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Living and Working in another country ?


Ziggy21 Slade
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This is following on from a question raised in another thread, where we were discussing living off one's SL income.

One of the things revealed in this other thread was that although there didn't seem to be any shortage of people making a living here, for most it wasn't a great living from a financial point of view. So one way of making those L$s go further would be to live in a country where things are cheaper and hopefully one could gain a few more fringe benefits too  - better climate etc.

I have been considering this for a while, I have been looking mostly at Central and South America and particularly at Belize, which is politically and financially stable, is pretty easy to get in as a foreigner, is an offshore tax haven and has a Caribbean style climate and beaches.

I also quite fancy the Mediterranean, Spain and Portugal undoubtedly offer some cheap property since the Credit Crunch, but if their economies are going the same way as here in the UK, inflation is probably running riot.

Now if you think this is a silly pipe dream, firstly I want to say - indulge me - I am allowed a silly pipe dream every now and then. Secondly lots of people are already choosing this as a lifestyle, there are now a few sites offering help and advice to potential 'LIPs' (Location Independent Professionals). Some are working solely over the internet, often operating several online businesses, others are topping up their online earnings with RL money earned locally, teaching English, for instance. 

So, is anyone else thinking along the same lines? and if so, where do you think looks good? 

or

Do you already live somewhere where the cost of living is low and the Sun is mostly high, that you would like to recommend?

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I been thinking about it, but it would not be all because of money. The US is going to keep struggling and things are going to get alot worse though. Mainly, I want to leave cause of all the corruption and state crimes. I can't be proud to live here or be a citizen. Heck, we got judges getting kick backs for putting kids in prison. No1 has any ethics. Oh, and the general public is dumb as rocks, so I don't expect it to get any better here. People are too worried about who won American Idol, instead of how many wars we are in, or how many innocent people are killed by remote control planes.

Wherever I end up going, they won't have a millitary, and they definitely won't have an income tax. More taxes just gives the maniacs more money to kill more people.

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Partner and I have talked about going to somewhere like India or Thailand to maximise our slacker time, since we both do work that could be done anywhere with power and internet. (Tropical beaches aren't a great allure since we already live in north-east Australia.) But too many social commitments here at present.

I would point out though, if there's one thing that less-developed countries specialise in, it's government corruption :)

While the lack of regulations is great because you can do whatever you want, so can everyone else, and there are very few protections against unscrupulous practices on the part of business, government, etc.

eg - in Belize, Skype is blocked by the local telecommunications monopoly, which doesn't want to lose their (outrageous) profits on international calls, and there's nothing to stop them.

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Amiryu Hosoi wrote:

Ziggy, you might want to explore this website a bit;-)

If I didnt have yough children I already moved away...

Ami

Interesting website. So if you live in UK you could move to Spain, but guess would be better to move to USA, of course no public health in the US, they don't say a word about those things on that site :P

The thing is I'm not sure about those prices for Rent Per Month, cause if you want to move to Madrid or Barcelona, is not that cheap :P

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The private island thing is like out from snowcrash, right? I should dig into that book, but the general jist is to abandon government corporate corruption etc. by forming an island lol. That sounds neat. Almost another threads worth of thoughts and jokes from that I bet!

Not only that, but maybe buying a remote location and basically living all your social life sitting in a tank and swimming in a flipper hooked up to sensors and being a virtual reality mermaid might work? Or simply getting an expensive treadmill that is multi-directional (um, this is difficult but I have seen a university do this) and a headset...well, basically you can live in a tiny home and experience your socializing through a virtual world. You can connect links and web on a prim thingies into your world and order bulk food and extra proccessors for you cluster ( I mean, you will need to do something for a living and that is a scalable way to speed up rendering etc. since you will have a keen eye for 3D CG after spending so much time basically 'living' in it! Of course, then there is the vacation/texture map gathering. You can go and scan rocks, trees etc. or whatever and make animations, texture photography and such stuff. You can also maybe make money writing "how to make your own virtual reality world and excape the real world' how to books etc. Not to mention you will most likely become proficient enough to embark on being an expert at some kind of software or CG component. So, maybe lighting or how to use a specific software will lead to more book deals. You would make so little from the books compared to some jobs, but your place is super tiny and cheap to heat and cool. Do a HUGE amount of rendering in your tiny home and heat it up with the cluster! In the summer, simply don't do much render work and go on vacation/work travelling to collect images and 3D scans for your winter rendering!! There is of course the initial cost of all the solar panels, so you need to like make 10, 000 virtual goods items that earn you 2-3 USD a month....I mean, isn't that easy enough lol? Ok, back to rendering as I am lapsing and the renders are not as slow as I thought and are done.

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Make sure that you fluently speak the language of the country. While most people understand a little written English nowadays, you will find it very hard to communicate in spoken English in countries like Spain or Portugal.

Also, make sure that you'll be able to make a living there once SL is no more. The technology juggernaut rolls on and stops for no one, and SL is already quite outdated. You can't rely on being able to make a living over the internet.

Finally, be prepared for a lower drinking water and food quality (even in Spain, you'll want to use bottled water even for tea and coffee), lower hygiene standards, a generally lower standard of living, higher crime rates, and a sub-par health system. I don't know if the sunny climate can make up for that.

 

ETA: US citizens will probably also find that other countries are less multicultural and more ethnocentric as well as xenophobic. As a "Ruhrpöttler" (Ruhr area dweller), I already find it hard to fit in after I moved to Northern Germany, although I still live in the same country. I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a completely different culture (unless we're talking about a cosmopolitan place like the USA). It might be best to go on an extended holiday trip first, somehwere away from the tourism hubs, and see how welcome you feel as a stranger in a strange land.

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Medhue Simoni wrote in part:

... No1 has any ethics. Oh, and the general public is dumb as rocks, so I don't expect it to get any better here. ...

Do you really think that is any different in any other country? :) All over the world, the vast majority of people are dumb as rocks, with only a small elite of academics and intellectuals that are the driving force of all progress. The latter are only slightly more numerous in the Western World, which makes all the difference between the developed world and less developed countries.

 

PS: I just read that Romanian government officials use to wear purple on certain days in an attempt to ward off evil. Especially now that they've passed a new law under which witches and fortune tellers will be taxed, which prompted many "witches" to put a curse on the government (source). Just one example of how medieval and superstitious some otherwise fairly developed parts of the world still are.

PPS: I've always thought that the ability to think rational is a deviation from the human norm. Most intellectuals grew up as physically disadvantaged and/or socially awkward misfits, and people like Stephen Hawking are just as rare in this day and age as people of the caliber of a Leonardo da Vinci were in the 15th century. Your ordinary mass-produced Homo sapiens is still only two steps ahead of a trained chimpanzee.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Finally, be prepared for a lower drinking water and food quality (even in Spain, you'll want to use bottled water even for tea and coffee), lower hygiene standards, a generally lower standard of living, higher crime rates, and a sub-par health system. I don't know if the sunny climate can make up for that.

Not sure what you mean here, cause Madrid water is better or equal than other European cities like Paris and London ;-) but if you want to live in some cities close to the beach, then yes, there you will need to drink bottled water :P
For the crime in Spain we don't see even guns around here, so guess is lower than in US :P hygiene standars is like in Europe and the US (if you don't want to go to to live in a very small and old village lost on the mountains or whatever, of course :P) and helth system is public and even English people come to Spain to use it, so can't be worst ;-)

 

But guess you have to think also in the way people socialize, guess you have to find a country where people character is similar to yours. Guess you can't go to a country very open and talkative when you don't want to be touched or don't want people talk with you in the street :P

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It is not the people that are the problem, it is the people in charge. When your biggest fear is that the police will frame you or steal your stuff, even if they do it "legally", then it is time to go. I'll take my chances with defending myself from everyday criminals, if the alternative is to have no defense at all. Now, in the states, it is the big criminals that have all the good lawyers and most of the real crime that goes on is considered legal.

Example: A county in Texas has their patrol officers pull over any1 with an out of state license plate, and searches their car. If they don't find anything, it does not matter. If they do find something, all the better. Either way, if you don't give up every penny you have on you, then you will not be leaving Texas. They call this legal by saying that you had drugs or something, then say that the money is drug money and they are confiscating it. Similar things happen in other states, not all being related to traffic police either.

I could go on and on about this stuff. We even have prison shows on TV to propagandize the prison system, as if these are not just slave labor camps. It's disgusting to even watch.

Costa Rica has no military, they are ranked just above the US in their overall healthcare, and they have no income tax. Oh, and food is cheap, and natural, not gmo. Only thing is that shipping to Costa Rica is crazy. The cost of living can easily make up for that tho.

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As for not relying on income from the internet, I beg to differ. Why would any1 think that making money any other way is more stable? If you work for some1, they can fire you, or the business can go under without you getting any notice at all. Most people do not work for 1 company their whole lives now. Most people don't work somewhere for more than 5 years. Even if you run a real life brick and mortar business, the city can decide to redo the road right outside your business and you won't know until the trucks show up. There is risk in anything you go into, except maybe less when you work for the government, or something funded by it. Look at what is going on right now tho. States are having to cut budgets and now public workers are getting cuts in pay and laid off.

In the end, what matters is what you do, and running your own business gives you the most control. If you can make a living selling things in SL, you can make money selling other things in other worlds, not to mention other 3d sites. More and more are forming every year. User created content is not a fad, and I see more areas going in this direction. I agree tho, you don't want to put all your eggs in 1 basket, and still think you are stable.

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Zanara Zenovka wrote:

Partner and I have talked about going to somewhere like India or Thailand to maximise our slacker time, since we both do work that could be done anywhere with power and internet. (Tropical beaches aren't a great allure since we already live in north-east Australia.) But too many social commitments here at present.

I would point out though, if there's one thing that less-developed countries specialise in, it's government corruption
:)

While the lack of regulations is great because you can do whatever you want, so can everyone else, and there are very few protections against unscrupulous practices on the part of business, government, etc.

eg - in Belize, Skype is blocked by the local telecommunications monopoly, which doesn't want to lose their (outrageous) profits on international calls, and there's nothing to stop them.

Yes I have to admit, I am a bit of a 'grass grows greener'  type of chap, however I realise everywhere has it's downsides.

 

When I was child my family emigrated from UK to NZ, it was a truly wonderful place to grow up and when i see photos now it looks like garden of Eden, but I can remember as a child there were all sorts of things we disliked about the place, and it's funny now to read expat forum sites where us Poms are whinging about the same stuff  - mostly the lack of TV channels and good quality sausages!

Interesting about Belize and Skype - I didn't know that, any other little tit bits like that?

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Josephina Bonetto wrote:

If I get made redundant, I will sell my flat back to the housing association and be off to sunnier climes than the UK in a heartbeat.  I am just waiting to see what happens with my job.

I know just how you feel Josephina, I have had a 4 month lay off then a drop in salary and am now working a 4 day week which or course brought a further pay cut. 

 

Guess you are thinking like me, if you gotta be poor may as well do it somewhere nice

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Catwise Yoshikawa wrote:

 

Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Finally, be prepared for a lower drinking water and food quality (even in Spain, you'll want to use bottled water even for tea and coffee), lower hygiene standards, a generally lower standard of living, higher crime rates, and a sub-par health system. I don't know if the sunny climate can make up for that.

Not sure what you mean here, cause Madrid water is better or equal than other European cities like Paris and London ;-) but if you want to live in some cities close to the beach, then yes, there you will need to drink bottled water
:P
For the crime in Spain we don't see even guns around here, so guess is lower than in US
:P
hygiene standars is like in Europe and the US (if you don't want to go to to live in a very small and old village lost on the mountains or whatever, of course
:P
) and helth system is public and even English people come to Spain to use it, so can't be worst ;-)

 

But guess you have to think also in the way people socialize, guess you have to find a country where people character is similar to yours. Guess you can't go to a country very open and talkative when you don't want to be touched or don't want people talk with you in the street
:P

I think the drinking water thing is a bit of a misconception, I always get sick from Spanish Water and it's the same in Greece, however I have been reliably informed that this is not down to poor quality or dirty water, it's just all water contains bacteria that can make you sick, the water in your home country contains bugs just the same, but over the years you have built up an immunity to them. I think thats correct, perhaps some well travelled medical type elaborate 

 

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

As for not relying on income from the internet, I beg to differ. Why would any1 think that making money any other way is more stable? If you work for some1, they can fire you, or the business can go under without you getting any notice at all. Most people do not work for 1 company their whole lives now. Most people don't work somewhere for more than 5 years. Even if you run a real life brick and mortar business, the city can decide to redo the road right outside your business and you won't know until the trucks show up. There is risk in anything you go into, except maybe less when you work for the government, or something funded by it. Look at what is going on right now tho. States are having to cut budgets and now public workers are getting cuts in pay and laid off.

In the end, what matters is what you do, and running your own business gives you the most control. If you can make a living selling things in SL, you can make money selling other things in other worlds, not to mention other 3d sites. More and more are forming every year. User created content is not a fad, and I see more areas going in this direction. I agree tho, you don't want to put all your eggs in 1 basket, and still think you are stable.

 

Great Post, I agree totally, once again you sound like me - lol.

Often people see running your own business as risky, but I think like you, when you are in charge of your own destiny the risks are actually smaller 

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