Homeworker Yvonne Campbell has relocated her business from Northern Ireland to the Caribbean island of Barbados for a year.
Campbell, a Travel Counsellor from County Derry, has taken advantage of Barbados’ Welcome Stamp visa scheme designed to encourage remote workers to temporarily relocate to the island.
She is one of 2,000 people from around the world to have applied for Barbados’ special visa which is valid for a year but can be reapplied for.
“After many extended trips overseas, I’d always dreamed of becoming location independent. 2020 was going to my year but the pandemic had other plans for me,” explained Campbell.
She eventually applied for and was granted the Barbados Welcome Stamp visa for remote workers and relocated in December.
“It was an easy decision which I made within one hour on a Sunday night - I had my flight booked by 8am the following morning,” said Campbell.
She is now living in Holetown on Barbados’ west coast and has launched a podcast, called Life in Barbados: A Year on a Paradise Island, about her experiences of living and working on the island.
“I found it really easy to get set up,” Campbell told TTG. “I did have the benefit of a big band of very experienced Travel Counsellors who have either been to the island a lot or who lived here as well - they put me in touch with a lot of local people.
“There’s a lot of people doing similar things in terms of Welcome Stamp. There’s a lot of support around, there’s lots of forums, Facebook groups, things like that, where you can connect with other people to get advice and support.”
Campbell added clients have “reacted positively” to her relocation across the Atlantic with her podcast also getting “really good feedback”.
“I’ve had some people contact me and they say, ‘How have you done this? I would love to do something like that’," she said.
“I’ve actually had quite a number of enquiries, not necessarily for Barbados at the moment, but enquiries from clients because it’s kind of reminded them that there are places to go with things to do.”
Campbell admits that living costs in Barbados are “not cheap” but added it was not “too expensive compared to London”.
“I decided that I want to live the dream, live on the beach, which is going be more expensive than living across the road,” she added.
“Supermarkets are expensive, certainly compared to back home. You can obviously do it a lot cheaper by going to local fish markets, using local fruit and veg stalls. I think you can kind of make it work no matter what budget you are on.”