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NOTABLE! Has Moving to a Warm and Sunny Climate Made You Happier?

Knugs

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For all those on the spectrum of seasonal depression or exposed to barely any sunshine, get a vitamin D prescription. I'm talking about the 20k units dose not the 1k you can buy in most stores. 20k/week changed my life.

 

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Paul David

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My seasonal depression is well and truly alive and kicking at the moment. The weather here now is cold with most days 5-6 degrees at most. Every time i have to leave the house i curse at having to live in this country.

The brexit decision (i chose to stay and not leave) will also affect whether in the future it's possible for British people to move to Spain which was a plan. Time will tell i suppose but i can't see it being good news.

I still can't afford to move to Spain or anywhere else for that matter even if i wanted so it's just a case of grinding out another winter in this Country.
 
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RoadTrip

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My seasonal depression is well and truly alive and kicking at the moment. The weather here now is cold with most days 5-6 degrees at most. Every time i have to leave the house i curse at having to live in this country.

The brexit decision (i chose to stay and not leave) will also affect whether in the future it's possible for British people to move to Spain which was a plan. Time will tell i suppose but i can't see it being good news.

I still can't afford to move to Spain or anywhere else for that matter even if i wanted so it's just a case of grinding out another winter in this Country.
I feel exactly the same as you when I go outside. Which I don't feel like doing at all with the same temperatures here in Holland plus the annoying winds which are always present. I curse the weather every single day when I leave the house.

I feel even more sad for my almost 3 year old boy. I would take him outside for a walk or the playground but it's just to freaking cold. Actually, I would take real cold weather any day over this dark, gray, windy and rainy days here in Northern Europe

Moving back to Spain would not be too difficult for us. Both me and my wife speak Spanish (she is Peruvian), and I would probably find a job soon also. But jobs are not the same as here. They are still really old fashioned. No flex working or whatsoever. Commutes are usually long and housing is expensive in the bigger cities (I love Barcelona where we lived for 3 years). Unfortunately I don't think we can live in a small town either.

So even though life looks better, which it always does on holidays, it's not always true in real life. Work, groceries, cleaning etc all has to be done. I've always said that we will go back once I'm able to take care of myself without a job. I can't just get used to the idea of going back to work for a boss in Spain again.





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Paul David

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I feel exactly the same as you when I go outside. Which I don't feel like doing at all with the same temperatures here in Holland plus the annoying winds which are always present. I curse the weather every single day when I leave the house.

I feel even more sad for my almost 3 year old boy. I would take him outside for a walk or the playground but it's just to freaking cold. Actually, I would take real cold weather any day over this dark, gray, windy and rainy days here in Northern Europe

Moving back to Spain would not be too difficult for us. Both me and my wife speak Spanish (she is Peruvian), and I would probably find a job soon also. But jobs are not the same as here. They are still really old fashioned. No flex working or whatsoever. Commutes are usually long and housing is expensive in the bigger cities (I love Barcelona where we lived for 3 years). Unfortunately I don't think we can live in a small town either.

So even though life looks better, which it always does on holidays, it's not always true in real life. Work, groceries, cleaning etc all has to be done. I've always said that we will go back once I'm able to take care of myself without a job. I can't just get used to the idea of going back to work for a boss in Spain again.





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Yes the job situation isn't that great in Spain at the moment. I certainly wouldn't entertain moving there if i had to get a job. That's also a concern for the future of my children if there were no jobs when they got older. Then again they could always move back to UK if they wanted!
 

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I don't even realize that the weather is bad/cold, because I'm inside all day with the heater on, grinding it out in front of the computer.

The best depression medicine is profits.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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My seasonal depression is well and truly alive and kicking at the moment. The weather here now is cold with most days 5-6 degrees at most. Every time i have to leave the house i curse at having to live in this country.

The brexit decision (i chose to stay and not leave) will also affect whether in the future it's possible for British people to move to Spain which was a plan. Time will tell i suppose but i can't see it being good news.

I still can't afford to move to Spain or anywhere else for that matter even if i wanted so it's just a case of grinding out another winter in this Country.
Where in the UK do you live, @Paul David? I mean, somewhere in the center of a city or closer to nature? In a house or an apartment?

I spent the past six weeks living in the countryside right by the forest while I had my apartment renovated. Now that I'm back in the apartment I'm gloomy again. The fact that it's renovated doesn't help. I feel like in prison here after living in a big house in the countryside where I had privacy, no neighbors, where it was quiet and where I could always get outside to do something around the house.

While I was there, on some days it was super cold and there was a lot of snow, yet it didn't affect me as negatively as always. In fact, I didn't mind the weather that much.

I think that where you live in a cold climate makes a big difference. For me, it makes a much bigger difference than using a sun lamp, taking vitamin D or any other strategies to deal with SAD. Winter in the city sucks big time, while it doesn't feel that bad when you're somewhere in a natural setting.
 

Paul David

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Where in the UK do you live, @Paul David? I mean, somewhere in the center of a city or closer to nature? In a house or an apartment?

I spent the past six weeks living in the countryside right by the forest while I had my apartment renovated. Now that I'm back in the apartment I'm gloomy again. The fact that it's renovated doesn't help. I feel like in prison here after living in a big house in the countryside where I had privacy, no neighbors, where it was quiet and where I could always get outside to do something around the house.

While I was there, on some days it was super cold and there was a lot of snow, yet it didn't affect me as negatively as always. In fact, I didn't mind the weather that much.

I think that where you live in a cold climate makes a big difference. For me, it makes a much bigger difference than using a sun lamp, taking vitamin D or any other strategies to deal with SAD. Winter in the city sucks big time, while it doesn't feel that bad when you're somewhere in a natural setting.
I live in Liverpool. Not in the city centre about 5 mile away. It’s absolutely freezing at the moment. Can’t believe it’s March tomorrow and this is the weather.




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WJK

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?
I moved from sunny Southern California to Alaska 15 years ago when I retired, to care for my dying mother. I married a man and stayed after Mom died. It doesn't really matter where you live. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock picker they've ever had. I believe in not just living, but thriving, wherever you find yourself. Happiness is a personal problem and a personal decision. It is not dependent on your address, nor the weather.
 

Paul David

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I moved from sunny Southern California to Alaska 15 years ago when I retired, to care for my dying mother. I married a man and stayed after Mom died. It doesn't really matter where you live. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock picker they've ever had. I believe in not just living, but thriving, wherever you find yourself. Happiness is a personal problem and a personal decision. It is not dependent on your address, nor the weather.
I disagree. It’s an entirely personal thing. Some people are more happier and content in a cold climate and others a warmer one. For some the weather doesn’t matter, like yourself. My Father is also like this.

There’s no magic thoughts or nlp technique that’s going to hack my mind to say that even though it’s zero degrees today and snowing I’m going to be very happy today. I don’t believe happiness is a choice, to me that’s papering over the cracks. Happiness to me is a feeling.





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RoadTrip

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I disagree. It’s an entirely personal thing. Some people are more happier and content in a cold climate and others a warmer one. For some the weather doesn’t matter, like yourself. My Father is also like this.

There’s no magic thoughts or nlp technique that’s going to hack my mind to say that even though it’s zero degrees today and snowing I’m going to be very happy today. I don’t believe happiness is a choice, to me that’s papering over the cracks. Happiness to me is a feeling.





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I agree. There is no mindtrick that would make be believe it's comfortable outside with minus 8 which feels like minus 18

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NanoDrake

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Well, If I can share with you
I'm barricated inside my parents home because we have a bit of snow. A BIT compared to northern eu countries.
a Month ago I was in Nicaragua working from the beach.

You can totally feel the Vitamin D deficiency now
 

WJK

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I disagree. It’s an entirely personal thing. Some people are more happier and content in a cold climate and others a warmer one. For some the weather doesn’t matter, like yourself. My Father is also like this.

There’s no magic thoughts or nlp technique that’s going to hack my mind to say that even though it’s zero degrees today and snowing I’m going to be very happy today. I don’t believe happiness is a choice, to me that’s papering over the cracks. Happiness to me is a feeling.





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I believe that feelings follow actions. They are a very unreliable indicator of our personal reality. You are saying that you are hostage to your feelings and the weather -- both of which you have no control over. I simply accept the weather and adjust my life for the here and now.

I just got stuck in Anchorage for a couple extra days. I went for a continuing ed class and they had a huge snow storm while I was there. So, I went back to the hotel and got a room until the storm blew over. It was no big deal. I waited until they got the roads plowed and I drove home. My husband took care of our businesses here while I gone. Yes, I missed a real estate landlord's meeting that I would enjoyed, while I was gone. Yes, my office was closed for those days, but people came and saw when I got back. Life went on. Yes, that storm interrupted my plans and my life a bit. BUT, in the end, that little glitch in my life was no big deal, because I didn't make it a big deal. When things happen, I kick into a "if then" plan rather than diving into a pool of "feelings". It makes for a lot less drama and bumps in my journey.
 

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I believe it would help moving from Cold to Warm. I've always thought if you have to ask others questions because you want to do something. I.e. move from somewhere cold, to warm than you probably should do it.

For example, I have been wondering the exact same question.
My main hobby is surfing. I live right on CT and RI state Border. I am tired of surfing when the air is 0 and water are in the mid 30's. I've been asking my friends who have moved to warmer climates if they miss the cold. Then answer has been all around No. This coming summer I'm going to move from CT to somewhere in Florida maybe Jupiter or in Cali out in Santa Barbara.
 
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WJK

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I hope it would help.

My main hobby is surfing. I live right on CT and RI state Border. Tired of surfing when the air is 0 and water are in the mid 30's. I want to move to somewhere in Florida maybe Jupiter or in Cali out in Santa Barbara. I've always felt I would excel somewhere where its warm 24/7.
Then you should go.

( I had a real estate business buddy years ago in Los Angeles who went to college in Central America -- so he could surf everyday. His clients were all Latino and they loved him. The women fell all over him. Charlie was a fluent Spanish speaking, good looking, American young man, with a mop of blond curls. We sold a lot of property together and did a couple flips a month for many years.)

Maybe you'll find your special space there. The beaches in Santa Barbara are awesome. The waves are really good down into Malibu. Charlie told me so...

My point about "feelings" is that they lie to us. They don't reflect what is best for us and those actions which propel us forward. They lead us down rabbit paths that many times end in disaster. I'm not talking about business gut reactions -- those I trust. I'm talking about the vapid "feelings" about everyday situations that don't really amount to anything important. I'm talking about people who can't take normal everyday actions until they get the "feeling". If I was sitting around and waiting for the work "feeling" to come to me this morning, I'd still be sitting in my big chair, watching something stupid on TV, with my feet up, sipping my chai latte. My life doesn't depend on my "feelings". When I take action, my positive "feelings" tend to follow along.
 

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I am solar powered. Sunny, warm climates support my immune system and overall agree with my physical makeup. I am happier and healthier because of this. I grew up in a cold, dark climate that knocked me down. Moving to the sun is one of the best decisions I've ever made.
 
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It doesn't really matter where you live. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock picker they've ever had. I believe in not just living, but thriving, wherever you find yourself. Happiness is a personal problem and a personal decision. It is not dependent on your address, nor the weather.
I'll respectfully disagree. There's science that suggests that some places are happier than others (see The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner) due to a variety of environmental factors (weather, culture, city layout, etc.).

This means that your address does actually affect your happiness. Obviously you still control your emotional responses and it doesn't mean that everybody is unhappy if they don't live in a blue zone of happiness, but you can't say that your location has no effect on your well-being. Just like it's easier to get rich if you were born in a first-world country, so it's easier to be happy if you were born in the right, happiness-conducive place.

Compare the level of happiness of people living in Yakutsk, Russia (where people probably can't spend more than 5 minutes outside if they don't want to get frostbite) and Gold Coast, Australia, and I'm pretty sure that the Australian residents are much, much happier - not only because of the weather, but also because of a more outdoorsy and laid-back culture.

Like @Paul David mentioned, no amount of positive thinking can change the fact that if it's cold or cloudy all the time, your body will respond to it negatively (unless you're somehow genetically adapted to it and don't mind) because humans are tropical animals and we aren't programmed to thrive without plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures.

I'm a rock climber, and even if I told myself that it's fun and super nice to climb when it's cold, it wouldn't change the fact that my hands would get numb when climbing or that I wouldn't be even able to climb anyway because the cliff would be wet or covered with snow.

Like in the case of @Scuur, my hobby is also dependent on the weather and since it greatly improves my mood, if I can't do it, I feel worse during the winter (and that's just one of many reasons why winter ruins my well-being).

And no, I can't really change it to something else during the winter because one of the things that make me enjoy rock climbing so much is spending time outdoors and pretty much all outdoor activities (except winter sports) are much, much less pleasant or impossible when it's cold.

My choice is to practice it indoors (which isn't really the same thing) and travel in the winter. When I'm home, I use a sunlight lamp, keep high room temperature and try to stay positive, but it still doesn't change the fact that I'm much, much happier during spring and summer (or when traveling to a warm and sunny country). Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing that in many cases (mine included) is impossible to beat with positive thinking alone - a change in location is needed to cure yourself of it.
 

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It doesn't really matter where you live. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock picker they've ever had. I believe in not just living, but thriving, wherever you find yourself. Happiness is a personal problem and a personal decision. It is not dependent on your address, nor the weather.
I'm glad this was the case for you, but it's ignorant to assume that this applies to every single person everywhere. Changing my climate made a huge difference on my mental health. I moved to Arizona nearly 18 years ago & never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I've made in my life & I've not regretted it for a second. I'll take 120F in the summer any day over -40F with wind chill in the winter with ice for roads & no power due to frozen, broken lines.

I <3 the desert.
 
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OlivierMo

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?
I moved to SoCal thinking it would and at the end of the day it didn't. Because of house prices I lived in a neighborhood that was full of loud people. L.A tends to be dirty. Those sunny areas are congested. So I realized that it's not the weather that was making me unhappy, it was just my life situation. I now live in a very cold place and I'm as happy if not happier. I miss the sun right now but it'll pass and I focus on work and being productive. Living away from family is getting tough though. I think I miss that quite a bit.
 

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I live in Melbourne, Australia and in general the climate is pretty moderate so I should probably STFU and not complain. In winter it does get cold, but some of the winter highs probably rival a UK summer. I can always take a trip to the sunshine coast and chase it if I need to.

I would say that generally speaking, when the sun is out I am more optimistic. I don't think it's just a lack of vitamin D either. It's psychological for me. I associate good weather with opportunity, hope and positivity. However, I also have friends who love it when it pours with rain and enjoy nothing more than sitting at home inside in front of fireplaces etc. It really depends on how you're wired I think.

The people in Queensland (warmer climate) always seem to be happier and fitter because they skip winter. They literally never experience it. The only downside is they all look old and worn out much earlier from too much sun so I think moderation is key. Pick your vacation times and destinations strategically or make a change if you're miserable. I couldn't imagine living somewhere icy. I've still never touched or seen snow.
 

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I've lived in the UK most of my life. I'm miserable most of the time, but only when it's cold. I think I have severe seasonal depression. On the rare July days that it's scorching hot and the sun comes out, you can tell the difference in everyone. People are actually smiling, are kinder to you, more optimistic. In my mind, all my problems are meaningless. I feel like how a person should feel. Unfortunately 99% of the time the weather in the UK is despicable. The word "hate" isn't strong enough. It's not just cold, it's character-less. The sky is completely white, like someone has placed the city on an endless sheet of paper.

Some people aren't affected by this. I was reading a study on how people from northern countries need less vitamin D to function well. I'm from southern Europe, where it can get up to 40 C. I'm definitely moving.
 

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I've lived in the UK most of my life. I'm miserable most of the time, but only when it's cold. I think I have severe seasonal depression. On the rare July days that it's scorching hot and the sun comes out, you can tell the difference in everyone. People are actually smiling, are kinder to you, more optimistic. In my mind, all my problems are meaningless. I feel like how a person should feel. Unfortunately 99% of the time the weather in the UK is despicable. The word "hate" isn't strong enough. It's not just cold, it's character-less. The sky is completely white, like someone has placed the city on an endless sheet of paper.

Some people aren't affected by this. I was reading a study on how people from northern countries need less vitamin D to function well. I'm from southern Europe, where it can get up to 40 C. I'm definitely moving.
I’m sorrry to hear that!

Here in Texas, you get tired of the heat & humidity pretty fast. Lol
 

WJK

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I've lived in the UK most of my life. I'm miserable most of the time, but only when it's cold. I think I have severe seasonal depression. On the rare July days that it's scorching hot and the sun comes out, you can tell the difference in everyone. People are actually smiling, are kinder to you, more optimistic. In my mind, all my problems are meaningless. I feel like how a person should feel. Unfortunately 99% of the time the weather in the UK is despicable. The word "hate" isn't strong enough. It's not just cold, it's character-less. The sky is completely white, like someone has placed the city on an endless sheet of paper.

Some people aren't affected by this. I was reading a study on how people from northern countries need less vitamin D to function well. I'm from southern Europe, where it can get up to 40 C. I'm definitely moving.
Then move. Just remember that you have to take yourself with you. Your problems don't get left behind in the UK.

Personally, I would test the theory and land in the South very lightly. I have known a lot of people who move and then come back. It's the adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I know better. I believe that happiness is choice. I'm going to thrive wherever I land. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock-picker that they have.

Good luck!
 

• nikita •

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Then move. Just remember that you have to take yourself with you. Your problems don't get left behind in the UK.

Personally, I would test the theory and land in the South very lightly. I have known a lot of people who move and then come back. It's the adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I know better. I believe that happiness is choice. I'm going to thrive wherever I land. If they drop ship me to the moon, I'll be the best rock-picker that they have.

Good luck!
100%. I used to believe moving would get rid of all my problems in the past (haha) but I know that’s not true.

I’m going to eventually move, I just know staying for the next few months is a smarter move, especially as I’m getting my business off the ground. Summer is coming anyway, so it’ll be relatively pleasant for a bit.

Since I got a remote job the weather issue has been affecting me less, as I don’t have to face the rain and heavy traffic. I like your mindset, I’m trying to be more optimistic too (or at least less of a pessimist).
 

WJK

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100%. I used to believe moving would get rid of all my problems in the past (haha) but I know that’s not true.

I’m going to eventually move, I just know staying for the next few months is a smarter move, especially as I’m getting my business off the ground. Summer is coming anyway, so it’ll be relatively pleasant for a bit.

Since I got a remote job the weather issue has been affecting me less, as I don’t have to face the rain and heavy traffic. I like your mindset, I’m trying to be more optimistic too (or at least less of a pessimist).
Mindset is a matter of survival. You can rewrite just about anything, using the same fact pattern. By adjusting your perspective, you can turn your worst failures into the materials and/or lessons necessary for your next success. No, I'm not a Pollyanna. I expect rejections, failures, and setbacks. Sometimes they really hurt. But, each is just another step. They are the cost of doing business -- not a disaster. When they happen, I remind myself that I learn a lot more from failures rather than successes. By looking at the situation piece by piece, I can look for the hidden treasures.
 

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I've lived in the UK most of my life. I'm miserable most of the time, but only when it's cold. I think I have severe seasonal depression. On the rare July days that it's scorching hot and the sun comes out, you can tell the difference in everyone. People are actually smiling, are kinder to you, more optimistic. In my mind, all my problems are meaningless. I feel like how a person should feel. Unfortunately 99% of the time the weather in the UK is despicable. The word "hate" isn't strong enough. It's not just cold, it's character-less. The sky is completely white, like someone has placed the city on an endless sheet of paper.

Some people aren't affected by this. I was reading a study on how people from northern countries need less vitamin D to function well. I'm from southern Europe, where it can get up to 40 C. I'm definitely moving.
I hear you. I left the UK for Asia and never looked back.

Living in the sun and by the sea makes a MASSIVE difference to health.
 

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I lived in Australia for nearly 3 years and moved back to Ireland then lived in the England for a few years and right now 5 years later, I am still missing the Australian sun. Winter time sucks a$$ here big time. I'm currently taking a 4 month course about online business and starting an online business soon. F*ck staying around for winter. Life is too short to be miserable.
 

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If you've read my introduction you'll know that I'm from the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is geographically in the dead center of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. As someone who was born in and lived in a hot/tropical climate all his life I can testify to the following:
  1. It's hot everyday. Rainy and sunny days are hot. The cool temperatures only come in during the night. It's moderately cool, but nothing unbearably cold like the snowy or negative degree climates some here may face during the winter. However ,there are many parts of the island that are shielded from the hazards of the hot sun by the surrounded rain-forests. These parts enjoy micro-climates that are usually always chilly; you'll mostly find this in-land closer to the rain-forests, but seeing most of the population lives on the coasts it's always hot for us. Even if it's a hot climate you'll find that everyone uses air conditioning because it's so hot (even at night ). If you're looking to relocate, think it through; it's like trying to escape the cold by entering micro-pseudo-cold environments in an otherwise extra hot land.
  2. In any tropical/hot climate you'll find mosquitoes and other pests/nuisances. As an islander, I've become very efficient in dealing with many swarms of mosquitoes. They're an inevitable part of the tropical life but are easy to deal with when you learn how they behave and what they like/ don't like. Also be prepared to have your sunglasses on for the entire day. The glare from the sun here is especially harsh and heat is extra hot. You'll literally feel like you're frying up under the sun even if you're indoors! Even here we have our fair share of miserable people forever complaining and acting out because of the heat.
  3. Most importantly, the heat/cold hasn't affected my productivity, but everyone is different. I've been to very cold places and honestly I embrace the change from the constant heat when I get the chance. Every climate has its pros and cons, but I concentrate better in cold environments. My productivity goes up the lower the temperatures, though i believe everyone has an optimal temperature for productivity.

Thanks for reading, hope this helped.
 
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@momomaurice, where did you live in Australia?

Thank you for sharing your experience, @Thomas Baptiste. I've been to the tropics and other places during the extremely humid season and realized that for me personally, the best climate is arid or semi-arid. I can't stand high humidity and can't imagine dealing with it all year round. High temperatures don't bother me as long as it's dry heat.
 

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I moved to Belo Horizonte, Brasil 2 months ago and for sure it made a difference, however after a few months you get used to it (having sun everyday, nice temperature).

I believe what happens is you get to some kind of hedonic adaptation during the process, nevertheless I know for sure if I go back to cold/cloudy weather I would struggle again.
 

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