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Flávio, developer from Brazil

Experienced software developer Flávio Prado went from scorching plus 36 degree heat in Brazil to a freezing minus 20 degrees in Estonia. All to set up a homebase which later would allow him to become a digital nomad in Europe.

Why did you decide to move to Estonia?

I can’t say there is no work in Brazil. I'm a senior software developer with ten years of experience, and I wanted to find new experiences and to meet new people. As Chinese say: if you are a frog in a well you don’t know the world. I was preparing to move. Some of my friends have already moved to Berlin and Paris. They invited me to move as well because there is a lot of work here.

Excuse me if I am wrong, but I don’t know any city in Estonia called Paris. Why you are here?

(laughing) Why, why? My friends also asked why.

And still…

I did some research on Estonia. We had geography class at school and I knew where Estonia actually is. But then, I found out that Estonia is strong at IT and digital technologies. It was something new for me. The salary is nice and the cost of living is pretty low here compared to other places in Europe. Quality of life is also quite high.

It’s all about the money, huh! Ok, could you please compare large and warm Brazil with a tiny and cold Estonia? What are the differences?

Of course it’s colder here. I left Brazil with plus 36 degrees and arrived here with minus 20. It was crazy (laughing). In my country we think about ways to cool a house, and here I had to think about how to heat it. It was something that I didn’t account for when I rented an apartment for the first time.

Life in Brazil is different depending on which part of the country you live in. I spent six months in São Paulo. It’s really huge — there are 13 mln people living there. Life is really fast and crazy. I didn’t like that much. People in Brazil are much more open. People here are more reserved, but it is not a problem for me at all.
In terms of labour we work much more in Brazil. Locals in Estonia don’t like to do overtime. That doesn’t mean that locals are lazy, we rely on speed: we need to be faster. You are more likely perfectionists who care about quality. And don’t like doing overtime.

What about your spare time, did anything change?

I was much more active in Brazil. For example, there you finish your job at 6 and go for drinks. But here I started dancing. I actually have dance lessons from Monday to Friday.

Really? But what about networking with other IT-specialists? Do you have enough events here?

Actually there are a lot of different meet-ups here on different topics and with different companies.

Are they good enough compared to opportunities in Brazil?

Most of them are really good, yes.

Was it hard for you to move here?

Well, IT Talent contacted me via Telegram. They had a good offer. Alright! When I moved here I already knew Alex and Alina from the same company and they also introduced me to another guy from Brazil – Felipe. So, we could go out. Company has helped a lot. First month was like a honeymoon. Everything is different, everything is new, everything is amazing.

It’s hard for me to believe that everything was perfect...

Well, it’s hard to find new friends here because people are much more reserved, especially in the winter time. There's a lot of bureaucracy and it takes time to get the IDs and everything else. I think that locals don’t see those things. So there's a lot of things you need to improve. Banking as well, it’s not easy to open an account here.

We don’t have a family doctor concept in Brazil. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to get an appointment. And it’s also difficult to find doctors who speak English. So, there is some difficulty there.

Any other language problems?

Actually a lot of people speak English here and they do it pretty well. But I had some problems outside of Tallinn. In Narva, for example.

The life in Tallinn is very quiet compared to other cities. Do you like it and what are your plans for the future?

I really enjoyed the vibe of the city. I have four more years here at least. I probably will enjoy this place. I have an opportunity to renew my working permit. If we are speaking about my plans in ten years - I’m going to maintain my own apartment here and move around Europe.

You want Tallinn to be your homebase, so to speak? All because of the cost of living?

No, to me, life here is peaceful and comfortable.