We are the generation of free thinkers, big dreams and wanderlust. Lifetime careers vanished so we responded by starting our own companies. There’s no question that uncertainty of income, lack of sleep and holding all responsibility is not for the faint of heart, but neither is living abroad.
Owning your own business gives you the opportunity to live as you wish, make as much or as little as you would like and do it from your iPad on any beach in the world. The only question left unanswered is where to go when freedom clicks in.
1) Valencia, Spain
First, you can see Ibiza from Valencia. You can actually see the island. Spain’s third largest city is a modern technology hub, laid out amongst Roman period architecture. It is home to the Mediterranean’s largest port (read: easy import/export businesses), has readily available, high speed Internet and you can actually BUY an apartment there for 100k.
Don’t worry about getting a tan, there are beautiful beaches right in Valencia and if you happen to tire of them, there are thousands of beaches nearby. Oh and what to do for fun, you ask? The annual tomato fight, La Tomatina in nearby Buñol should satisfy your desire to act like a small child. Growing up is for suckers.
2) Koh Samui, Thailand
This tourist-laden island at the South of the island has been groomed for high-end tourism, giving it some of the country's best Internet connections. They may not be as quick as in North America but what the island lacks in immediate Internet gratification, it more than makes up for with its inexpensive phone plans and living expenses.
You’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than $5 on a meal and can walk around all day with a sand pail of Vodka and Thai Red Bull, which I’m fairly certain is the North American equivalent of Speed. Hello, productivity. The famous Thai Full Moon Parties are a short ferry ride away and bring thousands of new, young partygoers on a monthly basis. This is a great way to market your product, make new friends and enjoy the flexibility of your new schedule.
3) Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
For less than $50,000, anyone can purchase a home in Vegas. While it may not be close to an ocean, it is close to lakes and beautiful hiking trails. I’m guessing I don’t have to remind you what the nightlife is like there.
Taxes are favorable for business owners (it was, after all, created as a haven for “businessmen” of the mob) and weather is temperate. A little known secret: Las Vegas is home to the Pinball Hall of Fame where you can play on more than 150 machines while thinking of your next business move.
4) Quito, Ecuador
Although not for the faint of heart, colonial architecture and a short flight to the Galapagos Islands makes this city a perfect place for outdoor adventure and cultural experience. Festivals, including Carnival, are celebrated with gunfire, fireworks and bullfighting.
If your friends ever called you a chicken, this is the place to live to set them straight. The local bars are not in the safest areas of town — do take a taxi when you go. Don’t worry, though; this city isn’t all guns and no glory. WiFi is everywhere so you’ll be free to Instagram all of your bravery.
5) Sofia, Bulgaria
If you are an history buff, Sofia is your city. It is home to a plethora of museums and historical sites that date back to the Third Century. If you are a fan of art, it's good to know that the National Opera and Ballet call it home. Most importantly, Bulgaria has some of the fastest Internet connections of the world, reaching an average of 32.1 megabits per second. Low taxes, inexpensive housing and cheap labor costs round out the top reason why Bulgaria may become the next hot spot for entrepreneurs.
For the first time in history, it is easy to travel, easy to connect with colleagues from anywhere in the world and easy to learn skills by simply signing in online. Send your emails from your smartphone while on the ski lift. Sure, having your face down while on the lift means you might miss moments and views, but staying in an office eight (let’s be real, more like 12) hours a day sure leads you to miss a whole lot more.
The fact is that a lot of people miss so much of an entire lifetime — despite the fact that we each only have one. Make sure you're living it exactly the way you want to.
Photo via We Heart It