The history of the Moscow family, moved to Florida
The warm climate, the proximity of the ocean, tranquility and well-being, good business opportunities - many of those who decided to leave their homeland choose a new place according to these parameters. But Muscovite Alexey Dmitriev moved his family to the state of Florida not only for pragmatic reasons. How is life in the southernmost state of the United States, our compatriot told "Lente.ru" in a series of materials about the life of immigrant Russians.
Someone will not understand
I am 37 years old, born and raised in Moscow. Like my parents, he graduated from the Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics - it was always a technique. In 2000, together with a friend, we started our own business - we created a company, an Internet provider. After graduation there he worked for himself, right up to the 2011 year. In the most "fat" times in submission, I had a 45 man. Then the business sold and worked in a larger provider company - the one that acquired mine.
He married and lived, by Russian standards, very well: his house, his beautiful cars and my wife. So, perhaps, someone will not understand why the thought of moving has even arisen at all. But over time, I began to realize that some things in our country cannot be bought even for money: a sense of stability, the absence of rudeness, confidence in the safety of a child.
The idea of leaving is ripe and has been forming for about five years. Over the years I managed to visit the United States several times, visited seven states. Once my wife and I went for four months - the longest possible period, possible on the visas that we had. I wanted to know the country better and make sure that we do not confuse tourism with emigration. In my opinion, we succeeded, because even that four-month period did not seem at all to us to be a paradise life. We learned many features: for example, when I got sick and got into the emergency room, which, in the absence of insurance, cost us three and a half thousand dollars. In general, these were difficult months, and we immediately realized that honey was not spread anywhere.
Upon returning to Moscow, both of us were convinced that we could not reconcile with Moscow life. Of course, you can build a small world around you and live in it without paying attention to reality, but there is no guarantee that one day this world will not be destroyed.
Ways to America are mysterious
There are many ways to legally move to live in the United States. Some, for example, travel as political refugees: they tell at the embassy how they are being oppressed at home and so on. I chose business immigration for myself - through the purchase of an already existing local business. Not to say that this method suits everyone or that it is the simplest, but I already had experience in managing a company, and I decided to try my hand at a new place.
All is well (on paper)
I was looking for a business to buy for a very long time. In fact, out of six months spent in the United States in total, five were spent searching for the right enterprise — I looked at their 20 pieces. They all looked good, but only at first glance: when you begin to understand the documents, what, yes, how, you understand that with the income, for example, the sellers are cunning. The main thing was to understand whether the business has a prospect or, say, it will be bent in a couple of months.
As a result, I realized that to buy in the USA you need either a very small and inexpensive business, or a really large enterprise. And I looked after some intermediate, medium version. Realizing that this will not work, in the end I bought a more modest and cheaper company than I had originally planned. I purchased a computer repair company and other IT support. I decided not to experiment: when you come to do business in another country, you have to learn so much, and if you also choose a completely unfamiliar industry, you get an equation with two unknowns.
For two and a half months now, I am an American businessman. He hired a former owner of the company - for a while. He used to work alone, by the way, and I hired five more people.
The choice of state: for those who are not afraid of the heat
The staff was partly chosen by chance. It so happened that when we came to look around, we lived mainly in Florida and for a few months had time to make some acquaintances, talk to a local immigration lawyer, get used to the place.
Looked at California, because there is, of course, a milder climate. But, having been in the state, I decided that it is still expensive for us. The region is very developed, because it is pumped up with money by Silicon Valley, and life there is not cheap.
We decided that while we and Florida fit: this is the fifth state of America in terms of GDP. There is a well-developed tourism, many universities. Florida - the center of gravity of the entire Latin American population of the country. All signs, signs are duplicated in Spanish. There are a lot of ours too: about half a million Russian-speakers live in Miami and its environs. But compared with Latin Americans, Russians, one might say, there is simply no.
There are a lot of “summer residents” in Florida - those who have bought a second home for rest or for life after retirement. The climate is ideal for wintering - 25-27 degrees, like Moscow summer. But it is in the winter months, and in summer it can be hot. I am waiting with some fear for the onset of this pore - they say it can reach 40 Celsius, plus high humidity.
Our Hollywood: a life in silence and oppression of a Mountain Dog
Our city of Hollywood (not to be confused with a Californian counterpart) is about 40 minutes from downtown Miami. On the way, with a dozen more similar in size townships, each not more than any district of Moscow.
We settled in a quiet family cottage village (gated community). The place is very calm, peaceful. You walk with a dog - no one yells, does not sing drunken songs. Everything is so quiet that sometimes I want to shout with a sinful thing: “Well, do somebody something crazy!”. This is a joke, of course.
It is very pleasant to feel safe. I do not even understand, to be honest, why many people put alarms in houses. Everything is so safe and peaceful, nothing bad ever happens, so I think you can do without it. Every hour a patrol car passes by. For comparison, in Russia, when we lived in a cottage village, several houses were robbed, despite the guarded entrance (moreover, one cottage was cleaned right under the owner, while he was sleeping on the second floor).
From 700 homes in the community somewhere in 20-30 live immigrants from the countries of the former USSR. We are friends with some families, children invite each other to birthdays, and so on.
As I already mentioned, we brought a dog, a Swiss Mountain Dog, with us. His move from Russia was a separate epic - the boy weighs 50 kilograms, so there was no talk about transportation in the cabin of the plane, he flew like cargo. Transferred normally, but, of course, tired. I got from 5-10 degrees of frost into + 25, and then it got warmer, and the dog began to fade heavily — throwing off his fur coat, trying to adapt to new conditions. In my opinion, he was in some shock at first.
Tale about tolerance
We are taught that in the United States there is a complete tolerance towards everyone and everything. All this is, but only in words. In fact, segregation is flourishing here: everyone knows which district is “black” and, therefore, not very prosperous, which school has a “good” ethnic composition. Blacks indeed live worse than whites, but I am not sure that I can explain why this is so. They say they have many children and do not want to work, relying on benefits. True or not, I do not know for sure yet.
Are you ready for downshifting?
Houses in our village are in the 500-600 area of thousands of dollars. This is considered a middle class property. In general, the concept of the middle class is very vague here. The owner of the house at the price of 500 thousand dollars - the middle class, but also the owner of the mansion for five million - also (at least, I heard such opinions).
In Russia, I could call my family representatives of the upper middle class. Here, I would say, we are at the bottom of what is considered average. By the way, in the States we had another child, so the family has increased and now consists of four people (the youngest is still a baby).
Before the move, I watched a lot of YouTube videos about moving to the USA, where bloggers talk about the cost of living and so on. The author of one video claimed that he was spending 200 dollars a month on food. Probably, it is possible and so, all have different requests. But I see no reason to move to another country with a strong decrease in the standard of living. On the other hand, everyone comes from different conditions, and for someone cheap food is normal. It takes about a thousand dollars a month for food. This, so that you can understand, the products, conditionally speaking, are not from the “Alphabet of Taste”, but approximately from “Crossroads”.
If you try to estimate the cost of living of an ordinary average family that does not have its own home, it will be around six thousand dollars a month. This amount includes housing, utilities, food, school for the child and everything else on the little things. You can feel more or less confident with eight thousand dollars a month, and starting from the budget in 10 thousand you can live relatively carefree.
I repeat, everyone has different requests. There are a lot of people who come and live for much less money.
About snow and Russia
Ocean, we have about one and a half kilometers from home. Strangely enough, we don’t go to the beach by ourselves, even once a week it’s impossible. Do not pull when you live next to him. If you want to swim, often go to the pool.
On vacation just go not to the sea. When you live in such a heat, you want something else. The snow, after all. Let's go, maybe in Colorado, to a ski resort.
We will go to Russia, be sure to visit their parents. By the way, my mother took our departure very hard - wept, did not understand us at first. Especially since I'm the only son; she reproached her ingratitude and said that “I throw her into old age” (although she is not at all old). I solemnly promised that as soon as we received all the necessary documents, we would come to her at least once a year. In addition, in the fall mom promised to visit us. In this sense, the wife is simpler: she is not the only child, but the father and mother are already accustomed to the idea that the children have their own families and that they can go to live in other cities and countries. One of her brothers lives in New Zealand, the other with her parents in Togliatti.
Plans: not to be afraid of change, but not to look for them
My wife and I have known 10 for years, and during this time we moved three times, radically changing our place of residence. So, maybe once again move to another state or even another country. The experience of friends shows that, once having changed a country, it is much easier to decide for the second time. Why not: see the world, learn about life in other countries - it's interesting. On the other hand, we are not going to ride from place to place just for the sake of new impressions. But I believe that a person is not obliged to live his whole life anywhere just on the basis that he was born there. I am a Muscovite, but I don’t like Moscow - today it’s an evil city, where everyone is fighting for something: it’s not important for a place in the sun or in traffic near the traffic lights. I was lucky, and did not get from Moscow, but I felt its aggressive rhythm.
But I do not renounce anything, including returning to Russia. In the end, I successfully led a business, made some kind of contribution to the economy, created jobs. But now in their homeland business is on their hands. If ever the situation changes for the better, I will come in the first rows. I love my country. But I consider it wrong to spend my life fighting a system that does not suit you.
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