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Coming to America!

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Phoenix, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Well, I guess I should probably start recording this escapade of mine somewhere
    about a month ago my wife and I started the process of getting my green card, in the hopes of packing up and heading over to the states sometime next year. I'm at the point where I will be pretty glad to see the back of this place (on the other hand I'll miss some of the more unique parts of London culture)

    The process via the US Embassy in London (known as Direct Consular Filing) is a lot more streamlined than having gone via one of the USICS Service centers stateside, down from an eta of 18 months to 3!
    guess it gets busy over there? :)

    Anyway the first set of application documents was sent in at the end of October and, provided we are approved, we should get a second pack of stuff to go through when I get back from my holiday in January

    I've already started to prepare for the move, despite the fact the nice folks at US immigration could tell me to bugger off (it's somewhat unlikely lol), I will be taking a road trip from my in laws place in Idaho up to Seattle and Portland over the trip at Christmas to check out the housing markets, amenities and other such things, I've already spent a fair bit of time in Silicon Valley so I'm pretty comfortable with things if i end up there (Job locations will determine where we initially settle, although I'm pretty set on the West coast somewhere from San Jose or above)

    Moving can always be a headache, but moving countries, wow theres sure a load of stuff to consider! not including shipping three tons of technical gear! :P
    I've been looking at all the things I'm going to need to get sorted before I get on that final plane ride and I'm pretty sure I will forget one thing or another haha, I think as the time drags on I will likely be hitting up some of you expats and Americans for a few tips on what important things I might need to consider

    I have been traveling to the US for close to 10 years now, and have done 2 six month stints there so I'm sort of clued up on how things work and what / where things are different to over here, but having never obviously 'lived' there permanently off my own back I'm pretty sure there are some things I will not know about (like, whats your equivalent of council tax? is it like municipal tax or something? haha) obviously I have family there so I'm sure there will be plenty of people willing to help but that wont stop me bugging you lot either)

    Anyway enough rambling, the ball is rolling, stage 1 is underway, and I've got about a month over Christmas that I will be over there to gather plenty more info

    More to come later :)
     
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  2. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Whoa! Hold on. I knew you were *visiting* in December, but you are actually *moving* to the U.S.? Permanently? Wow! Since you are going to be looking for housing in the Portland and Seattle areas (my wife would *love* to live in Bellevue, WA), it sounds like you don't have a definite job lined up yet. Geez...we'll practically be neighbors (and if *that* isn't enough to scare him off, nothing is). :wink: :biggrin
     
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  3. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    wow, you lucky so and so ...

    I always thought people who wanted to move to the states were mad until I visited there myself. We spent three weeks in Florida and I was hooked. I'd pack my bags in a heart beat.

    It's going to cost you a fortune to ship those VMWare rigs, lol

    Good luck
     
  4. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I'm not moving at Christmas, I'm visiting for a month and will be doing some serious 'recon' hehe
    I have lots of recommendations for a company I fancy working for, so whilst its not a done deal, it should be a rather simple process, and they have openings all over the place, so as long as I can get one on the west coast somewhere I'm there

    anywhere outside the HQ in Silicon Valley or some of the major regional offices would mean working from home though, which is nice, I'm not convinced it will be the best first move in a new country though, hard to socialize when working from home, and without knowing anyone to start with i will become a hermit hehe, and I pretty much have my heart set somewhere in Washington or Oregon, man I love it there, hell I don't even mind Silicon Valley as long as I don't have a stupid commute into the office, my only requirement is Verizon FiOS 30/30 or 15/15, that will do me! :P

    So yeah I will be over for a month, save me some Turkey I'll come say Hi :)
    I touch down at Gowen Field the evening of the 19th via Seattle out of Heathrow, what a fun day that will be.. not
     
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  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Phoenix,

    What parts of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon have you seen? I've lived in both eastern and western Oregon (it's like two different countries as the geography, weather, and population densities are so different). I've also lived in eastern Washington, the Idaho panhandle, and central Idaho.

    The southern part of the I5 corridor in western Oregon can be pretty nice. Roseburg, Medford, and Grants Pass, all have growing technical industries, yet are small enough to give you a sort of small town feel, and put you within driving distance of southern and central Oregon coast which is as beautiful as any place on earth, with some great winter time beach combing and storm watching opportunities. It's not as rainy as living on the coast itself, but it's still very green, the summers are warm, and the winters are normally pretty mild. If you like salmon, steelhead, trout, small mouth bass and ocean fishing you're within a couple of hours of driving distance to some very nice fisheries when living just about anywhere along that section of the freeway. Southern Oregon is a wonderful place to live.

    Eastern Oregon is great too. It's drier, the winters are colder and the summers are hotter, but there are a lot fewer people so property prices are cheaper, you still have good fishing, hunting, etc... as well as snow skiing, a lot of places to go hiking, camping, trekking, etc.... It's a different kind of beauty than the coast, but it is beautiful.

    Eastern Washington is a lot like eastern Oregon, although Spokane is getting a reputation for having a lot of technical companies located there. The Palouse is beautiful, the fishing, hunting, and snow skiing are great.

    The Idaho Panhandle is flat out beautiful, but you have to like the mountains. If you don't, you won't like it. The cost of living is low. Fishing, hunting, skiing, etc... is very good.

    In all these places you'll have great opportunities for working with your photography hobby. There are a lot of photo ops in any of these places.

    If I had my druthers I'd probably live on the southern Oregon coast. It's wild, it's beautiful, and the population growth isn't completely out of control there yet. There are a ton of things there that a person just never tires of doing and seeing. The traffic is bad on the summer weekends, but it's still a great place to live.
     
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  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Wow ! Sounds like a big move ! Been thinking along the same lines myself since a recent trip to the US, definitely seems nicer than the Big smoke on average ! :biggrin

    I've got no idea about the visa process, the H1B program is only a work visa no ? Greencards a different matter, don't you have dual nationality ?

    Anyway keep us posted on the details and best of luck with the move !
     
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  7. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    You know...with Freddy and I both living in the Northwestern US and Ryan moving here (eventually), if this trend keeps up, we'll be able to hold a CF America get together. :biggrin
     
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  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Is this the correct time to be bringing up the fact that I'm resurrecting my plans to emigrate to either the US or Canada? Hopefully in 2010 or 2011 have enough money together to take a few weeks holiday to fully make my mind up.
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that Google has a campus in The Dalles, Oregon right on the Columbia River. It's the wind surfing capital of the world. You're within a 90 minute drive of Portland, about the same for eastern Oregon, and within a half hour of what is known simply as "The Gorge". It's an outdoor amphitheater that has been voted as the best outdoor amphitheater in North America. There are normally multiple concerts every year with some of the best known bands in the world appearing there.
     
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  10. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    It's very nice in the Gorge, but you'd have to like living in a smaller set of communities. True, you are within easy driving distance to Portland, but if you are young and like "action", it might not be your cup of tea (I think it would be fabulous, myself).
    Um...where in the US or Canada. They're both *huge* countries. I've read a few people here say that if they had a chance, they'd move to Florida (Why? Hot and humid in the summer...hurricane prone...and depending on what part of the state you live, large reptiles that like to eat people roam). Florida is just about 3000 miles from where Freddy and I live (and Freddy and I live hundreds of miles apart).
     
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  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Well, if being able to windsurf in one of the best spots on earth for it isn't "action" I don't know what is. The close proximity to water for scuba diving and learning to windsurf, and all the photo opportunities available around there would seem to be a good fit for Phoenix. True, I don't know Phoenix's preferences for social life, but I think with the coming of Google and all the people in that area there for the windsurfing on pretty much a year round basis that the night life in The Dalles is not "typical" for most small towns.
     
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  12. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Good luck with it all Ryan, sounds exciting. I'd emigrate to Canada or NZ tomorrow if my wife was up for it. Think she likes being close to family a bit too much though. :)
     
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  13. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    After life in London, it might be a bit of a stretch...but then, let *him* answer the question. :wink:
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    If I was gonna go to the US I would choose greenbay, it misses most of the hurricanes apparently but I always liked the idea of Texas because its hot not too sure on the storm front though.

    or somewhere near Vegas.

    Have considered Canada too, but the weather might be too similar cold wise to the UK.

    Edit: Good luck Phoenix.
     
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  15. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    There were a few things that helped dictate my decision location wise

    1) I don't mind the bad weather, I'm used to it, I enjoy it, its great
    2) I don't like it TOO hot, although I might sacrifice it for a stint in Austin, love that place, its that little blue gem in a see of red!, Texas doesn't have a humid hot like some of the northern/coastal states, so its not as bad as a really humid experience, Portland and Seattle tend to enjoy nice sea airs so its not really a big problem
    3) Portland and Seattle both have nice environments for folk like me, there pretty high tech centers, have nice suburbs and are not too far away from good ole mother nature, whilst maintaining the benefits of a city like brill connectivity and large communities
    4) Close to the coast was a factor, as Freddy mentioned I'm a keen Scuba Diver and some of my best diving has been in the pacific north west (in January no less.. brrr)

    The Gorge sounds awesome :) I will check it out sometime hehe
     
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  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Green Bay misses all of the hurricanes because... well, it's in Wisconsin, well away from any large bodies of water. :p

    The problem with moving to Texas or Vegas is that it's ALWAYS hot. Well... I guess that's better than always cold... but I do enjoy seeing a little variety in the seasons.
     
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  17. newkoba

    newkoba Byte Poster

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    i love places like texas and vegas due to the heat and low humidity. here in florida it is always hot and humid, and believe me the humidity is the killer. 110 degree desert weather feels a ton better than 95 degree florida weather.
     
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  18. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    If you don't like really cold weather you would hate Green Bay. It gets flat out cold there, and it's fairly near a large body of water, Lake Superior, so it's a humid cold. That kind of cold goes right through you.
     
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  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I don't know how you guys take all that humidity along with the heat. When it's 90 - 100 degrees here the humidity level is in the teens. I'd probably have a heart attack in the kind of humidity levels you guys get on the East Coast. I don't think I could have stood that even when I was young.
     
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  20. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I grew up in Vegas. An old high school chum found me several months ago via the Internet. He and his wife still live in Vegas and they were asking if I ever went back. Since my parents moved away from Vegas, I have no reason to. I suppose if I was there, I'd look these folks up, but Vegas is too dirty, too crime filled and frankly, I am not attached to gambling at all (I grew up around it so it is just background noise to me). Besides...I hate heat. Give me cold any day.

    I guess that's why the weather here is good for all seasons except summer here in Idaho. Spring and Autumn are beautiful and winter is never too cold. Summer is too hot, but you can't have it all. :wink:
     
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