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Old 11-16-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
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Bugging out to Other Countries

The time has come for me to bring up this subject that I often comment on with some of my "virtual (email) friends" and even real friends in a case or two.

I would be interested to hear from our community here their thoughts about which country or countries would be good candidates to go to before TSHTF. Obviously, timing would be tricky, of course it would, I'll stipulate that! I also realize that this would unrealistic for many, including for financial reasons.

Since I am laying down the marker, I'll go first. I would NOT leave the USA unless it looked like things were about to get VERY BAD (timing again). There are LOTS of things about the USA I really like. The two scenarios (that would make me bail) that I have thought about the most are:

1) a disaster say three times the scale of a Fukushima that would put the USA in actual peril. Or a really scary war that might develop, say after Israel were to attack Iran and China & Russia step in. So, this type of scenario would be one that perhaps could be "timed" so as not to leave permanently too soon...

2) a looming massive tax hike that would affect me very badly. Or looming capital controls. Organized class warfare (yeah, buddy Owebama, I'm thinking of you). This type of scenario would push me out if it looked like there was a high probability that our family's wealth and liberty would be in peril. This might include hyperinflation.

OK, so let's say the time has come to act. Where would WE (my wife and I, perhaps our young adult kid) go? In my case there is one obvious candidate, even with the political risks (very real, keep reading). And that would be PERU.

My case is different than almost all of yours. We have an "infrastructure" already there (a bearing import company that we own, friendly in-laws, I speak Spanish, we have been there many times, assets already there (all legal, hey, any .gov spies want to come by and chat about it, that's OK with me, our friendly IRS knows it all) and so on). I do recognize Peru does have its BIG RISKS, including a brand new Lefty President who looks to be a Chavez clone.

Were it not for our Peruvian connections, I would be looking at (and might anyway):

-- Costa Rica
-- Panama
-- Uruguay
-- Chile
-- Singapore

I now list some countries NOT on my list:

-- European countries (I'll discuss why in a moment)
-- East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, etc.
-- Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, etc. (dangerous or irresponsible LatAm countries)

I would not choose Europe as it is likely to be in even worse shape than the USA when things get bad. I don't like the weather there. We have Mexican immigrants here, Europe has MUSLIM immigrants. Europe also seems to have a higher risk of dictatorial governments. And higher taxes (deal breaker, sorry Europe).

The rest of the world (ex. Singapore) is out because of ethnic considerations, I do not speak the language, too poor and alien, etc.

I hope that I have stirred something up here! I am interested in your views on this topic!
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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I've thought about this, though where I am is almost bugged out already - this is just too wild a place for government to cost-effectively reach into and meddle much. (one of the big reasons I bugged out from DC to here)

I came up with a different list myself - I don't speak any foreign languages well, and I looked for places where my technical skills would be in demand immediately.

Canada - hate the weather, like the people. Might go down with us, though.
Australia - nice weather too, but maybe a little too like us. Don't know if I could score a spread out back like I have here, and very dependent on China.
New Zealand - friends there, and it's more like Floyd than most would think. They seem second only to my locale in tolerating the fun sort of being crazy. You can have guns there. They are mostly ignored by the rest of the world - bonus!

I could go most places and be in some demand, as my skills are suited to taking a village and making it into a more civilized town, but it's a lotta work, and there's that language barrier, though there's a lot of English spoken around the world these days.

My fear is that by the time most sorts of disasters made it worth bugging out of here (this place being pretty isolated), it's not going to be that great anywhere else either - and the "new kid" isn't going to get much priority if things get close to bare survival level. Wheras here, I have all these like minded and pretty ready for anything sorts of neighbors and friends - I think that counts for quite a lot in tough times. The group skill set is flat astonishing around here, far better than mine alone, and all of them are tooled up for doing their skill - we have experts at all the important stuff from farming to medical to tech to fabrication in almost any medium. The rest of the world going poof would inconvenience us to be sure, but compared to most places, we'd do pretty darn well I think. We pretty much all have taken a plot of bare land, and built up whatever on it, ourselves (didn't call a contractor in general) - and all are productive, no welfare queens, real doers. Since this is the only place I've ever seen that in my travels, I have my doubts about bugging out hoping for better, though I realize that's a special case I've got here.

I think most people are psychologically incapable of doing more than dreaming about that anyway. On other boards where this gets mentioned, and along with that a bunch of whining about how it's bad already in places from Detroit to NYC I ask - why not now? I get all sorts of rationalized answers to that, but never yeah, why not? Fear of change seems all too universal.

"In a long journey, a wise traveler should be prepared to ditch his baggage now and then". But so few have that wisdom.

We're so dinky and so isolated, it's real unlikely anyone's going to toss a bomb our way, they'd think of it as a waste of a bomb. Just the way we like it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:25 AM   #3
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This is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, as sad as the thought is. I'm sure my great grand parents, who came here with what little they could carry and not speaking the language, would be heartbroken.

DoChen, you're in a pretty good position from my perspective since you already have work, relations, and assets in another country where you already speak the language. You have me beat on all accounts.

There is one country that I could go to and know that I will get in (legally), but I don't speak the language, don't want to live there, and if things are bad here it will be worse there. My profession is already well represented there, too.

The English speaking world would be the easiest for language, cultural, and work reasons (obviously). NZ would probably be the safest if you can get there and get established since it is out of the way, has a small population, excellent geothermal energy sources, and lower national debt than most (I'm not familiar with the immigration requirements there).

Probably a toss up between Canada and Australia. Canada is convenient and mostly empty - good for getting there; Australia is inconvenient and mostly empty - good if you are already there; I've heard it is not the easiest to get into. Britain will have it as bad as or worse than us, so no point going there. South Africa is already a very rough neighborhood.

I agree in staying away from Europe. There are many who think Switzerland would be a good spot, but there are some 500 million other Europeans who likely agree. To be on the continent safely would probably require going to the far northern parts of the Scandinavian countries where the cold keeps everyone else out; that's pretty tough.

With such highly concentrated populations I wouldn't really consider Asia (not to mention significant language barriers), and most of Africa is already a mess.

That leaves me to believe that the best place to disappear and start anew, quietly, humbly, and peacefully, would be somewhere in South America. I've heard good things about Uruguay. Maybe Chile, but I'm not that familiar with South America. Brazil has the strongest economy, but I'd worry about powerful government ruining things (similar for Argentina). I do have distant relatives in both Brazil and Argentina, but our families lost contact several generations ago. It is really that when my family passed through South America ~100 years ago on their way to the US, some of them stayed and that was the end of it.

I really hope that it never comes to that though, as I think it would be miserable no matter how it plays out. There is no better place than what the US is supposed to be, in my opinion.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:26 AM   #4
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I have done a fair bit of traveling working as a consultant. I've been to many countries and been exposed to numerous expat communities in foreign countries. Moving to such an environment would not bother me at all.

Just about every generation of my family has emigrated from where they were born to some other shore to live. I'm first generation American and still living here so I'm breaking the pattern so far.

However, with extended family in numerous "corners" of the globe, I have a lot of options should I ever perceive the need to leave. Almost everyone in my family already has dual citizenship with another country.

That said, I have a hard time imagining that life would be substancially better anywhere else though in the case of a purely economic collapse (no war). If world war breaks out, however, I will have to consider the future for my children - most likely with an eye to southern or central America.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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NZ had fairly tough immigration requirements last I checked. A job already lined up, or tons of money to bring. High preference to technical skills.

I wonder about South America. If it's good, why do we have such a problem with people from there coming here illegally? They're not all Mexican, you know.

I think most people wouldn't bug out. This whole country is more or less populated by those who did from somewhere else, and their ancestors (edit, oops, I meant descendents) of course, but look at what a tiny fraction it represents in terms of emigration from those places. It didn't cut the populations of the mother countries so as you'd notice. Few of us have DoChen's or PMBug's connections that would make it a reasonable thing to consider in less than "run for your life" situations. Which of course begs the question of whether bugging out is wise - just whether people would.

Historically, they don't.

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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Stickly for business...

Hong Kong... Mauritius.. Indonesia..

To live... I'm still working on that.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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YES, to DCFusor's comments! You have already "Bugged In"! A hands-on guy living in the countryside surrounded by like-minded people (not to mention more-or-less off the grid) means that you are all set re the relatively mild TEOTWAWKIs. It would take a REALLY BAD one to knock you off your game!

I forgot to comment on Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They would be viable candidate countries as well. Canada is COLD and, as DCFusor mentions, could follow the USA down if it comes to that. One of my "virtual friends" is looking at NZ, but she has found the immigration barriers to be high. Australia appears to offer a way of life kind of like ours, but with far fewer people. They DO have Indonesia right next door though, that SEEMS like it would be a worry.

Re comments about being the "new kid", I think the way to avoid that problem would be to have enough wealth so that would not matter (much). In a real-live survival scenario, the "new kid" would not be treated well, but if it comes down that far, my goose is cooked anyway...

Yes, re comments on South Americans coming here. But, many of them are desperate or are political enemies (latter esp. where I live). If you go somewhere else, it looks like you should KEEP QUIET and not bother TPTB in that country. I am prepared to not be a pain in the butt in Peru for example. But, we have the means to live well and not compete for jobs there. Peru would be getting a good deal with me. We would pay taxes there and yet not take anything.

I liked your comment, DCF, about being prepared to lose your baggage on occasion. I am trying to "pre-move" some "baggage" to Peru, but available for a move back here if we want.

Still, to have to move from the USA would be traumatic (there are no Barnes & Noble bookstores in Peru, PLENTY of Starbuck's though, all with WiFi!). We will not do it unless things look like they are getting really bad. And the timing...

And everyone has their own situation. Their own pluses and minuses. Their own preferences and what they can do.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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This topic is certainly a worthy one - there's lots to think about and work out whether one winds up doing a bug out or not, I think. It's part of my tree of plans philosophy.
Which made it interesting to see this, *after* this thread started:

http://www.minyanville.com/businessm.../2011/id/37977

I've already bugged out once myself, in a sense, moving from a high class yuppie lifestyle (VP of engineering) in DC, to down here in Appalacia - you know, the place the charities used to show on TV with all the half naked kids running around who needed help (it was a sham, and that's an interesting story, but).

I was wealthy, relatively speaking, and yes, I was well accepted at least in part due to that - many people who wanted to help me spend it at a good bit higher rate than was really required to get set up here - good times for all. I made some lasting friends indeed, but it was kinda hard on the wealth along the way - I wound up having to regenerate it once I got setup and going again in the new place.

That's all over - my dues are paid now, and maybe that was worth it. No, strike that - it was surely worth it. However, these guys, while not well off, were at "normal" for their lives, not what things would have been in a general collapse. They might have been predatory had things been different, and as a complete newb to the redneck business - they'd have taken me out easy had they been inclined to do more than just join the party on DC's money. Just something to think about...

I guess all's well that ends well - and I'm a happy camper, so no complaints. But that bugging out, in my 30's was a heck of a lot of work, too (there was sort of a language barrier from DC to mountain, BTW - kin U spk healbeelly?) - I probably would have a lot more difficulty pulling it off again.

Sometimes I think that's why people tend to get a little too worshipy about certain assets, thinking that since they can't pull it off as a human animal/machine anymore,
(no fault of their own, getting old is a bitch)
these might be a good substitute - essentially a store of the effort they used to put out easily. I won't pass judgment on that - because as I get old, I pine for a substitute myself. Hopefully, what I've more or less stealthily built up here will do it - some PMs, sure, but a lot of other stuff besides, that has value in most eyes.

I didn't come up with the baggage comment - it's an old Chinese proverb, BTW.

Here's the guy's direct research results:
http://www.americawave.com/

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Old 01-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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Well, I suppose there's really no better spot to chime in for the first time than here. This conversation may need some dusting off for the original participants, hopefully a decent enough icebreaker.

I have connections in Australia, due to marrying one. I've never spent more than 2 months there, nor have I traveled much within it beyond about 4 hours north of Brisbane, and a few hours south of Sydney (which includes going into the interior, but not to the deserts.

Australia is a land of water restrictions in some localities, this really struck me as a 'part of their culture'. I guess I zone in on that habit/expectation as something I wish would be a part of the dry climate I live in, and grew up in.

I'm a bit apprehensive about the hypothetical scenario of going there to set up a small property to live off of/manage with my family in the region within 100 miles of the coast near my wife's hometown, mostly due to how inconsistent freshwater supply is, even with rain tanks being common if not REQUIRED as part of any home construction in some parts of the country. Read up on the Murray-Darling River Basin water resource struggles that are ongoing in the southeastern part of the country, and you'll see what I mean. I've corrected quite a few people in the last few years (coworkers too, recently) about Australia's population too, they seem to think it's this "thriving paradise" of 100M+ people. Wrong, try 22M! Yikes...

@ DCRB - I think my Australian family would even give New Zealand a nod, even though it's a friendly competition in just about everything between Aus and NZ, right down to beer preferences (ha!)...

I like this forum, great thinkers here. I have a lot to learn on the PM front still, unfortunately.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:01 PM   #10
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Welcome. There is an introduce yourself thread, but no one seems to use it (I didn't know any better).

Water's a big one - you need that a lot more than food on a daily basis, though most think you need a heck of a lot more than you really do.

I think (if that's what you call it after half a bottle of wine) that perhaps there are stages of preparedness. Not many, including me, could withstand being the last one standing on earth - there's just too much to do, and even the infamous "mountain men" who rarely interacted, went into the woods in the first place without quite a bit of toolage from the existing society, and even then - came back as often as they had something to trade, for more of that kind of stuff.

Presently, I have more pals in NZ than OZ, so that's where I'd land if I left here, but I can't see why I would - the disease seems to be everywhere.

I hear you can still defend yourself in NZ at some level, rather than have to cower to the baseball bat wielding home invaders (since no one there can have a gun). But that could all be propaganda from the NRA, I have no way of verifying it all.

My personal take is that it's not so much the country, but the place or type of place within (most of them). Density seems like the problem more than the government... they all seem to work about the same, money buys laws. But they are a lot easier to shove down your throat if you're dumb enough to live where they can cheaply enforce them on you, where you don't have space for a solar system or garden, where if you miss rent for a little while you're homeless.

Where I live, it's hard for them to even find me....I see that as advantage. 6-7 people in the entire local government vs about 20k of us. Nicer ratio.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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K7YEE and DCFusor,

Welcome from me as well K7. Yes, lots of dubious thinking going on here!!! Depending on how much you have read of DCFusor's posts, I can barely see any reason for him to go anywhere, only 7 or so local .gov employees is something of a utopia!

K7, you picked a great place to start learning about PMs, no doubt about it. Also check out gold related websites like 24hgold.com and kitco.com, as well as bring your $1700 to the coin shop and buy an oz of the shiny yellow stuff. Once you OWN it, you will take up a proprietary interest in it REAL FAST! And when the time comes for you re gold, go visit the master of them all:

fofoa.blogspot.com

(FOFOA is my "Trail Guide" re gold)

---

DCF: you made a great remark about "the disease being everywhere." Nailed it. I'll try to remember to send you that new Nail Gun joke I just got from a friend of mine.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Hi K7, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted by K7YEE View Post:
... Australia is a land of water restrictions in some localities, this really struck me as a 'part of their culture'.
Their water sensitivities and year 'round temperate climate are primary reasons why they are such pioneers in the field of aquaponics.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #13
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Thankfully, we get between 4 and five feet of rain in Florida, however we have periods of up to several months with minimal or no rain at all. This will force me to set up a more extensive cistern system. I salvaged a perfectly good closed top 1k gallon tank from JSC out in Houston, and an open top 1.25 gallon tank that was serving as a sump for the first. I could use them both if needed, but would have to radically change my water usage pattern. We're looking at a shallow well in the front yard, and since most wells here are artesian all year, we could have all the H2O wee need. My problem will be the sulfur and iron content. We could use the open top to aerate the water, adding a bubbler to speed the process up, and probably even be able to drink it without filtration.

I hesitate to set up such a visible system, because I do not want to draw attention from my neighbors. We'll have to see what the immediate future brings, because if it starts going more rapidly downhill, I will do whatever I see fit, and the county can stick their "rules" up their collective asses.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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Glad you decided to post, K7.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
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While I speak fluent Spanish, passable French and can communicate to some degree in Portuguese and Italian, I have traveled to a huge number of foreign nations, yet never to one where I would feel completely able to survive SHTF. Costa Rica and Honduras were as close to that as I could find, but even then, i would be a white guy surrounded by a lot of folks who would have little or nothing in the face of collapse. At least here, i can freely own weapons, and I fit right in. I think my skills are best kept here, because after all, in the face of collapse, will it really be better "somewhere else"? I have spent the last ten years preparing myself and family to be able to survive a loss of continuity in government, insurrection, financial collapse, etc., and think I would do far better here in my own back yard than i would in a foreign land, where the political wind could change and make me an instant pariah, by reserving everything for citizens first, and "visitors" last. This could mean no water or electricity if citizens needed whatever limited production there was, effectively deporting me through misery instead of declaring outright deportation. Look at how many Mexicans have self-deported since the housing collapse, and how many new laws have been created to dissuade immigrants from soaking up low wage jobs in a number of states. If the same were to occur in another country, especially if it was a second or third world nation, you could become persona non grata pretty quickly. What then? What happens if all your money and possessions are confiscated when a socialist, xenophobic government get elected on the promise of getting rid of capitalist parasites, as happened in Venezuela? At that point, you are cooked my friend.

No, I rather think I will tough it out here, where I at least know the rules and how to get from A to B on my own.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #16
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I appreciate the thoughts, all. Work trip this week had me out of the loop, and working silly hours while outside of the protection of the Cubicle Den.

Back to PM reading/learning/plotting~ !
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #17
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Ancona,

My experience in Australia has been interesting. I am of mixed European and Mexican heritage, so I quite obviously am some sort of 'olive/southern Mediterranean' sort of complexion and skin tone. My last name is of hispanic origin, and I've noticed even in Australia, as an out-and-out American, they ask me if I 'identify' with any race more than the other.

My opinion of my in-laws and their immediate social circle over the last 10 years is they (being white) are much more overtly questioning of my heritage (I claim none to any community or background, I am an American, period) than any group of people from the same country I've ever gotten to spend more than a few holidays with.

There is also clear divides and opinions about 'What to Do' with the Aboriginal population. I've yet to find an Australian that doesn't have venom about how the Aborigines get 'everything they want handed to them' and they 'waste every opportunity given to them'. I was just a listener in that exercise, I didn't really have anything to add, even growing up around a massive population of American Indians...

New Zealanders from what I've been told by several are encouraged to participate in local culture and customs whenever they can, it's a national pride sort of thing. I'm not sure how 'real' that is in every community, but that could make for some tight-knit communities in times of crisis rather than the neighborhood-by-neighborhood alliances I foresee in a lot of areas of suburbanized America...Who knows, I didn't live or spend any time there. My in-laws in Australia know quite a few from NZ, mostly all well-educated former engineer or mechanic types. Great folks, not the types after a few cups of coffee to ask me about my last name and if I like Mexicans or not. (Awkward much?)

I think a few too many of the things I've observed have to do with some ingrained racism in Australia that I don't really understand too well.

I haven't really had the opportunity to visit since late '09, and the topic of money, wealth, taxes, and their opinions of the bigger picture of their society aren't easy conversations to get into with them. I've tried once or twice, and I got labeled as 'wacky American' for the remainder of the trip...

I enjoy my family out there tremendously. They think I'm a little too intense on the SHTF/Big Brother Gov't. stuff though.

I'll have to tell you in PM's about the Rhodesian man I met out there.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #18
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Hi all. Here's a topic near and dear to my heart as I've already "bugged out" and now reside in NZ (which by the way is due to my being married to an Aussie as they can live in each other's countries). Anyway, life here has been good but I have to admit that I miss my previous home of 12 years in Alaska. We've had one child here and are expecting a second and I don't regret moving here for a second as I've: 1). Gotten my assets out of the US and the US dollar and 2). ensured my children were safe from the IRS by making them Kiwis (America is the only country that requires citizens to file a return no matter where the reside in the world).

I'm not sure if we'll ever head back, but if we do it will definitely be to our old hometown in Alaska where we have lots of connections. I want to see what the next few years bring before I make any decisions.

If we go back, we'll most likely rent out our home here and rent in Alaska so that we can keep our assets here.

My wife, child, and I just got back from a couple of week trip in the Fiordlands and are thinking of moving down there as it is more like our Alaska life.

I've also lived in Australia for about a year and a half and would definitely not be inclined to live there for the following reasons: 1). They are close followers of the US and heading down the same track 2) I hate the heat, snakes and spiders 3) Lack of water 4) Real Estate Boom about to bust. They are a bit racist, but there are areas where you can find like minded people.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the subject.

Good luck whatever you all decide!
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #19
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If I was going to abandon my already established UK bug out territories, I would head for NZ -

Awesome set of mountains and general scenery
Acceptable climate
Plenty of water
English speaking
Drive on left
Plenty of dirt roads
No restriction on development in the 'boonies'
and the most impressive statistic -
THE HIGHEST PER CAPITA DIGGER OWNERSHIP OF ALL COUNTRIES !!
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if it cant be done with a digger .... it cant be done
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #20
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rblonng2us - drive on left! That one made me laugh.....
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