8 Questions That Will Help You Get Location Independent

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Business Travel / 20 comments

This is the final guest post on my blog. It’s from Amy Scott and it’s a goodie. If you want to read why I am no longer accepting guest posts read this popular article.

If you’re reading this blog, I imagine that when you read about people like Natalie and me who are living and working anywhere in the world, one of your first reactions is probably “I want to do that!” You start dreaming and plotting your escape, but then reality sinks in, and it starts to seem like it will never happen.

You start to worry about all the moving parts to figure out: What will you do with your home? Your pets? How will you sort out money and all the other logistics of being location independent?

There’s no question that there are a lot of things you need to figure out if you want to be location independent. Entire books and courses could be (and have) been written on a lot of these pieces, especially about saving money and building a business.

I know it can feel overwhelming, but if you break it down into small, actionable steps, it’s totally doable. Here’s a brief rundown of things to consider to get you started.

1. What does your ideal life look like?

There are lots of different ways and reasons to be location independent, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Don’t just follow in someone else’s footsteps; decide what’s ideal for you and your situation. Do you want to keep a home base and take long trips abroad? Would you rather sell everything you own and stay on the road indefinitely? How about traveling slowly, staying in different places for several weeks or months at a time? Maybe you don’t intend to go anywhere at all, but just want the freedom to do so if the need or desire arises. Create a vision for YOUR ideal life. This will help you focus on the important pieces you need to figure out and keep you inspired to move forward.

2. How much money do you need to save/earn?

It’s no surprise that money is a concern for many people when they think about changing their lives. Start to review your income, expenses, and savings. Do you want to have an emergency fund before you strike out on your own? How much, and how long will it take you to save that amount? If your goal is to work from anywhere, how much money do you need to make, and how can you build your location-independent business before you go? You might be surprised to discover that location independence can actually cost a lot less than your current lifestyle!

3. What will you do with your home and belongings?

Figuring out what to do with your home and all of your stuff is a big issue for most people. Will you sell your house and all your belongings? Will you put all your stuff in storage and rent out your house, or keep your house furnished and do home exchange? Do you want to be able to easily return to your old life, or do you want to leave it all behind? No matter which route you choose, it’s likely you have way more stuff than you’ll be able to store/pack/leave behind. How can you reduce your possessions now to make the process easier? (Bonus: when you stop accumulating stuff, you’ll save money, too!)

4. What unique circumstances do you need to accommodate?

Do you have kids, pets, or anything else in your life that makes your goal of location independence a bit more complicated? Identify what you need to take care of to make this adventure work for them (homeschooling? time off? leave pets with family or friends or bring them along?).

5. Where do you want to go first?

Now that you have a better handle on what this adventure might look like, start to research possible destinations. Consider not just weather, culture, and tourist attractions but other possibly crucial details like Internet access, cost of living, schooling, and more. If you have particular health issues, look for a place it will be easy to get the care you need or to continue to follow a special diet or lifestyle.

6. When will you leave?

Once you’ve determined how much savings or income you need in place before you go, what you’ll do with your house, belongings, and family, and where to go, it’s time to set a date and make this a reality! Determine how long it will take to do everything, and when would be a good time to arrive in your destination, then start buying tickets and making concrete plans.

7. What other logistics do you need to sort out?

If you’ll be working on the road, you’ll need to consider what tools and equipment you’ll need with you and how you’ll communicate with clients from anywhere. Also look at banking, taxes, and other financial logistics, including how you’ll receive money. Consider health or travel insurance and anything else you’d like to have in place. Arrange with someone back home who can receive mail, deposit checks, and take care of any other business that arrives (you might even consider giving them Power of Attorney, just in case). If your destination requires a visa, request it as soon as you know your travel plans.

8.What needs to be done before you go?

Before you leave, be sure to cancel all your local memberships, magazine subscriptions, and recurring bills. Change your address if you’ll be leaving your home. Get any necessary travel vaccinations, see your doctor and dentist one more time, and get a haircut. Pack your bags, and hit the road!

Obviously this is a very simplified version of everything that needs to happen, but it will get you on your way. To see this information in more detail in a visual form, check out the Nomadtopia Checklist.

Just by clicking below and sharing a tweet or Facebook post you can download a PDF of the Nomadtopia checklist.

About the author:

Amy Scott is a nomad, coach, and editor. Through her various online businesses she helps people reach their dreams, whether it’s becoming location independent or finally writing that book. Instead of prescribing “proven methods,” she offers tips, inspiration, and resources so you can choose the path that works for you—and then gives you the support and accountability you need to actually follow through. Find her online at nomadtopia.com and nomadeditorial.com.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: which of these steps is the biggest challenge on your road to location independence?

  • Lazarus

    This is a wonderful way to figure out how to actually get started thinking about being location independent. So many things to consider that also apply to a stationary life…stop accumulating stuff!! lol That’s so much for this enlightening post!

    • Thanks, Lazarus, and you’re right – a lot of this is worth putting into practice even if you don’t go anywhere. It’s great knowing you *could* leave anytime, even if you don’t.

  • I don’t know why, but the one statement “Stop accumulating stuff” just struck me how silly it is that i am STILL buying stuff! Of course that’s not the only great advice I found here, thanks for breaking it down into digestible steps. It does get very overwhelming thinking about how it’s all going to happen, but when you look at it from a higher level, it’s not all that complicated.

    • My motto is I don’t buy stuff I buy experiences. Stuff is soooo pointless and unnecessary most of the time

    • That’s hilarious, considering how many minimalist blogs I know you (used to?) read, Marianne! It is amazingly easy to fall right back into the habit, though. Imagining having to take everything you buy with you, or store it somewhere, is a great disincentive when you feel tempted. And I agree with Natalie – experiences, not things.

  • Christie

    We know we want to travel and be nomadic part of the time. But still want to keep a home base. So we’ve got things to figure out around that mostly, what to do with the house, etc. while we are gone. We’d like to test out traveling around the U.S. w/kids and dog, first and then expand!

    • Can’t wait to see you do that successfully. Seems totally doable. One step at a time

    • Sounds fabulous, Christie, and I know you will make this happen. Figuring out the nitty-gritty can be daunting, but there’s always a way.

  • Julie

    I dream of being a nomad one day. Though, it’s not in my cards just yet, this is an awesome practical guide to making it happen, when I’m ready. Thanks for the great tips!

    • Is there a reason to dream? Can you not start by being slightly nomadic right now and take mini holidays, working from different locations during your work week? Everything is possible!

    • You’re welcome, Julie! Taking small steps, like Natalie said, will get you there.

  • Great to see you and Natalie connect, Amy! Our pad in Gdansk, Poland is Nomad-friendly. Looking forward to your visit 🙂

    • Ah, the good ol’ days, coworking with you and Natalie in Buenos Aires! I’d love to come to Poland. Stay tuned. 🙂

      • I’d love to come say hi in Poland. Warsaw is the new tech startup hub I hear too. Really thriving

  • Thank you, Amy! Just what I needed to breakdown my own confusion around this topic. It is such a mystery to those who are not yet location independent… or a regular nomad like you. I am entering more and more into this world and can really use your above check list. Takes some of the trepidation out of really doing it! Thanks!

    • Hey Kathleen, I can’t think of anything more exciting than being location independent but then that’s me and I’ve been doing this for years, that said starting out small with mini holidays or one day a week working from a cafe or new location is a great way to test the waters.

    • You’re so welcome, Kathleen! That’s definitely one of my goals, to remove the mystery around location independence – it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely doable!

  • I love how you present this, Amy! For many with *dreams* of location independence (or just doing anything they love), these questions are the kinds of things that hold them back. By simply laying out the questions, you make it digestible and do-able. If people can just thoughtfully work through these questions, they should be set to fearlessly follow those dreams!

    • Thanks, Dana! Exactly, I hope that by breaking it down, I can show people it’s not as scary or overwhelming as they might think.

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