Why not? Where we are born is not something we can choose, it just happens. So, why not think about living in another country? It’s an adventure, it’s an opportunity to learn a new language, it’s a chance to meet new people and live amongst a different culture and chances are you’ll get better weather than the UK too! Whilst the UK is still part of the EU, it’s the time to give it a go too whilst the process is fairly straight forward, who knows what the future holds there! It’s not straight forward at all, but more on that in another post. We signed the paperwork and got our keys last night, so now we’ve just got to figure out how to get our stuff there, so, time to explain it all!
We’ve worked very hard to develop our work to a stage that our work doesn’t often involve us being in any particular location, it’s 90% online at home, so for the past year we’ve been testing working abroad and it’s worked no problem. As long as you have your laptop, your phone working abroad and some internet, everything happens seamlessly. When we do need to be somewhere it’s usually planned in advance and with train costs to London being so high (and then everything else being expensive once you get there) it doesn’t cost us that much more for us to fly from abroad in most cases. So why, be stuck in a country that isn’t adding anything to your lifestyle?
Being freelance in England is hard work. No one wants to rent to you, no one wants to give you a loan and certainly not a mortgage and even when you work your butt off and earn just as much money as you would if you were in a normal 9-5 job, once the bills come around you’re not left with much money to do anything that special or useful with. England is expensive and I’m sure most of us will agree with that regardless of your circumstances.
I went freelance because I wanted to have a flexible lifestyle, where I wasn’t tied to an office and could work alongside a balance of personal projects and make the most of the free time you pick up during your day when you’re not in a normal 9-5 routine. Sometimes this works in the UK, but more often than not you run out of money and those schemes of making beautiful 1950s style dresses from home or setting up another business seem impossible and you end up just wasting away the hours watching Netflix or by becoming obsessed with Fallout 4. Both of those things are fun, but are they really improving your life or progressing yourself to something better? Not really. Yes, I may have mastered the Gun Nut Level 4 perk, but to most of you that means nothing, to my future that means nothing.
We visited Barcelona for the first time just over a year ago and instantly fell in love with the Spanish culture and the city that seemingly has everything, but without the stressful bustle and downtrodden commuters of London. It was shortly after this trip that we started pondering a move abroad, Miz is Spanish so for him, returning to a Spanish country has always been on his mind. For the rest of the year, we travelled a bit more, mainly back to Barcelona for adventures and we saw how well our company and personal interests could work together amazingly for us to actually improve our lives. Once, we’d read Sam Cookney’s blog and various articles about his year of commuting from Barcelona to London (and doing a similar job to us) it really put all the financial aspects into perspective for us, it made us start doing more realistic research it seemed ridiculous that we were still paying so much for basic elements of living: rent, food, bills..etc, just for the convenience of staying put because you happen to be in the UK because of choices out of your hands.
So we spent some more time pondering and did the maths and it was true! We could cut our living expenses in HALF and actually upgrade our lifestyle by moving to Barcelona, how can you not take this thought further!? Think of how much more you can achieve in your personal and professional life if your bills were HALF! And we’re not talking making sacrifices to do this, you can afford a 3 bed flat in the centre of Barcelona for half the price of what you can have a nice 1 bed flat in Brighton for or a room in London. In addition to the financial pressure being lifted, you’re also getting year round better weather, a more relaxed working day (siestas, yes please!) and the benefit of being on mainland Europe which significantly increases the options for travelling, networking and exploring the world.
Barcelona in particular is an amazing city and so many of the things that we love are here: skating, alternative fashion, independent fashion and beauty, Sephora, craft beer, the beach, cocktails and rock music. So all that makes it more fun and also opens up a bunch of new biz opportunities for us too since we’re an agency that specialises in alt brands.
So yea, that’s what we’ve gone and done and why. Who knows what will happen next, but I’m excited for a new adventure! I’ll tell you more about the adventure soon, wish us luck! Once everything has calmed down and we’re overcome the stress of Spanish paperwork and figured out how to get our stuff there, I’ll tell you more.