Considering a move to Kuwait from the USA

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by verboten, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    Well, I got my plane ticket. Hope to meet some new friends and lay down some fresh tracks soon! Only 5 degrees F warmer than home right now ;)
    #21
  2. Watercat

    Watercat . . . gravity sucks

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    Well verboten, any update ? Are you still in Kuwait ? What's it like ?

    Asking because I'm considering moving there for employment as well . . . . . .

    :hmmmmm . . . . . . :confused . . . . . . . :dunno . . . . . . . Are you able to :ricky ?

    Thanks.
    #22
  3. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    I am still in Kuwait. It has been an excellent experience so far. The job is great. I’ve have 2 months of vacation in the first 12 months :) met a lot of adv riders here, but decided against getting a bike in the mean time, it’s just too crazy to ride on the street. Many options for renting bikes in Dubai and Oman, which I hope to do feb-April. Culturally, it’s easy living here. All the modern conveniences right alongside the traditional. I’ve been to Jordan, Germany, Switzerland, back home this past year. Had to cancel a trip to Kenya last minute due to passport issues with my wife. Heathcare is really good here and inexpensive as well. Gas is cheap :)

    The downsides to Kuwait include: heat, flat desert, general dirtiness when it comes to how people treat the environment, and the cultural issues of having 3/4 of the population being expat. Food is roughly 50% more here, but I knew that coming over. There is a tendency for people to gain weight when moving here. Getting homesick is a drag of course. When there are family issues, it may not be practical to go home due to the travel time. It takes me about 24 hrs to get home in the best case situation door to door. Fortunately FaceTime and email help bridge the gap.

    Overall, I like it. My wife joined me full time in July which made things much better. We’ve made lots of connections with locals and westerners, so there is plenty on our social calendars. Really, it’s pretty much like working back home, only far safer. One of the perks is being able to travel to many countries quickly. Mideast, Africa, Europe, and India are all close enough to visit for the weekend if you were so inclined. There are western style gyms here, CrossFit, traditional weights, cardio classes, biking, etc.

    I’m heading home again for Christmas to do some riding.

    Feel free to PM me if you want some detailed info. I know my way around now and understand the housing and traffic situation in case you need housing advice. I’ve been here for 16 months and it has flown by for me. Some folks don’t adjust as well as I have, I think the secret is finding people to hang out with and getting out to enjoy things. That, and having a laid back attitude helps. Life moves at a slower pace here, meetings start late, people screw up seemingly simple tasks, etc. Once you get over that, it becomes easier :) If you get road rage easily, you may not want to move to Kuwait :)
    #23
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  4. Scott in Missouri

    Scott in Missouri I'm fast but I ain't no BigDog!!!

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    I'm here now...Buehring with trips to KC.

    Scott
    #24
  5. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    You picked s nice time of year to come :)
    I just left for a visit home and will be back in January. I’ll send you a PM.
    #25
  6. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    Someone here PM’d me about Q8, so I revisited this thread.

    Well, the honeymoon with Q8 ended in May 2018 and the divorce finalized in April 2019. I’m heading home this summer. It was interesting and exciting at first, like most new things are. However, many of the things others mentioned in this thread, combined with inept business ownership and an entitled local population had a cumulative grating effect on my soul. The only things I will miss are the little shawarma stands and ridiculous salary. Fortunately, I will now be able to soak my sorrows in beer and bacon to forget about the rest ;)
    #26
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  7. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    Can I bother you with a bunch of random moto questions Verboten?
    1. Any rental places for dual sport type bikes?
    2. How tough is the process for an American to buy a used bike there and re-sale it a month later?
    3. Prices new/used compared to the US?
    4. What are the most common/easiest to get parts for/work on dual sport bikes? For example, in Malaysia Kawasaki is the most common but Honda is definately #1 in Thailand...
    5. Do you know how hard it would be as an American buying a bike in Kuwait to ride across the border into Iraq?
    6. Is Kuwait fine with America Drivers license or International DL?
    Thanks for any info! :)
    #27
  8. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    I’ve got a question... why are you going to Kuwait?

    In response to yours...
    1. Not in Kuwait, yes in Dubai and Oman
    2. Not worth the effort unless you are staying a year or more IMHO, easier to borrow one from a local
    3. 1.25 to 2 x higher
    4. Anything you can order from abroad and shipped to Kuwait. Local dealers carry very little in way of parts you need at the time you need them, which seems to be the case in the US too :)
    5. Next to impossible unless you have some amazing connections
    6. If you are on a visit visa, your US license with the international license will be fine. If you get a residency permit, you have to get a Kuwait license. I had a fixer get my Kuwait license without having to do anything special, but they require you come in for a motorcycle riding test to get that endorsement.
    I lived there for 3 years and had a guy in the office to take care of government red tape for me. Even with that help, it was such a PIA in regards to motorcycles, I didn’t bother with them in Kuwait. It’s a pretty boring place for off-road riding anyhow, unless you are the type that enjoys cutting donuts in the trash filled staging area of an OHV park... in which case you will love it. Riding on the street in Kuwait, especially the city, is insanely dangerous. Hardly a day passed without me seeing the carnage of serious vehicular accidents. Lots of motorcyclists plowed over too :( I ended up buying a mountain bike and riding it along the coastal sidewalks for my two wheel fix, sadly.

    Oman on the hand was incredible for riding both in town and off-road. People were friendly, cities were pleasant, food was great. The landscapes included coastal beaches, dunes, rock mountains, and alluvial plains.
    #28
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  9. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    Thanks so much for the great info!
    To answer your question - the only reason I would go to Kuwait would be if there were good motorcycle rental/purchase options there. I'm headed back to Erbil/Syria tomorrow. I work for an NGO that does relief work in war zones/natural disaster areas. I came across your post in a Google search and since I hadn't found any great options in Kurdistan and didn't have a clue about Kuwait wanted to see what options were there!
    #29
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  10. verboten

    verboten confused Supporter

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    No problem. If you have the option to go to Oman, contact Peter at Oryx. He has a nice fleet of CCM 450s and all the gear you might need. I had a blast with him.
    https://oryxadventures.com/en/
    #30
    rickypanecatyl likes this.
  11. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    That's great news! I might just go for the sake of trying out the CCM 450! I've always been curious about that bike... My biggest concern was reliability and the best people I've found to answer reliability questions are the owners of rental fleets so thanks for the info!
    #31