Most people relocate to remote areas for a quiet life.
But, for Sarah Moore, the opposite is true – as she proved by swapping Edinburgh for a tiny Scottish island, where she now juggles NINE different jobs.
The 26-year-old relocated to the Orkney’s North Ronaldsay in 2015, which has a population of just 45 and average age of 65, making her the youngest – and busiest – resident.
Working girl: Sarah Moore, 26, left Edinburgh and relocated to North Ronaldsay in the Orkneys, where she now alternates between nine jobs
Quitting her job selling clothes at Next, she soon found herself carrying out duties as everything from a firefighter to a shepherdess.
Starting work as a carer, she now also puts in shifts as an air traffic controller and airport baggage handler, while also delivering the island’s post.
She’s similarly a clerk for the island council, drives diggers on the farms and even leads tours of the island’s only lighthouse.
But Sarah, who moved to the island just two and a half years ago, says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She said: ‘It’s not an easy life here and it it’s not a place anyone comes to get rich in, but I love it. The city is too crowded and there’s no greenery or scenery. For me there was just a dead-end job – retail work is not for me.
‘It was lonely in Edinburgh, even though there are so many people. I lived in the same house for 23 years and I only knew the people to the left and right of me and here I know everyone.’
Hard-working: The former sales assistant is the youngest person on the remote Scottish island
Keeping busy with the locals: One of the various roles see her working as a shepherdess
Dig it: The ambitious twentysomething also grafts part-time as a digger driver
Perhaps unsurprisingly, romance on the island is harder to come by – and Sarah reckons the other residents would love for her to settle down.
‘Being the youngest person on the island there is pressure to settle down and have some kids. Most people are already coupled up, but you can meet people on other islands – I’m not really looking for anything right now, though.
‘In the summer, we had a summer festival and there were a few lads coming over from the other islands. Some of the older residents were practically handing out my CV to the young guys – they would love me to settle down on the island.
‘It was quite embarrassing but all in good spirit. Our school closed last year because the only pupil left, so we are desperately in need of families to live here.’
Keeping busy: Keen to fulfill as many roles as possible, she often freelances as a council clerk
No rest for the wicked! When not over-booked elsewhere, she delivers post for Royal Mail
When Sarah made the bold move to Ronaldsay it was her first time living away from home and while some of her schoolfriends struggled to find just one job, Sarah soon became inundated with them.
‘My folks and I had gone to western isles were for many years and it always feels like coming home. A house became available one time as the people were moving out and I wasn’t ready but I decided to go for it.
‘Moving here was terrifying as it was the first time I’d lived away from home, but strangely I didn’t really struggle with the change.
‘I think it’s because I had a good idea of what it would be like from when I’d been here before – I had visited about four or five times on holiday before I moved up.’
Yet another shift! Some days she puts in hours as a baggage handler at the local airport
Earnign a living: Never one to shy away from work, Sarah is also a fearless firefighter
Now, she says life on North Ronaldsay is like a ‘different world’ and that there’s actually a shortage of people to take up the jobs.
‘I grew up quite quickly, as I spent a lot of time with older people on the island and I don’t really notice age any more when I’m speaking to a person.
SARAH’S JOB LIST
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‘The problem is that some of the islanders are getting to an age when they need to retire, but the people coming in and taking over those physically demanding jobs are also in their 50s.’
Many of her jobs are voluntary and because she has so many different roles, no two days are alike.
‘I like a bit of variety and that’s certainly what I’ve got here – it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what jobs I’m doing on any particular day.
‘I enjoy working at the airport the most: there’s a lot of responsibility and it’s more social than my other jobs since there’s three other people.”
‘I don’t really miss Edinburgh. I went back last month to help my parents move, but I never got that nostalgia feeling.’