Continuous advances in technology are enabling more and more folks to work outside of the confines of a traditional office. Remote working has taken off, and there are no signs that it will be slowing down in the future.
Karyn Larko was easily able to bring her work home…even though that home is on a Caribbean beach in Belize, while her clients are back in the U.S. and her employer is in San Diego.
“My days start with a long walk on the beach with the dogs,” says Karyn. “I love the natural beauty—both on land and in the water—and the lack of chain restaurants and stores; the lack of large, homogenous hotels and resorts, the peace and quiet, and the general rustic feel of the place. I also like the warm, tropical weather.”
Karyn enjoys the simple pleasures of a laidback Caribbean life, while still enjoying wages from the U.S.
“I feel much less stressed than I did in the States,” Karyn says. “I still work just as hard. In fact, last year, I had more billable hours than in any prior year. But I am not constantly worrying about what I need to be doing and when. I no longer wear a watch. I no longer need to spend an hour every morning doing my hair and makeup and pressing my clothes.”
As many as 3.2 million people worked from home in the U.S. in 2014, and some economists expect that number to double in the next few years. So why not do it from overseas? It’s easier than you might think to convince your boss you can make this arrangement work.
That’s what Valerie Pasnau found when she approached her boss about working remotely from Mexico. Valerie and her husband, John, wanted to trade their expensive, corporate-based lives in Connecticut for a more relaxed and inexpensive existence on the small island of Isla Mujeres off the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
“I really loved my work. It paid well and had great benefits,” she says. “It was wonderful that my husband, John, could retire…but things were going great with my career. And the money was nice to have.”
Valerie was running the training program for a large hospital corporation…and she reckoned she could do the vast majority of her work from her computer anywhere on the planet. So Valerie put her plan into action.
“I set up a meeting with my supervisor and laid out my detailed plan,” Valerie says. “He agreed…with only a few questions on the logistics of how things would work. Much of what I do is write and prepare training materials for distribution and presentation, as well as reviewing the work my team does. The internet easily connects the entire team.”
Things fell into place for Valerie with few problems. “Despite a few initial queries, my supervisor is very happy with my situation,” Valerie says. “My travel expenses are even less now than they were before.”
Valerie wanted to leave the confines of the corporate world for a life on a picturesque Caribbean island. Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) is small. At five miles long and a half-mile wide, just eight miles off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, Valerie feels it provides the perfect lifestyle.
“The island has everything we need and almost everything we want,” she says. “What we don’t find here, we can find in Cancun, just a short ferry ride away.”
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