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everyone has stories of where they've lived, share yours and help others decide on their next destination.

spain - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/17/13.

3

What brought you to Spain? Where were you before?

I am from Southern California so I grew up learning a lot of Spanish. I decided to study in Barcelona because I had heard great things about the city and wanted to work on my Spanish. I returned to Spain after I graduated because I was backpacking across Europe after I graduated college and decided to try and stay and work for a while, which is when I found a job teaching English in Madrid.

How do the two cities compare?

Barcelona is much more metropolitan in that it has influences from many different cultures. Also, Barcelona is part of Catalonia which has its own cultural identity due to the Spanish civil war. Barcelona has crazy nightlife and is right on the Mediterranean, so there is always something to do. There is also tons of history and art and architecture, but that is also true for Madrid. Whereas in Barcelona you can find all types of food, in Madrid most of the food is Spanish. Madrid is much more centralized than Barcelona, in that it has a central downtown where most people work surrounded by a lot of areas of mostly housing. Since there is no water near Madrid, it gets very hot in the Summer and for a few...

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south korea - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/17/13.

2

How much time have you spent in South Korea?

I have been in Korea since the summer of 2011 so it is accurate to say around 2 and half years.

Which best describes how old you are/were while in South Korea?

I was in my early 20s when I first decided to live in Korea in a long-term timeframe.

What brought you to South Korea? Where were you before?

I was born and lived in New York city for my entire life. After finishing my second year of college, I re-evaluated my life values and decided to start anew in a country that I've never been before and have a chance at a "new life" with a fresh start.

Describe the city you live in in South Korea.

I currently live in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. The population density gets somewhat getting used to as it is more crowded than the typical New York City suburbs that I am accustomed to.

What are the the people of South Korea like?

At first I was surprised at how homogeneous Korea was. I went from living in the most diverse city in the world to a city and a country that was over 95% Korean. Being from Korean descent, I fit right in visually but it was still an unfamiliar feeling.

Was making friends and meeting...

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china - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/17/13.

1

How much time have you spent in China?

I've spent in China a little around 4 years.

Which best describes how old you are/were while in China?

I came to china at the age of 22, I am currently 26.

What brought you to China?

I have lived before in Seoul, South Korea. I am not going to lie, but most important factor is Chinese girls which I view quite attractive comparing to white counterparts.

Describe the city you live in in China and your impressions of it.

City of Zhengzhou is main transportation hub of China, a place where foxconn has a factory which assembles iphone 5's and iphone 5S and 5C. I would describe Zhengzhou far from the clean city , pollution here is in the high levels, and soon or later when my real estate will be completed, I'll resell it and move somewhere else. If you want night life, you can easily find it here.

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in China?

I have lived previously in Shenzhen for 2 years which borders Hong Kong, and I think Shenzhen has been the most modern,cleanest with the best air quality city I have stayed in so far. Girls are a lot more more in Shenzhen as well, and it's being know for the richest city...

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dubai, united arab emirates - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

4

How much time have you spent in Dubai?

7 years.

Which best describes how old you are/were while in Dubai?

20's.

What brought you to Dubai? Where were you before?

Lacking direction in life, I followed my now-ex boyfriend when he got a job in Qatar. I was there for about 8 months before finding a job in Abu Dhabi. My trip to Qatar was my first trip outside the US and the first time I was on a plane as an adult.

What are your impressions of and thoughts about Dubai?

As I lived in Abu Dhabi for the first 3 years of my time in the UAE, I first thought of Dubai as this amazing city full of architectural wonders and pretentious people.

What makes the people of Dubai/UAE unique? In what ways are they different than people in other places you've lived?

Generally, people living in Dubai have a pretty international mindset and cultural differences can be blurred quite a bit. My office is comprised of English, French-Egyptian, Pakistani, Swedish, Lebanese, Indian, Swiss-Russian, and Filipino staff members and somehow we all find common ground and a way to work together in a respectful way. On the flip side, because you have so many different nationalities smushed together...

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norway - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

1

I moved to Norway at 24 and still live here two years later. I moved here with my husband's job. He works for an international company which moves him around a lot. I am from New York City, and have lived in Washington DC, Indiana, Connecticut, and Hong Kong before this.

I live in Bergen, Norway. It is a beautiful city in western Norway known as the "Gateway to the Fjords." It's Norway's second largest city after Oslo. It is also the rainiest city in Europe, which can get slightly annoying, but you get used to it.

Making friends with Norwegians can be difficult. People are not very talkative to people they don't know. That being said, I have made a dozen Norwegian friends through my husband's work, and its usually a lot easier to meet other expats who are also looking for company. Bergen is a decently sized city with a small town feel. I constantly run into people I know in the city sentrum. The best activities for getting to know people are inviting them to pre-drink at your apartment before going to clubs, and going for hikes or skiing.

I am an American caucasian woman. Norwegians react fairly positively to Americans. It helps that I look like I could be Norwegian, so...

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norway - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

3

How much time have you spent in Norway?

I've been in Norway for almost 14 years.

Which best describes how old you are/were while in Norway?

I came to Norway in my 20's.

What brought you to Norway? Where were you before?

I came to Norway to be with my boyfriend at the time. Before that I lived in the state of Michigan.

Describe the city you live in in Norway.

I live in Sandnes, which is just south of one of Norway's biggest cities, Stavanger. The best meeting spot for most people is the long walking street of shops, restaurants and cafes called Gågata. Sandnes has somewhat of a lack of strong identity - there isn't a strong defined aesthetic but there are several places trying out new things, such as a gourmet restaurant run by a world-renowned chef, and a fantastic, locally run coffee shop. Sandnes has a strong industrial base, especially near the village I live in called Ganddal. There are less free standing homes and more apartments and connected housing here. It's a generally quiet area, though the city center can be a bit more unpredictable. It's a small city, but is very well connected via train and bus. There are several nearby forests with easy to access...

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japan - anonymous' reflections after spending decades there

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

6

How much time have you spent in Japan?

17 years.

Which best describes how old you are?

20's, 30's, oh fuck it. 40's.

What brought you to Japan? Where were you before?

A girl, I was chasing a girl. I was in Korea, but I went to Korea because I thought it would be like Japan and I planned on chasing girls.

Describe the city you live in in Japan and your impressions of it.

Nagoya - It's a big, modern, industrial city. The foreign community is small enough to be friendly but large enough to be interesting. It's not very pretty.

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in Japan?

Nagoya has a good location and it is nearby some very nice places. However not many people really like Nagoya, it's just "ok". I'd never heard of Nagoya before moving here. I came here because I was chasing a girl and she was from this area.

What makes Japanese people unique?

Japanese people are not unique, they are just like everyone else with assholes and saints all mixed in. However, the culture values a more extreme form of social etiquette than my home culture (USA) which make it seem very polite from my perspective. This makes it very easy to get along with nearly...

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australia - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

2

How much time have you spent in Australia?

I spent one year in Sydney, but I was managing Surf/Skate tours up and down the East Coast, so I was able to travel quite a bit.

Which best describes how old you are/were while in Australia?

I was 22-23.

What brought you to Australia? Where were you before?

I was living in LA, but had a rough 3 months. 3 of my close friends passed away and I broke up with my longterm girlfriend. I needed an escape and I was lucky enough to work for an international company that allowed me to move.

Describe the city you live/lived in in Australia and your impressions of it.

Sydney was great! I lived in a mansion with 5 other aussie's on the beach. Sydney is definitely the metropolitan city compared to the "culture" Melbourne, "Beach'y" Gold Coast, or Perth.

What makes the people of Australia unique? In what ways are they different than people in other places you've lived?

Everyone in Oz was very accepting. People there are generally just down for a good time. Sports make up such a large part of the Australian lifestyle, so along with it comes drinking and socializing.

Was making friends and meeting people in Australia in general easy...

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canada - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

3

I have lived in Edmonton for almost 7 years now; I moved with my family on March 2006 when I was 17 years old. The decision to move was made by my parents because in the Philippines, the country where I'm from, workers that are approaching 40 years of age are encouraged to retire. Jobs are really scarce, and the added expenses of my college education forced us to consider moving to Canada to start anew.

When I first came to Edmonton, the very first thing that stuck with me was how silent it is. We stayed at my godmother's house for the first few weeks, and it was located in one of the newer neighborhoods in the north side of the city. All of the houses in that area looked pristine, almost as if I was in a movie where you could see kids riding around the block in their bikes and the neighbors happily waving at each other. But there were no kids or neighbors to be seen or heard, it was just silence.

After living in this town for 7 years, my impression of Edmonton was that of a city where everything is just starting to take place. Recently, they've began calling Edmonton as "Startup City", and I truly believe that. The people that I've met know are either well-travelled or...

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china - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

1

What brought you to China? Where were you before?

I was living in the states. I moved when I was still in school and living with my parents, so it was them that decided the move was necessary for me to learn more about my Chinese heritage.

I definitely experienced a bit of a culture shock. It's quite the change moving from suburban America to Beijing. My first impression was that it was very dirty and chaotic, but after growing accustomed to it, I would say that one of the biggest differences is between the static nature of the west, and the rapid development of Beijing. When I return to the States after a period of time, everything feels the same, but if you're away for a week in Beijing, when you return there's something different.

What are the the people of China like?

The people of China are often perceived as rude to Westerners, but I argue that they aren't exactly 'rude', but just are used to a different culture. Sure some behavioral customs get on my nerves at time, but it's just the way that it is. It's not considered rude to push your way through a line instead of waiting patiently, it's just the way things are done. Chinese people can be extremely kind in...

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france - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

2

I spent roughly one year in France. I arrived April 9th 2012 and returned to the US March 15th, 2013 I was essentially 23 my entire time in France. I turned 23 4 days after arriving in France. What brought me to France was being an Au Pair. What an Au Pair is is sort of like a nanny, but it's not the same. I was more a part of the family than a regular nanny is; I wasn't looked at so much as an employee of a family but rather a part of the family. I helped my host family take care of their 2-year-old son; take him to/pick him up from daycare, occupy him in the afternoons/days off. While I cleaned the house on certain days, that was not my main thing as is for nannies. Prior to this, I was in the United States and had never left the country.

The city I lived in in France was a "suburb" of about 3k people. I was about 45 mins from the Atlantic Ocean by car, and about 3 hours SW from Paris by train.

I think the people in France are unique by how nice they are. I've never met a more caring group of people than the French (except when they drive...they are some crazy drivers, jesus christ). The French are pretty selfless in that they are always thinking of other people and making...

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germany - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 30s

posted by anonymous on 10/15/13.

2

What brought you to Germany? Where were you before?

I came from Florida. My wife and I moved here because she got a job in a research lab here.

Describe the city you live in in Germany and your impressions of it.

I live in Dresden. It's a beautiful place, they've put a lot of effort into rebuilding it into what it was 100 years ago. It's surrounded by fields and forests, but it has an operahouse and a lot of museums as well. You can take public transport anywhere (we haven't bought a car here, we've been here for over a year and it hasn't been a problem). Biking is popular, and there's lots of bike trails through woods and along the Elbe river. We're also 2 hours (by train) from both Berlin and Prague, two of my favorite cities.

What makes the people of Germany unique?

The people here are really no different than you'd find in the US, aside from a different language. The biggest differences are probably a much more positive view of public transport and the things they like to do for fun. The parks here fill up on nice weekends with people who all bring little charcoal grills. When we first got here we came across a park and we thought there were fireworks or something...

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sweden - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 30s

posted by anonymous on 10/15/13.

4

What brought you to Sweden?

Love and universal health care that actually works. Before that I loved all over the US.

Describe the city you live in in Sweden and your impressions of it.

I live in Sweden's second largest city Malmö. Its an interesting mix of old and new buildings that some find unpleasant. It is the most diverse city in Sweden with the country's largest population of Muslims. Public transportation is a dream come true and the city is littered with public parks. There is good nightlife concentrated in a couple of different squares. There is very diverse food and oddly enough, a place called The American Store that carries anything you could possibly want from home.

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in Sweden?

Malmö is pretty typical as Swedish cities go. What sets is apart unfortunately is the litter. Malmö is the only city I have ever seen in Sweden where people litter so much. Swedes generally care a great deal about nature and littering is frowned upon. I don’t know why that’s different here. I came here for work, otherwise I would never have chosen to live here. Also, the locals speak a horrible dialect called Skånska which is...

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poland - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/15/13.

5

How much time have you spent in Poland?

I've lived in Poland for over 2 years. I took a break to go back to the States for a Master's degree with the intent to return, and did. I am still my 20s and moved to Poland when I was 23.

What brought you to Poland? Where were you before?

I came to be with the woman I eventually married. I lived in a few states in the U.S. before this, but moved from Nebraska to Poland.

Describe your impressions of Warsaw.

Warsaw is an amazing city to live in. If you visit for a few days, there is always enough to see and do. It wouldn't be a city you'd want to come visit for a week or more, because it is generally a center of commerce, learning and was for all intents and purposes completely destroyed in the second World War. Regardless, it is a great place to raise a family. If you choose, you can live in the suburbs where there is less traffic, more space, and easy access to nature (a national park sits right outside Warsaw). If you prefer the urban lifestyle, apartments with plenty of grocery stores closeby as well as markets and any other services you'd wish for within walking distance cover the majority of the city. Even living in towns...

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south korea - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/14/13.

4

What brought you to South Korea? Where were you before?

I came here mostly for graduate school, but also partially because I liked the idea of living in another country surrounded by a different culture. Before this, I lived most of my life near Washington DC.

Describe the city you live in in South Korea and your impressions of it.

Daegu, South Korea is one of the biggest cities in the country. Korean cities are very interesting in that there are very modern and developed areas alongside very old and run down areas. The downtown area is really neat, with several blocks of clothes stores, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. I was much more impressed with Seoul, though. Seoul is the most modern area I have ever seen in all my travels. Everything from the transportation systems to the buildings themselves seem amazingly organized and designed.

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in South Korea? What drew you to the city you live in over other cities in South Korea?

Daegu is one of the bigger cities, but it is somewhat older and less grand than Seoul or Busan, as I mentioned previously. I came to this city specifically because it is where my school...

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sweden - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/13/13.

6

What brought you to Sweden? Where were you before?

My parents are Swedish and we spoke swedish at home, growing up, but I had never actually lived in Sweden. I lived in the American Midwest and read about a Master's program in Uppsala that was exactly what I wanted to do. I applied and got accepted, which was lucky because my (pretty cushy) job at a big computer company ended when they ran out of money.

What are your impressions and thoughts about Uppsala compared to other cities you've lived in?

It is the best place for me that I've found. I live next door to a rich and wonderful forest, yet there is a bus that quickly takes me into town every 10 minutes. The city is youthful with lots of students, has lots of family activities, and is located very near Stockholm and Arlanda Airport. It's the best of all worlds, in my opinion.

How does Uppsala compare to other cities in Sweden?

Uppsala is Sweden's 4th biggest city, but it's much smaller than #3. It has a split personality in many ways — small town or big city, old university town or modern metal & glass? This duality makes the local politics pretty conflicted, which is a pity. On the other hand, you can probably find...

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trinidad and tobago - anonymous' reflections after years there in their teens

posted by anonymous on 10/13/13.

3

I spent my sophomore to senior years in high school in Trinidad so that would have been from around 15-18. I moved there with my little sister and parents. My parents got jobs teaching at the International School of Port of Spain as an art teacher and a student support coordinator.

Before Trinidad, we lived in the small town of Brattleboro, Vermont in the US for 10 years but my family is originally from Aruba. Vermont and Trinidad are pretty much the polar opposites of each other in every way; race, socio-economically, culture, etc, so it was quite a shock for 15 year-old me.

Port of Spain is a very unique city to say the least. It is a small city of around 60,000 people but everyone's large, flamboyant personalities make it seem much bigger. People enjoy limin' (look it up), drinking, partying, drinking, going to the beach, and just having a good time in general.

The people of Trinidad are also very interesting. They have a certain way about them that is very unique of the islands. It is a very inside the box way of going about things like school or work. They also have a very laid back, relaxed way of doing anything. There is also a very strong Roman-Catholic presence on...

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australia - anonymous' reflections after spending decades there

posted by anonymous on 10/13/13.

2

How much time have you spent in Australia?

I have been here about 10 years "all up".

How old you are/were while in Australia?

I arrived when I was 18.

What are your thoughts and impressions of Perth?

Perth is great to raise a family. From a young persons perspective or no family it's a little slow, and a bit boring. There are things to do but you really need to make an effort to find it. Most of the entertainment is just going to the bars/pubs.

How does Perth compare to other cities in Australia? What drew you to Perth over other cities in Australia?

Each city I have been to is unique in its own way with pros and cons for each. I have felt I needed to be in Perth so I stayed here.

What are your impressions of Australians? In what ways are they different than people in other places you've lived?

Australians are generally friendly towards Americans so this made my stay pleasant. I found Australians to be similar to Americans so culture wasn't a shock. I haven't had trouble here but I don't attract it either.

Was making friends and meeting people in Australia in general easy or difficult?

I found it easy, but this might be my personality.

How did your...

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switzerland - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/13/13.

4

I have lived here for a little over 3 years and came here on vacation twice before. I am in my late 20s and was in my mid-20s when I first visited. Back in 2008 I "met" my now-husband online via a gaming forum. We started emailing each other and eventually progressed to talking on the phone and eventually meeting in person. We hit it off right away. At the time I lived in Sacramento, CA and my husband lived in Minnesota. However, originally he is from Switzerland. He was born and raised in Bern and moved to the US when he was 20 or so.

Originally the plan was that he would move to California but we eventually decided to move to Switzerland together instead. After he took me on vacation here I pretty much fell in love with it, plus because of his educational experiences he is able to get a much better paying job here whereas he barely made above minimum wage in the US.

We first lived in a little bit bigger of a city- Amrisvil, Thurgau- which I never actually considered to be a big city when we lived there. Looking back though, it was a pretty large town compared to other places in Switzerland and especially compared to where we live now. People there were not overly friendly;...

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turkey - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 40s

posted by anonymous on 10/13/13.

1

I came to Turkey June 2007 and I remain here. This was in my mid-40's and I came here to marry a turkish man I met in Texas. He had been living in Texas for 12 years and had to return to Turkey to do his mandatory military service (15 months). I first arrived in Ankara and while being driven to my husband's parents house I noticed the smell of spice in the air. My son recently visited and he and his fiancee both noticed the spicy smell.

I now live and work on the coast in a small village named Köyceğiz. We are located between the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. There is a difference in the turkish people in Ankara and on the coast. Ankara is the capital and full of government and military people. They are very serious and more old school. On the coast the turkish people are very laid back and kinda of country-like, same as small towns in the USA. The turkish language is one of the most difficult in the world and it was developed in the 1920's when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made the country a Republic. I now can speak what I would describe as "cave man"- short small sentences. I can read and understand more than I can speak or pronounce. I was a nurse of 24 years when I left Texas...

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