part time location independent
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Can You Be Part-Time Location-Independent?

This One Is For All The Homeowners Thinking That Being Location-Independent Might Be The Next Move

What if you didn’t have chores and maintenance to do on a regular basis? That’s the question I’m working through this morning. Actually, it’s a question I’ve been working through for a couple of years now, in one way, shape or form. Amazing how the same question I’ve been asking can seem so new, depending on which way the wind is blowing. But seriously, is it possible to be more like a location-independent person while still being a homeowner?

This is a visualization exercise that you might have to adapt a little bit depending on your circumstances, but it might be good for you.

Stick with me here.

Do you have to mow the lawn on a regular basis? Or clean the gutters, rake the leaves, or even coordinate hiring people (read: paying people) for those things? Maybe it’s just replacing the p-trap in the sink or the running toilet flush valve in the spare bathroom.

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You may rent or you may “own” a mortgage, but the point is you have work to do. The kind of home chores that nag you and have you saying things like “I can’t this weekend, I have to…”

Here’s the question that hit me at 7am as I started a blaze in the fire pit in my backyard. I was having my coffee and gearing up to do some yard work on a beautiful Saturday morning:

“What would you be doing, or where would you be, if you didn’t have this house?”

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That’s A Loaded Question Of Course…

So here’s some context, in case you haven’t been keeping up. I’ve always dreamt of traveling the US or the world, and in the past year, I’ve purged most of my belongings and downsized like crazy. (Here’s another house rant if you’re bored…)

I’ve also upped my travel game. This year I’ll have only slept in my bed 3/4 of the year, which means about 90 days bedding out-of-town, all while still getting my sh*t done to make a living. Throughout this process, the biggest questions revolve around what I should do with my house.

See, I love my house. I’ve refinished it with my own bare hands over the past ten years. It is my respite during tough times, or even just when I’m exhausted from travel.

True, I’m single, self-employed, and no spring chicken. That said, I’ve learned from others in the past year or two that there are so many ways to live unconventionally, even if you have a 9-5, a family, pets, etc.

Again, this is a visualization exercise, so you have to think outside the box. Don’t shoot anything down—just think of the possibilities—no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

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Where Would I Be Working From?

So back to my answer. What I realized is that I would likely be having some other epiphany, while sitting down to my computer to write. Birds chirping, a fire in the background, and some good music playing. Then I re-realized that I could be writing this from anywhere. This is something I already knew, but sometimes things you know still elude you!

If I was “forced” (or forced myself) away from living in this house, the sky is literally the limit on where I could be writing this from.

I could be writing it from another dwelling, maybe a condo or an apartment, but one without the responsibilities. I could be writing it from a hostel or a short-term rental in some city across the US—or the world—which I’m doing more and more lately.

I could also be writing it from a campsite; one that might cost me $5 a night like so many I’ve hunkered down at and wondered “How can this only be $5? This is paradise!”

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The Fear And Safety Net Effects

So here are a few other reasons this is such a tough conversation for me. This is likely a conversation many people have had, regardless of their unique situation in life, regarding their dwelling. Maybe you’ve thought the same:

This place is safe.
I know it’s here for me.
It’s constant.

OK me…I hear ya. But what about all that “getting out of your comfort zone is how you grow” and “change is the only constant” bullsh*t?

Even as someone who has expanded my scope of consciousness of my own possibilities in the past year, I think it still just comes down to fear of the unknown. Which is both acceptable and rational, yet unacceptable and totally irrational at the same time.

What Am I So Afraid Of?

Truth be told, you—the questioning soul reading my endless dribble—and this computer screen are my therapists. I would say cheap therapists, but this gig doesn’t pay much, and this computer is expensive, haha! So I spend a lot of time talking through things with you. For that I thank you!

The question remains: What am I so worried about?

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

It’s amazing just how many times we have to tell ourselves something before we believe it. The something I’m talking about here is the question: What’s the worst that can happen? I’ve been training myself to have that mindset for a couple of years now, which is why I’ve come so far in the journey that I am on.

And in reality, none of the worsts have happened, and I’m happier now than I was six months ago when I gave up 3/4 of my client base and shifted focus. Yes, I’m hustling more, but I’m happier in this new hustle.

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What’s The Best That Can Happen?

Ahhhhh. That’s better. Yes, I like to sugarcoat things and look through rose-colored glasses. Sorry not sorry, I’m a Pisces. But this question really should come right alongside of the “worst” question: What’s the best that can happen?

So for me on this one, the best that can happen is that I get out from under this house. Whether that’s handing it over to a management company to rent, or selling it, etc. Knowing that the freedom gained by whatever next low-maintenance dwelling I hunker down in could be life-changing.

Maybe I work or write more from the beach or the mountains. My campfire turns into a tiki torch, the music is live music instead of from a speaker.

Friday-Monday Is A Long Time For Anyone, Even You!

So you might be saying “yeah, but I have a regular job, and I have to be there Monday-Friday.” Well, I would ask you this: what’s your vacation game like? 2-3 weeks a year, or 10-15 days or more? Cool. Now imagine, combined with the holidays you tack an extra day onto, how many 3-4 day weekends that would give you.

Now think about how far you could go, assuming you can just get in a vehicle and leave on a Friday morning or Thursday night, and head off to enjoy a destination for a couple of days. Or if you jumped on a flight? We’re now talking about 15-20 weekends, out of 52 in the year, where you could be off exploring instead of doing work about your dojo. And again, that doesn’t have to mean “expensive”; some of my best times are the cheapest.

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Been wondering how the hell all those digital nomads, location-independent travelers, and remote workers, travel “full-time?” Maybe you’ve thought about living that life one day, but you’re really not sure where to start.

Beyond giving you the stepping stones to dive into short-term domestic and international travel, this book will show you how long-term travelers extend those tools, maximize their budgets, and turn weeks into months…or even years…of traveling the world indefinitely.

For Those With More Flexible, Location-Independent Jobby-Jobs

Maybe you already work from a laptop and can literally do your job from anywhere most of the time. Where could you be working from next week? I have a friend right now who, with his wife, newborn, and dog, won’t be back in town for three weeks… and they have a mortgage!

Although he usually goes in to work daily, he also has some remote flexibility and he’s using it. They’re visiting family in 2-3 states and he’s getting his job done and making “the man” happy.

No harm no foul, and it’s probably fantastic for his mental well-being as an employee.

In this digital age, people are repeatedly proving that a lot of computer-based jobs can be done from anywhere. Location independence was a catchphrase 15 years ago, but now it’s just a reality. Yes, some companies are still learning how to deal with this or need to continue to be slowly broken into the idea. But it’s nearly inevitable that eventually, and especially for employee balance and happiness, they’ll need to let up on the leash a little.

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Reality Check: Location Independence Is HARD

I knew this going in, but I want to continue to educate anyone who thinks that location independence is easy. It’s not. Being a self-employed freelancer for nearly a decade now, I know that I work a lot. Yes, there is immense freedom, but most solos are always “turned on” and many location independent digital nomads work more than most location dependent people realize.

Becoming more location-independent and using that freedom is hard and takes a lot more planning, flexibility, and outside-of-the-box thinking than the traditional alternative.

But, I’m learning more and more that the work towards becoming more location-independent is far outweighed by the rewards. The freedom of fewer belongings, chores, bills, etc., really has opened me up to so many more possibilities, and that snowball just keeps getting bigger as I go.

It’s a deep rabbit hole, and for all of the struggle to dig deeper, the rewards in my own personal growth and perspective. That along with my growth as a journeyman—and a better understanding of the world and the people in it—far well outweigh the extra work involved.

Your Homework

I understand that we’re all in different situations. But if you’ve made it this far, you’re on the hook, and you’ve likely started sipping the Kool-Aid I’m serving up.

Take a few minutes after finishing this article to close your eyes and imagine the possibilities. Really take the reigns off and think outside of your box, or the box society or tradition wants to jam you into.

Better yet, grab this book and do this exercise along with others that will help you expand that old comfort zone.

Get your partner to buy into this exercise and spitball with you. First, think about all the things on your to-do list. Not just short-term chores though. Include the stuff you’re putting off until next month or so because you can’t get past the things right in front of you.

Next, imagine what you would do next weekend, next month, or next year if you simply lightened your load a little bit. That could start with just downsizing your belongings. Or maybe you do decide to downsize to a smaller dwelling with less maintenance. Be careful…it could go much further once you start going down the rabbit hole!

Where would you go? What would you do? For how long?

If I called you later today and said “hey, I have a beach house this weekend, can you come to hang out; it’s on me!” Would your answer still be “I can’t this weekend, I have to…”?

Thanks for the talk, my friend. Good luck in your journey…
— Jason

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Travel Planning Tips

Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.

Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above. 

Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency! 

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This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs and may earn from qualifying purchases. You’re never charged more, but it helps out little by little! Check out “Privacy” in the top menu if you need to know more!

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