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propilot

Want to relocate to Skydive, Photograph, and Base Jump -- Where?

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Hello all,

I do contract work and can live anywhere and want to relocate. I am trying to decide where to move to. I am a US Citizen and I speak English (no other languages..well un petite francais but not conversant).

I do want to learn a new language but on the other hand definitely think moving to an English speaking country would help me assimilate much faster.

I'm looking for somewhere with reasonable jump prices (about 30 USD or less).

I am currently considering Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and Spain.

Australia seems to be the current front runner, but really I am just at the beginning stages of this.

I will be moving on October 3rd. This makes me think perhaps I should rule out the European countries since it will be winter there.

The most important thing to me is the people..the more welcoming the better! Second is DZ facilities/atmosphere.

So, with that information, anyone got comments, suggestions, ideas?

Would anyone here from Australia like to comment on the jump scene there or recommend specific drop zones? Is there much base jumping in Australia?

Thanks for reading! ;]

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I visited Switzerland for 2 months last Fall. I loved it! I am big in to skiing and mountaineering ...felt like home.


My only concern about Switzerland is $. I traveled as cheaply as possible there and I felt like I got raped. I didn't know the meaning of expensive until I saw how much a medium drip coffee costs at a McDonalds in Geneva. I think it was like 4.75? USD. Jesus.

I do not have a right to work in the EU. However some of the people I met were from Latvia and had no trouble finding work. Could I work as a skydiver there?

I make ok money but I think I might need to supplement if I were to try and live there.

Jump tickets there are like 40-50 USD!

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Well. Norway was on the list because I want to get into Base and Base Wingsuit. Seems like the place to be for that.

However, I think if I am going to relocate to a non english speaking country, I would want to learn the language and since that requires a lot of time and energy, it would have to be a language that is valuable on a wider scale (Spanish, German, Mandarin, etc). I think the Scandinavian countries are out.

Switzerland is awesome, but jebus after two months there I never did get used to the costs. If I could offset that with working jumps it would be tolerable. I wouldn't need to do them to survive, just to feel better about my 5 dollar coffee.

My french is at the beginner level, so at least I wouldn't be starting from scratch (not far from it though!)

Where is the best place to fun jump in Switzerland?

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Where is the best place to fun jump in Switzerland?



well, do you you want to funjump or do you want to work? with mostly english speaking staff!?

personally, i think the "dreamjob" you're looking for doesnt exist if you're not willing to put in some time first, but hey, that's just me.

"this aint no musical request programme, no ponyyard and it isnt a chocolate factory exactly either!" :P
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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Spain is great, warm and sunny and super relaxed. The food is good and there's other stuff to do like climbing, via ferrata, great mountain biking and on the North coast, surfing. Empuriabrava's having a tunnel built. Don't expect big salaries though.

P.S. Good luck!!!!

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Sounds like you are looking at areas outside the US but have you considered Utah? Legal(ish) base jumping year round with very easy access to at least a hundred exit points, cheap skydiving, easy and cheap flights to the rest of the US, cheap real estate, great weather, perfect PG launching grounds, perfect speed flying launching grounds, and not to mention great for all kinds of other non aerial sports such as skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, etc.
Fiend

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. - Thomas Hobbes.

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To clear up a few things:

I am focusing mostly outside the US. I have my reasons. Ultimately I'm not opposed to the US and I think if I plan on making a ton of jumps that might be smart due to the cheaper tickets.

However, this is a time in my life where I have no car, house, apartment, wife, girlfriend...anything. All I have is my rig, cameras, and computer. I won't be able to live in another country later in life when I have those things, so I feel like I should do it now.

I lived in Salt Lake for 2 years. Nice place but...reference above paragraph.

I don't need to work outside of my contract job. I just made the reference to jumping for work in relation to the expense of Switzerland. I'm not sure I could afford that place no matter what I do. I fell in love with it last Fall but...jebus. So expensive.

Really Europe seems to be out just because i'll be starting this in October and I'll be there all winter.

I was looking into South America too but their jump tickets are 40-50 bucks too.

Its a high quality problem, as they say.

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If you really want to run away from winter then you should look at South America.
I personally would go for Spain now. Specifically Empuriabrava. Its an Awesome DZ, with a great club house on site, and the tunnel was run for the first time a few days ago (so I'm told by friend who's there). plus you get to land on the beach when you've had enough. 100K jumps a year make it a great scene with jumpers from all over Europe. Its location gives you easy access to all of Europe and to a lesser extent the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

I live in Australia now. Its bloody expensive, for everything. I cant think of anything that is cheaper here than in the UK/US. In fact I buy everything I can from the US and ship it over. My DZ (nagambie) is one of the cheaper DZ's and its still $37 for a 10 jump ticket (Empuria was 24Euro on a 25 jump ticket)

If you are not reliant on the local economy then I'd think about it. The EU economy is in some trouble, how much trouble is currently up for debate, but.......

Oh and not much BASE in Australia, very few decent cliffs.

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I am an American who is currently living in Chambéry, France and I think this region would be the best place for you.

Lots of BASE and Skydiving going on around here plus you have the skiing and speed riding for the off season.

Also, you're only about two hours from Tallard, France, which is a famous dropzone in France.

A lot of people speak english at the dropzones, so you won't feel left out.

Chambery's dropzone: http://www.centre-parachutisme.com/

Tallard's dropzone: http://www.parachutismegap.fr/

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First of all, forget about South America. The jump ticket prices are far higher than you think or are advertised (~$50). Chile was the one place in South America I was reasonably "comfortable" jumping (Although even fun jumpers had to sign a waiver because the aircraft was experimental and built by an amateur plane builder). In Brazil, a DZ "outside of town" is ~500 miles. The exception is Sau Paulo.

Australia... I went to live there in late 2010. I know this was just MY experience and I have a lot of awesome Ozzie friends, but I found a horrible racist atmosphere in Melbourne. I cannot speak for the rest of the country though. After moving my life there, I left after 6 weeks. It just wasn't for me. Jump prices are pretty high too.

If I was in your position, I'd go with Spain.
Empuriabrava is the biggest (most popular) DZ in Europe and is only an hour from Barcelona. Most are fluent in English and their on site wind tunnel is opening next month. The scenery is beautiful. It's where most European teams train too I believe. Weather all year round is decent but they have a wind that comes down from the Andes that can stop jumping for days at a time. If you've never been to Barcelona, you're missing out. It's an amazing city. You're also close to a major international airport if you ever want to skip up to Norway for some base jumping. However, there are bridges and cliffs relatively close to Empuriabrava (They have a base school too).

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True Switzerland is expensive but maybe move there doing another job.

I did some work in finance and all my lunches, city passes and 1/2 price tickets where paid for in addition to my salary.

The swiss' quality of life is also one of the highest in the world.

I was living in Geneve and language skills is a must there.

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I'm thinking its mostly between Spain and San Fransisco.

Does anyone know how hard it is to get a long term stay visa in Spain? I wouldn't need to work and could show funds to support myself for the year. 90 days is too short for what I'm looking to do.

Also, anyone in San Fran like to comment on the jumping there over the winter? Fog? Cold? I looked up average temperatures and it doesn't seem to bad (60s?). How is the crowd at Hollistar or Montery Bay over the winter?


Thanks

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I'm thinking its mostly between Spain and San Fransisco.

Does anyone know how hard it is to get a long term stay visa in Spain? I wouldn't need to work and could show funds to support myself for the year. 90 days is too short for what I'm looking to do.

Also, anyone in San Fran like to comment on the jumping there over the winter? Fog? Cold? I looked up average temperatures and it doesn't seem to bad (60s?). How is the crowd at Hollistar or Montery Bay over the winter?


Thanks


It's cold as hell in SF during the winter (jumping).

I would skip those two DZ's and just head to Sacramento/Davis or Lodi (cheap jumps to get your experience and numbers up).

I spent an entire summer jumping in Europe, it is NOT cheap at all. Spain is cheapest...

Go with Spain.
"Fail, fail again. Fail better."
-Samuel Beckett

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Also, anyone in San Fran like to comment on the jumping there over the winter? Fog? Cold?



Northern California has a bazillion microclimates. Weather in San Francisco proper is drastically different from a few miles across the bay in Oakland, which is drastically different from the weather at the dropzones, each of which can have their own thing going on, even though they're only an hour or so apart. Out of towners are blown away when I say that I'm leaving Davis (at 100 degrees in the summer) to go home where it'll be comfortable (in the 70s). That's only 70 miles away.

The dropzones tend to stay busy year round, so long as we have the weather. December-February can be a little "iffy," with rain & winds, but they can also be spectacular. We had an awesome winter last year with lots and lots of perfect days. It tends not to get all that cold, though you'll definitely wear more layers in the winter than the summer. It is not "cold as hell" except maybe to a Southern Californian. ;)

As others have mentioned, go east (Bay Area Skydiving) or north (Davis, Sacramento). Monterey Bay is primarily tandem-oriented, and is the most likely DZ to have fog issues because of its location on the coast.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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