Author Topic: From Sweden to Rwanda  (Read 1866 times)

FSTRwanda

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From Sweden to Rwanda
« on: September 12, 2018, 12:24:18 PM »
This is my first post here, so hi! First a quick introduction:
I'm soon to turn 26, and I live with my fiancťe who is 27. I've been working for a few years and my fiancťe just landed her first job. We have no mortgages, we've both worked every summer through high school and university and we both have a really healthy savings. In fact, I'm just over "1/3 FI" already, so nothing really to change about the mustachianism here, only to keep on working on it!

Huge thanks to this whole community! It feels so amazing have this mindset, it really brings all sorts of possibilities with it! Which is why I'm posting...

So we've decided to move to Rwanda in slightly less than two years. The plan is to let up some of the FI savings to instead let that amount of money fund a year in Rwanda. Essentially we're postponing our "FI date" about a year, allowing us to take this "mini retirement" in two years! The budget for all of this can be seen on our blog (link below).

However, all of this poses some practical problems. Can we get a year off our works, and will it be possible to rent out our flat in the mean time? Ideally we'd also do some work while in Rwanda to give a bit more space in our budget. If so we'd need work permits and extended visas and stuff. Also, we've never been to Africa at all before. Basically, we'd really like any kind of feedback on this whole concept, and we'd love to get in touch with anybody who's lived abroad (maybe in Rwanda??), or maybe someone who has good insight in prices in Rwanda, or maybe even a Rwandese mustachian?


If interested, please read some posts of our newly started blog, and know that any comments will be really appreciated, here or in the blog! The blog is not really about the FI aspect of this at all, so those kinds of discussions might be better suited here. But then again, I suppose this kind of a thing will be quite similar to achieving FI which is why I imagine many people here might have some valuable comments.

By the way, the blog is bilingual, every post is in both Swedish and English.

The link, From Sweden to Rwanda:
https://fstrwanda.blogspot.com
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 12:25:55 PM by FSTRwanda »

Freedomin5

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 08:09:53 AM »
Before picking up and moving to any country for an extended period of time, I strongly recommend spending some time in the country first, to get a feel for the country.

meatgrinder

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 04:42:18 PM »
You want to get a good following in Africa? Carry some clean water and food.

CoffeeR

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 07:45:18 PM »
So we've decided to move to Rwanda in slightly less than two years.
Why? What is the purpose/idea/reason behind this move? Do you have family there or some other roots? It seems really strange to me you want top move to Rwanda without actually having visited it.

middo

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 08:03:04 PM »
Before picking up and moving to any country for an extended period of time, I strongly recommend spending some time in the country first, to get a feel for the country.

+1

Linda_Norway

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 11:20:14 AM »
Check the rules for how long you can live out of your country before you miss your right to "folketrygd", or what the Swedish word for it is. In Norway you get kicked out of the folketrygd when you live abroad for a whole year. That means that you don't have your usual governmental health insurance and you need to apply to the system again when you move back.

HoustonSker

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 07:14:58 AM »
Dude...why the hell are you going to Rawanda from Sweden?  Hello third world!

Obviously, I think itís a silly decision and unnecessary risk.  You are better off going to SE Asia, safer, better amenities, food, access to healthcare etc.

Walterbl

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 10:12:34 AM »
Any reason why you choose Rwanda?

Actually, going to Africa is not that crazy. With your knowledge, contacts, and backgrounds, you will certainly stand out. Chances are you will be one of the top educated people wherever you are, so this is something that opens doors. I was reading some post about western guys who went to Africa to do business, and they mentioned is not rare for a western guy to be in contact with the richest guys or even the president (!) of an African country soon after arriving.

meatgrinder

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 10:38:15 PM »
Dude...why the hell are you going to Rawanda from Sweden?  Hello third world!

Obviously, I think itís a silly decision and unnecessary risk.  You are better off going to SE Asia, safer, better amenities, food, access to healthcare etc.

Thought the same thing, only reason I can think of is that it will make them appreciate Sweden/1st world very quickly? Don't know if its worth getting Ebola for but to each their own.

Linda_Norway

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 01:22:32 AM »
Actually, going to Africa is not that crazy. With your knowledge, contacts, and backgrounds, you will certainly stand out. Chances are you will be one of the top educated people wherever you are, so this is something that opens doors. I was reading some post about western guys who went to Africa to do business, and they mentioned is not rare for a western guy to be in contact with the richest guys or even the president (!) of an African country soon after arriving.

This could be true. This guy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Ali_Khayre , has lived in Norway as a refugee. He is well educated and has now become the president of Somalia.

havregryn

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 01:48:58 AM »
If there is a place on Earth where a large majority of youngsters has a completely rosy eyed view of the third world, it is Sweden.
However, being from Sweden is also one hell of an asset in the said third world so this could work out just fine.
An observing cynic would probably cringe at every single interaction they are likely to have, but the involved parties will probably be happy with them.

As citizens they will always be able to move back to Sweden and hook up back to the welfare systems, I wouldn't worry about that.

However it is precisely because of that that I find it hard to switch off my cynicism. I think I would also had been interested in pulling a stunt like this and moving to Central Asia or the Caucasus in my mid twenties had I had Mother Sweden waiting for me in case it all gets a bit too third worldly for me to handle.


kei te pai

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 02:33:17 AM »
There are some stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice here.

I wish you well: go with open eyes and an open heart and you will have a wonderful adventure. I travelled extensively through out Africa, although not Rwanda. Sometimes in my memory I catch a whiff of woodsmoke, and the sound of a rooster crowing at daybreak, the murmurs of a village waking and starting the day and it tugs at my heart like homesickness.
There is laughter and warmth, heartbreak and courage in every story, in every life. There is beauty and wilderness, crowded cities and vast deserts across the continent. If all you know in your life is resorts and hotels and 21st century western life you have only lived in black and white not colour.

Now my heart is on the page, I will finish off by saying it is really helpful to have a few contacts when you first arrive in a new country, ideally people who are living modestly rather than the typical expat lifestyle. Are there any Swedish charities working in Rwanda? Dont expect accomodation, but if you bring a few favourite foods and magazines from home for them you may get rewarded with some good travel and living tips!

meatgrinder

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 04:14:18 PM »
There are some stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice here.

I wish you well: go with open eyes and an open heart and you will have a wonderful adventure. I travelled extensively through out Africa, although not Rwanda. Sometimes in my memory I catch a whiff of woodsmoke, and the sound of a rooster crowing at daybreak, the murmurs of a village waking and starting the day and it tugs at my heart like homesickness.
There is laughter and warmth, heartbreak and courage in every story, in every life. There is beauty and wilderness, crowded cities and vast deserts across the continent. If all you know in your life is resorts and hotels and 21st century western life you have only lived in black and white not colour.

Now my heart is on the page, I will finish off by saying it is really helpful to have a few contacts when you first arrive in a new country, ideally people who are living modestly rather than the typical expat lifestyle. Are there any Swedish charities working in Rwanda? Dont expect accomodation, but if you bring a few favourite foods and magazines from home for them you may get rewarded with some good travel and living tips!

Please enlighten me on what is "stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice" here?

Rimu05

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2018, 01:28:42 PM »
There are some stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice here.

I wish you well: go with open eyes and an open heart and you will have a wonderful adventure. I travelled extensively through out Africa, although not Rwanda. Sometimes in my memory I catch a whiff of woodsmoke, and the sound of a rooster crowing at daybreak, the murmurs of a village waking and starting the day and it tugs at my heart like homesickness.
There is laughter and warmth, heartbreak and courage in every story, in every life. There is beauty and wilderness, crowded cities and vast deserts across the continent. If all you know in your life is resorts and hotels and 21st century western life you have only lived in black and white not colour.

Now my heart is on the page, I will finish off by saying it is really helpful to have a few contacts when you first arrive in a new country, ideally people who are living modestly rather than the typical expat lifestyle. Are there any Swedish charities working in Rwanda? Dont expect accomodation, but if you bring a few favourite foods and magazines from home for them you may get rewarded with some good travel and living tips!

Please enlighten me on what is "stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice" here?

As an African, the post about risking Ebola was especially ignorant but I hate that I am not even surprised as Iíve become jaded by Western ignorance about Africa and how everyone views us as a single entity. I am Kenyan and the expat community in Nairobi is pretty huge. On that note, no matter where you go itís best to see what the expats in that country think. That is the best source. Rwanda has developed immensely in the last 29 years.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 01:34:13 PM by Rimu05 »

chouchouu

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2018, 05:33:46 PM »
You might find with renting your house out you break even with costs. With regards to health insurance there are East Africa based companies that cover air ambulance that will be much cheaper than if you purchase from Sweden.  I will say that a lot of cost of living estimates for expats are quite high because they assume a western lifestyle so you can do it more cheaply by ditching things like dryers, fancy cars etc. I haven't been to Africa but the col in Thailand is ridiculous by expat calculators compared to how I managed there. Sounds really exciting, I would go for it! You could also do something like air bnb an extra room out, hotels in East Africa can be ridiculous expensive so you could potentially make a good income. Sounds like a great opportunity!

marty998

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2018, 09:31:20 PM »
There are some stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice here.

I wish you well: go with open eyes and an open heart and you will have a wonderful adventure. I travelled extensively through out Africa, although not Rwanda. Sometimes in my memory I catch a whiff of woodsmoke, and the sound of a rooster crowing at daybreak, the murmurs of a village waking and starting the day and it tugs at my heart like homesickness.
There is laughter and warmth, heartbreak and courage in every story, in every life. There is beauty and wilderness, crowded cities and vast deserts across the continent. If all you know in your life is resorts and hotels and 21st century western life you have only lived in black and white not colour.

Now my heart is on the page, I will finish off by saying it is really helpful to have a few contacts when you first arrive in a new country, ideally people who are living modestly rather than the typical expat lifestyle. Are there any Swedish charities working in Rwanda? Dont expect accomodation, but if you bring a few favourite foods and magazines from home for them you may get rewarded with some good travel and living tips!

Please enlighten me on what is "stunning posts of ignorance and prejudice" here?

As an African, the post about risking Ebola was especially ignorant but I hate that I am not even surprised as Iíve become jaded by Western ignorance about Africa and how everyone views us as a single entity. I am Kenyan and the expat community in Nairobi is pretty huge. On that note, no matter where you go itís best to see what the expats in that country think. That is the best source. Rwanda has developed immensely in the last 29 years.

Some people are also forgetting there were several cases of Ebola in the US too....

Worth pointing out Rwanda has the highest proportion of women in parliament in the world, and has a lower murder rate per capita than the US.

I still don't think it's a great idea to move from Sweden to Rwanda, but as Rimu05 rightly points out/implies, Africa is a diverse collection of over 50 countries and hundreds of ethnic groups. It's not all poor, starving, diseased, overpopulated, famine that Hollywood would have it portrayed.

blikeafox

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2018, 12:31:21 PM »
Is there a reason you have chosen Rwanda? If you are looking for a mini retirement, I'd consider Malawi. Southern Africa is cheaper and there is more of a backpacker expat scene, so you could get a job in the tourism industry or Malawi has a lot of poverty as well so there'd be opportunities in the NGO sector. It's also just a relaxed country (tons of coastline on the lake so very beachy but without the ocean). It's easier to travel overland in Southern Africa. We drove and took public transit around Malawi very easily when visiting for two weeks.

I haven't been to Rwanda but lived in the DRC for 3 years and have traveled around East Africa some.

Also worth understanding who Paul Kagame is and why the country has such great law and order before making the decision to live there. Not to say other countries don't have issues, but understanding Rwanda's would be of value.

lhamo

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2018, 01:39:07 PM »
One thing to consider before moving to any country that has experienced major civil war or other political upheaval  is the extent to which the traumas of that experience have been/are being dealt with on both a personal and societal level.  There has been some discussion of this on @Freedomin5 and @havregryn 's journals.  When the trauma has not been/cannot be processed, it tends to come out sideways in some unexpected and unfortunate ways.  And that can be hard to deal with.

Padonak

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2018, 02:05:17 PM »
OP, how much have you traveled and where have you been? Why Rwanda of all places? Are you from there originally? Do you have any family there?

I have traveled extensively and lived in three different countries. Most of my friends are expats and/or travel a lot including slow travel and sabbaticals.

For a gap year on a budget, I recommend South East Asia: start from Thailand and slowly travel around the region. South East Asia generally offers the best combination of low cost of living, safety, convenience and adventure. Particularly Thailand, but also many other countries in the region as well.

If Asia is not your thing, I would recommend places like Ecuador or other more "civilized" places in Latin America, though ideally you have to know Spanish, otherwise it's more difficult to navigate compared to South East Asia.

Eastern Europe and parts of former Soviet Union can also be pretty good budget slow travel/sabbatical destinations from May to October.

Mrs.Piano

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2018, 08:50:06 PM »
Sounds like a great experience, I lived in Africa for 3.5 years as a young person and it completely changed my life. I did not live in Rwanda but have a colleague who takes groups of students there yearly for academic, not volunteering, purposes. My main advice is to have a plan on what you are going to learn there. Of course, you will learn so much more than any initial plan, but just a course of action in which they are the teachers and you are the learner will open so many doors.

expatartist

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2018, 10:47:08 PM »
Sounds like a wonderful adventure. You are looking to move there just for a year, correct? Was hard to tell from your initial post.

You're more likely to get useful advice (rather than more "move somewhere 'civilized'!" posts) if you post more specific info, for example:
* How long you plan to stay
* Your background(s) / what industries you're in
* What interests you about the region
* Careers you'd like to embark on
* Projects you'd like to participate in or start

ducky19

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2018, 01:49:06 PM »
Guessing by the lack of any sort of follow up from the OP that this thread was intended more for driving traffic to his blog than for engaging in any sort of dialogue with the community. Too bad, as it sounds like there is a lot of interest and questions that would be good to hear the answers to. OP, if you do ever chance a return, best of luck to you in your travels!

meatgrinder

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2018, 05:51:08 PM »
Some people are also forgetting there were several cases of Ebola in the US too....

Yes, and the cases in the US came from....Africa. I understand that Ebola is a low risk but combined with all of the other possible diseases such as Malaria, random parasites etc. there is a good chance you' get something nasty if you stay long enough. Just be prepared as much as you can.  Good luck and hope you do try before you buy in this case.

Linda_Norway

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2018, 04:03:51 AM »
Guessing by the lack of any sort of follow up from the OP that this thread was intended more for driving traffic to his blog than for engaging in any sort of dialogue with the community.

That was my impression as well.

lhamo

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Re: From Sweden to Rwanda
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2018, 01:57:08 PM »
Guessing by the lack of any sort of follow up from the OP that this thread was intended more for driving traffic to his blog than for engaging in any sort of dialogue with the community.

That was my impression as well.

Their loss.  Lots of valuable experience/wisdom here.