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Location Independence: Blog Challenge Day 9

Today’s assignment in the 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge is to examine what “location independence” means to me.

Day 9 Challenge: Imagine you are on a long holiday in Portugal (or wherever your dream destination is). There are castles to explore, secret bars to discover, and sunny beaches to laze around on. In today’s post, I want you to write about how you will balance your adventure and work while you are away on this holiday.

My version of location independence

My version of location independence doesn’t involve a fully nomadic lifestyle. I’d like to spend a lot of the year traveling, but my husband and I have already bought a lovely small house for our retirement. The idea is to come back here to the Netherlands for the summers. I like having a comfortable home base that I can count on. Of course, if our kids have kids, that might change to wherever they end up. And if aging forces us to limit or give up travel, that house will be there for us.

The house we bought. We've rented it out for now.

The house we bought. We’ve rented it out for now.

When my husband and I first met, back in the Stone Age, we were in Malawi and both doing development work as volunteers. I stayed for two years, while he stayed for four. In our view, longer-term volunteering is more likely to have a lasting effect than short-term.

We’ve considered doing development work again when the kids are grown and out of the house. It’s one of our options once my husband retires. If we did that, we’d have two bases: one where we lived and worked, and one in our house in the Netherlands. I could train teachers; my husband could train dentists and dental assistants.

The way I feel now, though, is that I don’t want to work full-time again, as development work would demand. I’d like to earn money from a combination of sources: my blog, copy-writing, an on-line shop, and leading workshops. I’d choose a second home base somewhere tropical, where I could snorkel every day, as I described earlier in this blog challenge. I picture a rather sleepy place, like Deshaies, in Guadeloupe.

view of Deshaies seen from a hill above, as used in the starting credits of "Death in Paradise"

a view of Deshaies that will be familiar if you’ve watched “Death in Paradise”

I’d travel as and when I wanted to, either to earn money (for my blog or to lead a workshop) or for fun. My husband could still do volunteer work if he wanted. We’d buy or rent a place, so it would feel like home. And in the summers we’d come back here to the Netherlands.

This is a kind of location independence in that my jobs could be done anywhere. Yet I wouldn’t be living out of a suitcase all the time: only when I chose to.

Getting work done while traveling

In 2015, I took a sabbatical from my work, and I spent part of that sabbatical traveling solo.

On the first trip I went to Guadeloupe and Martinique, New York (briefly) and the Costa Brava, in Spain. I was away for a total of a month. On the second trip, I went to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. That trip lasted two months.

sillhouetted boots moored in Guadeloupe

a sunset in Guadeloupe

While I wasn’t earning a living on these trips, I did do a lot of writing for my blog, and I did a few copy-writing assignments.

Traveling longer-term, I didn’t find it too hard to keep up on my work (in this case, my blog). I often stayed in my accommodations for the mornings, then went out exploring in the afternoons. I often worked in the evening as well. Since I’m not a clubber or partier, especially when I’m traveling solo, the evenings after dinner were pretty quiet.

On travel days, when I moved from one location to another, I generally didn’t accomplish much except taking notes and taking pictures. On the few rainy days, though, I accomplished a lot. When you’re not rushing around trying to see everything like on a shorter trip, you don’t mind staying in if the weather’s bad.

If this becomes my lifestyle, meaning when my husband is retired and can be mobile as well, I think I’ll just plan to work every morning, and to do other things every afternoon, like I described in my “perfect day” description.

In any case, the issue for me isn’t the amount of work I do. It’s being able to focus enough to get work done. Yet, when I travel, when I’m on the road, it just seems easy. Writing flows, and my mind clears. I can crank through my work efficiently and quickly.

I’m so looking forward to trying my version of location independence in a few years!

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

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