Many people dream of running away from their corporate jobs and indulging in travel, freedom and independence. So why don't they just do it? Leases, family, property, and jobs can all seem like inescapable obligations. But with an increasing number of people choosing to be Location Independent, more people than ever are finding happiness abroad.
Location independence or digital nomad refers to a career that does not require your presence in any one place for your job to be done. You are geographically free! However, location independence usually requires you to be tethered through technology. The vast world of the Internet allows you to connect with employers or clients from around the globe.
Vibrant expat communities, like those on the forums and expat blogs are a testament that you can take the leap and work anywhere in the world. Whether it means you are starting a new career or transitioning from what you are doing now, the most important thing to remember is that it is possible.
Still interested? Here are some of your options.
Though there are significant differences between freelancers and entrepreneurs (like that entrepreneurs create their own market, and theoretically can make an unlimited amount of money), the important similarity is that they are each their own boss. This may include creating your own product, site, or service. These types of location independent people tend to be inventors of items or technology, import/exporters, writers, translators, artists, and creators.
A telecommuter usually works for one boss or company, but has the flexibility to work from home. "Home" can be anywhere that provides the technology necessary to complete their tasks. This can be both a great fit for the company and employee as the employer decreases costs of work environment and maintains productivity, and the employee gets increased freedom and flexibility. If this option is offered part-time it is known as "flex hours".
This can be the perfect way to transition into location independence. You can keep the security of a familiar company and tasks while starting to branch out geographically. From this point you have the option to try to step out into a new career as an entrepreneur or freelancer without the risk of financial insecurity.
For some people, moving abroad has forced them to find a new way to make a living. For others, the need to start a new career moved them abroad. Here are some examples of expats working in location independent careers.
Catherine is a freelance translator that grew up in London with a 17 year stop on Reunion Island, a French island in the Indian Ocean. She has now been living and working in Seoul, South Korea. She says, "(Translating) is a portable career which also allows me time to travel, which we do for about 4 months of the year at the moment."
For more tips, check out her list of 101 Tips to Succeed as a Freelancer.
Ray left behind his cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. He now runs a successful travel blog and is a freelance travel writer. He hopes to inspire others to "shake the shackles and escape through travel".
Learn more about why Man on the Lam made his move in his post, "Growing Old Before My Time".
At first Linda focused on settling her family into a new life in the Netherlands, but has since started a writing freelance. She has contributed to the Amazon #1 bestseller for Women & Business "Turning Points: Twenty Five Inspiring Stories from Women Entrepreneurs Who Turned Their Lives and Their Careers Around" and is now working on her own book on the importance of emotional resilience in expat life.
Find out more about Linda's book and how you may contribute at her site.
After encountering difficult work conditions in Berlin and trying to make it as a single mum, Sarah is now building her own jewelry business: "...I am now building my own jewelry business with shops on Etsy and Dawanda and plan to open a bricks and mortar shop at some point in the near future".
Coaching is a relatively new field in which people with experience can offer their tips on coping with homesickness and culture shock, staying focused on their goals and overcoming the emotional and motivational challenges of expat life. Evelyn has been leading the life of a serial expat for over 20 years in six different countries. She provides a rigorous program for organising an international move, making the move as seamless as possible and maximising the benefits from other service providers.
After working a variety of jobs in a variety of places, Aisha reignited an old flame for writing while living abroad. Her articles can be found in a variety of Expat Resource websites as she describes herself as: "A perennial misfit, I've crossed geographical, cultural & religious borders in a life that reads like an Amazon bestseller, and give a frank account of the journey here on my award-winning blog Expatlogue, where I cover topics as diverse as censorship in Islam, mental health taboos and cross-cultural relationships".
Find out more about Aisha and what makes her writing memorable in her testimonials.
Adam quit his job as a graphic designer in Boston and went on a 15+ month trip around the world. He is currently settled down geographically, but runs a hipster travel & lifestyle blog that shares personal experiences and alternative & indie travel tips from around the world. He says: "As my round-the world travels wound down...I made a difficult decision: do I return to America and look for a job there? Or do I try my luck one more time and pursue my dream of living in Europe....As of January 2012, I'm living in Berlin and continually traveling around Europe and the rest of the world".
Learn from Adam about "why i blog".
Bryan & Dena Haines sold their ad agency and home in Canada and moved to South America. Their site is a collection of experiences and tips that help others follow in their footsteps.
This sometimes expat, full time traveler has been all over the world and offers informational posts on destinations, budget, and how to go anywhere. He says,
"Location-independent income is simply income you earn from wherever in the world you are. Once your income is location-independent, your lifestyle can be too".
Find out from Robert how he is location-independent.
Find stories of other amazing travelers and expats in the BlogExpat directory.
A great resource for those looking to make the move is the Location Independent website. It provides information on how to get started in different careers, resources, and organizations that can help you find your way.
Daily Writing Tips is a helpful website for aspiring writers.
Copyblogger offers invaluable articles concerning the art of copywriting. Consider their tips on Copywriting 101: How to Craft Compelling Copy.
Are you location independent? Share your tips, tricks, and questions below.