immigrant

How Hot is Arizona in the Summer?

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This is a question I get asked ALL the time. And my answer is always: Hot! "This past weekend was the hottest so far this year" I keep hearing the newscast repeat over and over. I mean, we are nearing summer, so you'd expect each weekend to be the hottest as it goes on, but when they mean hottest, they mean, bloody hot! Like the temperatures jumped from 84-85F to 105-107F in 1 week!!!

One unhappy Brazilian here my friends.

I want to explain how it feels, but it's hard, you walk out of the (very) cold air conditioning and this hot oven air hits you all over. Your body gets extremely hot at once. The only good thing about it is that it's a dry heat. And believe me, this is the only good thing about it.

Can you believe that sometimes it's too hot to go in the swimming pool? Yeap, I kid you not! The water gets so hot during the day that it's not refreshing and the only time we can swim is at night!

From now until mid-September the temperatures will continue to go up. If I remember it right, I think last year it was 125F one day, argh! Get me out of here!

Anyways, it's part of life of living in the valley, 9 months of gorgeous weather and 3 months of not so nice, really hot days. And then I laugh at some of my friends back in England who, every time there is a rare blue sky, they take a picture and post, insinuating that London is not grey. I laugh because that used to be me. I do believe that London's reputation is worse than what it actually is, but.... it's not too far off. Paul wasn't in London for 24hrs and it started raining, ha! Victory, because I'd be really mad if the weather was perfect the whole time that he is there. That way, I can make fun of him and he makes fun of me, love it!

If you're getting ready to move to Phoenix, get ready for some heat!

"Oh, You're So Lucky!"

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So, let me tell you right now... don't ever say that to an expat.

As an expat, I've

been unemployed,

been lost,

been robbed,

been without friends,

been unable to speak the language,

had a child in a foreign country with no help from family,

been mistreated at a job,

had to hide in my studio while a crazy neighbor tried breaking in,

had to sleep on the floor of that same studio because I had no money to buy a bed, and when I bought an air mattress it was defective and deflated,

been followed while going back home from work at midnight.

worked 2 jobs and at one point, worked for 23 days straight, until I almost had a breakdown.

Do I regret any of that?

No, not at all, it made me who I am today, I am more grateful for my bed today than I ever was, I am aware of my surroundings and I appreciate when someone helps me with my child, that little bit more.

Life is life, you can pretend that everything is picture perfect on your Facebook/instagram accounts, but this is all it is, a picture; a snippet of ones life. You have bad days and you have great, amazing days.

Am I lucky?

Yes, maybe and no. I am lucky, in the sense that I love my life, I love who I am and I am grateful for everything I've ever done and how I chose to live my life, even the hard bits.

Am I lucky because I live in a foreign country? Maybe, depends on the day. I still need to wake up everyday and go to work, I have to do laundry and cleaning and washing up. The country where I live now has pros and cons like any other country.

Am I happier than someone who has never been outside of their country? I could never say that. I bet they encounter some of the same issues as me, they also need to wake up, take care of the family, go to work, take kids to school, etc.

There is no "luck" here, in the sense that everything just comes easy because I live abroad. I live a normal life in a different country with its own challenges and peculiarities, and a lot of hard work.

How to Make the Best of Your Area Orientation Tour?

homesSometimes you will move and that's it, you've never been to the place before, you don't get a chance to and it's all a big surprise. On the other hand sometimes your company (or your new company) will give you a weekend/week/day for an area orientation tour. When I worked in Real Estate I did a lot of relocation tours. I loved it. I did national and international tours. On that note, here are a few things to make it work for you.

  • Try to get your company to at least give you a full day. I've seen people with half day house tours. It's hard.

 

  • Be open-minded when you visit somewhere new. I've heard someone say that after spending 1 weekend in a certain foreign country, they rejected the company's offer to move. I understand that it can be overwhelming, but visiting a place with jet lag, tired, sometimes is not ideal, so keep an open mind and don't focus on the negatives.

 

  • If the company hires a real estate agent, make sure that you give him/her as much info as you can, they will be working to help you, but they can't do it properly if you don't offer candid feedback on what you need/want.

 

  • If you are scheduled for a day, let's say, a Friday with a professional, book your return flight for Sunday evening. Try to spend the weekend not sightseeing, but going to a local event instead, with locals.

 

  • Bring your spouse, if you can, or have them on Skype/hangouts. It will save you time when making decisions after.

 

  • If they can't come for any reason, video places or inside homes, it will help your spouse feel as part of the decision.

 

  • In Arizona, for example, realtors are forbidden by law to tell you what area you should live based or racial background or schools. They can give you the information to research and investigate, but they can't say: "I think you'd love this area, loads of people from Sweden like you live here!" or "This is a great area, loads of good schools and no robbery". I love that law, I think it makes perfect sense, but people don't get it. It is hard for realtors to explain this law. But think about it, a good area for me, might not be all good for me, and I might not want to live next to the biggest Swedish community in the USA :-)

 

  • If you have kids, arrange to visit schools. If a realtor or a relocation company calls them in advance, they can arrange a visit.

 

  • If you are looking to be near lakes in Arizona, take a deep breath and again, be open-minded... there aren't many around here. Even if they show in a map, it doesn't mean they aren't dried up. Again, be open-minded.

 

  • Did I say, be open-minded?

 

  • Have fun!

Disturbing Thoughts on Earth Day

desert The human race is part of nature, but it's amazing how it destroys and it doesn't care about the future of nature and the future of Earth.

I remember years and years ago, scientists were talking about the lack of water. It wasn't lacking then, but they said it was a possibility. Now we see, São Paulo, California, London, all suffering with drought. Funny thing is, Brazil has the largest coastline in S. America, California is on the Coast and England is an island surrounded by water. ocean

I believe that more and more we will find that natural resources will be running short. Human beings have no respect for nature and for all that it gives us. We should be grateful we can see a sunset everyday, that there are flowers in gardens, that there is snow up the mountains.

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If nature disappears, so will we.

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