WORK-LIFE BALANCE / FEB. 19, 2014
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Why Location Independent Living Isn't Always A Dream Come True

In June last year, I sold almost everything I own, rented out my flat, and set off to run my newborn coaching business from the road. I’d had itchy feet for over a year, and had romantic visions of myself travelling from one exotic location to another, working from my laptop, seeing the sights, and chilling out in the warm summer evenings.

I’d be a travelling nomad for the rest of my life, I thought. This is what I’m meant for!

And so armed with nothing but my backpack, I ventured out into the vast unknown; the whole world at my feet.

Less than six months later, I was back in the UK, my dreams of location independent living in tatters, and my tail between my legs.

Whilst many people will have you believe that running your business from a laptop and living the location independent lifestyle is a dream come true, I’m here to warn you, it’s not always as rosy as it’s made out to be. Unless you’ve got a good stash of cash and a business that’s already bringing in a good sum, you could look forward to some of the following...

  • Cold showers.
  • Lumpy beds.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Having to say 'no' to anything fun because you have to work.
  • Hoping and praying that your internet connection is going to be good enough for your next Skype appointment.
  • Wondering whether you can afford to eat today.

And even if you do have bucket loads of cash, you’re not immune from…

  • Loneliness
  • An endless cycle of packing and unpacking, packing and unpacking.
  • Thinking you've met a great new friend, only to have them disappear to their next destination the following day.

Is location independent living really for you?

During my time away I met some incredible people, saw some beautiful things, and experienced life in a very different way. I don’t regret it for an instant. But I’ve learned I’m not cut out for all-year-round nomadic living.

If you’re harbouring dreams of hitting the road to travel the world and work from your laptop, try asking yourself these questions first, to see whether it’s really a lifestyle you’d love…

  • How much do I value routine?
  • How important is it for me to have my own space?
  • Have I already built a decent online income? (It's very difficult to start this whilst on the road)
  • Am I good at coping with periods alone and without much contact with friends?
  • Am I ok with being a little bit dirty, a lot of the time and wearing the same clothes, day after day?
  • Can I put up with much slower internet connections than I'm used to and will that make running my business tough?

A location independent and nomadic lifestyle certainly doesn't fit everyone, and that's ok. It often looks all too appealing from our current vantage point as we watch others post their pictures of their glorious destinations. But you can be certain that whilst they're experiencing some really incredible things, there's always a downside that's not being mentioned.

My advice? If you have the opportunity, try it out. You'll either discover it's a perfect match for you, or it will make you value your life back home in a way you never have before.

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