They call it location independence, digital nomadism or alternative lifestyle design. But whatever the term you use for our what we’re doing, we choose to live this way so that we can work from anywhere and enjoy our freedom. I’m not going to pretend it’s a walk on the beach because it’s not. It’s tough. Really tough. This past couple of months when we’ve been hunkering down and carving out a viable way of making a living for ourselves that also allows us to travel, has seen us working up to 15 hours many days.
It is the hardest either of us has ever worked. Which on one hand is taking a lot of determination and self discipline but at the same time is also coming easily. Because at this point in our journey, what’s the alternative? We don’t have any savings left so we have to work. But for both of us, the idea of returning to the well paid but stifling corporate world we used to circle in is simply unbearable. And quite frankly we refuse to do it. We are currently earning less than a third than we used to when we lived full time in the UK but you know what? It’s early days and for us, we just can’t put a price on our freedom anymore.
Instead of dragging ourselves out of bed every morning, after having self medicated with a bottle of wine the night before, these days we spring out of bed excited for the opportunities the day will bring and future adventures we will have. We’ve taken to working for ourselves like ducks to water, and looking back, can’t quite honestly believe that we waited this long to do it. But if we had never started travelling we would have never had the space and time to think that living our lives differently, and more importantly, more happily would have even been possible.
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Here’s our five most favourite things that we love about the ‘work aspect’ of our new travel focused lives:
1. Midday Naps
I don’t actually know how I lived my life without these before! Of course we have responsibility towards our clients but essentially we don’t answer to anyone other than ourselves. And that my friend, is pure bliss! If we feel our concentration wavering or notice our level of productivity has dropped, we have the power to down tools and have a nap. So generally somewhere between 1pm and 3pm you’ll find us tucked up having a 20 minute power nap. Do not disturb!
2. Working In Our Trackies
No we’ve not gone feral! We still get washed and change our clothes but it’s just so refreshing to be able to completely wear what you want each day. And more over not feel like you have to dress or look a certain way to fit into the company you work for and be taken seriously at work. It saves so much time too! The time we spent ‘getting ready’ for work can now be ploughed straight into our business.
3. Listening to Music
Even though we always used to have music playing at home, it never really occurred to either of us to miss it while we were working away at our corporate desks. In both of our offices listening to the radio or even listening to music with headphones in was banned and I’m sure that’s not uncommon for most people. Now we get to select a playlist to work to everyday and you know, it’s amazing how much of a positive effect it has not only on our cheeriness but also on our productivity. Now we can’t imagine working without some tunes humming away in the background.
4. Working Together
My dad recently asked us – ‘how do you two spend so much time together without killing each other?’ It made us laugh but it actually highlights a very serious element of our choice to build a business together. I’m not going to pretend we didn’t care about our old colleagues, because we did, some very deeply. But at the end of the day, I think everyone would prefer to choose who they spend the majority of their time with. And for us that just happens to be each other. We have always had a very mutually respectful and equal partnership so it just happened that it has naturally translated into a rather brilliant business partner relationship.
5. Our Freedom
And last but not least, the most important reason for all of this. The ability to be able to transport ourselves to anywhere in the world and sustain a life of travel is what life’s all about for us right now. At a “big picture” level I’m talking about not being restricted by societal pressures and what you are ‘expected’ to be doing in order to be successful and happy in life. But on a smaller scale, I’m talking about being able to walk out of the door whenever I’m hungry and eat amazing street food, just go for a swim in the ocean or take the day off tomorrow and hike that beautiful mountain. Just because we can.
What do you think? Is this life for you? Do you think we’re mad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments – we’d love to chat!