Is This The Ultimate Entrepreneurial Dream?

April 2, 2008

Image by Twayna Mayne.
Bondi Beach

Does the ultimate entrepreneurial dream involve living and working from wherever you want? Lately, I’ve heard many people on the Internet talk about their desire to work anywhere in the world, through freelancing or their own business. Does it sound good? The idea definitely appeals to me.

A few years ago, I thought about moving to America - probably Florida, for the wonderful year round climate. But, life takes unexpected turns and I never got round to it. So, lately I’ve been researching my options. And if you’re interested in living and working in a sunnier climate, you may want to check out a few of the great resources I’ve discovered so far:

The Australian’s Want Us

Recently the Australian’s began making it easier for immigrants from particular professions or trades to move into their country. The weather there is great - in fact, their winter’s are probably warmer than most summers we get in the UK. Monika Mundell emigrated to Australia to start a new life and get away from her negative family. It was hard work for the first few years, but now she’s living the life she wants and a few months ago, she was able to pack in her job and work from home. You should check out Monika’s blog, it’s really inspiring. And if you’re looking for an excellent writer, check out her website too: Monika Mundell.

Could You Sell Your Life?

On my quest for more research I stumbled upon this amazing guy who’s actually selling his whole life in Perth, Australia. It goes up for auction in June and everything is included: his home, furniture, jet ski, motor bike, sky diving equipment and even access to his friends.

Once the auction is over, Ian plans to go to the airport and jump on the first available plane to anywhere. He sounds like a really entrepreneurial guy. The auction has attracted heaps of media attention and traffic to his website soared almost as soon as he launched it. I’m sure he’ll go far. You can check out his site and read all about it here: A Life For Sale

What About Working On The Beach?

Eleven years ago, Mark Hayward and his wife Terrie moved from New England to the British Virgin Islands to escape the cold and the cubicle lifestyle. They have lived on four islands since then. However, in this post, Mark explains that he has only achieved half of his dream so far. Although he is running a business on a Caribbean Island, he is still to achieve his dream of creating passive income so he can work less.

Can You Travel and Work Regardless Of Your Occupation?

I did think that travelling while you worked would probably only be a possibility for certain professions. So, I was surprised when I read an article by Sterling, describing how his partner was able to continue practising as a lawyer whilst travelling. If you’re wondering if it could be a possibility for you too, you should check out his article as it has some great advice and tips: How To Travel and Work Remotely As A Couple.

More Great Resources

Two Texans Down Under:
A great blog by two Texans who emigrated to Australia.
Australian Department of Immigration: Lots of useful info, entry requirements etc.
What Became Of The Ten Pound Poms? After World War II thousands of British people where able to emigrate to Australia for only £10. Some liked it and some didn’t. You can check out their stories here.
Viva Almeria - A great site on Almeria, Spain with heaps of resources for people who are planning to live in Spain. The site is owned by a couple who relocated there from the UK.
Free Online Points Test For Eligibility To Immigrate to Australia.

The Best Places To Live In The World:
If you’re not sure where you want to go, this is a helpful resource.
Moving To The Caribbean: Great advice and info for anyone wanting to move to the Caribbean.
Free Emigration Starter Pack: These information packs are for people from the UK who want to emigrate to any country in the world. You also get a free magazine.
United Nations Report On Best Places To Live In The World: If you want to know where it’s safest to live and where you get the best healthcare etc, check this out.
20 Of The More Difficult US Citizenship Questions: If you want to emigrate to the USA, you need to brush up on your knowledge about their country. These are meant to be the hardest questions, so check them out and make sure you don’t get caught out.
Backpacking In Thailand: Great resource for anyone considering backpacking in Thailand.
Hawaii Immigration Information Office: Basic site with contact details for anyone wanting to move to Hawaii.

So, what about you? Do you share the entrepreneurial dream of many others who want to work from sunnier climates? Are you already planning a way to do it, or do you have concerns that are holding you back? Or, are you quite happy staying put?

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34 Responses to “Is This The Ultimate Entrepreneurial Dream?”

  1. Kelly Rigby@ SHE-POWER on April 2nd, 2008 10:33 am


    Come to Australia!

    It’s a great country. Safe, good climate, naturally spectacular, friendly folks, very laid back (too laid back in some ways) but also very English because so many of us descend from the UK.

    Depending on where you live in Australia, the climate and vibe really varies. Monika has moved to Qld hasn’t she so hot and slow. Sydney is happening and beautiful but more competitive. Melbourne is more cultural but chillier - has real winter and shit beaches. Not familiar with Adelaide or Perth, but I hear they’re nice in their own way, but quieter than Sydney or Melbourne.

    I live in a city 1.5 hours south of Sydney. Gorgeous beaches, safe for families, close to the action of city life, but more affordable and a good outdoorsy life for kids.

    Australia really does have a lot going for it. There’s a reason so many people emigrate here. I love travelling and I love some other countries, Mexico in particular, but I’m glad this is where I get to come home to. Especially now that I have a family.


    Kelly Rigby@ SHE-POWER’s last blog post..SHE-POWER Fiction: Mama’s Girls

  2. Brad Brown on April 2nd, 2008 11:09 am

    As an alternative to Florida, consider the coast of South Carolina - Charleston in particular. You get warm summers and mild winters, with less humidity than Florida. It’s a beautiful, historic place to live. In general, the southern US is a great place to live…sure, we’re a bit slow, but we make up for it in hospitality and by serving bacon at every meal.

    Brad Brown’s last blog post..How to Fail like Hillary Clinton

  3. John Hoff on April 2nd, 2008 12:11 pm

    Yes yes yes . . . I’m an entrepreneur because a) I don’t wanna work for the man and b) I want to live anywhere I wish and be able to do it from home.

    My wife and I have a 3 to 5 year plan in place. We are planning to move to Colorado here in the states because we are tired of landscape rock and palm trees here in Las Vegas.

    I think ultimately, though, we would like to live in Hawaii. I love the beach.

    Hmm, Florida has nice weather but they sure get pounded every year with hurricanes. You might want to take a closer look at that. That said, we’d love to have the likes of Cath Lawson here in the U.S.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..Is Your Website Web 2.0 or Corporate?

  4. cathlawson on April 2nd, 2008 1:41 pm

    Hi Kelly - I really am leaning towards Australia. It looks like I would qualify for one of the business skills visas. And I had been looking at Melbourne, but I did wonder about the colder climate in the Winter. I’ll email you with lots of questions.

    Hi Brad - It does look like a nice area and I would like to go there sometime - especially Charleston and Hilton Head. But the thing that would put me off living that far South is all the films I see about the Klu Klux Klan etc. Is it really as bad as they portray it?

    Hi John - when are you planning to move? Colorado sounds nice but Hawaii would be amazing.

    It was the hurricanes that put me off Florida too. I’d hate to buy a house and watch it get flattened a few months later. I’m guessing it must be quite difficult to get hurricane insurance for homes in that area.

  5. Hunter Nuttall on April 2nd, 2008 1:48 pm

    Location independence has never really been important to me. I’d probably stay put even if I was working purely online, at least for now. However, that could very well change later in life, and especially if I got used to traveling. But simply having freedom from the daily commute would be wonderful, even if I didn’t travel much.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..The Best And Worst April Fools’ Joke Of 2008

  6. Tim Brownson on April 2nd, 2008 1:58 pm

    As a Brit that moved to Florida 2 years ago Imust say I’m glad I did. It’s a bit right wing for my tatses and a lot more expensive than we thought it would be, but on the whole we love it. Just don’t get sick unless you regularly bathe in high denomination bank notes for fun.

    BTW, Carolina is great and the coastal area well worth checking out. I’d never move to Oz simply because I know I’d never go back to the UK to see friends and family. 24 hours on a plane? Er no thanks, I’d rather shove knitting needles up my manhood.

    Tim Brownson’s last blog post..Life Coaching To Be Made Illegal In US?

  7. cathlawson on April 2nd, 2008 3:02 pm

    Hi Hunter - I suppose it depends where you live to begin with. Lots of people who comment on here seem to live in way nicer places than I do. I must admit though, wherever you live not having to commute to work is much better.

    Hi Tim - That is great. Where in the UK did you live? Was it difficult to get into Florida?

    I must admit - the flights do put me off a bit and business class to Australia is just too expensive for four of us. Mind you I’d probably just do the trip every year or so.

  8. Tim Brownson on April 2nd, 2008 3:17 pm

    Derbyshire all my life (sad I know) Born in Bakewell and lived in Matlock most of my life. I hop back home every 2 or 3 months although since my mum passed away a few weeks ago that may dip now. I’d love to go to Oz and almost everybody I ever speak says it’s great but…..

    Tim Brownson’s last blog post..Life Coaching To Be Made Illegal In US?

  9. Akemi - Yes to Me on April 2nd, 2008 3:36 pm

    I moved from Japan to USA and have lived in Columbus, Ohio for 10 years, Nashville, Tenn for 3 years, and just moved myself to Portland, Oregon, last October. I also lived in Sydney, Australia, for 1 year as a high school exchange student.
    Sydney is great although a bit too hot for my preference (I didn’t like Nashville either). When I was leaving my
    home country, I checked Australia’s immigration requirements, and found it harder to get in compared to USA.

    If someone is serious about immigration, check the official requirements carefully. For example, you must have some kind of sponsor to get the US greencard (permanent resident status, you can step up to citizenship later if you wish) unless you win the “lottery” or you sponsor yourself as investor with sufficient funds.

    Another possibility, if you are in retirement and receiving steady pension, many countries accept you.

    Governments are afraid of immigrants taking 1) the jobs natives could have and 2) the government money (for publish assistance), so retirees are usually welcomed, as well as big time investors and entrepreneurs.

    Akemi - Yes to Me’s last blog post..Price vs Value, How I Make Buying Decisions And Determine My Pricing

  10. John Hoff on April 2nd, 2008 3:45 pm

    @ Cath - we have a 2 year old son and one due probably sometimes this week (wife is preggo). By the time our oldest starts school, or just after, we hope to move. Vegas isn’t the greatest place to raise children. There’s a lot of crime here.

    Yes, ultimately I hope by being an entrepreneur I’ll be able to one day live in Hawaii and live the good life surfing and being a beach bum on the beach with my laptop.

    Good call by staying away from the hurricanes.

    @ Hunter - yeah, commutes suck! Oh how I wish I could fly.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..Is Your Website Web 2.0 or Corporate?

  11. Ian Denny on April 2nd, 2008 5:18 pm

    I think you can mix and match.

    One thing I never got answered fully. And I did try. Was what advantages there were for a business to purchase it’s own property abroad, and then kit it out for remote working?

    I mean tax advantages.

    I wrote this post on our company site - mainly to give myself a fun target.

    Sorry to shamefully paste it, but it’s about “working from home…abroad”:

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..You Are The Best - So Why Don’t New Clients Beat Down Your Door?

  12. cathlawson on April 2nd, 2008 5:27 pm

    Hi Tim - sorry about your mum. That is one worry I have - what would happen if my parents became ill while I was away.

    Coming home every 2 or 3 months is a lot though. I was too lazy to do that even when I just lived 350 miles away! Derbyshire is a nice place - but it’s better to be somewhere warm.

    Hi Akemi - I don’t know if I mentioned it to you, but Barbara at BWOB also lives in Oregon.

    That is interesting that USA was easier to get into than Australia. I will definitely keep my options open. If I apply for an Australian visa it is going to cost about £1250 and they don’t refund you if they turn you down! I don’t know how much the US ones are.

    The thing that put me off trying for entry into US was when I found out Sarah Brightman had been refused. She is mega talented and no doubt got a heap of cash from her divorce from ALW - unless she had a hopeless solicitor.

    Hi John - I don’t blame you for wanting to move out of a high crime area. Where I live is becoming quite bad. It’s a quiet rural area - but lately there’s been a lot of theft. People have even been draining oil from the tanks in folks gardens!

  13. Barbara Swafford on April 2nd, 2008 6:33 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    Over the years I have moved quite a few times (up and down the West Coast - California to Alaska), but even with all of the moves, it reminds me of two old sayings, “Home is Where You Hang Your Hat”, and “Home Is Where The Heart Is”.

    I do prefer a sunny location (vs the dark winters of Alaska), but it doesn’t have to be beachy. If I feel safe and have some pretty scenery surrounding me, I’m happy.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Who Is Sneaking A Peek?

  14. cathlawson on April 2nd, 2008 6:38 pm

    Barbara - Alaska is high on my to do list for travel. I bet the scenery there is absolutely amazing. But - you are right. Just sunny would be good. We didn’t really have any summer much at all up here last year. It’s depressing.

  15. Barbara Swafford on April 2nd, 2008 8:07 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    Yes, Alaska is beautiful - summer months are the best.

    One problem some develop when living there is SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder from the lack of sunlight in the winter. (summers are just the opposite, with very little darkness). Those who are affected often use “light therapy” to counteract their depression, low energy levels and other symptoms.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Who Is Sneaking A Peek?

  16. cathlawson on April 2nd, 2008 8:15 pm

    Hi Barbara - I will definitely visit there in the summer then. Had heard about light therapy. If I haven’t gone anywhere by winter I might try it.

  17. Brett Legree on April 2nd, 2008 9:29 pm

    Cath - great post today, as you know it speaks to me since we’ve chatted over at Monika’s blog on the same subject.

    My only advice would be to trust your gut feeling - it is always right - and if you can, go to visit the place you want to move to prior to going, and really experience it as a local. Immerse yourself in the culture, rent a car and drive around. Get lost. Then ask someone for directions, and see what happens.

    We had that experience with New Zealand. I saw pictures of it, started reading about it, and then a feeling came over me. It started in the pit of my stomach, a feeling gnawing away at me, that I belonged there. We went to visit and on the third day, my wife asked, “so when to we move here?”

    We are fairly well advanced towards that right now I’d say, and even with four children in tow, I know we will get there.

    Go for it! You will do it too.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..why six weeks.

  18. Brad Brown on April 2nd, 2008 11:36 pm

    Cath - regarding racism (Klu Klux Klan) in the southern US, there are pockets, and there’s still a lot of voluntary segregation - blacks going to their own churches and whites to theirs. Larger towns such as Atlanta, Georgia have so many outsiders that you rarely see flagrant instances of it. As you get further out into the smaller towns, it’s still there, but not as visible or violent as it was back during desegregation. Most of the people my age (late 30’s) are colorblind, but there’s still a strong contingent of older folks who grew up being taught to fear other races.

    Brad Brown’s last blog post..How to Fail like Hillary Clinton

  19. cathlawson on April 3rd, 2008 6:23 am

    Hi Ian - sorry your post was grabbed by Askimet because it contained a link. I remember that post you wrote though - it was excellent and well worth checking out.

    I’m not sure about the tax advantages, as I haven’t checked into it personally - but I know other people who do it so I’m guessing it would work out quite well.

    Hi Brett - that is a good point. I will do that. I only started thinking about this again recently - I seemed to be reading lots of things that reminded me it would be a good move.

    I didn’t check out New Zealand myself yet - though lots of people say it’s great there. I used to work with a girl from New Zealand - she moved here when she got married and she really missed being there.

    Hi Brad - it is awful that people still think that way. I suppose if you’ve lived there a long time, you would tend to ignore it. But it would be no good for someone just moving there, like me - I’m way too outspoken!

    Speaking of the Klu Klux Klan - I think they visited my StumbleUpon post last night, but I deleted all their spam!

  20. mark @ mytropicalescape on April 3rd, 2008 12:39 pm

    Hi Cath - What a nice post…and thanks for linking to me.

    The number one piece of advice that I would give to someone who was looking to move overseas would be to remain flexible. Often times the reality of what we think we are preparing for is not exactly what we are met with.

    Whenever I start to think about life changes (e.g. moving to another country or taking a new job) I ALWAYS try to have a backup plan for my backup plan (if that makes sense?).

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me anytime :)
    mark @ mytropicalescape’s last blog post..Make Money Online Challenge: Reader Suggestion Recap

  21. Sterling Okura | bizlift on April 3rd, 2008 5:37 pm

    Hi Cath, thank you for the link to my article.

    I was just researching Costa Rica online and think that might be my next destination.

    I’ve never stayed & worked somewhere longer than a month, but soon I hope to try for 3 months.

    Sterling Okura | bizlift’s last blog post..Update - New Champ, Paris-Nice and Full Feed

  22. mark @ mytropicalescape on April 3rd, 2008 6:21 pm

    @Sterling - I have spent quite a bit of time in Costa Rica…email me if you have any questions!

    All the best,
    Mark Hayward
    Lifestyle Design Consultant

    mark @ mytropicalescape’s last blog post..Make Money Online Challenge: Reader Suggestion Recap

  23. Monika Mundell on April 4th, 2008 12:46 am

    Oh I’m such an idiot. How could I have missed this whole conversation. I’m so sorry Cath, I didn’t mean to be rude and ignore you, especially after you have given me such a nice plug.

    You found some great resources already by the looks of it. It certainly helps if you are on the list of wanted professions here in Australia.
    I was also excited to see this guy in Perth selling up and just going.

    I have a similar dream for the future that involves traveling the world while spending a few month home every year. My home is definitely Australia and always has been in my heart, ever since i started dreaming about this amazing country.

    Even though I have double nationality, in my mind and heart I’m Australian.

    There are so many beautiful places in the world and travel is great, but sometimes when you are on the road for a long time you actually wish for a set home base.

    Being able to combine the two is the ultimate dream for me.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Creating BANS Clone Sites The Easy Way

  24. cathlawson on April 4th, 2008 4:05 am

    Thanks Mark - I’ll definitely bear that in mind. I guess if you have a completely fixed idea on how you expect things to go, you’re bound to be disappointed. I’m glad you liked the post and you’re welcome for the link. I’ve enjoyed reading all about your travel adventures.

    Hi Sterling - I knew you travelled but I didn’t realise you moved so frequently. Three months would be a nice length of time and Costa Rica would be absolutely amazing. Where are you right now? You never mention where you are in your blog and it would be interesting to know.

    Hi Monika - you are not an idiot. It’s so easy to miss links - and here I am replying to these messages hours later (internet was buggered).

    Reading your blog really inspired me to consider Australia. It wasn’t a place I’d ever considered before - I always thought I’d like to go to the States.

    Your dream of spending a few months in Australia and travelling the world the rest of the year sounds brilliant. And you’ll do it - look how far you’ve come already.

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  26. JEMi @ InMyHeels on April 7th, 2008 2:47 pm

    I’d be happy with some middle ground. I like getting my hands dirty, working amongst others and all of that. What I would love though is the ability to flex my creativity (its what makes my world go round), travel without worrying that I can’t pay my rent on time, things like that. I feel it would grant me the ability to live life in full color - worrying less about money and getting to enjoy the mobility.
    I love writing :) and I am excited to see where it can take me in my future

    Thanks for this list of links - looks like people really are jumping at a chance for life outside of the office

    JEMi @ InMyHeels’s last blog post..Survival of a Broken Heart: A How-To Guide

  27. cathlawson on April 7th, 2008 9:24 pm

    Hi JEMi - your idea sounds like a good one. Stress free seems to be the key doesn’t it. And you’re a good writer - I enjoy reading your stuff.

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