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Ideas for making a life in the mountains

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
klang180 wrote:

I must admit I hadn't considered Innsbruck as and option and hadn't considered that it would be an outdoorsy type of place (stupid really) as that could satisfy more than one area of life. I will look into it and maybe put it back on the agenda, who knows it might be I end up doing what you did and move there after a bit of resort time Smile

I've only been to Innsbruck once, for 2 days. It does strike me it's the sort of place you CAN feel you're in the mountains, because the mountains are just... right there you can see from the middle of the city! Yet it's a proper city.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Orange200 wrote:
Stuff breaks all the time, and either I learn quickly to converse with local builders, often to explain problems over the phone, or I pay 4x the rate for the builders who speak English. As someone who enjoys languages and is mean with money, the choice is clear Smile


My plumber certainly taught me some new French but to be fair he did apologise afterwards.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
abc wrote:
klang180 wrote:

I must admit I hadn't considered Innsbruck as and option and hadn't considered that it would be an outdoorsy type of place (stupid really) as that could satisfy more than one area of life. I will look into it and maybe put it back on the agenda, who knows it might be I end up doing what you did and move there after a bit of resort time Smile

I've only been to Innsbruck once, for 2 days. It does strike me it's the sort of place you CAN feel you're in the mountains, because the mountains are just... right there you can see from the middle of the city! Yet it's a proper city.

Grenoble is the same, though davidof has written that it has problems. I stay in Grenoble itself if I'm skiing at any of the surrounding stations.
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I enjoy living in resort in the Winter, but I wouldn't want to live here all year round (although I will do for most of this year) - the place is dead for six months of the year. As soon as I've sold my UK abode I will be looking for a separate property, probably in the south of France.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Brexit ill not make it easy for you ..near on impossible

so therefore I would make the move ASAP .
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Orange200 wrote:
@queenie pretty please, sure but I suspect you need a certain level of the language already to do that, and the OP.... oh hang on, perhaps he's underselling himself again... Very Happy

The quickest way to get to that "certain level of the language" is to live amongst the locals. The fewer English speaker the better. Shocked

I'm an immigrant myself. I see around me my fellow non-English speakers who, after decades living in an English speaking environment, still don't have the language fundamental to get through a bit of tough spot (for example going to the doctors and learning a whole bunch of unfamiliar words in one sitting). Because they spend a lot of their time speaking their native language! Sad

Ultimately, it's the mindset. You're either moving "to be close to the 'mountains'" which happens to be located in Europe. Or you're moving to LIVE in Austria/France/Italy/Spain. There's a difference between the two. rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
klang180 wrote:
On Brexit, it seems that the issue would be that whereas as an EU member it would be easy to rent our place out here and then rent a place there now it would seem there is a requirement to buy out there (wherever that is) in order to secure EU rights? I am not sure this is even true though as I would imagine this is a bit of a loophole that they would be keen to close. So with all the talk of speed before December I am still not sure how one can do it and retain a presence here? Guess that is not the point of my original thread though.


Certainly no need to buy anywhere in France. Get here before 31st Dec and proof of id, address, income and health insurance is what's needed. Exact details of how the process will work is awaited - it's expected to be an online process with a single office visit for fingerprinting.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
abc wrote:
Orange200 wrote:
@queenie pretty please, sure but I suspect you need a certain level of the language already to do that, and the OP.... oh hang on, perhaps he's underselling himself again... Very Happy

The quickest way to get to that "certain level of the language" is to live amongst the locals. The fewer English speaker the better. Shocked

I'm an immigrant myself. I see around me my fellow non-English speakers who, after decades living in an English speaking environment, still don't have the language fundamental to get through a bit of tough spot (for example going to the doctors and learning a whole bunch of unfamiliar words in one sitting). Because they spend a lot of their time speaking their native language! Sad

Ultimately, it's the mindset. You're either moving "to be close to the 'mountains'" which happens to be located in Europe. Or you're moving to LIVE in Austria/France/Italy/Spain. There's a difference between the two. rolling eyes

This.
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Orange200 wrote:
Extremophile wrote:
We used to live in the alps, resort life is not all people think it is. We moved to Keswick, uk but bought an apt in the alps, now we live the best of both.


I visited Keswick last summer. It's a resort NehNeh


Thought someone would be along to say something like this. How frightfully predictable some people are...
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@Extremophile,
But isn't it somewhat true?
I like Keswick but its main business is probably tourism isn't it?
(I appreciate it is also a hub for local services)
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Of course Keswick is a resort town and someone running a B&B trading on that fact is somewhat hypocritical if they were to wish to deny it.

But I think the point is that a purpose built resort or dedicated resort town is an oddity, peak season madness contrasts with mud season desolation. Shops and services shutdown. Year round residents are an odd mix. It can be hard to build friendships etc in such a place where people are only there for 3 or 4 months and yet you're an outsider to the original (farming) families or long term residents. Plus the smaller the place the pettier the politics.
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
abc wrote:
klang180 wrote:

I must admit I hadn't considered Innsbruck as and option and hadn't considered that it would be an outdoorsy type of place (stupid really) as that could satisfy more than one area of life. I will look into it and maybe put it back on the agenda, who knows it might be I end up doing what you did and move there after a bit of resort time Smile

I've only been to Innsbruck once, for 2 days. It does strike me it's the sort of place you CAN feel you're in the mountains, because the mountains are just... right there you can see from the middle of the city! Yet it's a proper city.


Yep, I just spent 3 weeks in Innsbruck, and with the lack of snow this January I was glad to be in a city and not in a resort. And yes, you can see the mountains from just about everywhere - they are VERY close. It's also a good size, but easy to get out of, the countryside is very close too. There are several ski hills within 25 mins drive, and lots of big resort type areas within day trip distance. We visited Kitzbuhel, Mayrhofen, The Zillertal Arena. Kaltenbach is just opposite the Zillertal Arena. Ischgl isn't far, St. Anton is doable. More skiing than you could shake a stick at!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much

http://youtube.com/v/Cq32yReW8Rs


http://youtube.com/v/erHbsJ-j7dE
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
abc wrote:
Orange200 wrote:
@queenie pretty please, sure but I suspect you need a certain level of the language already to do that, and the OP.... oh hang on, perhaps he's underselling himself again... Very Happy

The quickest way to get to that "certain level of the language" is to live amongst the locals. The fewer English speaker the better. Shocked

I'm an immigrant myself. I see around me my fellow non-English speakers who, after decades living in an English speaking environment, still don't have the language fundamental to get through a bit of tough spot (for example going to the doctors and learning a whole bunch of unfamiliar words in one sitting). Because they spend a lot of their time speaking their native language! Sad

Ultimately, it's the mindset. You're either moving "to be close to the 'mountains'" which happens to be located in Europe. Or you're moving to LIVE in Austria/France/Italy/Spain. There's a difference between the two. rolling eyes


Nice post.

I bought my house in a Portuguese neighbourhood, and as such chat with the neighbours, cafe owners, shopkeepers etc. I quickly learned not to move into another popular neighbourhood when I sat down at a cafe, ordered everything in Portuguese, and the waiter replied in English "Thank you very much sir." That went right off my list. I heard a story since that some expats buy there BECAUSE they don't have to learn Portuguese! rolling eyes I know there are many non-English who like to practise their language skills and be kind to the apparently stupid monolinguals, but I quickly explain I'm in their country and am really trying to learn their language - they appreciate that.

The mindset is also a nice point, but I'd use it for the temporary/permanent distinction. If you pop out to try something, my guess is you'll have a mindset of "well we're not really here as we're still attached to the UK". Each holiday going back to the UK reinforces that link. Taking a major step to make the stay permanent, such as buying a place, can really focus you on the now and break that mental link, that I've seen with many people who never really settled. The claim "but it was really difficult to integrate" is a vicious cycle. Takes work but is so rewarding in the end. And I would like to think that if you go to Spain/France it will be a lot easier than here as the people generally are more open and receptive.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
How about somewhere like Bozel, in the 3 valleys ?

Low enough that it has a thriving community, yet close enough to access the slopes ( local free bus and rumours that a lift may be built in the town at some point in the future). Ive also found getting in and out of the town no problem during the winter months. Getting stuck behind hoards of tourist vehicles and buses is always an annoyance when you need to get to/from work.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Northern Italy is another biking mecca with plenty of skiing possibilities


http://youtube.com/v/3IaY7a1D1sw&t=167s


http://youtube.com/v/Hrngoi_JFk8


http://youtube.com/v/uKpgawZLM-8
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
jedster wrote:
@Extremophile,
But isn't it somewhat true?
I like Keswick but its main business is probably tourism isn't it?
(I appreciate it is also a hub for local services)


Well, not really, sure the town is popular with tourists, but it is by no means a resort. It's easy to assume that because people go on holiday there that it must be a resort. But it's not.

You. Could say anywhere that is popular with tourists is a resort but you wouldn't say that about London or Edinburgh or the entire county of Devon or Cornwall, but they aren't resorts.

Tourism is a large earner for the town, but that is not the singular definition of a resort.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Of course Keswick is a resort town and someone running a B&B trading on that fact is somewhat hypocritical if they were to wish to deny it.

But I think the point is that a purpose built resort or dedicated resort town is an oddity, peak season madness contrasts with mud season desolation. Shops and services shutdown. Year round residents are an odd mix. It can be hard to build friendships etc in such a place where people are only there for 3 or 4 months and yet you're an outsider to the original (farming) families or long term residents. Plus the smaller the place the pettier the politics.


It's not a resort, would you put Keswick in the same bracket as a ski resort? It's not hypocritical to highlight differences, perhaps Queenie is the only one here who seems to get the difference.

being popular with tourists is not the singular definition of a resort.
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The peak population density giving rise to people having to queue to walk up Catbells - very reminiscent of lift queues - pretty much turn Keswick into a hiking resort.

No doubt there are also shepherds standing outside their cattlesheds in Zermatt who'd sternly assert that their mountain village is not a resort.

What's in a name? It's the actuality that matters, not whether it meets a terminological definition.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 31-01-20 12:47; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Extremophile, I own a property in Ambleside and lived there for a while. In the end it was a great place to visit but it did feel like living in a tourist place. Yes there is a local community especially with the students but take away the tourism and there would be little or nothing there, even the sheep farmers need the tourism to survive (no matter how much some of them grumble about it). The tourism just becomes a pain, too many people, constant traffic jams, no parking spaces, too many "outdoor" shops etc. Though have to admit looking out the window to see the view up the Fairfield horseshoe was always great.

Munich is much better, it is a "real" city (not that I live in the city but in a village on the edge) and it is near to the mountains. Lots of outdoor things to do (I cycle in the summer) but life isnt dominated by tourism. In an ideal world Innsbruck, Kufstein or Wörgl would be better but that's not how life worked out. Unless you are going to make your living from mountain tourism in some way then somewhere less tourist oriented is likely to be a better place to live.
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Villages are great as long as you are "Local" wink


http://youtube.com/v/DhvaxUvVK_8
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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munich_irish wrote:
...Unless you are going to make your living from mountain tourism in some way then somewhere less tourist oriented is likely to be a better place to live.
That sounds right.

In Whistler at least you'd still probably be better off living out of the bubble and commuting in for financial and personal reasons:
  • There aren't that many things people can do locally to generate enough cash to buy property. £120k is irrelevant.
  • Tourists can be a little trying.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Scarlet wrote:
@klang180, My source? I did it myself less than two years ago and systems around here are bureaucratic and not subject to change on a whim. UK Gov website has some info, but they aren't great at keeping it up to date so you may get better results from the gov of the country you are interested in. Posted British Embassy officials are pretty clued up though, so you can always ask them. France, Italy and Spain will have their own systems which I have no experience with.


I certainly agree with your comment about the level of bureaucracy in Austria, but in my experience the Austrian authorities are prone to change legislation quite frequently and also to change their interpretation of legislation. Since we bought in Austria the rules around capital gains tax have been completely revamped, the rules around second home ownership have changed (Salzburg has fallen in line with Tyrol) and legislation around renting out properties has changed.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Extremophile wrote:
jedster wrote:
@Extremophile,
But isn't it somewhat true?
I like Keswick but its main business is probably tourism isn't it?
(I appreciate it is also a hub for local services)


Well, not really, sure the town is popular with tourists, but it is by no means a resort. It's easy to assume that because people go on holiday there that it must be a resort. But it's not.

You. Could say anywhere that is popular with tourists is a resort but you wouldn't say that about London or Edinburgh or the entire county of Devon or Cornwall, but they aren't resorts.

Tourism is a large earner for the town, but that is not the singular definition of a resort.


Fair enough but I'd say Keswick was rather similar to Saint Gervais or Chamonix - both have a life outside tourism but tourism is the main business. London or Edinburgh - tourism isn't the main business.
Cornwall? Newquay is probably in a similar bracket to Keswick? I'd call that a resort.
As Wiki says about Keswick "The town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century has been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principal industry for more than 150 years"
Lovely place though. I'm envious!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
munich_irish wrote:
@Extremophile, I own a property in Ambleside and lived there for a while. In the end it was a great place to visit but it did feel like living in a tourist place. Yes there is a local community especially with the students but take away the tourism and there would be little or nothing there, even the sheep farmers need the tourism to survive (no matter how much some of them grumble about it). The tourism just becomes a pain, too many people, constant traffic jams, no parking spaces, too many "outdoor" shops etc. Though have to admit looking out the window to see the view up the Fairfield horseshoe was always great.

Munich is much better, it is a "real" city (not that I live in the city but in a village on the edge) and it is near to the mountains. Lots of outdoor things to do (I cycle in the summer) but life isnt dominated by tourism. In an ideal world Innsbruck, Kufstein or Wörgl would be better but that's not how life worked out. Unless you are going to make your living from mountain tourism in some way then somewhere less tourist oriented is likely to be a better place to live.


Keswick is not Ambleside, let the people off Ambleside discuss Ambleside


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Fri 31-01-20 15:45; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
jedster wrote:
Extremophile wrote:
jedster wrote:
@Extremophile,
But isn't it somewhat true?
I like Keswick but its main business is probably tourism isn't it?
(I appreciate it is also a hub for local services)


Well, not really, sure the town is popular with tourists, but it is by no means a resort. It's easy to assume that because people go on holiday there that it must be a resort. But it's not.

You. Could say anywhere that is popular with tourists is a resort but you wouldn't say that about London or Edinburgh or the entire county of Devon or Cornwall, but they aren't resorts.

Tourism is a large earner for the town, but that is not the singular definition of a resort.


Fair enough but I'd say Keswick was rather similar to Saint Gervais or Chamonix - both have a life outside tourism but tourism is the main business. London or Edinburgh - tourism isn't the main business.
Cornwall? Newquay is probably in a similar bracket to Keswick? I'd call that a resort.
As Wiki says about Keswick "The town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century has been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principal industry for more than 150 years"
Lovely place though. I'm envious!


Principal industry is different from being a resort though, Keswick was not built as a resort, it offers nothing specific to tourist from an infrastructure stance, the mountains that surround it aren't serviced like the alps and alpine resorts. Yes tourists go there, no one is denying that but it is not a resort in the sense that no single piece of infrastructure has been specifically built for the purposes of tourism.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
crosbie wrote:
The peak population density giving rise to people having to queue to walk up Catbells - very reminiscent of lift queues - pretty much turn Keswick into a hiking resort.



Cat bells is a piece of landscape, people go up there yes, but it wasn't built by Keswick, Keswick hasn't built any infrastructure to service it nor built anything there specifically to attract tourists - there's probably a Nt car park, but they slap an £8 car park charge anywhere they think the can get away with it, and the NT is nothing to do with Keswick per se so cannot be treated as such . You could call any natural piece of landscape a resort if it attracts the crowds by your definition - even mt Everest.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Extremophile, ok, a town that caters for tourists attracted to local activities, where the tourist population (along with workers dedicated to servicing it) dwarfs the indigenous population, is not a resort - if the most it has built in terms of infrastructure, comprises no more than accommodation, restaurants, roads, footpaths, car parks, railway stations, etc.

Brighton is a seaside resort.
Chamonix is a ski resort.
Keswick is NOT a hiking resort.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Extremophile, I'm not entirely sure why you are going down this argumentative rabbithole with people who broadly agree that not all resorts are the same. Clearly a town like Keswick has more different non resort things than a pure purposebuilt resort. But takeaway the tourism and recreational opportunties and what would it be? A bit of a rundown post industrial Northern town (maybe with a bit of commuter town for Sellafield and Carlisle) And even by your "must have built infrastructure" to be a resort you can't surely argue that lots of hotels in Keswick would exist to serve the transient pencil farming community etc. Theatre?

BTW there isn't a NT car park near Catbells nor any managed parking - it's the problem for the whole side of the lake and the Newlands Valley
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Extremophile, I'm not entirely sure why you are going down this argumentative rabbithole with people who broadly agree that not all resorts are the same. Clearly a town like Keswick has more different non resort things than a pure purposebuilt resort. But takeaway the tourism and recreational opportunties and what would it be? A bit of a rundown post industrial Northern town (maybe with a bit of commuter town for Sellafield and Carlisle) And even by your "must have built infrastructure" to be a resort you can't surely argue that lots of hotels in Keswick would exist to serve the transient pencil farming community etc. Theatre?

BTW there isn't a NT car park near Catbells nor any managed parking - it's the problem for the whole side of the lake and the Newlands Valley


Lols, no one is arguing here. There is no rabbit hole. There is nothing wrong with discussion. I didn't say there was an Nt car park there, I said there's probably a Nt car park under the spectrum of what people call infrastructure built for tourism - that is all. I'm unsure why people these days can't discuss Almost anything without some people thinking it's arguing, i feel that's quite sad.

You're entitle to your opinion just as much as I'm enititle to disagree. And if you want to me answer your questions I will, but that doesn't mean I'm arguing.

I've lived in plenty of places that have theatres, I used to work in a theatre, people travel to see shows. That's that. Almost everyone lives in a village, town or city where there are accommodations on offer, perhaps not as many as where I live, but a lot, go on, put it in Airbnb or other search engine are those places resorts?

Who knows what would or wouldn't be we can't travel to parallel dimensions to check, all we know is where we are now. And that is in a town of approx 5000 permanent residents, a busy town with shops serving the residents that are open year round, we have social housing like any town and schools full of young people.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 31-01-20 17:55; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Extremophile, The carpark point was really to discourage anyone thinking of driving down there. It's enough of a mare with those who know there is only limited roadside parking.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Extremophile, The carpark point was really to discourage anyone thinking of driving down there. It's enough of a mare with those who know there is only limited roadside parking.


It ok, the tractor drivers just move them if they're in the way, or they'll get a parking ticket
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I do think Allerdale Council would be better working with some farms to open up seasonal peak weekend parking in fields (paid) than just being tourist hating with the tickets.
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It can be that once you are in the mountains you start to miss people back home (family & fríends). This can especially be true once you yourself start a family or when you need to go back sometimes to see aging/ill parents etc. Being near an airport helps. (another plus for places such as Innsbruck and Salzburg)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
To the OP: it might be worth re-orienting your approach, and start from the point of finding a likely location for your OH to find work. If they have a clear skillset that potential employers/clients can immediately identify, then use them to identify some candidate locations. If they can commute to a larger town or city, then that gives you more options. After that, start to see what you could do on a more local basis.

For example, there are Brits in our village where one partner commutes to a nearby big town and the other works in the resort. The former usually has a 'normal' job that sustains the basic costs of living in the mountains. The latter then was able to build up a more ad-hoc, local business, or work locally on seasonal jobs, and also do the networking with locals that helps them integrate.

And as mentioned, in terms of location, perhaps also consider initially finding work in an urban location just to get started, and then see how you get on. You could then build up language skills and local insight that would help you make the next move into the mountains, if that's what you still wanted to do.
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Consider training as a teacher. Plenty of English speaking boarding schools in the western Swiss Alps (Villars, Crans Montana, Leysin, Verbier, etc.).
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@SwissDH, The OP doesn't speak French or German so that's not going to work
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@red 27, I was going to say local
Languages aren’t always needed for the international schools but knowledge of the language of the region is now a requirement for the B permit (any industry) as of Jan 01 2020.
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I actually think the language issue is somewhat secondary. Job No. 1 needs to be a sustainable income, ie what are you going to do there?

To be honest it's unlikely you will be able to land a job soon after moving somewhere unless you're both completely bilingual and have dual citizenship.

As an American expat in France I can tell you it's VERY hard to find work with a French company. All of my income for the past seven years has come from US companies with offices here. French companies, big or small, are very unlikely to hire someone who isn't French. Don't forget that unemployment is still around 9 percent and it costs a fortune to hire someone b/c of social charges etc.

Now, some positive thoughts for the OP: You can do it. I've met lots of people who have moved to France on student visas or even tourist visas and talked their way into work. You can also work as a freelance "microentrepreneur," which is a simplified tax regime, whether offering a service or operating a small retail business. Basically, if you want it badly enough there are ways to make it happen. There are plenty of expats in the French Alps, and they didn't all come on the magic carpet of being sponsored by an international company that paid for their move and set up their visas...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Very fair.

kdlang, what I haven't yet understood is whether or not your partner's work can be done remotely. You said freelance, but not how much of it can be done online. If not a lot then perhaps she needs relatively easy access to an airport? it's sounding like that will be the main income given that, as mentioned above, without the local language and a strong CV it would be exceptional for you to walk into a relatively well-paid job. That then comes back to my earlier point about how much do you actually need for the lifestyle you desire.

I agree as hinted above that you're likely to sacrifice a decent salary for the first ?year in order to assist someone else in their work, while building up language skills and knowledge of the local job market.

I quickly googled EU grant for ski village. See if you could live in a town and help with these:

https://naturvation.eu/about
https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/sites/default/files/profile-article/guide_on_eu_funding_for_sports_industry_2014_-2020_.pdf
http://prosnow.org/portfolio/le-projet-prosnow/
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