Why I Chose A Location-Independent Lifestyle
This post is as much for me as for anyone else. I wanted to summarise my motivations for seeing the world. I connect these with my motivations for being location-independent.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the world and I now realise that it is a part of me and will never go away. For this I am so grateful as it’s a wonderful thing to love. As I’ve gotten older (now in my late 20s) my desire to explore has remained but the benefits I get from it have grown. I’ve realised why I used to do it, too.
This is why I travel, now and in the past:
It’s a big world
I can’t imagine a better thing to spend my money on than seeing the world. Don’t let this make you think I’m some sort of gung-ho one man explorer. I’m an extroverted introvert (thanks to Linda at How It Is To Be You). I enjoy socialising to a point but appreciate a lot of time to myself, seeing places at my own pace to give myself time to mentally recover. There is nothing greater than the following things:
- Closing your eyes and hearing the sheer power of Niagara Falls.
- Opening your eyes and seeing sand in all directions in the Sahara Desert.
- Living in a time where a nomadic people, the Maori of New Zealand or the Aboriginal people of Australia, can still pass on their knowledge.
- Experiencing beautiful sunsets almost every day in Montpellier.
- The list goes on…
It excites me
Tim Ferris, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, has said:
Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.Tim Ferris
Not many quotes resonate and stick with me but this one did. I am always seeking the next adventure because it’s what excites me and that turns into happiness. In my opinion, the search for excitement has got to be the best reason for living.
Being location-independent facilitates slow travel
The concept of slow travel is really popular with some digital nomads. I, for one will be employing it for the foreseeable future. Not being tied to a desk allows you to take your time in a destination because you work from wherever you’re living. It’s exhausting, especially for me, starting somewhere new and having to make new friends. Staying somewhere from 3 to 9 months gives you time to bed in, really experience a place without feeling the need to see everything at once. I once did a 2 week Interrail trip from Rome to Stockholm. 6 cities in 14 days was exhausting and I barely remember anything!
To really learn a language
Right now I am learning French. It’s true that you won’t truly learn how to speak the language you’re learning until you’re immersed in it. You can’t hope to become fluent and soak in the culture without being in a country of speakers of the target language. In my case: French. I hope to learn more languages in the future and when I do I am grateful that I can just get up and go.
To escape “reality”
I realised after a few years of travelling solo that this was a big reason why I did it. It frees your mind of what you “should” be doing and what you “should” be living for. It might suppress those feelings for a while, and it does it really well. But once I surrounded myself (social media plays a huge part of this) with people travelling full-time and being location independent it spurred me on. It made it a realistic goal. Now I don’t travel to escape reality anymore. Of course there are always stresses and travel still helps ease those. But I no longer do it to ignore the real issue.
To avoid the London ultimatum
- Buy my first place outside of London and commute in and out every day. No thanks.
- Buy my first place in London and sacrifice years of possible enjoyment while saving for a deposit. No thanks.
- Enjoy living now, having what I want in the prime of my life. Yes please.
If you want your first property to be in London you need to be earning a hell of a lot of money. Working in IT I do well compared to other industries and this was still a pipe-dream. Thankfully it was never a goal of mine. If it was feasible to save for a property and travel as much as I wanted I would have. With it being so impossible to do both without working myself into the ground for something I don’t love, it was an easy decision.