Ten years ago, I moved from Colorado, USA, to Phuket, Thailand, and I've never looked back.
More and more in the past few years, I've been bumping into computer people -- many of them corporate IT types -- who have made the leap overseas. If you've ever thought of jumping way outside of the box, physically, there are a few things you should know.
Every year it gets easier to telecommute. IT folks know that better than anyone. As far as I can tell, the technology has never been a major stumbling block. It's mostly a question of perception and control -- whether your boss feels comfortable managing you long distance and/or your clients feel comfortable working with you at more than arm's distance. The manifest benefits of avoiding a two-hour physical commute aren't lost on even the hardest-hearted boss or the most retentive client.
Let me let you in on a little secret: There isn't a whole lot of difference between telecommuting across town and telecommuting halfway around the world. Bits are bits, an Internet connection is an Internet connection, and everything else is just jet lag.
Of course you want to telecommute. But have you considered telecommuting overseas? The benefits go way beyond balmy breezes and funny drinks with fuzzy hats. If you're a U.S. citizen, and you jump through the right hoops, the first $91,400 you make while living overseas is exempt from U.S. income tax. (You still have to pay FICA.) Although the laws vary a bit, and they're changing -- especially in the United Kingdom right now -- most professionals from outside the United States don't owe any income tax to their home countries at all.
The price of living overseas can vary from just as much as in Manhattan, if not more, to much less than you might imagine possible. Location, location, location.