Living on a tropical island, what is it like?

Living in a tropical island

As a pair of freelancers/gig workers, we are privileged to be able to choose where we want to live because of the nature of our work. Before we even met, we had been wanting to move here, so we didn’t really discuss things; we just decided that living on an island was what we wanted.

To give a bit of a background, Jess used to live in a big, metropolitan city her whole life. She had a chance to do a trial back in 2018 before she decided to move for good in early 2019. Paul was pretty much the same. Before he left his home country to move to Asia last year, he had tested the water a few times, a couple of weeks at a time, and he felt confident and comfortable to start a new life here.

We are going to break down the pros and cons of living in a paradise. It has been a great experience so far, but it is not always as good as it sounds.

Pros

  • Predictable weather all year long. It’s never too cold, nor too hot since it’s pretty much the same temperature all year long. Yes, heat is something you can’t avoid, but it is acceptable to wear t-shirts and flip-flops everywhere 😀
  • Every day can feel like a holiday. Beaches are 10 minutes away; you can sip cocktails all day long in front of a crystal clear pool. Although, if you actually live here, you don’t get to do that as often because you have to work (unfortunately). The illusion of freedom is nice to have, though 😛
  • Good food is abundant, everywhere you go. Fresh seafood and produce are easy to get. It can be cheap, or it can be super expensive, depending on your budget.
  • The people are nice and friendly. Because tourism is the main economy of the island, they are always welcoming to outsiders. Sometimes, they will even go above and beyond to help you!
Sunset watching by the beach
This is one of our favorite spots on the island to watch sunsets!

Cons

  • The idea of bragging to your family or friends that you work at the beach might sound tempting, but in reality, taking your laptop to the beach is never a good idea. There are coworking spaces with properly designed space (desk, internet, air con!), so you shouldn’t waste your time trying to set up your own office.
  • It won’t be hard to obtain your basic necessities, but you can’t always get what you want. Things are not exactly the same as in your hometown. If you’re looking for your favorite cheese or peanut butter brands, they might not have them, but there’s always a substitute. It’s up to you to manage and be resourceful.
  • Internet connections can be a problem sometimes, especially because not all areas are supported by fiber. You will get decent connections but be prepared for outages from time to time.
  • Because you’re not local, people might charge you foreigner price because they assume you can pay more. But if you think the price is not fair, you can always bargain. Just remember to do it nicely. It’s also a good idea to befriend a local, so they can help you understand how things work.

So far, we’ve been loving it here, and we don’t think we will move out anytime soon (unless there’s a real emergency or force majeure). We are looking forward to spending our life here in years to come!

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