Destinations For Location Independent Parents – Barbados

Today we interview Location Independent Parents contributor Sharon Hurley Hall about location independent parenting in the Caribbean….

Location Independent Parenting in Barbados

Tell us a bit about where you are now. How long have you been there? Why did you choose it?

I’ve been living in Barbados in the Caribbean for about four years. While I had family reasons for choosing this location, it also had a lot going for it in terms of the weather and general stability.

Location Independent Business

Please describe briefly the business you are in.

I am a web content writer, blogger and journalist.

Are there any advantages when doing business where you are?

Barbados is as good a location as any to run a freelance writing business. The infrastructure is good, the Internet connection is more than adequate and of course the official language is English. You can get hold of most items that you need though often at a premium.

Are there any challenges with doing business in Barbados?

While most things work most of the time, occasionally it is difficult when there is a power cut or the Internet goes down. This doesn’t happen often but it’s not as rare as it was when living in the UK. Since I work for myself I don’t spend a lot of time in offices, where the culture is slightly more formal than I’m used to. However most systems are efficient even if they are not always as timely as I would like.

What are your top three tools for keeping your business going as a location independent professional?

That’s easy: Gmail, social networking and Skype.

How much does it cost to get internet access in Barbados?

You can get a stable connection for US$50 a month, though you will probably want the top domestic package (2MB ADSL) at $70 a month, especially if you plan to run more than one computer.

Location Independent Parenting

How are you educating your child?

We decided to send our daughter to a local private school. We made the choice so that she could mix with an international community and have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, some of which are not available in other schools. So for we are happy with how she’s learning and her enjoyment of the school system.

Are there any major advantages/challenges of parenting/educating children in Barbados?

When you live in a small place you often don’t have access to the range of facilities that you take for granted in larger countries. For example, play activities for children can be limited. However, Barbados has an active holiday camp facility, offering kids a wide range of sports and leisure activities. And during term time, there’s always the beach or the play park at the local fast food joint.

How is your child enjoying Barbados?

My daughter really enjoys living in Barbados though occasionally she expresses an interest in seeing snow.

Location Independent Lifestyle

What’s the cost of living like in Barbados?

Barbados is not a cheap place to live as many things are imported. However if you are happy to eat locally produced food then living here doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out the Barbados page on the Global Cost of Living Wiki for more information.

Are there visa issues for location independent parents?

British citizens can stay in Barbados for up to 6 months a year. Even other nationalities are able to stay for months at a time. However if you want to work, that can be more difficult. In order to get a work permit you have to be doing a job at a local is not qualified to do or you have to be bringing business into the country. Many people do it successfully so it can’t be that hard.

What about the cost of accommodation in Barbados?

Accommodation varies. It’s a tourist destination and the prices reflect that, especially in winter. A mid range 1 bedroom furnished apartment will cost upwards of US$100 a night, but if you can find an apartment marketed to locals, you will save a lot on that rate.

What are your best tips for things to do for parents (without the kids!) while in Barbados?

Some of my favourite activities include swimming out of Brownes Beach, enjoying a mocha at the Coffee Italia and eating fresh fish at the Just Grilling restaurant on the south coast. The Barbados wildlife reserve is a great place to visit and you can get a great view of much of the east coast from the Farley Hill National Park that is opposite. There’s also horse racing, golf and polo on the island.

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