I decided to leave the United States and move to Albania
I decided in early 2021 that I’m moving to Albania. That’s why I’m moving to Albania in 2022. It hasn’t been an easy process but there are several things I considered when deciding to sell my property and move overseas. I will list each reason and go into more detail about how I decided to move to Albania. I’m writing this in first person but my wife is here too. I’m more obsessed with Albania so I’ll take credit for that part. However, she fully agrees about selling our property.
We traveled extensively in our 20’s and have often imagined hitting the road again. We’ve been contemplating such a change in our lives for a few years now. The real estate market is in a great spot now and it makes sense to sell and reap the benefits from this property that we’ve owned for twenty four years.
We decided to sell our property
Deciding to leave a nice and fairly easy life when there is no pressure requires overcoming inertia. First, I had to ask myself several questions, both personal and practical. It’s not easy. It took more than two years to fully decide that leaving our property in Oregon is the best decision. First, I feel like I’m ready for something new after 24 years on the property.It’s a lot of work and I want to do other things. I want to travel and write and become a middle-aged YouTuber. I’ve built a website with a blog, started a YouTube channel, and become decent at making videos with my phone and my Fujifilm camera.
Second, our climate in southern Oregon has become drier over the past decade. Lack of irrigation water and problems with domestic wells are becoming more common. Increasing population in the area means increased competition for water. Also, smoke from forest fires in Oregon and California fills the skies more and more each summer. And predictions are that climate change will affect population movements toward the Northwest from as far away as Central America. As a person with resources, I am becoming a climate migrant by choice.
Why I decided to look outside the United States
I’m not optimistic about the future of the country. Before the pandemic, the politics were becoming more polarized, the economy was favoring the wealthy more, and expenses and bureaucracy were making it difficult for small businesses to succeed. Since early 2020, everything has become more difficult. I’ve wanted a second home outside of the United States for several years. I want a country to go to that is in a good place. All countries have their ups and downs. The United States seems to be down. I want to be in a country that is on its way up.
Originally, we had planned a trip to Spain and Portugal in November 2020 to look at real estate in Galicia and the northern two-thirds of Portugal. The pandemic made us cancel our plans.Even though we had lived for a time in Spain in the 80’s and again in the 90’s, I hadn’t been fully on board with these countries,. The Spain and Portugal of the European Union in the 2020’s are very advanced economies and societies, with so much of the same bloated government and stagnation I feel in the United States. In addition, their real estate markets have been hot for awhile and the prices are too high now.
How I decided where to look outside of the Untied States
I decided to look outside of the United States because I want to find a country that is in a positive cycle. Every place has its ups and downs. I decided that I want to spend my last 20 or so years (I’m 56) in a country that is optimistic and wants people to come and start businesses. I want a country that makes it easy for people to do things that contribute to the economy and not take too much taxes and create too much bureaucracy. Even though I like the United States, I feel that the climate for small business is difficult. I feel that the post-truth atmosphere and political division and hatred are too much.Talking to people about almost anything quickly becomes political and tribal. It’s hard to live in this atmosphere.
I decided that moving to Albania is a good idea
Albania is one of the few open countries in the world in regards to the coronavirus. Anyone can enter without a test. This is not why I chose Albania but it does make life easier. Once here, it is easy to open a bank account, create a business, and find a niche. After 50 years of communist dictatorship, and nearly two decades of economic instability after that, Albania is becoming more stable across the board.
Albania is very small but has so much within its borders that it is really quite amazing. There are rugged snow capped mountains, rivers, canyons, beaches, agriculture, husbandry, and much more. I visited Albania for two weeks in April 2021. Everything clicked with me immediately. It’s hard to describe because it was a feeling, or a vibe, as much as tangible facts. But as I toured the country, and met people, and studied more about it, I realized that my skills and background in small scale food production, permaculture, homesteading, and writing, could actually be very useful there, and actually welcomed. That’s when I decided I’m moving to Albania in 2022.
Albania has problems as well. Infrastructure is still lagging. There is corruption and black market activity. Seemingly simple things like trash collection and road signs still need improvement. But Albanian society as a whole is optimistic and there is a great deal of aid and interest coming from outside the country, especially western Europe. Albania participates in NATO and is a candidate for entry into the European Union. These things point to optimism toward Albania from outside as well. In addition, Americans can stay in Albania for up to a year without any paperwork. If I decide to stay, it is relatively easy to get a residence permit for longer term.
Is moving to Albania a good idea for you?
Every person has their own personality, background, and skill set. So you will have to decide if moving to Albania is a good idea for you. For me, moving to Albania is a good idea. I am very motivated to study the culture, language, and current trends to understand how a foreigner can participate in their society and economy in a positive way. Having lived in places where sidewalks need mending, traffic is chaotic, and getting things done might require a “donation,” medium levels of uncertainty and chaos don’t bother me. I can project a desired future and create the conditions to bring it to fruition. That’s why moving to Albania in 2022 seems like a good idea for me. Do your research and visit Albania. Is moving to Albania in 2022 a good idea for you?