The Prelude: From the Palm Dubai to a village cottage in Suffolk

A cold beer had never tasted so good. Sat in the Heineken Bar in Dubai Terminal 3 with my heavy hand luggage and duty free, I reflected on the past few days and weeks.

My last week was spent handing over my job to my replacement, a colleague and friend from the UK who had relocated from Manchester to take up the role. After five years I was voluntarily giving up a position that was not only quite well paid, but one that I’d spent a lot of time and effort establishing.

Palm Dubai

The latter I found more difficult than I thought. The team of people that worked for me were a great bunch. Certainly the most dedicated, honest, and friendly people I’d been fortunate to work with. We’d all worked hard during tough economic times to build a successful service within a large corporate company. To walk away wasn’t an easy decision, however, I had my reasons.

Many had questioned my decision. We lived on the Palm in Dubai with a private beach, owned a 6.2 litre brand new Corvette, and didn’t pay tax. It certainly wasn’t a bad life! Why would we give that up?

However, for a few years I’d become frustrated with office work. I loved my job, worked hard, wanted to climb the ladder, have a big house, nice car, and a safe monthly salary. When the financial crisis hit, my eyes were opened to how fragile all of this could be. I never lost my job, but many of my friends did.

The wider office atmosphere was quite depressing, with many struggling to adapt and accept the corporate environment. I count myself as one of those. Sitting at a desk 43 floors up in the sky for 40+ hours a week, as did dealing with corporate forms and nonsense. My outlook had gradually changed. Surely there is better ways to spend my day?

During my time in Dubai I was fortunate enough to afford many travel holidays that had opened my eyes and mind to different cultures and ethics. It put many trivial work issues into clear perspective. I decided life’s too short to view it from behind a desk.

My wife was missing her family, so we decided when our rent was up we’d return to the UK to try something new and unconventional.

So we decided to return to the UK, have a year off and take stock. One of my first projects was to set-up this web site, and write a blog to diary my year.