How long have you been living in Barbados?
I’ve been living in Barbados for just over three years now.
There are a number of great reasons to live in Barbados. On the practical side, it’s an English speaking country so there’s no need to learn another language. (I speak French and Spanish, but others in my family don’t). Most utilities work well: there are few power cuts and you can drink tap water which is naturally filtered through the island’s limestone base. I’ve got a 2MB ADSL connection which works well most of the time, so working from home is no problem. Other reasons include the weather (of course), a good education system and family ties.
What is the cost of living like in Barbados?
The cost of living in Barbados is high – no doubt about it. A two bedroom apartment could set you back US$1500 a month, but you could pay double depending on which area you live in. The West Coast, which has all the best hotels, is more expensive than the South Coast. Think New York prices and you will get the idea. Your internet connection could cost US$50-70 a month, depending on the speed you want. Eating out varies. You can get a delicious local meal for two with a cocktail for about US$40, but go to one of the top restaurants and you will pay $100 or more. Most things are imported, supermarket prices can be high.
What is your visa status? Is it difficult to stay long term in the country?
I’m lucky. My dad is Bajan, and though he no longer lives there, I can live on the island without a problem. Even without that, I’d be allowed to stay for six months at a time because I’m a British citizen. I think that applies to Americans too, so it’s easy to make it a base for a nomadic lifestyle. If you want to stay long term, there are ways: bringing business into the country or doing an essential job that locals don’t offer can get you a work permit and, eventually, residency.
How do you earn a living?
I work from home as a freelance writer and blogger. Most of my clients are in the US and UK. It helps to have a good net connection as I can use email, Skype and social media to connect with people all over the world.
With all the low cost outsourced writing services, how do you find new customers?
When I started, I went to bidding sites and agencies, but I soon built up a clientele. These days, I don’t spend much time looking for work as I have enough regular clients to keep me going. Some of my clients are escapees from low-cost outsourcing hell who have learned that it is better to pay a bit more for quality and reliability.
Do you recommend freelance writing as a career for others?
If you have writing skills, don’t mind spending time on your own and love learning about lots of new things, then freelance writing is perfect for you. If you are going to miss the company of others and a structured office routine, then it’s probably not.
How many hours a week do you work?
It varies. Probably about 30-35 hours, but I may do more or less depending on deadlines.
Is there a reason you write for others, as opposed to focusing on your own ebooks and niche websites?
I like the variety of writing for other people, though I also want to spend some time on creating my own ebooks. There are a couple of new websites in my future, too.
Do you have any plans to move to another country?
I’ve lived in several countries and am happy living in Barbados. It has an international airport, so it’s easy to get to other places. I can be in the US in 4 hours and the UK in 8 and this year I have worked from Mexico, Chicago, Florida and Nottingham in the UK. I never say that anything is forever, as it’s good to be open to the possibilities that life throws up, but for now Barbados works for me.
GetPaidToWriteOnline Sharon’s blog about writing for a living.
SharonHH Sharon’s blog with links to her work
Follow Sharon on Twitter
Very cool interview! Sharon is great. The cost of living seems pretty high in Barbados, but I can imagine it’s like living in paradise so it is worth it.
So glad to learn more about Sharon. Great post. Thanks to both John and Sharon for sharing this with us LIP wanna-be’s. I’m looking forward to being part of the new Location Independent Parents project that Sharon and Amy are heading up.
Great website John. Very useful information here.
.-= GotPassport´s last blog ..Our Beloved New Orleans Series Part 1 =-.
Fascinating. I’d never considered Barbados before. Sounds like it’s a pretty amazing place. Awesome that she can make a living writing and blogging! I’m going to have to check out more of her work.
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..perfectly practical for the emotionally explosive =-.
Sharon Hurley Hall
It is SOOOO worth it, Nate. I live on the more affordable South Coast, which I love – it’s got beaches and great restaurants as well as a laid-back, more down to earth vibe.
@GotPassport – great to hear you’ll be involved in the project. Looking forward to getting to know you better.
Nice interview with Sharon. After seeing her many times on Twitter, I now feel like I know her better.
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..Great Travel Safety Advice from 4 Top Women Travel Bloggers =-.
I’m surprised Barbados is so expensive. Anyway, it’s cool that you have found it as a cool place to use as your nomadic post.
Another great interview, John! Sharon – kudos to you. didn’t realize Barbados is so expensive, but I bet it’s beautiful.
.-= Alan´s last blog ..Experiments in Lifestyle Design: A Lesson in Parkinson’s Law =-.
Sharon Hurley Hall
Thanks for your comments, everyone. Glad you enjoyed the interview. One thing I forgot to say is that although some things are expensive in Barbados, you can save a lot by shopping where the locals shop and using the local equivalent of Costco. Another thing that people do is stock up on essential clothing when they travel so they can get it at half the price. 🙂
Heya Sharon and John!
Congratulations on living the life and doing it your way! I admire that!
I don’t think your exact style would be suitable for me though, but I enjoy writing for my own blog. One of the things about the internet that is so great, is that there is a way for everyone to do something they want and make money with it.
Thanks for the great interview!
.-= Diggy -Upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Introducing Diggy & the 1000 reader challenge! =-.