It’s been about 8 months now since we left the UK for destinations unknown and as you’ve probably gathered by what we’ve shared so far, we’ve been learning A LOT! As you know, hindsight is a wonderful thing…and even more so when you’re location independent and nomadic.
I rarely have regrets but sometimes it would have been nice to have done things differently and approached things with a different frame of mind (a more open one in most cases!).
Here are 5 things I wish I’d known about location independence before we found ourselves smack bang in the middle of it…
#1 Finding that one ‘perfect place’ is not going to happen.
At least not for us, not yet…we’ve realised that what we enjoy change on a frequent basis and this is what we currently want more of, despite originally leaving everything we know in search of that one special place we want to call home.
Learning as we go, we’ve now realised that our ideal schedule is one that combines spending time in a place abundant with natural beauty & nature (an island or countryside), followed by spending time in a place with a bit more life, buzz & a vibe about it (a city/town). The timings & how long we stay in each place? We have yet to perfect!!
#2 You don’t need to take everything but the kitchen sink with you, “just in case”.
Unless you choose to go to the wildest places on earth (which is unlikely if you need a stable, high speed internet connection), you don’t need to take everything with you.
If my husband had his way, he’d have brought a portable printer, a flatbed scanner and perhaps a few dozen of his favourite comic & graphic novel books. Having to carry your things with you means not only ages spent packing & unpacking in every location but also the very real possibility of having to pay for any excess luggage which is not the most cost effective way of travelling.
#3 How to do the simplest things on location can become an exercise in frustration & patience.
When you’re nomadic and arrive in a new “home” every few weeks or months, you usually have to figure everything out from scratch. Things like how it all works in supermarkets work (do you weigh vegetables first? do you tip the bag packers?) or how much to pay for local produce from markets or for taxi rides where there are no meters an d you’re tryong to avoid being completely ripped off?
Basically, all the little things which don’t register in your brain when you know them become a far bigger deal when you don’t…especially if you don’t speak the language yet and everything becomes a painful exercise in trying to make yourself understood!
#4 All the advice you read beforehand might just be wrong.
That’s right – the guidebooks, the online forums and all other advice you read about a place might not be quite accurate and in some cases, utterly wrong!
An example? We went to Panama not speaking a word of Spanish because everything we’d read said English was widely spoken. We figured we’d be ok to learn it at our own pace once we arrived. Very much not the case!
#5 Your expectations may be way off.
Your worst fears are highly unlikely to come true especially if you’ve done all your preparation and contingency planning. In contrast however, your wildest dreams just might. You never can tell and going with an open mind and an open heart is probably the best approach you can use.
And here’s a bonus one…
Any problems or issues in your life will not magically disappear just because you’ve left your country & existing life to become location independent. There will be hard times, there will be times when you feel down, there will be times when you feel like nothing is right with your life…even if you’re staying in paradise.
That’s just life…it’s how you choose to respond to these challenges which is the important thing – whether you’re location independent or not.