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Expat Exchange - Pros & Cons of Living in Shetland Islands 2024
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Pros & Cons of Living in Shetland Islands

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
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Summary: Planning a potential move to Shetland Islands? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Shetland Islands home.

Thinking about moving to Shetland Islands? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Shetland Islands.

Shetland Islands, a subarctic archipelago in Scotland, is a place of rugged beauty and unique charm. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, it's a place that can offer a truly unique living experience. However, like any place, living in the Shetland Islands comes with its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of making this remote and beautiful place your home.

Pros of Living in Shetland Islands

One of the biggest advantages of living in the Shetland Islands is the stunning natural beauty. The islands are home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, from rugged cliffs and sandy beaches to rolling hills and sparkling lochs. The wildlife is also a major draw, with opportunities to see seals, otters, and a wide variety of bird species, including the famous Shetland pony.

Another major advantage is the sense of community. With a population of just over 23,000, the Shetland Islands have a close-knit, friendly community where everyone knows everyone. This can be a refreshing change from the anonymity of city living. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community, from volunteering at the local museum or library to joining one of the many clubs and societies that cater to a wide range of interests.

For example, the Shetland Arts Trust runs a number of community projects and events throughout the year, providing opportunities for residents to get involved in the local arts scene. Similarly, the Shetland Amenity Trust offers volunteering opportunities in environmental conservation, helping to preserve the islands' unique natural heritage.

The Shetland Islands also offer a slower pace of life, which can be a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of city living. The islands have a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, with a focus on enjoying life's simple pleasures. Whether it's taking a leisurely walk along the beach, enjoying a home-cooked meal with friends, or simply sitting back and enjoying the stunning views, life in the Shetland Islands is all about taking the time to appreciate the world around you.

Finally, the Shetland Islands have a rich and vibrant culture, with a strong sense of history and tradition. From the annual Up Helly Aa fire festival to the traditional music and dance, there's always something going on. The islands are also home to a number of historical sites, including the Jarlshof prehistoric and Norse settlement, providing a fascinating glimpse into the islands' past.

Cons of Living in Shetland Islands, Scotland

While the Shetland Islands offer many advantages, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest challenges is the remote location. The islands are located over 100 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland, which can make travel to and from the islands difficult and expensive. This can also make it harder to access certain services and amenities, particularly specialist healthcare services.

The weather can also be a challenge. The Shetland Islands have a subarctic climate, with cool summers and mild winters. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with frequent changes in conditions throughout the day. The islands are also known for their strong winds, particularly in the winter months.

Another potential downside is the cost of living. While property prices are generally lower than in mainland Scotland, the cost of goods and services can be higher due to the cost of transporting goods to the islands. This can make everyday living expenses, such as groceries and fuel, more expensive.

While the close-knit community can be a major advantage, it can also be a downside for some. The lack of anonymity can be difficult for those used to city living, and it can take time to adjust to the slower pace of life. Additionally, while there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community, the range of activities and amenities can be limited compared to larger towns and cities.

Finally, while the Shetland Islands offer a unique and rewarding living experience, they may not be suitable for everyone. The remote location, challenging weather, and slower pace of life can be difficult to adjust to, particularly for those used to city living. However, for those who are willing to embrace the challenges, the Shetland Islands offer a unique opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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