Choosing the next location
Live somewhere with amazing week days and incredible weekends
Third time lucky
When we moved to London, it was for an exciting job, not an exciting location.
It's true that London is amazing, full of ambitious people bursting with energy, and so many options and cultures mixing together. But we were leaving Switzerland behind, a place with stunning mountains, rippling lakes, and a superb quality of life.
The choice to leave glorious Switzerland was driven by the the bright and shiny lights of exciting and enjoyable work opportunities. So whilst Switzerland felt like a place to optimise for amazing weekends, London felt like a place to optimise for amazing week days.
Six months ago, we agreed to try again: to live somewhere with amazing week days AND incredible weekends. This will be our third major move, and we are hoping for third time lucky.
Pin the tail on the country
We chose Lisbon. One of my colleagues at the time said ‘Lisbon, that's a bit random isn't it? How did you choose?’ I told him the choice was thanks to a high stakes version of pin the tail on the donkey, and I think he believed me(!).
Actually we took a few steps that helped us find Lisbon. As with many great projects, this one started with a checklist of criteria for the next place. We wanted the following:
- sunny weather,
- good kitesurfing,
- active tech network,
- safe enough for me to run at night.
- (extra plus) a language challenge was desirable.
Oh boy did we get excited about New Zealand! Some other strong contenders included Tel Aviv, South Korea, Singapore, California & Melbourne. The next step was to see what work opportunities would be available in a place that ticked our boxes.
Nailing down the opportunity
We started exploring different work opportunities in locations that ticked our boxes. This involved a combination of networking, chatting to head hunters, discussing new location options with our current jobs, and applying for roles abroad.
Ruskin found an opportunity to start his dream job working at an early stage startup, and the bonus was that they would be happy for him to work remotely in Europe. Within Europe, Lisbon seemed to be a place that ticked most of the boxes, especially kitesurfing and climate! It appeared to have a growing tech scene thanks in part to hosting the recently relocated Web Summit. But we weren't sure if that was enough to tick the tech community box.
So I set about networking, spoke to nearly 20 people based out in Lisbon, and was excited about the energy and ambition of the folks out there. Not to mention the added positive sign that most people I spoke to surfed at the weekend. The decision was made before we even made it out for a reccy visit, and luckily we were still convinced after heading out to meet the friendly happy local residents and admire the stunning coast. Voila - the next location has been chosen and and so here we go!