Meet Alison a business consultant living in Spain
Today’s interview is a story of life long international lifestyle, family travel, and desire to help others. Let me introduce you to Alison, a business consultant in Spain.
Hi Alison, please let us know where you’re and where you grew up?
I was born in Zimbabwe however moved to South Africa when I was 11.
Where are you currently located?
Tell us a little bit about you and what made you start travelling in the first place?
From the day I was born I had the itch to travel. As soon as I finished university I was off to the UK. I was there for 7 years, exploring Europe and generally having a good time until the weather got too much. It was time to head to sunny Australia where I spent the next 15 years. After many years in senior roles in an Investment Bank, I felt burnt out. I persuaded my family to move to Spain for a sabbatical year to travel Europe and learn to speak Spanish. We have been here for nearly six!! Oops… I guess that life here is too good to leave.. for now.
Tell us 3 things you love about your current lifestyle and what do you miss since living in Spain.
I love the culture in Spain – walk down the road and see these amazing grand old buildings, the language and the food is amazing. The best part however is that it is so close to the rest of Europe. Hop on a plane and a couple of hours later you can experience a different culture, language and food. I miss my family and friends more than anything else from South Africa and Australia.
Tell us about your current business – how did that come about?
Together with my husband Al, we run a business called Where Can I Live – wherecani.live. We help people from the time they ask the question “where can I live” until they are settled in their new home abroad. We have tools and information that you can’t find easily on the internet around visas and passports. We make it easy to find your new home abroad.
We started the business because when Brexit was announced we were living in Spain on my British passport. We were freaked out about whether we could stay. After a conversation on a train with a friend, I realized I could get an Irish passport through my grandmother. Hooray! Living in Spain was no longer an issue! We wondered if anyone else in the world was unaware of opportunities like this for themselves and so ‘Where can I live’ was born.
As a foreigner, was it easy to settle down in Spain and start your own business?
Settling down wasn’t a problem, through my son’s school we made some instant amazing friends. This is always the key I believe. Working out where to focus our efforts business-wise was harder and we did a number of things before we settled on wherecani.live.
The big thing about living in Spain is that if your Spanish is not excellent it is very hard to find a job in a company. You really need to start your own business, freelance, or work remotely as most of our friends here do.
What advice would you give to anyone willing to become a digital nomad or set up their own business overseas?
The freedom of running your own location-independent business is amazing. Imagine being able to live in any country in the world, and to move to a different place whenever you like?
It is also freeing with regards to the family as you can work as hard or as little as you need at the time.
Find something that you enjoy doing however make sure that you can make some money out of it.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not all roses as you don’t have that regular salary coming in as you would in the corporate world. If you have a nest egg for those rainy months then I would say 100% go for it. The freedom is worth it!
Thank you very much Alison for sharing your unique experience. I wish you all the best with your business and I am sure that a lot of readers will be inspired by your story and hopefully will turn their dreams of living abroad into reality in the years to come thanks to you.
The only question for anyone tempted to live and work abroad is “Where can I live?”.
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