Author Topic: Should I stay or should I go?  (Read 4141 times)

Freestyler

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Should I stay or should I go?
« on: May 26, 2013, 11:26:29 AM »
This, as most life decisions, is a more or less complex, multifaceted problem. Iīll try to present it as clearly and succinctly as I can. Also, I may not provide some specifics for fear of being identified. It would not be that difficult for someone in my circle to connect the dots. I know, I know: no one`s looking and itīs relatively unlikely that they are over here... however, I have this tendency to be discreet.

I am seriously considering changing countries. In fact, I already changed countries. I left my family behind for a short initial trial period a few days ago.

As a summary, I will say that I am a Spaniard that is making a relatively good living (in terms of wage and amount of disposable jobs) for the countryīs circumstances. I am working too much though and as you can figure I am not so confident in the short term prospects of the country. So I am trying this (initial) move to France. Yes, I know itīs not the country with the best prospects neither.

I guess Iīll try to make a list of reasons for leaving (from Spain to France) and reasons for staying.

Reasons for moving (to France), in no particular order:

1. Allegedly, Iīd make much more. Between 2x and 20x (this last one very optimistically and not immediately). Probably something around 3x or more.

2. The overall economical situation is apparently worse in Spain than in France.

3. Much less present competition in my field and increased career opportunities in that regard.

4. "Intangibles" (or not so much) for me and my family. A new experience to enrich us personally and professionally. Most notably, the opportunity to learn the language. This being specially important for my newborn and including the fact that it would probably be also easy for him (thanks to the location) to learn German and English in addition to French. Right now I truly think this (and a certain acquired compromise) is what keeps me here.

5. A considerable kick to my plans of financial independence if cards played sensibly.

6. Though nobody knows where France is heading neither, the truth is that the trend in Spain is no good and it has had a clear impact in our lives in later years. No one knows where all this will lead to and there seems to be no end to the negative tendency.

Reasons for staying (in Spain), also in no particular order:

1. Itīs the easy thing to do. It would mean much less stress for everyone in the family and specially for me right now.

2. It would preserve my relative actual (well, before I left) well being and quality of life.

3. The plain truth is that I am almost FI by now. I could possibly live a less frugal life (in terms of money spending) than Jacob with my current net worth or choose to work as or how much I want instead of the frantic schedule I have been undergoing lately.

4. I have a established career, network (social and work) and "reputation" in Spain that make my life more or less easy.

5. I donīt think I really longer care about career any more anyway.

6. It looks as though itīs expected that I work my ass off in France too...

7. Even in the current circumstances or maybe precisely because of them, I still see a lot of opportunity in Spain after all.

8. Overall and despite all my criticism, itīs my country, my culture and so on. Not to talk about the comparison in the weather, the cost of life or others.


To try to summarize, when I wonder what I would like to do if I didnīt have to work any more (which probably and depending on how you see it, I donīt) itīs difficult for me to answer that itīs what I am doing right now. On the other hand, itīs true this is probably the worst moment. Homesick, apart from my lovely baby and the rest of the family while wrestling to adapt to all sort of new and challenging circumstances I guess itīs difficult to see any longer term benefit. Considering he, the baby, is one of my main motivators to do this it looks quite counter intuitive that it forces me to be away at least for some time. The initial plan was/is to come here, stay for some time as to secure a bit more our long term situation while enjoying the other benefits of the experience (languages, etc) for us and specially the kid(s) (present and future) and then decide whether we feel like staying, going to somewhere else or going back to after all loved and beautiful (southern) Spain.

My perceptions will probably change, as it have done already a couple of times, depending on the particular circumstances and general mood of the day.

I know it may sound complainypants and that I am disregarding the fact that I am lucky to have so many choices. I am aware thatīs probably my mood whatīs making me seeing more problems than opportunities, but for the moment being, it is as it is...

I am not sure if I made the situation and dilemma clear at all...

Anyone pitching in with outside views and opinions?

Many thanks in advance.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 11:45:08 AM by Freestyler »

nktokyo

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 04:47:22 PM »
I'm not sure what your skill-set is but is there any way you can work online or remotely and still live where you want to be? If you're that close to FI then you've probably got the room to be flexible.

You might have an interesting and fun time living in France (or somewhere else) for a while. It's not as if you're salting the fields and burning villages on your way across the border... call it a two-year experiment instead?

My other immediate thought is that you should make sure your retirement next egg is protected against further shocks in Spain and the EU.

I think the economic situation in Spain will get worse before it gets better but at some point it's going to make sense to go "long" on Spain. Will you be in good position to do this?

That all said, it's admirable that you want to do what's best for your family.

Freestyler

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 05:18:03 PM »
Thanks so much for the answer nktokyo.

Well, thereīs always the option to try to work remotely. However, what I do and what I enjoy most among the things I currently do as a profession require by all means presence onsite.

Yes, it was planned as a potentially lucrative adventure. Itīs only that I am struggling to see it that way in these initial days. The weather here is as shitty as is my current command of French (quite necessary for my work, by the way). The fact that the weather is just perfect where I come from and that I feel (am) lonely and apart from my family just do the rest. I figure when I get to speed with my French and I join my family again in a few weeks I will see this again as the opportunity that I thought it was.

Regarding my nest egg I am not sure it is at my reach to do much more than what I already did. None of what has happened thus far (mainly Chipre) would have affected me if they had done it in Spain considering how I have it structured. However, I feel it is very difficult to escape if they really want to go for you or if there is a Black Swan event .

And yes, I should be in a good position to go long on Spain when the moment comes (in certain regards that moment may not be that far away). You are always better informed and prepared when you are at the place, but it shouldnīt be a major problem.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 05:27:17 PM by Freestyler »

nktokyo

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 05:55:22 PM »
I've lived in Japan for many years, despite being from a a beautiful country (New Zealand). Once I got my head around the language I learned I enjoy Japan.

expatartist

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 07:04:55 PM »
How long have you been in France? Are you in Strasbourg? I ask because I lived there years ago - the weather was crummy, and there were plenty of opportunities nearby to speak German and English (b/c of the Conseil d'Europe). Winters there were really bleak.

I'd give it a definitive timeframe to start: for us, two years has been a good number. Maybe you'll end up staying longer, but 2 years gives a city/country a fair go. We're currently in Beijing, and there are tough days, weather-wise, completely polluted and culturally just TOUGH. What keeps us going, both foreigners here, is planning on our next step. Carefully.

Best of luck to you and your family.

Edit: saw you'd been in France for a few days. Ack. Not long. I can see why you'd want to move back home, but suggest you give it some time. French and Spanish are similar enough where you'll adapt pretty soon, language-wise. Culturally? Well...living there may make you more Spanish than ever ;) Also look out here for Psychomoustache, an expat who lives in Brittany.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 08:10:51 PM by expatartist »

Freestyler

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 04:17:43 PM »
Thank you very much for your message and sorry for the extremely late response. I have been busy surviving ;-).

Yes, indeed, itīs Strasbourg. Itīs been now 9 days. I can see what you say about the weather, much more so coming from the south of Spain...

However and despite that some of the causes of my somber mood the other day remain, I am feeling more optimistic right now. You were right that I need some patience. Itīs going to be hard (itīs being) in so many ways, but at the same time I am starting to confirm that this is probably the best move we could make. Hopefully weīll be soon together and adapted.

I wish you too the best of luck and good decisions going forward.

(of course, any advice you can spare about the area...)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 04:37:51 PM by Freestyler »

Joet

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 04:20:26 PM »
I have nothing to add other than I feel very badly for the young people [and old ones too! but young especially] in the PIGS nations. Especially Spain. What a horrible unemployment rate. I feel so badly for you guys. Hang in there :(

CrochetStache

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 04:36:25 PM »
The last couple of years have taught us that we have to go where the jobs are to make it long term in this world. Sitting still and hoping a job comes our way doesn't work so much any more.

You have an opportunity to make a lot of improvements, I say go for it! You have an opportunity to give your child a greater education through travel.

By your leaving Spain, you may be giving another Spaniard a job :)

CrochetStache - US ex-pat in Tokyo

Freestyler

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 04:44:50 PM »

By your leaving Spain, you may be giving another Spaniard a job :)

CrochetStache - US ex-pat in Tokyo

In fact, three in this case ;-). And yes, I take also that into account though I agree with you that staying to wait to see if an euro passes by in front of you as many people do only makes things worse.

Thanks for the support Joet, even if it comes with the derogatory acronym.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 04:47:56 PM by Freestyler »

Joet

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 04:58:04 PM »
I'm sorry is that inflammatory? I thought it was just a label :/

Portugal
Italy
Greece
Spain

Are more similar than different economically. It's sorta like throwing North America together, or the Eurozone, or the asian tigers, or the scandanavian countries... etc?

Is it viewed as an insult?

ep114

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 01:03:13 AM »
The first days are HARD.  I've never moved anywhere and not regretted it at first.  And it sounds like your family is not there yet. Things will look up when you start adjusting.  There are a lot of great things about France and learning more than one language as a baby is FANTASTIC. He will be ahead of the game re: language acquisition for the rest of his life. That is a very nice gift you're giving him (you did say he is a he, right?) especially for an EU citizen. Who knows where he'll want to study/work in 20 or 30 years. This will give him a leg up.  As you mentioned you're close to FI. A few more years will put you over the top and then you'll have lots of freedom to live wherever you want.  Best of Luck!

Freestyler

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 04:56:28 AM »
I'm sorry is that inflammatory? I thought it was just a label :/

Portugal
Italy
Greece
Spain

Are more similar than different economically. It's sorta like throwing North America together, or the Eurozone, or the asian tigers, or the scandanavian countries... etc?

Is it viewed as an insult?

Well, it is obviously a derogatory label that we did not choose ourselves. I think it was someone in Goldman Sachs. The acronym has an anglo saxon origin anyway. Imagine we found other to put together say the US, UK, Germany and any other random place and the result was something like FUCKING ASSASSINS. It just does not look nice even if the letters matched.  And yes, itīs too often used like a (barely) concealed insult. But I didnīt necessarily take it personal from you.

The first days are HARD.  I've never moved anywhere and not regretted it at first. 

Many thanks for the support and encouragement. It is exactly that and it has also always happened to me. You leave behind so may things and face so many challenges... but I guess thatīs also what growth is all about.





 

nktokyo

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 06:46:04 AM »
I'm glad I moved overseas and made a home for myself. It takes a lot more to worry me than many of my friends back home.