Rachael Killen, SurreyRachael moved back to the Isle of Man from the UK and has found more freedom and time to enjoy doing what she loves and spending time with her son.
1. How long have you lived in the Isle of Man, what made you move back here?
I was born in the Isle of Man and have always visited family regularly whilst living in UK, so knew what to expect when I decided to move back. I had been Head of Art at a busy boarding school in Surrey, but on having my little boy, it became more important to prioritise my work life balance so I could spend more quality time with my son. Having recently taken up an Art Teacher position at Ballakermeen, myself and my little boy moved over in July and, without a doubt, its been the best thing I’ve done.
2. How would you describe it to someone who has never been?
I would describe living and working on Isle of Man as having the best of everything; different landscapes and seascapes, there’s plenty of employment opportunities, as well as it being a safe environment to raise a family. There’s so many activities to do with little ones on the island, as well as a really good night life and pub culture if you want a night out.
3. What difference has living on the Isle of Man made to your work-life balance?
My work life balance has improved so much since moving over. In my former job, I used to work in the boarding houses in the evenings and on Saturday mornings; now not only do I have more time to spend with my little boy, but I feel far more valued in my job. Moving back to the Isle of Man has hugely improved our quality of life.
4. Tell us about your job – what do you enjoy most about it?
The best part of being an Art Teacher at Ballakermeen is coming up with new ideas for projects to encourage pupils to take risks and experiment with their art work. I am now in a job where I feel supported and valued which I think has such a positive impact on our work with the pupils.
5. Outside of work how do you spend your free time?
When it’s dry; I’ll take my little boy to the beach at the weekend (his favourite!), to Onchan Park or to Ramsey to the Mooragh.
If the weather is not so good, there is an abundance of mother and parent activity groups around Douglas where we can spend a few hours.
6. What’s the best-kept secret on the Isle of Man?
7. What is your favourite element of Manx culture?
I like the Manx heritage and that, despite not being widely used, the Manx language is encouraged in everyday life.
8. What opportunities has living in the Isle of Man given you and your family?
Living on the Isle of Man has given me much more freedom in terms of having more spare time to enjoy my life!
9. Why would you recommend the Isle of Man to others looking to relocate and what would be your top tips?
The Isle of Man is the perfect place for anyone who is tired of living to work. The Island is full of professionals who are still passionate about doing a good job, but in a far healthier environment.
Driving on the quieter roads takes some getting used to, especially when you encounter much smaller roundabouts!