Alex Ahlstrom
I am in love with travel, culture and finance around the world. After working in international real estate finance around Asia and America, I want to share some of my experiences.

Alex’s Pandemic Update

I finished my masters in International Finance from Berlin at the end of 2019. Then, I started promoting American investment immigration in east Asia at the beginning of 2020. In January and February, I traveled around South Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam. One by one, I was restricted entry, until I was only allowed to travel between Vietnam and Taiwan, because they were without outbreaks at the time. On March 15th, 2020, I started living in Vietnam. I was in government-ordered isolation for 2 weeks, then there was a national lockdown for 2 weeks. I was really lucky that there were not more cases in Vietnam, there were a total of about 2,000 cases in Vietnam up until June 2021. I was able to work in an office with our immigration partner and even give presentations and travel to meet customers in different cities across Vietnam. I also hosted webinars and met with customers online. One of the biggest events was the Christmas party at the Ho Chi Minh City headquarters for our partner company. 

In 2020, celebrating Christmas in Vietnam was just like any other year.

One of the best parts of living in Vietnam was that there was great weather and many outdoor pools. So, I started swimming 1 km a day in March 2020 and have kept that going for 2 years. There were still social events in Vietnam, but by the summer of 2021, I could see that the case counts were rising and the testing and lockdowns were not helping the case count. I didn’t know what was to come in Vietnam, but it was time to return to the States and get vaccinated. In June 2021, I arrived in Texas and got vaccinated within 12 hours of arriving. I went and visited the real estate investment that I had been promoting, a private ski mountain with ski-in houses and hotels in Big Sky, Montana.

I also visited friends in Seattle and New York and went on a business trip in Atlanta and San Francisco. Then, a week before the American investment immigration (EB-5) program was set to expire at the end of June 2021, the price of the investment changed from $900,000 to $500,000. This created the busiest sales period in all of the 6 years that I had been in the American immigration investment industry. Customers were no longer able to pretend to be uninterested, because they needed to be faster than the other investors, just to get access to a lawyer to help them finish their investment.  

The only bad thing about the sales rush was that the EB-5 program ended at the end of rush, which was the of June 2021. So, after the EB-5 program ended, I wanted to visit my friends in Europe, because Europe had been closed off until the Summer of 2021. After I met with a few friends and saw how Europe was doing, I decided that I wanted to stay longer. One of the main problems that I had living in Europe was that I didn’t speak any local languages. So, I decided that it was time to learn German and started with German language classes in Dusseldorf, Germany in the beginning of August 2021. German classes were interesting, and somewhat difficult to start. Then, I joined a German language school where all of the students were Chinese, except for me. That allowed me to practice interpreting between Chinese and German. I remember being a little exhausted after my Chinese classes in university, and it was a similar feeling when I finished German classes with the Chinese students. But, I got more and more used to changing languages and speaking longer periods in German. For sure my German has a ways to go, but it feels great to understand the language where I live. 


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