerland and send it to you. It might actually seal the deal.

    Koffee

  13. #13
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Oh- the riding is incredible there too... they have total routes/roads/paths that connect up through the country. Riding through the Alps was a dream. Living at high altitude and training at even higher elevations will increase your fitness level even farther than you dreamed. The people and food are so healthy. And you don't have to worry- there's a train that splits through Switzerland straight into France, where you could take your bike and ride through the Pyrenees anyday. You could do the same thing and head into the Dolomites of Italy. But you'll never lack for riding in beatiful scenery. I always tell people Switzerland is like an environmentally and socially conscious, clean, orderly Italy. You just can't go wrong there.

    The gardening was unbelieveable. Everyone- men and women, had gardens and lived off the food the gardens produced. They were proud of them. And rose bushes everywhere. Huge rose trees in nearly every backyard. And the kids were so well behaved and well mannered. I don't normally get along with kids, but in Switzerland, the kids were just wonderful and respectful of adults. I never saw anyone unhappy there. The crime was low low low. People left their bikes and stuff out on the lawns overnight without worrying about someone stealing their stuff. They didn't even lock their doors. It freaked me out... in a good way. I hadn't felt that secure since I was a kid growing up in our neighborhoods. And tons of people rode their bikes to work and school. Kids rode their bikes up the mountain to school all by themselves. That was trippy- kids walking and riding to school unaccompanied by adults, and the adults were telling me about how they could go to the store and leave the kids in the house to play with no problems. You just can't go wrong with Switzerland.

    You know, drop me a PM. I'll dig up some stuff from when I went to Switzerland and send it to you. It might actually seal the deal.

    Koffee
    Sounds like Utopia . So what's the catch.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  14. #14
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    Well, I guess if you don't like recycling, Switzerland will not be your cup of tea.

    Koffee

  15. #15
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Barcelona. I'd go in an instant. The weather, the people, the food.
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  16. #16
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    +1 on Italy. Great people, great food, more culture than you can absorb in 4 years, lovely weather. Send the kids to the American School in Florence, which is academically up to snuff, but they'll still learn to speak Italian.

    Probably less expensive than some of the other places, but not really cheap anymore.

    If I had to be exiled from the US, I'd go to Florence.

    (As a side note, spent a few days in Gent, Belgium - lovely town as well. Lots of English speakers. Frikkin everbody rides bikes there too.)
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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  17. #17
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    I love Italy, but I'm very against going someplace that's like "little America". You're supposed to (I hope) travel to experience the culture and blend with the people. I just don't see how you could integrate into a culture if you're spending all your time with Americans.

    Make 'em speak the language- send them to a school with the locals and assimilate. They aren't the borg, but they will accept you and allow you to maintain some of your American ideals while you learn about their culture and pick up the language.

    Koffee

  18. #18
    Lex
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    [QUOTE=SpongeDad(As a side note, spent a few days in Gent, Belgium - lovely town as well. Lots of English speakers. Frikkin everbody rides bikes there too.)[/QUOTE]

    My husband and I spent a portion of our honeymoon in Ghent. Excellent city. Beautiful and peaceful with ped right of way. Friendly people....and a generally great place to bike.

    I have changed my vote. I say move to Belgium.

  19. #19
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    Kyoto.

  20. #20
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Grenoble France.
    Edinburgh Scotland.
    Haarlem Netherlands.
    Barcelona Spain.
    Marquette Michigan USA

  21. #21
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I so envy you. You're gonna have a great time, no matter where you go. But if it's a 4 year plan, I would pick Switzerland for sure. If you said a permenant, I'd pick Italy over Switzerland, but I wouldn't be living too far from the Swiss border while living in Italy either.

    Koffee
    Well we started the ball rolling today. Not sure how fast it will roll or if we will be able to get off if we don't like the ride...LoL. With your input we put Switzerland as our primary location but there are not to any locations there. Keep your fingers crossed for me...Thanks again for the info Koffee

  22. #22
    commuter all star peregrine's Avatar
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    I'd go for either Spain or Italy. not only is it beautiful there but people are absolutely friendly and open... if i ever have kids, i'd like them to experience something like that


    btw, Koffee, which language-speaking part of Switzerland gave you such great impressions?

  23. #23
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I love Italy, but I'm very against going someplace that's like "little America". You're supposed to (I hope) travel to experience the culture and blend with the people. I just don't see how you could integrate into a culture if you're spending all your time with Americans.

    Make 'em speak the language- send them to a school with the locals and assimilate. They aren't the borg, but they will accept you and allow you to maintain some of your American ideals while you learn about their culture and pick up the language.

    Koffee
    Generally I agree. The little Americas in a lot of middle eastern countries may not really be that great. My understanding of the American School in Florence is that it's actually pretty international, with many students from the rest of Europe, not simply Americans. My grad school roommate, a native Florentine (US mom, Italian dad) said it's not really "American," it's just that that's who originally set it up.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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  24. #24
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Well this is open for possiblities aint it!

    I like the switzerland idear. Its a really great place. i clmibed the swiss alps like 3 years ago and it was awsome. I would also reccomend spain. Before you know it living there will make you 140 pure muscle and a climbing beast!

    I have really considered studying abroad in spain. But I would try germany, france, italy even though I know italy is awsome it would always be cool to live somewhere different.

    now if I lived in switzerland, would that get me special assos discounts




    (wait assos is based in switzerland right )
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  25. #25
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Colorado, so I could buy my Bike Forum friends a beer or glass of Oregon wine now and then!!
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