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The next chapter: Moving to the Azores with 5 dogs & 2 humans

The next chapter: Moving to the Azores with 5 dogs & 2 humans

It was in late October 2017 that I first proposed to Caz we should look to move away from Hong Kong. It was a story familiar to many, long hours, stress, working for a soulless company, and thinking, “there must be more to life than this?

Well, time to step up and do this ourselves. The Azores came up quickly as a place to move to, a place we had been on honeymoon 13 years ago, before we moved to Hong Kong. Flights booked, we traveled to the Azores in March 2018 to check out some properties and look at the place in more depth.

A typical morning view in the Azores.

The decision was made as we were on that trip. Once we decided plans rolled forwards. The most important (and complicated part) would be moving the dogs. This would prove to be the longest 48 hours of Caz’s and my life. We would need to fly them on 2 747 jumbo jets from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, then via Lisbon (on two more flights) to then arrive in Ponta Delgada. As it turned out we found a more direct option from Frankfurt. I remember looking out of the window and seeing the runway sticking out into the ocean as we circled Ponta Delgada airport. At that point, just about every emotion comes over me as I see that runway. Next thing I know we have landed in the Azores. It’s done. I almost teared up with relief.

Private Fly
Flying our 5 rescue dogs into the Azores

Today, January 2019 I’m up at 06:30 drinking a coffee and typing away on my laptop waiting for the sun to rise. It’s been just over a month since we all arrived here in the Azores to start out new life. The difference between today and that conversation just over a year ago? Today this is now my own business. It’s my direction and my future. Getting up at 06:30 is a lot easier and motivating when you are your own boss and not responding to someone else who is your boss (except for Caz of course.)

Sunrise in the Azores

And while a lot of people dream of giving up their corporate job and being their own boss, this isn’t a TV show and most of us aren’t Mark Cuban. Giving up a job means that you are taking a huge risk, more hours and less time off. The payback can be huge, but there will always be sacrifices. And risk. A whole lot of risk. I hope that this blog will show the upside and the downside of this journey moving forwards, all the good and bad of setting this place up and running this business.

Our 5 dogs on a private jet to the Azores #leavenorescuebehind

So, here we are today: As I look over the horizon, with all 5 dogs around me, Caz in the background doing something important as usual, I realise that we are celebrating our first month here in the Azores. We made it, this is our new home.

The sun is coming up, coffee is finished and I have a load of things to do. But before I do, one last photo. The house, Solar Branco 1885.

A view of the house and gardens at Solar Branco 1885
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