Living between two countries(11 Posts)
Anyone would like to share and tell us how is life between 2 countries, with or without kids.
I always thought that it might be the perfect life to never get bored and to be always up and running, to get the best of my two favorite places and to double network!
In my case it would probably be England and Sweden. London for inspiration, network, creativity and Stockholm to breathe and relax. Being freelancers it's possible to set our own working rules. But I don't have kids yet and this idea might not be possible when kids are +3 years old.
Always thought this is the dream life to live in two countries, but I am getting more lazy slowly and I might just give up on that idea. I also wonder if it's possible to fully focus with this lifestyle.
The only people I know who have done this wither have no kids or had to give up when their kids started school or homeschool them. It is a lot harder with kids - not least because they tend to have strong ideas about where they want to live.
I know plenty of families who live between two or more countries - including my own family. Plenty of my cousins etc do this, with houses in two or more countries. TBH the real issue is maintaining property and dealing with tax and administration in several places at once - it can get very tedious and sometimes difficult.
bobo Do the children board or attend 2 different schools? DH and I would love to do it but not sure I'd want the DC to do "full boarding" especially if we were in another country.
It depends what you mean by living in two countries. There are a couple of models that work well that I know of:
1. Family is split across different countries because of needs - e.g. older DCs at school/university in one country, parents split time between homes in that country (to be close to school for exeats etc) and another country (the main family home). I know a lot of families that do this.
2. Two homes, one in home country, and one equally lovely home somewhere overseas. Whole family decamps to second home for all holidays, with WOHM parent either working remotely, commuting long distance or a combination of both).
DC in all cases are day pupils but there are arrangements for childcare when parents are away.
Hi all, thanks your replies.
My idea would be to split time in half between two countries as I don't have kids, yet. And then live most of the time in one place (let say England) and in another place (Sweden) during the 'holiday time'. Being a freelancer, I am far from being rich but I am flexible. I guess the only way to do that is to respect school terms! Good money probably helps a lot.
Anyway, I am wondering if I am just trying to find an excuse to move back to the UK...I'm not even from there! It's just odd here in Sweden, the darkness, the snow...
That sounds easily doable if finances allow it. But it isn't a cheap option, it's bloomin' expensive to run two homes. IME, things tend to go wrong when a house isn't lived in all year round, and sometimes you just have to throw money at the problem to solve it. It's unlikely that yore going to be able to just lock-up and go, even the smallest apartments tend to need someone to keep an eye on things when yore away. And when or if you have children, you're going to need to work really hard to ensure they see both places as equally homely. So friends and a support network and a social life in both places. And language skills that enable that.
It takes a lot of organising to have homes in more than one country. It is hard to sort things like driving licences, car insurance, health insurance when you don't live full time in a country. You have to have two or more of most things, which is expensive or move things around which takes up your luggage allowance. Eventually you will want to end up in just one place and then what do you do with all the stuff you have accumulated? I have no idea why anyone would do it who didn't have to.
If you mean like having a 2nd home / maison de vacances then yes, loads of people do.
If you mean like having offices in 2 major cities then again yes, lots of people too, it can be stimulating and a good way to cover markets and clients and languages.
But if you mean loads of travel week in week out, then you need to test it to try out, try leaving loved one each Sunday evening even for a short-haul flight, it's pretty tough.
I think you are really wise to think through things now before children and get your work in order so it works when children come along. Many working parents only realise much of this much later.
I know a number of academics who do this.
Say, one has a job in Paris, gets Eurostar over. Manchester to Brussels, that kind of thing. It's one of those careers where it's hard to get jobs in both places and you can do a lot of work remotely, esp out of term, so it seems manageable.
Considerations: feeling rootless, not fully part of one social scene. We did it and found that we had to have one 'primary' residence as otherwise we were constantly missing things, which meant not having any kind of proper social circle in one place.
Tax implications- depending on days out of the country, having to file tax returns or get expensive advice. See also: pension and social security implications, healthcare, etc.
Fluctuating transport costs- having a cheap route that your life and finances depend on, then Ryanair pull out of an airport/train timetables change so you can't make a connection/ there's a football match you didn't know about and your regular flight is four times as expensive
Exhaustion- it grinds you down over time.
For many, it's the only way for both partners to have a career. I don't know anyone who chose it for lifestyle reasons.
Some people manage it permanently, but personally I think after three or four years it becomes untenable and something has to give.
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