Sean Thomas Sean Thomas

Why work from home when you can work from paradise?

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 Colombo

If I lift my eyes from my laptop, I can stare across my hotel’s rooftop infinity pool to the soft tropical blues of the Laccadive Sea. In a minute I might order another one of those excellent Sri Lankan crab curries. And another chilled Lion lager. Meanwhile the weather app on my phone tells me that London is shivering in a succession of bitter storms as the government ‘ends all Covid restrictions’, meaning everyone can go back to catching trains in the freezing fog.

I make no apologies for sounding smug, Being a freelance writer (or self-employed/freelance anything) has many serious downsides — no sick pay, no holiday pay, no pension, no Christmas office party, plus the queasy horror of the January tax bill — but there are two things which have always combined, for me, to make it highly tolerable. These are the lack of that commute and the freedom to work anywhere in the world.

‘Is that a typo?’

The first is no small thing. When I’m in my own flat, I commute from my bed to my desk. Many is the time I’ve woken at 10 a.m. and smiled at not having to get up three hours earlier to squeeze on to a crowded train to sit in a boring cubicle. But the second is possibly even more precious. I absolutely loathe the British winter. January and February feel like an unjust jail term in a weirdly dank torture chamber. But then, about 20 years ago, I realised that I simply did not have to endure it. I could slip off somewhere nice and sunny and skip the sleet.

I have tended to go to Thailand, but this time I’ve chosen Sri Lanka as the Covid faff is minimal and, right now, it’s insanely cheap.

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