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Old May 14th 2017, 9:01 am   #1
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Default Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Hello all,

I see from this forum that Norway & Iceland are not a big destination(also from other forums) for Brits or least doesn't seem to be.
As someone who did look in to moving to Canada a number of years ago(and thats a huge and active forum) Im not expecting the same amount of feedback but thought I would post anyway.

Basically now in my forties, 3 kids, partner, fed up with the UK(even more than few years ago) and looking now for a quality of life that the Nordic countries(especially Norway/Iceland it seems) may have to offer.

I don't speak the languages(yet) and nor does my partner(she's Polish and speaks 4 languages so she will pick it us easier than me) I don't have any friends or family and I have no idea of the job or housing market....although a quick look via google shows both are tricky especially for none Norwegians/Icelanders or Scandinavians.

However life is not about it all being easy, especially of that thing is worth attaining and learning a new language and learning about a new culture for us would be part of the whole experience.

Ive looked at the obvious big cities and surroundings to move(mostly for work) and many offer it would seem a great environment to bring up kids safely, happily and independently.

Really I am looking for anyone who had ever moved to Norway/Iceland(or in fact any of the Scandinavian countries) to get a real flavour of things.
On other forums(mostly FB) people have been extremely negative....although none have said they would move back to the UK. Unlike say on the Canadian(and looking at the OZ, NZ, USA forums) are very positive about the move, all complain about weather, cost, integration....while I understand as none english speaking, none anglo saxon countries this is the way I don't understand why people move to say Norway or Iceland and expect that...then complain?!

For us its getting away from that anglo saxon lifestyle as such(especially my Polish partner, she likes UK but after 12 years some of our "customs" make her role her eyes) so its about that different culture and diversity, we don't want to move just to be little Englanders abroad but integrate with the lifestyle, culture and language.

So really any tips/advise/do'd and don'ts would be much appreciated.
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Old May 14th 2017, 9:23 am   #2
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMak View Post
Hello all,

I see from this forum that Norway & Iceland are not a big destination(also from other forums) for Brits or least doesn't seem to be.
As someone who did look in to moving to Canada a number of years ago(and thats a huge and active forum) Im not expecting the same amount of feedback but thought I would post anyway.

Basically now in my forties, 3 kids, partner, fed up with the UK(even more than few years ago) and looking now for a quality of life that the Nordic countries(especially Norway/Iceland it seems) may have to offer.

I don't speak the languages(yet) and nor does my partner(she's Polish and speaks 4 languages so she will pick it us easier than me) I don't have any friends or family and I have no idea of the job or housing market....although a quick look via google shows both are tricky especially for none Norwegians/Icelanders or Scandinavians.

However life is not about it all being easy, especially of that thing is worth attaining and learning a new language and learning about a new culture for us would be part of the whole experience.

Ive looked at the obvious big cities and surroundings to move(mostly for work) and many offer it would seem a great environment to bring up kids safely, happily and independently.

Really I am looking for anyone who had ever moved to Norway/Iceland(or in fact any of the Scandinavian countries) to get a real flavour of things.
On other forums(mostly FB) people have been extremely negative....although none have said they would move back to the UK. Unlike say on the Canadian(and looking at the OZ, NZ, USA forums) are very positive about the move, all complain about weather, cost, integration....while I understand as none english speaking, none anglo saxon countries this is the way I don't understand why people move to say Norway or Iceland and expect that...then complain?!

For us its getting away from that anglo saxon lifestyle as such(especially my Polish partner, she likes UK but after 12 years some of our "customs" make her role her eyes) so its about that different culture and diversity, we don't want to move just to be little Englanders abroad but integrate with the lifestyle, culture and language.

So really any tips/advise/do'd and don'ts would be much appreciated.
Have you visited Norway or Iceland ?

Faeroe Islands might be another potential.
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Old May 14th 2017, 9:27 am   #3
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Ahh no I should make that clear. I know that may seem odd but as others point out you may look to buy, visit or do X without first going or trying as such. Obviously we would look to visit a number of times, summer and importantly winter to get a feel for the country, the people, culture and environment.

I think we would kick off this summer visiting both if not at least Norway and then again during winter and then if those go well visiting again next year for extended trips to get more of a feel.

Unlike say OZ or NZ where going more than once would be prohibitive cost wise at least these counties are reasonable and relatively close so we can take a few trips before making a decision.

Its really getting a little feel for them both pre us visiting....which we cant wait to do!
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Old May 14th 2017, 1:49 pm   #4
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Is there some reason why you're not considering Poland? That would seem to be the most logical choice given your family situation and would almost certainly side-step any possible complications caused by Brexit.
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Old May 14th 2017, 5:09 pm   #5
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

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Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
Have you visited Norway or Iceland ?
This is the crux of the matter, Mak. Why would you even consider moving you and your family to a place you've never been to, unless there is a special reason? My son moved to Oslo in his late 20s with his pregnant Norwegian girlfriend, and lived there for 13 years - adjusting to the lifestyle and language and a wholly new line of work. That was his special reason, but he was 28 and you seem rather older than that. (He fell in love with a Polish girl on a holiday back here in Cayman a year ago - these seductive Poles! - and is now living here with her.)

I think everybody can adjust to living and working just about anywhere in the world, with the right attitude and incentive, but it must surely get tougher as one gets older - especially with children, who presumably have friends where they live now. My wife and I called six countries "home" before we had a child and resigned ourselves to settling down; so my experience was different from what yours would be. All I can advise is to take your family to visit the place(s) you have in mind as their new home, and then make a decision. Good luck!
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Old May 14th 2017, 10:39 pm   #6
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Is there some reason why you're not considering Poland? That would seem to be the most logical choice given your family situation and would almost certainly side-step any possible complications caused by Brexit.
Not a problem providing Poland remains a member of the EU although getting married would make thing easier.
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Old May 15th 2017, 8:40 am   #7
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies.
Poland is not an option as it doesn't offer the lifestyle we really want. Yes my partner is polish and has said in the past she may one day like to go back but the desire even for Warsaw or Krakow is just not there at the moment....certainly not where she grew up which has employment issues.

In terms of visiting we know its imperative, although you have to think many people moved back even 10-15 years ago without getting even half the info we know can from the internet, but we wont rush in to anything.
We know being older9late thirties/early forties) as we are we cant just take a chance especially with kids(although it will only be my youngest moving with us who is a few months old) so that makes integration for him easier, I know older kids would be tricky.

I agree Gordon all down to attitude and incentive, if you have that plus plan well and a slice of luck then things can work out, but if not there will always be a route back.

Any other hints/tips or advise will be welcome, thanks all.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:14 am   #8
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMak View Post
Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies.
Poland is not an option as it doesn't offer the lifestyle we really want. Yes my partner is polish and has said in the past she may one day like to go back but the desire even for Warsaw or Krakow is just not there at the moment....certainly not where she grew up which has employment issues.

In terms of visiting we know its imperative, although you have to think many people moved back even 10-15 years ago without getting even half the info we know can from the internet, but we wont rush in to anything.
We know being older9late thirties/early forties) as we are we cant just take a chance especially with kids(although it will only be my youngest moving with us who is a few months old) so that makes integration for him easier, I know older kids would be tricky.

I agree Gordon all down to attitude and incentive, if you have that plus plan well and a slice of luck then things can work out, but if not there will always be a route back.

Any other hints/tips or advise will be welcome, thanks all.
Agree with Poland and there's a reason why so many still leave. Salaries just don't reflect the cost of living if you consider prices are similar to Germany. Can't really comment on Iceland but from what I've heard it's not always easy for outsiders to adapt. Yes people do speak English but that also means an Icelandic person would get the job before you do.


If you want a similar lifestyle to Iceland when it comes to scenery and less people, I can recommend Republic of Ireland. For example Connemara living would offer similar lifestyle at a lower cost with better job chances due to language.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:28 am   #9
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMak View Post
Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies.
Poland is not an option as it doesn't offer the lifestyle we really want. Yes my partner is polish and has said in the past she may one day like to go back but the desire even for Warsaw or Krakow is just not there at the moment....certainly not where she grew up which has employment issues.

In terms of visiting we know its imperative, although you have to think many people moved back even 10-15 years ago without getting even half the info we know can from the internet, but we wont rush in to anything.
We know being older9late thirties/early forties) as we are we cant just take a chance especially with kids(although it will only be my youngest moving with us who is a few months old) so that makes integration for him easier, I know older kids would be tricky.

I agree Gordon all down to attitude and incentive, if you have that plus plan well and a slice of luck then things can work out, but if not there will always be a route back.

Any other hints/tips or advise will be welcome, thanks all.
The question comes to mind of what is the "lifestyle" you are referring to ? If you are considering Norway, what are the impressions of the lifestyle you are referring to ?

Hate to bring in politics, but thoughts of what the country may be like in 10 or 20 years time should also be considered to some degree. Hard to make predictions. For example 25 years ago I would have moved to Malmo , today I am not sure I would.

A lot of course depends on what you want for your children as they are growing up.

Visiting the country you are considering certainly a must.

Poland would seem an obvious choice to consider.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:28 am   #10
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Agree Poland while a lovely country(I have visited a number of times with my partner) is not currently what we are looking for in terms of living full time.

Also understand about language thats why once we narrow our options and if they are none english speaking we would look to start language courses here before we even moved so at least we had some basic language knowledge. My partner speaks polish, English, french and some Spanish so languages are not an issue for her.....and while im not as good I would pick up if I knew it would help me get a job and integrate.

As for Ireland, I love the country having been many, many times and the people are fantastic as well....plus yes language not an issue.
Its certainly another consideration for sure, still in the EU, english speaking and close to home so ticks a lot of boxes.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:35 am   #11
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Lifestyle to me is everything, from the way you live, work, study, entertain, educate, health, safety, infrastructure and so much else. Who knows what will happen in 5, 10, 30 years....who knew the Uk would vote for Brexit even a year ago??!! I dont think you can plan that far ahead, its really going somewhere and making it work as you want and best you can, there is only so much you can control of your life in any country you live in.

For us the UK is going backwards in so many ways, not just possibly financially but socially and thats a genuine worry. Attached with safety, education and so much else a move now or soon feels right. Like changing a job you do it now knowing 100% how it will go but thats life, it would be boring if you knew 100% how it would pan out, the adventure is part of it I think.

As for Poland as above, why so many Poles still leave(more Poles in UK, Norway, Iceland etc than i could imagine!) is that the lifestyle is not what they seek. Its great to visit but even my partner is not sure she wants to return "home" to bring up our little one. Maybe in years to come who knows, but for now its not really in our thinking....and Polish is one of the hardest languages to learn(much much harder than the Nordic languages) and english is far less widespread and spoken(thats even true in the big cities) and me finding a job without Polish would be almost impossible.
As I said who knows in the future but for now not on the agenda.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:43 am   #12
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

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Agree Poland while a lovely country(I have visited a number of times with my partner) is not currently what we are looking for in terms of living full time.

Also understand about language thats why once we narrow our options and if they are none english speaking we would look to start language courses here before we even moved so at least we had some basic language knowledge. My partner speaks polish, English, french and some Spanish so languages are not an issue for her.....and while im not as good I would pick up if I knew it would help me get a job and integrate.

As for Ireland, I love the country having been many, many times and the people are fantastic as well....plus yes language not an issue.
Its certainly another consideration for sure, still in the EU, english speaking and close to home so ticks a lot of boxes.

While Iceland has some stunning scenery too, Ireland just offers a lot more opportunities for people with languages and while cost of living might be considered high, it's a lot lot cheaper than Iceland. Both had a finacial crash (here a good article) but you just have more opportunities in Ireland, especially with more international companies coming here http://www.irishexaminer.com/video/n...ik-398305.html
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:51 am   #13
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

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Originally Posted by BigMak View Post
Lifestyle to me is everything, from the way you live, work, study, entertain, educate, health, safety, infrastructure and so much else. Who knows what will happen in 5, 10, 30 years....who knew the Uk would vote for Brexit even a year ago??!! I dont think you can plan that far ahead, its really going somewhere and making it work as you want and best you can, there is only so much you can control of your life in any country you live in.

For us the UK is going backwards in so many ways, not just possibly financially but socially and thats a genuine worry. Attached with safety, education and so much else a move now or soon feels right. Like changing a job you do it now knowing 100% how it will go but thats life, it would be boring if you knew 100% how it would pan out, the adventure is part of it I think.

As for Poland as above, why so many Poles still leave(more Poles in UK, Norway, Iceland etc than i could imagine!) is that the lifestyle is not what they seek. Its great to visit but even my partner is not sure she wants to return "home" to bring up our little one. Maybe in years to come who knows, but for now its not really in our thinking....and Polish is one of the hardest languages to learn(much much harder than the Nordic languages) and english is far less widespread and spoken(thats even true in the big cities) and me finding a job without Polish would be almost impossible.
As I said who knows in the future but for now not on the agenda.
I agree it isn't easy to predict the future of course, but some trends can be looked at. Safety a consideration to be sure, and sometimes only way to ascertain that is to visit and speak to people in the area, especially when children involved. I have no doubt that rural areas of Norway safer than Oslo these days, and better for children, though distance from urban center can effect employment opportunities. From people I have spoken to the overall trends in cities in Sweden and Norway do not bode well for the future.

Ireland seems a safer bet for the reasons you mentioned.

I don't know how old your children ae, but if you are definitely moving, the earlier the better - we have found the earlier our children moved to a country the better.
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Old May 15th 2017, 9:58 am   #14
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Well I can see you love Ireland! I do think its certainly a consideration for a lot of reasons, language is a big one and also just how close it is to pop back to the UK even for a quick weekend if we wanted to see family & friends, so yes its in our minds.

Ireland i know is expensive, has the language barrier and is tiny population which brings its own issue. Norway though is far bigger and more developed so leaning more toward Norway pr possible Ireland....just need to take a trip out to Norway to check it out.
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Old May 15th 2017, 10:00 am   #15
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Default Re: Looking at possible move to Norway....or Iceland.....

Can you elaborate about the overall trends and why they are seen as negative, thats what I really need to understand. Its the same here, anywhere in the UK you go I can feel, see and sense its not going well...buts that because I live and work here so for any other country be interesting to see whats going on beneath the surface....and why?

Ireland a consideration for sure for many reasons. My youngest is only a few months so thats all good, older kids are staying in UK with my ex, so its only the little one that would move.
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