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Old 20.03.2011, 19:59
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Global nomads

I got to thinking about the makeup of the English Forum, and generally foreign workers in Switzerland.
Are you here for the longer term or just a couple of years? Is this your first expat experience or have you already lived in places other than your country of origin? If you keep following your job from country to country, how has that influenced your family? Have you consciously decided to move your children (if you have them) from place to place?

For me, the answers look like this for now: I lived in two other countries that are not my home country previously (~15 years). We would like to settle in Switzerland if the job situations permit. Our child is still a toddler, and we would prefer her to grow up in one place - but you never know what the future will bring.

What has your experience been? Are you here for the long term?

ETA: By "expat" I just mean you're living in a foreign country, not that you have an expat contract. I have a normal contract here, no expat perks.

Last edited by LiquidPaper; 20.03.2011 at 20:58. Reason: Clarification
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:02
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Re: Global nomads

I don't move for work, I seek work in different places just for fun.

I'm not an expat here; no relocation package, no help, just a standard contract and turned up in the office one Monday to start a new job.

I've been here a year, not sure how long I fancy staying for. Original plan was just for one year, but quickly expanded to 18 months as it would be silly to leave just as Spring was starting. Will re-evaluate again come Autumn.

I've worked in other countries before, usually lasting a year or so before going back to London, spending a year or two there, then wondering where to go next.
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:03
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Re: Global nomads

I lived abroad once before, driven there by unemployment, got homesick, went back to England. A few years later I moved here with the intent to stay forever, everything went a bit wrong for a bit, but now it looks like I might stay here forever after all.

I certainly wouldn't consider myself a global nomad. I'm a bit of a homebody. All I ever wanted in life was a house, a dog and a local. Not that I'm complaining about the way things have turned out...
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:09
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Re: Global nomads

Quote:
I certainly wouldn't consider myself a global nomad. I'm a bit of a homebody.
Yes, me too, which is why I'd like to stop moving around and settle.
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:25
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Re: Global nomads

I lived in various parts of the US, including about 5 years on each coast. Then I spent slightly more than a year in Germany. I came here at the start of the year for a standard "permanent" employment contract, and the associated chance to stay in Europe.

I'm starting to feel an urge to settle in some vague sense. Zürich and environs seemed like the right sort of place for that, and so far it still does. But I haven't been here long. We'll see what happens next.
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:25
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Re: Global nomads

I left my country for a super job opportunity, wasn't for the money and had to live like the local....

Met hubby who want to that country for his job, we got married and got transfered here with his job. Got child number 1, going to have child number 2 and we are moving again with the samecompany to an other country.

We are Global Nomad (I like that term! ) I would like to have a nice house and settle somewhere but we don't know where yet. We are a couple from two differents cultures, language and background and our home countries are not our home anymore for either of us... We don't want to go back.

We hope to find a place where we will settle for good and the opportunity we have with this job to look around, try out and see if we like enough a place to settle is nice. Switzerland is a nice place but doesn't fit with our ideal of place to live. The next place has much bigger potential but we will see when we will be there and settle...

We are doing this now, it is the best time when the kids are still young and don't mind to be moved around. But we are aware that we will need to settle down when they will get close to their teens (when friends become more important than family).

I made 4 years in Istanbul (hubby did 2) 3 years in Switzerland and we are going for the next step. (mind you, no expat contract and big package, nope, everytime local with all the work of adaptation, etc)

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Old 20.03.2011, 21:05
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Re: Global nomads

I moved here because of a job thinking I would be here 1 year min, 3 yrs max. At first it was overwhelming. Then it was lonely. Then I loved it, but that didn't last long, then hated it. Then loved it again, then hated it more. Really hated it. Missed home, decided to leave and go back home. Then they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. So I stayed. Loved it again. Then hated it again. Then met a girl. Loved it. She dumped me. Hated it. Then met another girl. Got married. Loved it. Had a kid, loved it. Got laid off, hated it. Had another kid, loved it. Then started loving it more. 2 decades passed. My kids now tease me about my terrible German, and blow me off the ski slopes. On job number 8 with company number 7. Got Swiss citizenship. Bought a house. Now just enjoying watching the flowers coming up again. So, I'm loving it again.
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Old 20.03.2011, 21:30
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Re: Global nomads

After four countries in as many years I did feel i was quite No(t)madic. Last year, this thing came up here which I couldn't say no to, so I moved to Switzerland vowing to never move again, or at least until the end of the world - after which what I do or do not do really does not matter.

Then I met someone. She was already here for a while. She hated Switzerland. The end of the world scenario looked like it had to be reevaluated. She hung on for a while, then an exciting offer came by. The catch - she had to move half way around the world, and so she moved to this land far far far away, promising that she'll be back soon - soon as in at the most two years. Its been three weeks so far, and we've not done anything stupid. Yet.

I hate packing. I hate being a Nomad. I choose to stay here a wee bit longer.

Last edited by DailyCoconut; 20.03.2011 at 21:43.
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Old 23.03.2011, 15:00
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Re: Global nomads

I lived in 4 countries before turning 3, but managed to stay in just one for most of my schooling, thankfully. We came here because the job (normal contract) sounded interesting, but we had always intended to live outside the UK anyway. This is my husband's second time living abroad, and my fourth as an adult. We've been here six years, both kids born here, I mostly love it and don't want to leave at least until the children are grown up, but he's still not sure.
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Old 23.03.2011, 16:01
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Re: Global nomads

First off, I loved reading everyone else's stories! I found them very interesting because they offer some insights into people's reality, and also I like to learn about people's different motives and life drivers. Keep them coming...

As for me, I grew up in Northern Italy, then at 17 I left behind the world I knew to spend a year in Knoxville, Tennessee as a high school foreign exchange student.

That experience changed my life. Since then, I kept moving around - both for academic purposes and for work - and haven't been able to "stand still" for too long: a few months in Paris, almost a year in Israel, two years in San Diego (CA), a few months in Mexico City, three years in San Francisco and Silicon Valley (CA), interjected by short periods of living in Milan and Rome. And now Switzerland.

Actually, today marks my 9-month anniversary in Zurich and in Switzerland, and in a little over a month I turn 30. Life has been a very unpredictable, exciting, and challenging rollercoaster. Not always easy, but I enjoyed the ride so far, and I am really looking forward to see what the next 30 years will look like.

Is this my final destination or a pleasant temporary stop? I don't know. From past track record, usually after two years in the same place I start to get antsy and start looking around for the next adventure, but perhaps this time I will hold up longer? Who knows...

Surprisingly enough, I have no desire or inclination to settle down - not against it at all, just not personally interested. I get bored easily, I love meeting all sorts of people from all sorts of places, and I like the feeling of being alone in a completely unfamiliar environment and discover it bit by bit, unwrap it like a beautiful present, learn from it, and make it "mine".

I used to find this notion shocking and it took me a few years to realize that it is ok to feel/think this way, because I grew up in an environment when it is natural/ expected that everyone will eventually get married and settle down. Now that I have come to terms with who I am (sort of, hehehe), I accept it as part of my life and don't stress out about it.

TBH, I'd like to have my own home to go back to from time to time, so eventually I'll just pick a place I guess. Until then, the adventure continues
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Old 24.03.2011, 12:32
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Re: Global nomads

i was meant to be a nomad....seriously i can't seem to stay put
first, my ethnicity, country of birth, and country of citizenship are all different
i lived and worked in london for a few years, then moved to nyc for a few years, then dubai for a year...couldn't stand it!, then paris, and now im relocating to zurich....im lucky to not have any dependents or debts or anything of that sort, so it allows me to pack up my bags and go where ever i see an opportunity
but i can honestly say that i am getting a little tired of it now....but knowing me i will probably only stay put if i end up starting a family and have to be stable for the sake of someone else.
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Old 24.03.2011, 12:49
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Re: Global nomads

I have lived and worked in: England 12 years, Malaysia 3 years, Germany 12 years, West Switzerland 14 years, Berne 6 years.

I can really recommend anywhere east or north of Lausanne!
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