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Discussion Starter #1
I guess there's a few people here who might know about that place... ;)

I'm in between a few things right now, and im thinking of moving to the USA for about 1-6 months, length depending on a few things. Firstly, id like to rent somewhere to live for maybe 2 months firstly. My initial plan is to go for a prolonged holiday, and maybe after a month decide if i want to stay longer and get a job.

Here's where you guys come in: WHERE would be a good part of the USA to go? I want to go for a holiday, but not to a tourist-y area. Ive got a TON of questions:

1) What would be a reasonable place to rent; meaning would it be possible to rent a small house for 2 months, or an apartment - i dont want to live in a hotel ... :p

2) What state? :: I really have no idea where's a nice place to go. Avoid big cities? Avoid small towns? Any advice here would be good. I just want to get a good flavor of the culture and day-to-day life there.

Perhaps the biggest part of this plan is that i would be selling the Mustang here, heading over with the cash, and if i decide to come back, id buy a project car and ship it over.

So before i make any harsh decisions, i want to be sure that ive got all my bases covered.

Anyone, please feel free to chime in - advice, ideas, people calling me crazy - i want to hear from you! ::

Thanks

Gary
 

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You really should check with the American Consulate to see what your options are for getting a visa. You do have to apply for a visa before you arrive in the US. If you want to be able to work you need to get that arranged before hand. US Immigration is pretty hard these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just an idea at this stage, so i know there's a lot ahead.

I'll have to look further into that issue

Thanks,

Gary
 

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Gary,
There is so much you would have to consider in just picking an area of the country to live. The States vary so much in cultural diversity as well as topology. Take North Dakota for example, considered mostly a rural state. We have only three cities that have populations of over 75 thousand, but the many are between 1000 and 10,000. Farming is the main occupation, but we have a growing manufacturing industry as well. We even have one of Microsofts headquarters here.
Yes, we have Winter here, usually considered mid November thru mid March. ND has some of the friendliest people I have met in my life. I say that because I have travelled quite a bit in my 37 years and lived in 6 different states. What ND lacks is "big city cultural". Yes we have museums and art theatres as well as opera's and outdoor musicals, but not in the quantity that "big cities" have. Our crime rate is low, we do not suffer from air pollution problems and we do not have any venomous reptiles hiding in the brush waiting to bite unsuspecting humans. And we boast about one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Nation. If you love the outdoors then this part of the country could be what your looking for. Hunting, fishing, boating, biking, camping,etc.
ND is mostly flat. From the Red River valley in the East (quite flat) to the rolling hills in the middle, to the badlands and butes of the West, we have NO mountains.
You did not mention any family, so if you are only responsible for yourself, then I think you have a wonderfull opportunity in front of you. Come to America and see what its like. If you can, travel around and see firsthand the differences. You also did not mention any career choices, that might have some bearing on where you choose to start. Either way, it sounds like a great adventure. :D Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm fairly young, and yet another 'victim' of the IT Industry....so i would be heading over on my own, with an open mind.
 

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An IT guy, eh? I am too.

You might need to arrange a job ahead of time. IT here is extremely tight. I have a friend in Boston who is still unemployed after 1 1/2 years.

I am in Detroit at a major auto company whose name starts with F and we have been continually downsizing for the last 2 1/2 years.
 

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If I had only a few weeks, I'd visit California. It's a very large and diverse state in of itself and if your looking to get a project car, you'll have the best chances at a rust free car from places like southern California and Arizona. I'd go the redwood forests, go to the wine country, check out San Francisco area for a few days, travel down the coast, skip LA, visit San Diego then on to Mexico. Don't forget to work in Las Vegas.

BTW- I want to go to Ireland!! ::
 

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Gary, Id first start with the climate you want to live in, change of seasons & winter up north, hot & tropical way down south, or something inbetween. Then, once youve narrowed down the climate, there are a number of choices, in geography, mountainous, flat, arid, etc., then you can look at the different cities in those areas and see what excites you. My ancestors came over from Ireland about 300 years ago, started near Boston, and are now strung out from Vermont to Oregon to Arizona and Florida. Im in IT too, and its tough, but getting better....
 

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This is one big country with a lot of distinct areas.

My favorite places to work are So Cal, No Cal, Portland(Oregon or Maine), Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh and a few other places.

The easiest way to find short term lodgings is with Marriott Execustay. They have short term apartments in nice parts of town and are fully furnished. Thats what I usually do. It is cheaper than a hotel and about the same price if you found a short term apt and rented furniture.

Oh and Chicago is really great too!
 

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It really depends on what you like and what you like to do. I lived in NY for most of my life. If you're into the big city night life, multi-ethnicity, great public transporation, long cold winters and mild summers, and great food, NYC could be the place for you, but it is very (VERY!!! ) expensive.

Upstate NY is beautiful, but slow. I don;t think you would get a really good feel for the US there because ther are not many people - lots of nature tho.

I live just outside of Austin, TX. If you're into lots of outdoor activities, a night life that ranges from college-like to sophisticated, college football, politics, liberal ideas, BBQ and Tex-mex (the rest of the food pretty much sucks), stifling heat for about 6 months, and mild winters, Austin could be the place for you.

I visitied California, and wasn't crazy about it, but if you like wine Napa Valley was really nice and beautiful. There is a lot to do in Cali, but it is also an expensive place to live.

I went to Law School in Boston. it's a great place to visit during the summer (the winters are ridiculously cold), there is a lot to do, pretty good public transport - but I had two POS cars stolen there (like "WHO would steal such a POS?" cars), good mix of people and lots and lots of colleges.

I grew up on Long Island in NY, then went to undergrad upstate NY, then college in Boston, MA. then interned in Charlotte NC, Atlanta GA (stay away from Atlanta!), Colorado Springs CO (beautiful) and finally Austin TX, all so i could figure out where I wanted to live when I grew up. Good Luck!

Depending on where you end up will have a lot to do with where you rent.

If you are only going to be here a few months I'd recommend renting a room in a house - this way you don't have to buy furniture and yuo can go short term. Most Apts will want at least a 6 month lease.
 

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Gary - Sorry to hear that you lost your job. It sounds like you are ready to make the most of the "opportunity" , though.

Coming to the States for a few months would probably be great fun. I envy the freedom you've gained.

Where you go would depend on what you were looking for. I have my prejudices about this country, but they may not apply to you. I grew up on the east coast (as well as a few years in Europe...) and left that part of the country back in the 70s. Even though it was home, I never really cared much for the weather (cool and wet in the winter, and hot and wet in the summer) or the crowding, but there certainly are many things to do and see there.

Since moving to the American west back in the late 70s, I can't really imagine living anywhere else. The big vistas and "wide open spaces" are in my blood now.Humidity and heat drive me nuts so I moved to a high and dry part of the country.

I agree with others who recomend a visit to California. While it too has its crowds, it is such a large and diverse state, you can sample just about anything you can imagine there.

As I recall, Mach1Pilot (Bill) has IT business connections in Dublin and in Massachusets. He might be a good source of information on H1-B (guest worker) information. I know that my company has also used a number of systems consultants from England, Ireland and Scotland, in the past and would be happy to ask one or two of them what advice they might offer you.

Anyway, tell us more about your weather preferences. That will certainly drive much of our recomendations. America is a very large country and you can find just about any kind of climate and landscape here - everything from tropical forests to deserts to alpine, to pancake-flat prairies... So let us know about your tastes in weather, population density and topography.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
WOW, thanks everyone - a lot to take in!

Weather - i'm used to a moderatly warm climate in the summer and rather cold in the winter - we dont get extreme's here. Its hot or cold, nothing drastic. We dont get as much rain as you may imagine (...from the general irish stereotype ;))

As regards what id like to do - ive always been into NASCAR, short track racing, car shows - infact everything ive been into since i was 10 has been American ::

Where ever i go, a local short track is a must! ;)

I would like to have my own place for the duration. Not a hotel or a motel, somewhere with a couple of rooms would do me. I reckon i could budget 400-500$ a month for accomidation - but might only stay for 2 months so what are the chances of getting such for a rather small time?

California seems popular, but im afraid of jumping into the idealistic-american cliche ::

Keep it coming folks, great help so far!

Thanks,

Gary
 

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If you like the climate you are accustomed to (as I said, I did not), I can recomend Portland, Oregon.

Pretty place near both the coast and mountains, very temperate climate and friendly folks.
 

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One rather odd thing i have to ask;

The worst creatures we run across here are frogs and hedge-hogs. What is it REALLY like as regards snakes, lizards and such? How common are they? In general, or are some areas worse than others?

Stupid i know, but it would be a shock to the system to see a 10 foot long snake for me... ::
 

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Hey Gary! One thing for sure, you'd have a great time here! As the others have said, the US is a very diverse country from culture to climate. It really depends on what you want.

I live just outside of NYC, in NJ about 20 miles to the north and west slightly. One thing about the NYC area, just about anything you want, you can get, food, life style ect. The next town to me is Pearl River, NY. Pearl River is a real Irish town, you'd feel right at home, believe me! One advantage would be that you'd have a ready made network of people that would gladly welcome and help you with your plans along with looking after you like family. You'd be a stone's throw from NYC.

As far as employement, we have many corporate headquarters in this imeadiate area, such as Avis, Hertz, BMW, Mercedes, Sony to mention a few.

Good luck in your quest!
 

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The only part of the country where you'd have any reasonable chance of encountering large reptiles is our southeast and south-central region. If this phobia is reall a problem, avoid So. Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisanna, and Texas. IMO, even in those states, you probably won't see any big snakes, unless you hang out in swamps or go looking for rattlers on the Texas prairie.
 
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Generally we "ADAPT" to our environment such as living in the Arizona heat or the snow in the North, but just about anywhere in the U.S. has it's own unique offerings. Personally, I would stay away from the expensive states such as California and most on the East Coast. There are snakes all over the U.S., but some have more poisonous one's than others. For instance, the Southwest is famous for it's various rattle snakes, but you get used to having them around, and avoid them.
Be sure to get all your paperwork ducks in order before you decide to come for an extended period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Seems very hard to choose a good place to go. I dont have much of an idea at all. California seems like the 'popular' place, but it seems hard to make a decision.

Id like to here from some west coasters on the issue :)

Thanks

Gary
 

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One rather odd thing i have to ask;

The worst creatures we run across here are frogs and hedge-hogs. What is it REALLY like as regards snakes, lizards and such? How common are they? In general, or are some areas worse than others?
Not nearly as common as you might imagine, but of course it depends on area more than anything else. Urban areas don't really have much in the way of snakes or lizards through most of the US, but each area has it's own minor pests. Unless you're living in the desert, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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