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Thread summary:

Italian moving to US: cost of living, English flavor, coastline, cold winters, airline pilot

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Old 12-12-2007, 06:09 AM
 
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hello, everyone, I'm new here (although I've used this forum to get information about OK, where we'll be stationed as of Jan) - nice to meet everyone out there.

A brief intro: I'm Italian, born and raised, married since 1996 to a USAF guy - I'm from Northern Italy but very much an anglophile, love England and everything (or almost) English, would love to live there when my husband retires from the AF in a few years, but 1. it's very, very expensive there (we were stationed there for 3 years and the cost of living was twice as much as in the US), 2. my husband sometimes - how shall I say it - does not see eye to eye with us Europeans (I do admit life is a lot more convenient in the US, most things are done more efficiently, and once you're used to that it's hard to go back). I've done some research on US States, and I find myself strongly attracted to Maine, for its English flavour (history, architecture), its coastline, its climate (I'm not at all keen on extremely hot weather, and I like my winters really cold and snowy).

My question: how would you sum up Maine? Of course I've read books about it (mostly tourism guides) but I'd like the opinion of those who live there.

My husband is planning to be an airline pilot after he retires from the AF, I'd like to teach at a University and we'd prefer a small-to-medium size town rather than a big city - any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your time!
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:14 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Where I am located it is far from an English influence. Here it is all French. Go into any store, anytime, and there will be somebody in there speaking French. The culture and everything is French based. Down along the coast and downstate I'm not really sure what the influences would be considered. Never really thought of it to tell the truth.

Maine is Maine, pure and simple. People all going through the same thing with heating, gas, beautiful scenery, lonely back roads (good and bad), small towns, 98% friendly people (just like everywhere), and few giving a rip about what is happening across "The pond" on a day to day basis.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:54 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 4,936,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berica View Post
hello, everyone, I'm new here (although I've used this forum to get information about OK, where we'll be stationed as of Jan) - nice to meet everyone out there.

A brief intro: I'm Italian, born and raised, married since 1996 to a USAF guy - I'm from Northern Italy but very much an anglophile, love England and everything (or almost) English, would love to live there when my husband retires from the AF in a few years, but 1. it's very, very expensive there (we were stationed there for 3 years and the cost of living was twice as much as in the US), 2. my husband sometimes - how shall I say it - does not see eye to eye with us Europeans (I do admit life is a lot more convenient in the US, most things are done more efficiently, and once you're used to that it's hard to go back). I've done some research on US States, and I find myself strongly attracted to Maine, for its English flavour (history, architecture), its coastline, its climate (I'm not at all keen on extremely hot weather, and I like my winters really cold and snowy).

My question: how would you sum up Maine? Of course I've read books about it (mostly tourism guides) but I'd like the opinion of those who live there.

My husband is planning to be an airline pilot after he retires from the AF, I'd like to teach at a University and we'd prefer a small-to-medium size town rather than a big city - any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your time!
welcome to the Maine forum. Where is your DH from? I think Maine is propbably the most affordable state out of all the new england states. Much more loosly populated and much larger Maine also has some beautiful geography. From Portland, the ocean, Mountains, and down east Maine there is also a variety of types of areas you can choose from. I wouldn't know if this is true but I wonder if schools are more standardized in europe. Here in America there a big differences in Schools so whether you have or plan to have children that might be a factor in decideing where in Maine you will go. But all in all Maine has low crime, and a decent standard of living no matter where you go. good luck

P.S. I have a had a strong desire to see Italy. Can you tell me what it is like living there compared to the USA. I have read where northern italy and southern italy are very different.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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You might want to look into Bangor, or the small towns within driving distance of Bangor. There is Bangor International Airport, as well as Dow Air Force Base (next door to BIA), so your husband would have the option of working out of Bangor AND utilize the commisary and other services on base. Within 15 minutes of Bangor are the University of Maine, Beal College, Husson College, Eastern Maine Technical College, University College of Bangor, the International Center for Language, and Grace Evangelical College, so you may be able to teach at one or more of those. Bangor is one of the few "cities" in Maine that I would not mind living in- I think it still has a small town feel to it.

I'm sure there would be employment opportunities for you both in the Portland area as well, but it is definitely more urban in feel, and I don't know enough about Portland or living in Portland to really give any suggestions there.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Maine
15,079 posts, read 19,718,275 times
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Originally Posted by berica View Post
My husband is planning to be an airline pilot after he retires from the AF, I'd like to teach at a University and we'd prefer a small-to-medium size town rather than a big city - any suggestions?
Bangor is not what I'd really call a small-to-medium sized town. It's definitely a city. A big city? Probably not to most folks. But it's a city.

Still, if you want to be near both a major airport and a university, I would recommend some of the smaller towns around Bangor.

You ought to have a look at Brunswick, as well. Bowdoin College is here, and we're about 40 minutes from the airport in Portland. (Many people live in Brunswick and commute to either Portland, Lewiston, or Auburn.) Brunswick is a good-sized town, not a city at all. With BNAS slotted to close in a few years, the population will certainly shrink a bit --- not to mention lowering real estate prices for folks wanting to move in.

Winter has definitely been cold and snowy this year. We had a good 8 inches or more a week or so ago, and it's still around. Spat a bit of snow last night, and today is bright and sunny with temps in the low 40s. Supposed to be cold again the rest of the week with more snow hitting us this weekend. The town does and exceptional job keeping the main roads clear though. Side-streets...it's hit and miss for at least the first few hours after a good snow.

Summer can be hot and muggy, but it doesn't last forever, and a trip to the beach or helps you stay cool. There's a true summer here, unlike other places I've lived where they have summer for 6 months and burning oven-heat for 3 (eastern NM).
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:42 PM
 
13 posts, read 43,601 times
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Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Where I am located it is far from an English influence. Here it is all French. Go into any store, anytime, and there will be somebody in there speaking French. The culture and everything is French based. Down along the coast and downstate I'm not really sure what the influences would be considered. Never really thought of it to tell the truth.

Maine is Maine, pure and simple. People all going through the same thing with heating, gas, beautiful scenery, lonely back roads (good and bad), small towns, 98% friendly people (just like everywhere), and few giving a rip about what is happening across "The pond" on a day to day basis.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply Maine is just a copy of the UK - I realize my post did sound a bit like that. What I meant is that I'd like to live somewhere that has a bit of a European flavour, especially (but not only) English. I've been to parts of the US where I really felt it was a whole different world - whereas on the East Coast (VA, Mass, DC) there are some mementoes of the Old World (even the topography - Belfast, Camden, Cape Elizabeth remind me of Europe). That said, it's not just Maine's relative "Englishness" that I find charming - it's many other things which are peculiar to Maine, too.

Thanks everone for your time, all the information you've offered is great, very helpful!

One more question: would you say Maine people tend to "mind their own business" or are they friendly to strangers right off the bat? In FL I found people talked to strangers at the checkout line, in some European countries one doesn't even say hello to people upon entering a train compartment because one doesn't know them, let alone chat with them.
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:59 PM
 
13 posts, read 43,601 times
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Originally Posted by flycessna View Post
welcome to the Maine forum. Where is your DH from? I think Maine is propbably the most affordable state out of all the new england states. Much more loosly populated and much larger Maine also has some beautiful geography. From Portland, the ocean, Mountains, and down east Maine there is also a variety of types of areas you can choose from. I wouldn't know if this is true but I wonder if schools are more standardized in europe. Here in America there a big differences in Schools so whether you have or plan to have children that might be a factor in decideing where in Maine you will go. But all in all Maine has low crime, and a decent standard of living no matter where you go. good luck

P.S. I have a had a strong desire to see Italy. Can you tell me what it is like living there compared to the USA. I have read where northern italy and southern italy are very different.
Thank you for your reply and all the info - most helpful! My husband grew up in Hawaii (too far for my taste, great for a vacation, not for settling down "for ever"). We do have children, they are almost 5, so a good school would be paramount.

Italy is made of very different regions, although it's a comparatively small country; until 1861 it wasn't even a State, hadn't been since Roman times, and each region (Republic of Venice, Grand-Duchy of Tuscany, the Vatican, the Savoy, etc) developed quite separately from one another, each with its own dialect which is really a language in its own right, sometimes unintelligible to people from far away regions, its own cuisine (ravioli & tortellini from Emilia Romagna, pizza from Naples, pasta e fagioli from Veneto, etc), its own societal mores. People are different, too, depending where you are. Landscapes vary greatly, too. My hometown is near the Alps, whereas from Sicily, on a good day, you can see the outline of Northern Africa. For a first visit I would go with the classic itinerary "Venice-Florence-Rome"; afterwards, you can add smaller gems like Bologna, Padova, Ravenna and its mosaics, Pisa, Assisi, and many more.

I'm running away from the topic here, if you'd like to know more about Italy I'll be happy to send you a private message.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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most mainers i know (follow the golden rule) if someone wants to keep to themselves, then thats fine, they can keep to themselves without having neighbors disrespecting thier privacy, on the other hand if you are outgoing and friendly, then, thats how you will be treated.
maine is a rural state filled with small towns, and beautiful scenery. if you want the small-town feel and still close to most of the amenities of a city,,,, again, maine has plenty of them, just your taste, of what region in maine you prefer.
maines largest city is portland, around 63000 population, within a half hr drive of portland there are many small, clean, decent towns, town that feel you are out in the country,,but not in gods country(outside of civilization)
personally, i like the gray, poland, new gloucester area (all towns)

these towns are within a half hr to portland, or to auburn-lewiston area and augusta (state capitol) is less than an hour away.

i find maine folks very friendly, i travel to many small towns where few know me,,most offer greetings in passing, my car has died a few times in remote towns, and always, ive had many stop to offer to help, one fella even towed me to a garage(mechanic)
and he wouldnt take any money for the assistance.

the small town i live in,,i dont have to lock my house doors(havent for 15 yrs) and very very rarely do you hear of any crime.

im probly quite biased, ive lived in maine all my life, however i have travelled outside of maine thru many towns i wouldnt feel comfortable walking the streets,,

i enjoy the small town feel, the nice people and low crime,, if i won the lottery tomorrow i dont believe id move anywhere else!!
we welcome you to maine, it would be a good idea to visit and look around first
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:56 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,134,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berica View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply Maine is just a copy of the UK - I realize my post did sound a bit like that. What I meant is that I'd like to live somewhere that has a bit of a European flavour, especially (but not only) English. I've been to parts of the US where I really felt it was a whole different world - whereas on the East Coast (VA, Mass, DC) there are some mementoes of the Old World (even the topography - Belfast, Camden, Cape Elizabeth remind me of Europe). That said, it's not just Maine's relative "Englishness" that I find charming - it's many other things which are peculiar to Maine, too.

Thanks everone for your time, all the information you've offered is great, very helpful!

One more question: would you say Maine people tend to "mind their own business" or are they friendly to strangers right off the bat? In FL I found people talked to strangers at the checkout line, in some European countries one doesn't even say hello to people upon entering a train compartment because one doesn't know them, let alone chat with them.
Not really what I meant either. I hate the electronic media because it is hard to convey what is meant sometimes.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Here, if you're friendly and say hello, you'll get the same, if you avert your eyes and seem to want to be left alone that is also respected.
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