Kato Paphos, just before eight in the morning: As autumn arrives in Germany, I stroll along the harbour in Cyprus with a cup of iced coffee and enjoy the first rays of sunshine. At this time of day, it is still quiet. Apart from a few joggers and the locals, who are swimming in the water as they do every day, no one is on the move yet. I go for my usual walk, which I have discovered in the past few weeks, hoping to see some turtles on the pier, and while the crystal-clear waves of the ocean gently rush, I think: Isn’t life beautiful?
For me, it was not only the first time I visited Cyprus. It was also the first time that I had ever been away from home for such a long time, and I had never worked abroad before either. When my boyfriend and I booked the trip half a year ago, we had no expectations. For us, Cyprus was just a sunny island in the Mediterranean. We never expected that we could feel at home here within a very short time. However, after spending the entire lockdown in a small one-room flat, we felt it was worth a try. I have always enjoyed travelling to dive into other countries and cultures, but in my previous job I was very limited due to the amount of holidays I could take. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, because thanks to Tyto’s location-agnostic working model, I now have the chance to work from wherever I want! As my boyfriend is also more free in his job, we definitely didn’t want to wait any longer to take advantage of this opportunity. We wanted to feel the long-lost freedom – and we wanted it now!
Nevertheless, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. Actually, I don’t do well in the heat. During the summer in Germany, I often have headaches. The fact that the desk in an Airbnb can’t keep up with my height-adjustable desk at home was an aggravating factor. So I had to get creative. I repurposed a pot as a stand for my laptop and I learned that the desk is just as good to stand at during calls to get some variety and not sit all day. And even the temperatures around 30°C didn’t bother me after one or two days. On the contrary, I even enjoyed it!
However, I particularly enjoyed the fact that I could organise my working hours a little more flexibly. Cyprus has a one-hour time difference to Germany and a two-hour difference to my colleagues in the UK. But with a little preparation, this was no problem at all and it even had a big advantage: Since I was already working on my laptop much earlier than everyone else after my morning walk, I was able to write pitches and bylines in peace and quiet without even one single email or Slack message reaching me. It also allowed me to enjoy a few more hours of Cypriot sunshine in the afternoon or jump straight from my desk into the sea.
After almost four weeks in Cyprus, I can only say I would have loved to stay! Not because it’s not nice at home too, but in Germany I often have the feeling of falling into a rut. Everything revolves around appointments and paying bills. So it’s great to be away for a while and switch off from everyday life.
Besides, you can get to know a new city or region in a completely different way if you don’t have to fly away again after a week. You have the chance to really settle in – and without necessarily using your holiday. In our current working world, this is not the standard, at least not yet, and I can hardly wait to get back on the plane for the next adventure. In any case, one thing is certain: My colleagues will accompany me wherever my path takes me.