On my 45th birthday I told my husband I did not want to still be living in Arizona when I turned 50. We had lived in Arizona for 35 years, while I worked in the corporate sector…in management, customer services, business analysis, and training.
These days we live in Puerto Rico where my husband has a new career as a scuba instructor and I work freelance. The low cost of living allows us to have a great life…with fewer hours and less stress than corporate life.
Island life in Puerto Rico has been a great adventure, learning a different culture along with the Spanish language…waking up each morning and looking out over the ocean from our from porch patio…going to the beach to do yoga, walk the dog, surfing, scuba dive, paddleboard, sea glass hunting or just hang out.
We enjoy the people, the open-air restaurants and fresh fish.
After chasing islands and oceans for years (both of us being scuba divers), we decided—in our daughter’s last year of college—to run away and have an adventure.
We left the upper middle class world (the usual house with pool, cars and lots of “stuff”). My husband quit the company he had worked with for 30 years, we sold almost everything, packed up the dog, the car and a 24-foot moving truck and moved first to Key West….then to Puerto Rico.
Our friends called us crazy and said we would be back in a year…that was eight years ago and we haven’t looked back.
I decided to go freelance using online websites where you’ll find all sorts of jobs posted. I started out with small, fixed-bid jobs transcribing and proofreading. Then, I found work doing data conversions—moving information from one format to another—that then led me to technical support and customer support work.
Full time is now 30 hours a week versus 50 in the corporate world and all these part-time work hours with different clients allow me to have the income I need…but still set my own hours and enjoy island life.
It’s such a joy that I can do yoga on the beach a couple of mornings a week. Then on the other days my husband and I scuba dive or paddleboard before I set down to work for the day.
But best of all I get to set the days that I work. With my husband’s scuba diving instruction scheduled we don’t have the usual Monday-to-Friday, 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. schedule. I work on the days he works and we usually take off a day or two during the week. This gives us the beaches to ourselves some days.
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