Hello again my dear reader,
this story is an edited version of a precious story…
If you had asked me a few months ago when I think I would be leaving Bermuda, I would have said in 3 to 6 years. However, life is not that simple, it seems. So, I have quit my job today and will be returning to Europe at the end of October to start working for a financial firm in London from October 3rd. This is also the reason for the delay in updating the blog, I was interviewing. But, let me start from the beginning, there are plenty of lessons to be learnt from this experience.
I was in Prague before I came to Bermuda. I worked in the most beautiful office with some really good people. I had a nice car, was renting a big flat in the best area of town and had many friends that I could count on. Plus I had my wife’s family nearby for any support needed and my folks were only a 2.5 hour flight away. It seems strange to give all that up but I did it because of what I was promised from Bermuda and from my employer who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons. Also, I was having problems with management in my job in Prague because I had very different opinions than my manager. Plus, I was doing things that I didn’t enjoy and not enough technical work.
So, in comes this offer to work for a company in Bermuda and to remain in the financial services world. That would mean that I get a 3-year break from the cold of Prague, continue to work on the kind of project that I like and, when we decide to return to Europe and in particular to London, it would be easy to find work as I would have been doing pertinent things, albeit at a different location. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. Also, the money looked good but noone had warned me adequately about the price of everyday items in Bermuda. Everyone says that it’s a little more expensive than London but this is very far from the truth as, in most items, it’s at least double the price from London and possibly more.
There i smuch more I’d like to say and advise those of you planning a move to Bermuda in the future. I promise to analyse the situation in depth at a later stage. You can look forward to further analysis in the next few weeks.
Let me add what I expected from Bermuda so you can be sure that I didn’t expect anything unrealistic. If you expect the same things from your life, heed my advice. All I wanted was to have a good life. I define a good life as one where you get through the month on your wages and have at least 10% of it left for savings. You have the ability to pay a pension and have the ability to go on holiday twice a year, once to see your family and another to relax somewhere. Also, when you go shopping in the grocery store, you don’t look at the price of things like apples or cucumbers, these are things that you just have to eat to be healthy and should not be a large part of your budget. Also, you should be able to afford to go to dinner once or twice a month and maybe do an activity like diving etc once every couple of months. In Bermuda, for an income of less than $120,000, you simply cannot do this. You’ll notice the price of everything from carrots to electricity to your ridiculously slow and expensive internet connection. You won’t be able to both save and live well so you’ll have to choose the life of a hermit or going out and socialising. For that income (and despite the higher taxation), you can live well pretty much anywhere else in the world.
The best things in Bermuda are free: the sun, beach, fishing etc. So, if they are not enough to keep you happy long term, you’ll need to supplement your happiness from the non-free things. As an example, I love diving and I’m a qualified diver. However, I haven’t managed to go once for a dive in Bermuda because of the prohibitive cost. These conditions make for an unhappy life in the long run. Once the beauty of Bermuda becomes an every day phenomenon and you’re no longer excited to just be here, you start to really live the real Bermuda and I’m afraid that it’s not a great place.
In short, you have to be sure what kind of life you can afford in Bermuda before you come here. Otherwise, you will come to Bermuda and return with nothing. It’s not fair but it’s exactly what will happen.