Foinikoudes, Souvlaki, and low taxes.
South East Asia is fantastic, and there are so many things left for us to see, but they will have to wait a little. We decided to interrupt our Asia trip for a few reasons:
- My wife was not lucky enough to be born in a country with a privileged passport, which makes travel unnecessarily complicated and stressful.
- When I left Spain, I left my “autonomo” behind, the legal structure to get paid and pay taxes in Spain. Without this structure, if receive any money on any private bank account, the tax residency would probably fall back to Germany and they’d tax me the moment I enter the country. Since we’re always travelling, I don’t really see a point in paying >50% of my income to a country I don’t reside in.
- Not having a residency in Europe would further restrict our travel to European countries or colonies, such as some Caribbean islands.
All of that brought us to South East Europe: Cyprus. It’s one of the warmest countries in Europe (we don’t need to buy extra clothes), has a long history and lots of “cool old stuff” to see. It’s close to the sea (an island, duh), offers great food (Souvlaki!) and plenty of water sport activities like kite surfing, scuba diving etc. The important side benefits which solve most of our problems are: English is an official language, it’s easier than in other European countries to obtain citizenship, it has a favourable tax rate, and there are plenty of business opportunities. Reason enough to built a first “base”, according to the Flag Theory.
Larnaca is charming. It has a pretty (but small) old town and is still a little resistant to technology. Forget uber or any other taxi apps, you need to pick up the phone and actually call someone to pick you up. We found an apartment for our base reasonably quick and are now figuring out “how things work”. Unfortunately, we had to purchase some worldly possessions like plates, silverware, bed sheets and so on, but we managed to keep things to the minimum, as this is just a temporary base and we’ll be on the move soon enough (we purchased return tickets to Bangkok, to make sure we don’t stick around for too long).
The biggest issue here is mobility. There are some busses, but that’s about it. Since we’re so used to hailing a Tuk-Tuk, this here, feels like standing still. A taxi ride is easily 10–20€ and needs to be called by phone. The good thing is that most of them do not operate with a taxometer and the prices are negotiable, which makes a ride more flexible (i.e. “Can we make a quick stop to get some groceries?”).
In order to solve the mobility issue and get around on the island, we’re getting mountain bikes next week and hope to be backpacking the eco-friendly way on a bicyle through Cyprus soon. Until then, there is a dive center nearby which awaits us for the Advanced Open Water certification and a Kite Surfing school to try out something new. Once my broken toe is finally healed. We’ll keep you posted!
- Accommodation: ~39€/night with AirBnb
- Meals: 7€, 4,50€ for 20cl red wine