If you’ve found this page I know exactly what’s going through your head. You’re sitting at home in your boring old town, and you keep seeing pictures of friends or bloggers who are travelling the world and having the time of their life. “How can these people afford all of this?” you might ask yourself. So you begin to search for ways of making money while traveling. Inevitably you will stumble upon the magical world of location independent living. A world where people live and work when and wherever they want.
If all of that sounds too good to be true, guess what? It’s not. There are people right now, just like you, who are living this sort of life.
But before you buy your plane ticket, as someone who spent the last year living a location independent life before choosing to return home I would like to warn you about some things you likely will not see on other travel blogs.
There are some very real benefits that living in your home country can give you that are unavailable with a location independent life.
For example, you have your family, friends, and general support system all around you at home. Although they may sometimes get on your nerves, having a strong social circle is extremely important for your mental well-being. The truth is that it is very hard to make friends while abroad. It’s a process that can take many months. For some it never happens-which ruins the entire experience.
Your job options are another issue while living a location independent lifestyle. Although this is slowly changing, most work places prefer employees to be there in person- or at least in the same time zone. Because of this you will get stuck with the leftover jobs that do not offer good pay or other benefits. While of course there are exceptions to this, the majority of working travellers are doing jobs they would never think of doing if they were living at home.
This can have a negative impact on future earning potential as well. Instead of establishing yourself in a career with lots of upward growth, you may be perpetually stuck performing low-skilled run of the mill jobs.
Earning such low wages makes it nearly impossible to create any savings as well. With one accident or illness you may use up all your money, leaving you unable to purchase a return ticket home.
Reduced enjoyment from travelling is another negative fact of location independent living. Travelling to an exotic location and work at the same place can give the same person two completely different experiences. All the stresses and problems associated with working will still be present with you in your new location. This will make your new surroundings less exciting and stop you from enjoying it as much as you would if you were just travelling.
I am not telling you this to try to scare you. Location independent living is a great way to see the world and something that was impossible to do even 20 years ago. But I would like you to remember that travelling is not a solution to your problems. Everything that you complain about now will follow you wherever you go. For this reason it is sometimes better to keep your work and travelling separate in order to fully enjoy every moment.
Have you ever done location independent living?
What type of work did you do, and would you recommend it to others?