It’s late afternoon on a sizzlingly hot July day and, here in Crete, the cicadas are filling the air with their calls and flowers are falling from the bougainvillea vine and wafting into the house on a gentle breeze. The air is filled with the intoxicating scent of gardenia and jasmine. Just a couple of kilometres away the Mediterranean Sea is the deepest aquamarine imaginable, enticing happy holidaymakers into its cool shallows. A few kilometres in the other direction are the mountains – magnificent, awe-inspiring and ageless.
In my house, my computer sits before me in the midst of a week made busy with web design, blogging and setting up social media accounts and I can’t believe my ‘luck’ that I can do this with such beauty just outside my door. But it wasn’t down to luck and it wasn’t difficult to organise.
Let’s take a look at some of the fears preventing you from taking the plunge and see if we can set your mind at ease:
Leaving behind family and friends: this is huge concern to many and so it should be – your friends and family are of paramount importance in your life and it almost feels as though you’re abandoning them by going to live abroad. The truth is, though, that you’ll end up spending some healthy chunks of time with those close to you when they come to spend their holidays with you and when you stay with them. Some might even be inclined to come and join you in the sun on a more permanent basis.
Somehow making yourself unemployable back in the UK: this couldn’t be further from reality. If you go abroad and are able to run your business online wherever you may be, the chances are that any employer back in the UK would be highly impressed with your initiative, ingenuity and courage.
The cost of making the transition: it doesn’t cost as much as you think. If you don’t want to sell up in England – then don’t – keep your home there and arrange to let it out; even after mortgage payments, you may well get an income from the rent which will probably be more than enough to pay for your rent abroad. You can rent village houses in Greece for example for as little as 100 euros/month.
Will life be better there or not: you’ll never know if you don’t try it and wouldn’t it be far worse to stay put in the 9-5 routine of office life, never having even ventured once to do something different?
Not knowing what lies ahead: it’s all a case of your glass being half full or half empty. If you think that not knowing what next week holds is too scary and you’d rather know that you’ll be catching the No. 11 bus in the wind and rain at 7.47 am every day as you slog into work then the life of the digital nomad isn’t for you. For the more adventurous at heart, seize any chance you can to live the life of your dreams.
If you do nothing, your life will never change, you will never know whether you could have made it living abroad, you will never have the experience of being in a foreign land, savouring a different culture and cuisine and meeting people with a different outlook on life compared to what you’re used to.
In the words of St Augustine who knew what he was talking about 1500+ years ago, ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’