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Old 12-15-2017, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
124 posts, read 72,312 times
Reputation: 133

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Dramatic title, but it's the truth!

My wife and I are green card holders through the Diversity Visa Lottery.
We have decent upper middle-class lives where we live right now, but we're young (25) and see this move as an adventure. If it doesn't work out, we will just move back home. I just want to make this clear so there's no discussions about visas and why we shouldn't move and what not..
Anyway, to the point.
We have researched a bunch of places that we think would suit us well and the top pick at the moment is Columbus, OH with Greenville, SC and Raleigh, NC as second and third.
These are interesting from what we've read about the job opportunities, COL, friendly people, decent-ish weather and not too far from other cities which is quite important since we're looking to experience as much as possible!
We have planned to do a road trip in February starting in Raleigh and driving up to Columbus. Here's the route.
https://www.google.se/maps/dir/Ralei...1755!3e0?hl=sv

Our questions are:
1. Do you think three weeks is sufficient for this trip?
2. Any places we should try to visit instead, e.g. Indianapolis or Pittsburgh that's quite close.
3. Anything we should know about while crossing several states, tolls, insurance-wise etc?
4. Just any kind of feedback or ideas about the trip or the cities is appreciated!

I'm in a bit of a rush so please excuse the spelling errors, but I'm eager to get this out so we have time to plan!
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,136,536 times
Reputation: 7505
I would think that Sweden would offer a much higher quality of life. The US is in such a state of volubility and instability. Sweden at least holds on to and preserves its roots, which have worked for centuries.

I'm sure the eastern side of the US makes sense for a visit, though I'm not so sure about OH, NC, and SC, for visitors from Sweden. It's seems like you'd encounter culture-shock there. Much of the US might be intimidating, but maybe even more so in those areas. Seems like places like Boston, Miami, Long Island, etc. might be more culturally rich and appealing.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,082 posts, read 1,099,257 times
Reputation: 1846
Our questions are:
1. Do you think three weeks is sufficient for this trip?
2. Any places we should try to visit instead, e.g. Indianapolis or Pittsburgh that's quite close.
3. Anything we should know about while crossing several states, tolls, insurance-wise etc?
4. Just any kind of feedback or ideas about the trip or the cities is appreciated!

1. Three weeks should be enough time for the given selections as long as you do some research and qualify the neighborhoods beforehand.
2. It's a vast country, that's for sure. You have three good choices as far as COL, and each will be uniquely American as compared to the homeland. Raleigh would be my front runner of the three. I'd be remiss to mention that Charlotte offers a lot of what Raleigh does, minus the tech climate/plus the financial institutions. North Carolina simply has more to offer than Ohio, with the mountains and the beaches within reach. I'd also recommend that you take a look at Atlanta, which is going to give you the broadest spectrum of options in and around the city, and is a bit more lively than the others.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:43 AM
 
4,446 posts, read 7,185,715 times
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Personally, I think 3 weeks would be enough for Greenville and Raleigh (FWIW, Charlotte, NC is a mecca for 20-somethings and growing like crazy), but not a 3rd city unless it was right in the same area. Regardless, the Trouble will be viewing things as a potential home and not as a vacation. I speak from personal experience, where my wife and I found a Great place to visit/vacation and when we moved there it was the Most miserable place to live of the many we'd experienced. Just be aware and watchful.

Can't answer 2 because you haven't really offered any limitations that would exclude the vast majority of options.

3 is a non-issue, driving from state to state here is no different than driving from town to town within any country/province. Obviously if you hit a toll road, you pay the toll but google maps should have that marked so you know in advance.

As for 4, I mentioned some above. I know my Irish in-law finds comfort in her Irish friends, so maybe thinking about a community with whom you can commiserate over things left behind. For her (in Charlotte), there's an easy place to find them by way of an Irish pub where they all tend to gather. Perhaps looking for something similar in those different cities... goes back to that "live, not vacation" mindset. Think about what you normally do in a given year... foods you might crave (shipping from Sweden will get old for comforts you want frequently), activities you already do, potential work/live commutes (major headache, the US is car-dominated), etc... Perhaps start with a diary of your normal lives now to use as a guide and reference for things you want to be mindful of.

In any case, good luck. Hope you manage to avoid the politically pushy (and avoid falling into that trap yourself). I can tell you that the Fastest way to alienate Americans is to bring a "We did it This way back home" mindset/attitude, the polite will ignore you the rest will tell you to go home. Better to find the good and embrace that, and if you want to share a little bit of home, do so without pushing it as "better". BTW, this would be true if you were moving from Greenville to Atlanta too, it's nothing to do with where you come from.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:28 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,114 posts, read 23,627,108 times
Reputation: 11606
If youíre scouting for relocation, youíll want to really plan out the parts of the cities you want to see.

I see your itinerary passes close by Asheville. Itís an interesting city to visit so you might consider a pitstop. Iím not saying itís great for relocation, but it might be worth a visit.

Pittsburgh or Cleveland can also be interesting if your final schedule has the time.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by snilsson View Post
I'm in a bit of a rush so please excuse the spelling errors, but I'm eager to get this out so we have time to plan!
Three weeks is plenty. You could drive that in one or two days without any sightseeing.

I think your choice of cities to visit is pretty underwhelming, but just my opinion. The cities you go through that you did not mention will probably be far more interesting IMO (I'm going to be visiting Nashville, Louisville, and Cincinnati myself next spring; those IMO are potentially equally or more promising then the others you mentioned).

If you rent a car from any of the major companies, you can take it anywhere within the US without a problem. There is nothing beyond welcome signs when crossing most state lines, and tolls are all charged differently, so know what is required when you go on them (some are pay at use, some bill the rental car company who in turn bill you, etc).

Most Americans with more than half a brain will look at your move from Sweden as a step backward (so be prepared for that), but to many Americans, Sweden might as well be another planet (so be prepared for that too).
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Crappyville,PA
371 posts, read 284,002 times
Reputation: 526
I believe Sweden offers much greater healthcare and education, while just a fraction of the crime and violence here in the U.S.
Yes, come and visit, but think hard about moving here. The USA does a great job of promoting itself, but some realities here, like mass homelessness, huge income inequality, and some cities that look "third world" are common here.
If visiting the southeast, I would recommend a stop in Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,960,359 times
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It seems like your move here would be intended to be temporary, so I'm not sure why folks are trying to talk you out of it. It's basically an extended visit, no?

Your road trip path looks fine. I mean, I wouldnt think of it as a flagship type of trip that hits major and important landmarks of this country, but it's fine for one, introductory trip.

I'm not sure if you'll have tolls or not, but many rental companies now provide toll passes. It isn't cheap but probably the most convenient thing. Also have no clue how insurance works for you. My US car insurance covers me anywhere in US and Canada and my credit card also offers me protection on the rental car itself.

I wonder what jobs you are looking for. In general the larger cities will have more opportunities and more multiculturalism. Good luck!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
I'm not sure if you'll have tolls or not, but many rental companies now provide toll passes. It isn't cheap but probably the most convenient thing. Also have no clue how insurance works for you. My US car insurance covers me anywhere in US and Canada and my credit card also offers me protection on the rental car itself.
I would imagine that any insurance he has in Sweden would not cover him in the US. I would recommend he buy whatever the rental car company offers.

OP, my personal favorite rental car company is Alamo. They're so hassle free, that I don't even look at the other ones anymore.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:34 AM
 
788 posts, read 1,050,612 times
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I have a few friends who live in Columbus and absolutely love it. Lots to do and lots of young people because of Ohio State University (OSU). My family enjoys going down there and exploring when we get a chance.

America isn't as volatile as people are trying to make it sound. (Stop paying attention to the media drama!) Yes, we have very different views on things, but it's not like there's the sectarian violence that you see in other areas of the world.

Especially in areas such as the ones you are looking at.

You'd have a fantastic lifestyle in any of the areas that you are looking at. Like you said, if you don't like it, you can always move back home. Have a great adventure!
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