My neighbors here in Mexico think I am a kept woman. They see my husband going to work every day while I am home all day except for running errands and walking my son to and from school. Even at my son's school, the teachers think I do not work because when I show up to drop off or pick up my son, I am always in comfy clothing rather than business attire.
Ah, but work I do. Every day I wake up and head straight into the office; luckily it is right next door to my bedroom. While the locals tend to not quite get working from home, even when I explain it, it has offered me a wonderful life here in Mexico. And just in case you are considering this route, here are some benefits of working from home while living abroad that I have experienced.
The Dollar vs. The Local Currency
How much of a benefit this is, if it is even a benefit at all, will depend on where you live. Since I live in Mexico, this has been a major benefit for me. Here, the dollar stretches far, and it has only gotten stronger against the peso during my years here. This allows me to be choosy when it comes to the work I accept and keep a light schedule while still providing for my family.
Time to Travel and Explore
Whether or not you choose a light schedule, with the right freelance work, your schedule should still be flexible. And if it isn't, no worries; your job travels with you. If you are worried about connectivity, you can bring your own hotspot on the road. However, many countries have internet that surpasses that of the United States, so do your research before you go to know if you need to be concerned.
You Can Take Classes
Part of living and traveling abroad is learning new things. Taking classes is an obvious way to do this and it allows you to immerse yourself in the culture. If you work from home, your job might give you the wiggle room needed to head out in the middle of the day to attend the classes of your choice.
Less to Balance
Once again, this will depend on where you live. In my case, Mexico has a very relaxed approach to life. This means that there is never much to stress about outside of work, which lightens the burden significantly. Also, since things are more affordable here, I do not need to juggle as many chores. Things like housekeeping, laundry services, and meal services are all shockingly cheap. This further frees up your time each day to just live your life.
Easier Residency Process
If you apply for residency without a source of income, you can expect your application to be declined. If coming as a retiree, you need to prove you have enough money in the bank to sustain yourself. And getting a job abroad, which often is an automatic path to temporary residency, isn't always easy. When working from home, your job comes with you, allowing you to prove a steady stream of income in dollars--or whatever your homeland currency is. For many countries, this income will be enough to get your application approved.
Freelancing Doesn't Feel as Risky
When looking to work from home, many people try to find stable jobs where you work a set amount of hours per day during specific hours and work a set amount of hours per week. These jobs are desired because they are stable. Freelance work, while having the potential to earn significantly more, is seen as risky. You never know when a client is going to ghost you, and what do you do then? But when the cost of living is cheaper, you have more wiggle room in your budget. As long as you diversify your work instead of relying on a single client, all should go well.
Of course, moving abroad is a complicated process. You will need to consider a lot more than just working from home to determine if it is the right choice for you.
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Freelance writer and editor with an education background, working from home and living abroad.