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What are some good places in Europe that are racially inclusive?

 

by @greenhorn | 4yr  | 26 comments

Hi

I spent about two months backpacking Europe in May and June and loved it. I visited Amsterdam, Praha, Krakow, Budapest, Bled, Interlaken, Vienna, Bratislava and Rome.

Since I have a SaaS product so I am location independent. I was thinking of moving to Europe for a year or so.

I am Indian so I donโ€™t really blend in too easily with the local populace. I was wondering if you could suggest me places which are very accepting of different ethnicities.

I liked Slovenia and Poland a lot but read online that a right wing party was elected in Poland and couldnโ€™t find much info on Slovenia online. My experiences there though were very positive.

Looking to hear the experiences of fellow nomads who stick out as obvious foreigners :). Which has been your favorite place?

Some other factors - budget 2000-2500 euros/month, love outdoors so looking for a place with lots of bicycling, running, hiking routes nearby. I really donโ€™t want to move to a big city though (such as Amsterdam or London) having lived in cities such as these all my life.

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@greenhorn | 4yr

@Lori_Miller London would be great but unfortunately it is too expensive :). Good to know about Lisbonโ€™s multiculturalism! Iโ€™ll have to visit there soon - have heard so many great things about Lisbon and Portugal.

@adamnowek No problems, Iโ€™ll be sure to ping you if I have any questions on Krakow! :slight_smile:

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@lori_miller | 4yr

I am American by birth and a Londoner by choice, my husband is born in London so British but his parents are of Indian origin. London - although not the rest of the UK I believe - is the most inclusive multicultural place Iโ€™ve ever been, which is a big part of what makes it such a vibrant exciting city! but of course Iโ€™m biased and you donโ€™t want city life.

Someone else on the thread mentioned Portugal. We are currently in Lisbon and outside of London this is the most racially mixed and inclusive place that Iโ€™ve lived. People of all colours here and lots of mixed race couples. What a contrast to Spain - or at least Andalucia where were a few months ago. Itโ€™s also dead cheap for western Europe (the fantastic wine especially). Mild climate even in the winter Iโ€™m told.

Iโ€™ve yet to convince the other half that Eastern Europe is an option because heโ€™s worried about encountering racism there, so itโ€™s good to know that was not your experience. Maybe Slovenia next summer!

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@greenhorn | 4yr

Wow, this discussion really took off! Thanks for your thoughts @flyonthewall @sander32 @adamnowek. You guys bring up an interesting point that it can differ from city to city within countries. Having lived in USA myself, I have observed a world of difference when comparing, say New York City or Miami to an Midwest/Mideast city (and then again, not all Mideast/Midwest cities are bad - some are lovely and very integrative - its complex! :slight_smile: ).

I think Iโ€™ll make another trip to Europe to check out the cities in Spain/Portugal/France (which I missed out on the first time) and then decide where to stay :).

@adamnowek How about Krakow vs. Wroclaw - would love to know your thoughts on the pros and cons of these two.

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@adamnowek | 4yr

@greenhorn I wish I knew! Iโ€™ve never been to Wrocล‚aw before. All I really know about it is thereโ€™s a couple of good breweries (Browar Profesja and Browar Stu Mostรณw), if thatโ€™s your thing :wink: But if you need any other tips or have any other questions about Krakรณw, I can help you there.

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@flyonthewall | 4yr

I feel quite comfortable in big US cities as a person of non-white ethnicity. However, I speak perfect English and can easily pass off as an American (non-white of course :P) so Iโ€™m 100% certain that this is a HUGE contributing factor. โ€œRacial inclusionโ€ in the context of this discussion isnโ€™t JUST about the color of your skin. It has a LOT to do with your command of the local language, knowledge of the local culture and how well you can communicate with the local populace.

When we talk about tolerance for DIFFERENT things, Iโ€™d say the entire world has a pretty dismal record. However, lets assume an educated fluent in english digital nomad type of person here, since thatโ€™s what is most relevant.

On the subject of the US, Iโ€™d say I agree with @sander32 that we should take the survey with a grain of salt. The US is as big as Europe. If we took the survey in different US states and then compared that to European countries, it might paint a different picture. Doing the survey in NYC is very different from small town Ohio or Mississippi.

In Europe, I have almost always felt like Iโ€™m โ€œdifferentโ€. Never ever has anything bad happened to me. I do feel that language is a big factor though and communication issues do come up often. Yes, there is a bit of rudeness too. Iโ€™ve found that Italians can be a little dismissive because I donโ€™t speak to them in Italian. The same applies in some other places. A guy in Vienna once told me - you should speak German if you are hereโ€ฆ (what? as a tourist? seriously?!). I was asking for directions by the wayโ€ฆ

I was once asked for my โ€œpapersโ€ in the Czech Republic when I flew in from France. I was the only brown person and there was no โ€œimmigrationโ€ since this was an intra Schengen flight. No one else was asked for their papers or any questions at all (this was by the baggage belt that a โ€œcopโ€ just came up to me). This was several years ago so not influenced by recent changes. This was NOT in Prague though. It was in a much smaller place in the Czech Republic and people in Prague were generally very friendly.

I would say that Scandinavia in general has been a good experience. Everyone speaks English so if I open my mouth and communicate in perfect English they already think Iโ€™m well educated, etc. and this will challenge any internal biases people may have about me because of the color of my skin. Everyone has biases, no matter how small. I cannot demonstrate the same education level in Spanish or French or Hungarian. I know this sounds unfortunate but itโ€™s true. The world is different for Asians/Arabs/Africans/etc who are well educated vs those who cannot demonstrably prove so. The new racism is classism.

I think the Netherlands would be fairly easy to get by in because people speak English in the cities. Same would go for Berlin in Germany and lots of European capitalsโ€ฆ Smaller places, not so much.

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@adamnowek | 4yr

On the note of inclusiveness in Poland, it really depends upon the city. Krakรณw has a fairly young population, owing to the multitude of universities located in the city. I head there about five or six times per year as my parents live there now: Iโ€™ve seen peaceful anti-government protests there nearly every time, so you could say that the population is a bit more forward-thinking and open-minded than other Polish cities. Maybe the best judgment Iโ€™ve heard is from my partner, who is herself Moroccan; she has never felt as though she was the target of racist (or at least awkward) behaviour in Krakรณw, whereas her experiences in Warsaw were not particularly positive as a woman who looks very much not like the local population. Sheโ€™s also had positive experiences in the two weeks we spent in Budapest at the start of the year, which is not necessarily a city that comes to mind as being open and tolerant.

You could also say that some of the places that you would expect to be open and tolerant (Iโ€™m thinking specifically of the Netherlands here, as thatโ€™s where I spend most of my time) are actually not. That probably comes to my mind because I follow the news in Dutch and youโ€™re more likely to hear intolerant voices from smaller towns, so it can come down to how much you want to pay attention to the closed-minded idiots that inhabit any country. I think that as long as youโ€™re spending time in areas where the population is younger and well-educated, then youโ€™ll be less likely to experience the darker side of Europe.

Itโ€™s worth not pretending that racism doesnโ€™t exist (and itโ€™s easy to say it doesnโ€™t when youโ€™re the same ethnicity as the majority of the local population), but I wouldnโ€™t fret about it too much. Just donโ€™t go to bars frequented by the local football hooligans :wink:

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@isander | 4yr

Hello @greenhorn!

You donโ€™t have to worry about racial inclusiveness in Europe. Everywhere people are tolerant to foreigners. Even here in the Netherlands the right winged parties are doing best and I am also voting for a right winged party. But I love meeting foreigners and I travel a lot too.

The only place I would not recommend living is in America. I lived in San Francisco for a year. I did have some Indian friends, one of them loves it there but yet another one is moving back to India soon. That list @dvc posted is completely made up. It doesnโ€™t make sense in any way.

Well, I could talk about this for hours but to make a long short: If you liked Poland and Slovenia, just go for it! If you find that some people act weird as youโ€™ve experienced in Budapest, thatโ€™s because people are different.

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@adamnowek | 4yr

The list isnโ€™t arbitrary and certainly not โ€˜made upโ€™: it was a poll conducted by Pew (which is a reputable research firm) asking the local population these questions. The data it provides is far more important than anecdotal evidence on whether or not an individual approves of open immigration policy.

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@isander | 4yr

@adamnowek Polls are often misleading. I can say I lived in America and have had lots of negative experiences. I left because of several incidents including a stabbing attempt on myself. Fortunately there was police around. At night the streets are full of homeless drug addicts.

Did you know that in the US, there are more black people in prison than collage?
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antonio-moore/black-mass-incarceration-statistics_b_6682564.html

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@adamnowek | 4yr

@sander32 Anyone that pays attention already knows that American cities are generally unsafe in comparison to European ones, that their justice system is inherently racist, and that the country as a whole is poorly educated. Iโ€™m not sure if you think Iโ€™m American (which Iโ€™m not), but I think weโ€™re trying to offer some tips within Europe here, not the United States.

All I was saying is that there are undeniable points of concern in any country (including the Netherlands) if you donโ€™t look like the native majority. Xenophobia isnโ€™t just the obvious structural examples (which exist in basically every country) like the ones you pointed out or a certain far-right parliamentarian: itโ€™s how people interact with you on the street or even in a professional environment. Just as Hungaryโ€™s government deserves the label of being hostile towards foreigners and the Dutch society is referred to as tolerant and open, there are plenty of Hungarian NGOs helping refugees and Dutch people rioting in Geldermalsen and Heesch because theyโ€™re scared of them.

European societies are hugely complex. If you play your cards right, you can completely avoid the elements of it that make you feel excluded (thatโ€™s why itโ€™s always good to try out cities with more university students, as the locals are already used to tonnes of youth and diversity). Painting the broad brush and saying โ€œcountry X is intolerant/tolerantโ€ is a binary that doesnโ€™t really tell anyone a whole lot. These are much more clear (though not crystally so!) when examined at the city level: I think that, if itโ€™s at all possible, it would be a really good idea for @greenhorn to get a taste of other cities he would be interested in trying out, even if itโ€™s just for a weekend at a time. There are so many wonderful cities on this continent that will make anyone feel welcome.

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@isander | 4yr

@adamnowek I didnโ€™t think you to be American, and I was just commenting on this topic as yourself. I related to that poll because I think that it is not showing representative information that can be of any use to @greenhorn. We donโ€™t have to agree, Iโ€™m just sharing my expertise.

Indeed, it wouldnโ€™t do harm to experience more cities in Europe. But I think that if he enjoyed Slovenia and Poland but is not willing to live there because some poll tells him that they are race intolerant, or because right winged parties are popular, he is making a mistake.

The current refugee unpopularity and right wing populism is more about culture shocks and EU propaganda & bureaucracy. Itโ€™s got absolutely nothing to do with work integration.

But to narrow it down: every country has its ups and downs as you say. To visit a country before moving there, or to be advised by a company you work for/with or a friend is the best thing to do.

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@adamnowek | 4yr

@sander32 I think a poll (which is from a well-designed global public opinion survey conducted by a reputable research firm) that asks people (in countries that he is thinking of moving to) what they think about the increased presence of people of different ethnicities (when he comes from one) is pretty important :slight_smile:

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@isander | 4yr

@adamnowek if weโ€™d trust polls Britain would still be in the EU :wink:

Polls can be misleading. This one says that Americans are more likely to think that more diversity makes their place a better place to live in. But that doesnโ€™t mean that America is a nice place to live. :confused:

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@greenhorn | 4yr

@Philippe @JPRajani @lavinia @m4rio Thanks for your suggestions! Time to research the long stay visa options of these countries now.

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@mario | 4yr

Try Portugal (Porto, London, smaller coastal towns around Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais, Sintra)

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@poppyjikko | 4yr

You may check Kamnik, close to Ljubljana and the mountain :wink:

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@poppyjikko | 4yr

Ljubljana may be one of the best fit on that matter, as you may already know :slight_smile:

Maybe some french cities but english is poorly spoken, depending who you talk too.

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@greenhorn | 4yr

@Philippe Yes! I really want to go back to Slovenia! Everything about the country is awesome, it is basically Switzerland without being expensive :). How does Ljubljana compare to other cities such as Maribor or Kranj?

Any ideas if Slovenia has a long stay visa? I could not find any info online!

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@ryanchampion | 4yr

If you are cool with UK and want to avoid London, check out Bristol. Much cheaper and has a vibrant attitude. City is not too big, not too small. Definitely worth thinking aboutโ€ฆ]

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@greenhorn | 4yr

@flyonthewall I had great experiences in all these places - except maybe Budapest where I thought people were rude but maybe that is how they treat everyone :).

It is hard to tell though - I just spent a week in each of these places and stayed in hostels and all of these places are tourist hotspots. So considering the time, location and accommodation - I wasnโ€™t really exposed in the same way a resident would.

Northern Europe would be TOO cold - most of the time I wouldnโ€™t be able to bicycle or hike or run outdoors. And I also read that Scandinavian countries are pretty expensive but not sure how true it is (if they are anything like Switzerland, NOPE!)

@dvc Thanks for the data! Surprising to see Netherlands ranked so low, maybe the situation is different in cities other than Amsterdam.

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@jprajani | 4yr

I would think best place would be the North Europe for you. Best place in EU to bike, hike and run. Huge wilderness areas and law that we call โ€œevery manโ€™s rightโ€. Which means that you can hike and camp in everywhere. Just donโ€™t go or camp near housing (about 300m). In summer weather is same as rest of the Europe and warmth lasts until end of september.

And of course during winter outdoor activities are ever better with cross country skiing and other winter sports. There are ski trails as long as 300km in Lappland. Just pick a resort.

Norway is extremely expensive. More than Switzerland. Sweden and Finland are about the same as France and Germany. Except alcohol which is extremely heavily taxed in both countries.

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@greenhorn | 4yr

@jprajani Thanks! My impression was that it would be too cold in North Europe to do outdoors most of the time but didnโ€™t think of winter activities! Coming from a hot climate country, I have never had the experience of doing so but maybe trying these out and learning would be fun!

Which country would you pick out of Sweden/Finland?

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@jprajani | 4yr

As a Finn Iโ€™m recommending Finland :wink:

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@laviniaiosub | 4yr

Try Malta! I loved it and they are a blend of European and African themselves.

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@dvc | 4yr

You say you had a good time in Poland and Slovenia; East-Central/Eastern Europe is stereotypically one of the less inclusive regions of the continent, so youโ€™d be fine pretty much anywhere. Even countries which are relatively xenophobic on average still, by virtue of their size and cultural heterogeneity, have many, many friendly and welcoming people; young people and those in urban areas are generally more open-minded and tolerant. That said, hereโ€™s a bit of data:

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@flyonthewall | 4yr

I believe most of northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland) is pretty inclusive.

Waiting to see what other people say. You should probably share your experiences of the cities/areas you listed out above.

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Iโ€™d like to have a phone number that does not change for at least 1 or 2 years.

I did my homework & found this thread but itโ€™s only about US services so I donโ€™t think itโ€™s relevant: Whatโ€™s a good US call and SMS forwarding service?
Also, I looked into Google Hangout but it doesnโ€™t support European phone numbers.

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Cheapest places to be a digital nomad in Latin America?


by @jfowler | 2yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

Hey guys โ€” Iโ€™m looking for the best cheap places to be a digital nomad in Central and South America. Priority list: 1) cheap 2) social 3) strong internet. Iโ€™m in debt and need to cut my cost of living as low as possible. But hey, I still have to live it up. THanks!

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Places in Central or South America with a beach for remote working


by @mcdime | 2yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Im looking to make my first venture into nomad living this September and keep leaning back towards Bocas del Toro.

Does anyone have experience setting up shop there? Iโ€™m open to other warm weather surf towns as well

Starting a SaaS company that assists the operation of service based industries so being near some other SaaS people would be wonderful. (First time starting a tech company)

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Best European Ski Towns?


by @matthewhallca | 2yr 2 years ago | 9 comments

Looking to spend around 6 weeks somewhere in Europe this winter skiing and working. Donโ€™t need a big tech community but care more about it being affordable and having at least half decent skiing.

So far I have heard good things about Les Deux Alpes, France and Bansko, Bulgaria.

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Where is the best place to open a bank account in Europe?


by @julien | 2yr 2 years ago | 7 comments

Hello the community,

I am thinking about opening a business bank account in another country outside of France.
I live in Paris and I work as a freelancer. The taxes on my salary are very expensive (around 85%). I would like to know if there are better options for bank accounts within Europe.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Regards,

J

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Where to pay taxes if self employed non-resident of the UK, travelling Europe?


by @jadi4nd | 2yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Hi, I know there are a few posts around this topic but none of them quite answer my questions.

I am British and currently a resident in the UK.
Next year I am going to become a non-resident and spend over a year traveling mostly around Europe, moving every few weeks never staying anywhere longer than a month. (My first venture into becoming a digital nomad!)

I am remote, self employed, software developer working mostly for one client based in the UK.

Where am I liable to pay taxes?
From what I have read I will not be liable to pay taxes in UK, can anyone confirm this?
If not the UK then where if I am moving every few weeks?
If possible I want to avoid starting a company as this seems unnecessarily complicated for my work setup.

Thank you in advance for any help :slight_smile:

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Which is the warmest city in Europe with the highest number of tech jobs?


by @omarmohameddev | 3yr 2 years ago | 8 comments

I am currently living in Cologne, Germany, with my wife, but we are looking for to continue our slow-nomadism path towards a warmer city, possibly close to the sea, where I can easily get a new job and offer a set of well-know, tech companies/startups. Any idea?

I was considering Madrid and Valencia, but also Nice looks very attempting even if I am scared that there are not enough tech companies could become hard find/change job in the long term.

Thanks everyone in advance!

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Health Insurance for Europeans?


by @patrickheneise | 3yr 2 years ago | 4 comments

Hi there, Iโ€™m currently looking at Allianz Global and IM Global as a health insurance for long-term travel in Asia. Any experiences with those two or are there better options for European residents?

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Any good places in Krabi to rent a house for long stay?


in Krabi, Thailand by @zoxel | 3yr 2 years ago | 2 comments

Hey everyone,
We are nomad couple looking for some house we can stay for year or more.
Are there any known good places, like new villages with modern houses or something like this that we can check? Or any place you can recommend to look for a good (for European) house for rent?
Thx in advance for your help!

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Where in Europe to settle for 90 or 180 days (fall - winter)


by @0frontiers | 3yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

am italian, speaking german, french, spanish.
Iโ€™m looking for a base for the upcoming winter season.
on my radar i have following options:

France = I love the country, speak its languge, enjoy its food, just the climate ainโ€™t most warm unless your in the deep south (good wines too)

Spain = After one year of living Mexico and speaking fluently spanish this rather new country could be very interesting, if not intriguing. Valencia probably on my top lists.

Italy = havenโ€™t been in Italy for a while, though iโ€™m italian. Generally very sociable country and if your not a tax resident the sounds of living in it is quite fascinating.

Greece = Never been there, food and climate would be probably very suitable if not super sweet. I can see my self overlooking the Agean see on a cup of wine while work is done stretching into sweet weekends.

Ukraine = I know bloody cold and politically tense, yet arguably cheap and still safe (iโ€™m used to Mexican standards). It would be a interesting ride for sure, and low expenses would mean easy route to stay competitive and build momentum in my business.

All other options are out of sight, UK , IRELAND are too cold and expensive. I would drink too much to feel sociable :slightly_smiling_face:

Where are you guys heading?
I have October, November, December to opt in , new year Iโ€™d probably HOP into a newer country, still EU-Bound โ€ฆ

Give me some pros and cons.

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Are there cards similar to the APEC Business Travel Card that Europeans are eligible for?


by @dpt | 3yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

I heard from an American friend that he has several cards similar to the APEC Business Travel Card (link to Wikipedia ) that allow him to get priority treatment at immigration line in certain countries.
I was very intrigued and quickly checked up on the card, but it seems to be only available to citizens of APEC-member nations.

I was wondering if anyone here uses such cards, what your experiences with them are (specifically, Iโ€™m interested in cards available for Europeans/Germans).

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