New Zealand

We’ve been planning the move to Iceland for a few years now, but there’s not much we can do until Italy processes my application for citizenship. We need passports that are part of the Shengin Treaty to make relocation without a work visa a reality. While it’s theoretically possible to move as a US citizen and find a sponsor, the reality is the job market in Iceland isn’t driven by big career portals accessible to outsiders. It’s a word-of-mouth community, and knowing someone is the best way in. My being in a far away land isn’t going to get it done, and we don’t have the financial security to head over and job hunt with nothing lined up.

The delay is frustrating. It’s especially difficult since Italy does not provide any sort of status update on the application. We submitted our final paperwork in September of 2015 and have heard nothing from the consulate since then. I anticipate that we should hear back before the two year mark, but I have no way of telling for sure.

While we wait, we’ve started entertaining other options as well. The political climate in the US is putting pressure on us to get out sooner rather than later. Waiting for the perfect situation of Iceland is still on the table, but as other opportunities arise we’re acting. Most recently Leah found an excellent lead in New Zealand through a program called LookSee. Wellington, New Zealand is offering free visits for 100 tech professionals from around the globe to come and interview and experience what the city has to offer. I filled out the application right away.

New Zealand isn’t our perfect choice, but that’s mostly because of the distance to the family back in the states. Iceland is a quick flight that we could talk family into taking. Flying around the world is a bit harder. Outside of the distance, though, New Zealand offers so much of the same things we love about Iceland: endless natural beauty, distance from too many humans, peaceful culture, and good schools.

Being selected as one of the 100 is a long-shot, but I hope it happens. If New Zealand is a 98/100 instead of a 100/100, the timing more than makes up for the difference.