The freedom of I.T. – The Portugal News


By Scott Kirk,
in Tech ·
19-02-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Working in I.T. gave me a freedom other careers didn’t enjoy. All I needed was a reliable internet connection and I could live and work from anywhere.

This enabled me to live my dream of exploring the world and I indulged my itchy feet by travelling to many far off places; Mauritius, India, remote Brazil, etc. I met many wonderful people along the way, my wife being one of them. Thankfully she was just as crazy about, or at least accepting of, my wanderlust, so we continued to travel together. Until one day, when everything changed. My wife was pregnant.

Well meaning friends and family always tell of the wonderful joys of being a parent, but none truly warn you of the reality, that having a child means literally nothing will be the same again. Ever. No more sleeping in, sanity levels are tested regularly, shopping online for the best sippy cup becomes obsessive. Every decision stops being about us and changes to what’s best for her. We’re now secondary. So a decision was made, we needed to find a safe and stable country to base ourselves in where she could go to school and we could watch her grow. With heavy hearts, we knew this meant we were going to have to say goodbye to our nomadic life and now needed somewhere permanent to call home. But where?

Brazil was too dangerous, Canada too cold, New Zealand too far, and the UK was too…. you know. As well as stable internet, ideally our country of choice would also have a vibrant tech community and a welcoming government who valued entrepreneurs in tech. We found all this, and more, in Portugal.

We first learned of its appeal through our Portuguese friends who were singing Portugal’s praises. It’s safe, has beautiful beaches, warm sunny weather (usually?!), and an international airport right around the corner. It ticked every box and a few we didn’t know we had. So we listened to our friends, immigrated to Portugal, and just like so many before us, now we’re the ones singing.

…and what’s not to sing about? Startup visas and generous tax incentives make Portugal very welcoming. The Web Summit based in Lisbon is increasing Portugal’s status internationally which in turn is helping grow the community locally. Unicorns originating in Portugal, like Outsystems and Talkdesk, help lead the way for future startups to succeed. Accelerators and VC funds are becoming more plentiful. Slowly, but surely, Portugal is turning into a European tech titan in its own right.

Between Covid 19 and British Brexit refugees, more and more are working from home and, like us, they can often do that from anywhere. Why not avoid the bone chilling cold and live somewhere like the sunny Algarve? Why not live where you can go surfing, lounge around on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, or play golf all year round with like minds. It’s a no brainer. Soon, they’ll be singing too.

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