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Old 06-02-2010, 08:58 AM
 
8 posts, read 18,547 times
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Hello, long time reader/first time writer here. I'm 25, presently live in the UK but I hate it. I've been reading about Billings (Can't recall where I first heard about it) and it sounds like a fantastic place. Previously I'd have visited for a holiday, but because of how things are getting here, plus the fact that life has taught me that time is VERY short, I'm seriously contemplating moving away to America, possibly Billings.

I'd like to live somewhere where I could go fishing (The most underrated pasttime ever) regularly, where you aren't looked at like a weirdo for having good manners and where community spirit thrives. Case in point: I've lived at my present house since 1991, and have only ever spoken to my neighbours twice. I'm visiting Montana (Via 4 plane flights) in October, but I have a few questions for the helpful folks on this board:

1. How cold does it get in the Winter? And how long does the snow stick around?

2. Is the cost of living expensive?

3. What kind of jobs are available? I presently work in IT Support, and have 3.5 years experience. Is there work of this kind available in Billings?

Thanks in advance for any advice
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: MT
155 posts, read 675,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De4dp00l View Post
Hello, long time reader/first time writer here. I'm 25, presently live in the UK but I hate it. I've been reading about Billings (Can't recall where I first heard about it) and it sounds like a fantastic place. Previously I'd have visited for a holiday, but because of how things are getting here, plus the fact that life has taught me that time is VERY short, I'm seriously contemplating moving away to America, possibly Billings.

I'd like to live somewhere where I could go fishing (The most underrated pasttime ever) regularly, where you aren't looked at like a weirdo for having good manners and where community spirit thrives. Case in point: I've lived at my present house since 1991, and have only ever spoken to my neighbours twice. I'm visiting Montana (Via 4 plane flights) in October, but I have a few questions for the helpful folks on this board:

1. How cold does it get in the Winter? And how long does the snow stick around?

2. Is the cost of living expensive?

3. What kind of jobs are available? I presently work in IT Support, and have 3.5 years experience. Is there work of this kind available in Billings?

Thanks in advance for any advice

1) You can look up the average winter temp at many weather websites online... but it sometimes can get down to -20 during the winter for a week or two, with a sligh breeze and the associated windchill -30 is not uncommon. I would say usually 10-30 during the deep winter and 30-40 during the early and later winter.... fall and spring in most parts of the country. Usually have snow flying as early as Sept-Oct.... and as late as April-May. But for the most part it will only stick around starting November-Dec and clearing out around Feb-March.

2) I wouldn't say it is too bad, Montana in general can be a little more expensive that other parts of the country but way less than the bigger cities in the US (LA, NY, Washington DC, etc). I wouldn't worry about the cost of living. If you are there is many cost of living calculators online where you can compare your current city to Billings.

3) If you are interested, I would search the Billings Gazette website (local newspaper). I am sure you can find jobs in IT support if you keep looking.


Billings is the largest city in the state, so there are quite a few oportunities when compared to some of the other smaller citys/town in Montana.

Good luck
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
6,307 posts, read 7,271,752 times
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Welcome to the Montana Board De4dp00l

Billings is very different from most of the United Kingdom, the highlands of Scotland and the Moors are probably the closest comparison, but we are a long way from the oceans so we don't have much humidity and that means that we don't have the damp bone chilling cold you may be more familiar with. Lots more sun too, not the heavy overcast for weeks on end like most places close to the sea.

Good Manners are always welcome We may be a little more rough and ready than the more urban areas of Europe, but a pleasant Good Morning or holding a door for a lady is still acceptable behavior for the most part.

From living in Europe for a while, I would say our cost of living is a little cheaper as we don't have a VAT, (yet), and Montana doesn't have a sales tax, so while the housing can be expensive, you can get into a good house in a decent neighborhood in Billings for under $250,000. (I would guess that would be somewhere around 175,000 pounds?) or less. Hard to find anything good under $125,000, but rents vary widely depending on what you get and where it is in town.

Anyway, as far as fishing goes, that is a BIG part of the culture here, all year round.
We have warm water species in the eastern part of the state, several cold water species in the central/west and southern parts of the state, and some fish that are hard to find in other places such as the Paddlefish.

You could also check out state and federal jobs all over Montana as IT jobs are usually available.

Are you planning on emmigrating or just working here for a while?
I worked with several citizens of the United Kingdom and found them to be a very warm and quick witted bunch that I really enjoyed my time with. Any of the British or Scottish men I worked with would fit in well in Montana. Actually there is a large segement of the population in Butte that are decendent from Welsh miners that worked the mines in the late 1800s early 1900s. Some Irish as well.

(We have a lot of Microbreweries around the state that produce some fantastic beer as well, so you won't have to drink the mass production stuff either if you don't want to, and some can be drank warm LOL!! )

Good Luck!!
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:33 AM
 
8 posts, read 18,547 times
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As far as my plans go, Im looking to live there for a little while with a plan to make that a permanent move. If the fishing and quality of life are as good as everyone here has been saying, will really enjoy it when I visit in October. Am glad to see that courtesy and being polite and respectful is still welcome somewhere in the world too. Good manners cost nothing, as my Mother used to say.

Thanks for the replies so far, both very helpful
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,925 posts, read 13,845,978 times
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Just curious, what part of the U.K. do you live in? Lot of different areas for such a small set of islands. I've been hearing sad and bad things about Britain's descent into both hooligan row and a surveillance state.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:38 AM
 
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Thumbs down Location

The UK does indeed have a lot of places scattered over it's small islands, and I live in probably one of the strangest of them. I currently live on a small island called Jersey, about 100 miles South of England. Its on wikipedia if you'd like to see more. Some reasons for wanting to leave:

1. Too cramped (90,000 people in a 45 square mile area isn't good)

2. House prices way out of reach (3 bedroom house goes for about £500,000, which at todays dollar rate is a snip at $728,000...

3. High cost of living (Lack of competition means only two food stores, and they both charge a lot more than the mainland)

Lots more reasons, but don't have all day to describe them. Visiting Montana will be a bit like going from a goldfish bowl to an ocean
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
6,307 posts, read 7,271,752 times
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Very Cool
I remember seeing some channel islands when I flew over, but I don't know if it was Jersey or some of the other islands.

I would reccomend you take a drive north of Billings up to Winnett and Jordan.
Petroleum county, (Winnett) only has around 350 residents, but there is good fishing (usually), at Petrolina lake and Flat Willow. If you drive from Ingomar to Jordan you have 70 miles where you won't see anybody on the road most times, and only a couple houses. Just open prairie as far as the eye can see.

Montana is the 4th largest state in America after Alaska, Texas and California, but we still have less than a million population.

You should be able to find some room to breathe!! LOL

I completely understand your take on the crowding issue, I was stationed in Puerto Rico for a while, and that island is only 30 miles X 90 miles with a population of between 3 and 4 million.

Too close for me!!

I feel claustrophobic in Missouri for heaven's sake
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,925 posts, read 13,845,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De4dp00l View Post
The UK does indeed have a lot of places scattered over it's small islands, and I live in probably one of the strangest of them. I currently live on a small island called Jersey, about 100 miles South of England. Its on wikipedia if you'd like to see more. Some reasons for wanting to leave:

1. Too cramped (90,000 people in a 45 square mile area isn't good)

Lots more reasons, but don't have all day to describe them. Visiting Montana will be a bit like going from a goldfish bowl to an ocean
Eeep! that's not a crowd, it's a crush!! Yeah, it'd almost be worth becoming the first person to do a trans-Atlantic swim
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:10 AM
 
6,454 posts, read 10,848,019 times
Reputation: 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by De4dp00l View Post
As far as my plans go, Im looking to live there for a little while with a plan to make that a permanent move. If the fishing and quality of life are as good as everyone here has been saying, will really enjoy it when I visit in October. Am glad to see that courtesy and being polite and respectful is still welcome somewhere in the world too. Good manners cost nothing, as my Mother used to say.

Thanks for the replies so far, both very helpful
Dream big! If we don't, we'll never test our own boundaries. At your age, waaay back in the 20th century, I embarked on a similar journey, and I have never regretted it. So I understand...but make sure you allow for some flexibility to your plans. Check out Billings, but set time aside to also travel through several NW states when you come over in October. What you think may be perfect for you may actually not live up to your mental image--and another place you hadn't even thought of will end up being your new home. If you're comfortable driving on the right, you might rent a car and drive all the way from Montana to Seattle (IT hub). Otherwise take a Greyhound bus. You'll see amazing fall color, and experience a significant variety of scenery and lifestyles. Also make sure you know everything you need to know about visa regulations--deciding to move to the US is not only a huge emotional step, it is also a road paved with paperwork!

Go for it! Best of luck!
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,925 posts, read 13,845,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Fork Fantast View Post
What you think may be perfect for you may actually not live up to your mental image--and another place you hadn't even thought of will end up being your new home.
That's for sure. When I was younger I thought I'd only want to live in trees and mountains. Now... who'da guessed I'd feel far more at home in the wide open desert, which is the nearest I can presently do to vast fields of grass and grain.
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