his section isMoving Abroad and Working Online currently being rewritten.



Why I decided to move abroad

In 2000 I was living in the UK. My life changing decision went back to 1998; but in making that decision, I could trace seeds back to my childhood.

For some reason, which I have never fathomed, as a child I used to imagine myself living on a tropical island. Maybe I saw South Pacific at the cinema, I don't know. For all those years that was suppressed, but 1998 saw it resurface.

My situation then was not unusual in the modern world, for I went through a divorce in the early part of the year. The effect on my financial situation, as well as my personal life, was enormous. I was out of the property market, and in the British economy, that can often mean no way back in for those in their middle age or older. With Britain's obsession with home ownership, that meant a rather bleak future to look forward to. Without your own property, you are a second-class citizen in the UK, especially in the material south. Rental property is scarce, and prices will keep rising as you get older. You need to retire with a property paid for, and with plenty of cash behind you. That was not a realistic possibility for me.

But, I have no wish to dwell on that. It is negative. My natural response was to look at, and for, the positive. Every setback can provide an opportunity. In a way, I was lucky enough to have a whole series of setbacks. That opened up a new and exciting future.

The small business I had with my ex-wife was no longer viable, it was a full time job just to cover the overheads. A couple of bad debts and other things really destroyed my hope of turning things around, at least enough to get into the property market again. So, I was being forced to rethink how I earned a living. As the first few months after the divorce went by, I was coming to realise my best bet was to move abroad. Just thinking of it seemed to invigorate me. I had always been adventurous as a teenager and in my early twenties. I had hitch-hiked to Spain at 16, at that time a leap into the unknown.

Now, I was single and had no flourishing business to tie me down. I have two great children, a son already adult and showing signs even then of being adventurous, and a daughter in mid-teens then, who I was sure would travel also. There was no telling where they might end up. So if I stayed in England, I may hardly see them anyway.

Roy Thomsitt 2004


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