Location independence (living or working anywhere while traveling) is a kind of lifestyle that many desire, yet very few completely achieve. Most people who want to live a location independent life are attracted to the freedom it brings and the potential travel experiences it can provide. At the same time, the relatively unstable flow of money that a freelancing career entails often stops people from working towards this sort of lifestyle. Nevertheless, if you dream of traveling, meeting new people and living in different cultures, along with pursuing a career of your choice and doing work you like, then here are a few tips to guide you:
Put Yourself Out There
A location independent lifestyle requires you to keep up with the opportunities that manifest themselves from time to time, and turn them into something meaningful. For that reason, you need to put yourself out there and make connections. It’s not rocket science – there are countless ways to network and get visibility. The simplest way to do it is to sign up for freelancing websites such as Odesk, Elance, or even simple job search engines like Monster.com. Apart from that, your skill set needs to be visible in a dedicated, professional-looking space such as a blog, profile or website. The important thing is to keep finding new ways to reach out to potential clients and not sit back, waiting for opportunities to come your way. Take control of your options and live your passions.
Develop a Skill Set
A definitive skill set that relates to your choices and passion will help you connect better with potential employers. There are so many options when it comes to freelancing and location independence is in fact ideal in order to be successful in many of these options. Say you want to do freelance writing– in that case, you will need to have your own flair, knowledge of subjects you will be writing on and perhaps a specialization in a particular kind of writing like travel, food etc. Furthermore, will you need to put these skills through some recognized skill tests to gain some credibility. Most employers prefer hiring someone who has some concrete proof of their ability to present with a decent track record. It’s also a good idea to always keep some samples of your work ready in a hard copy as well.
Travel is usually a huge part of location independence, so you want to make sure you don’t accumulate too many possessions that are going to tie or weigh you down. A minimalist lifestyle is best suited for location independence – the lesser you own, the happier you will be. If you’re getting started on a location independent lifestyle, then it is best to get rid of the excess before you start out. The truth is that you will not make a lot of money through freelancing right away, so maintenance of possessions will be an added headache (think extra baggage fees and paying for storage space–no, thanks!) One bag full of the basics is all you really need.
Have a Preliminary Plan
Although location independence is all about enjoying spontaneity and being adaptable, that does not mean that you should be lax in your planning. You should start out with a plan that outlines both a passion/interest of yours and a location. You need to decide what you want to do for a living and make a bold career choice. There are a lot freelance careers to choose from which involve travel, however you need to have chosen one and gotten started before you book your tickets. Reflect on your interests and passions, and find something you really want to do. Develop a skill set around it or hone the skills you already have. The second part is a location: to live a location independent life, you need to start somewhere. This could be a different city, or even country, but it needs to be a definitive location. Depending on your career interests, sign up for freelance websites and start looking for opportunities. You can either choose a location first and then hunt for opportunities or vice versa. You will eventually start moving around, but have a clear idea of where you will begin.
None of us live in social and emotional isolation and there are always connections to maintain and people to keep in touch with. A location independent lifestyle needn’t mean a complete absence of relationships or people in your life – you can and you should strive to stay connected with your home, no matter where you travel. Use the internet and social networking sites to keep up with friends and family; make them a part of your life. However, it is also worth remembering that you might have to become selective at some points and filter out people in order to manage time effectively–or people who don’t understand or support your newfound freedom. Don’t hang on to relationships that constrict your growth and progress. The relationships that really matter will not feel like a burden as you strive for your dreams; they will give you the space and encouragement you need for your personal development.