There has been some discussion recently about guys making the decision to travel, make money online, and live a “location independent” lifestyle.
As someone who has been doing this for the past 8 months or so, and someone who is—for the most part—an advocate of it, I wanted to share my perspective on the whole thing.
Everyone is asking “Should I become location-independent?”
Obviously this is not a black and white issue.
“Everyone should quit their job, leave everything behind and travel the world to make money online” is not a good answer.
“No one should quit their job, leave everything behind and travel the world to make money online” is not a good answer either.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. There is no “right” or “wrong” path, there is only what is right or wrong for you.
The answer (your answer) depends on a many different variables like:
- Where you currently are in life
- Where you think you’re going
- Where you’d like to be going
- What you’ve done so far
- What you want to do in the future
- And so on..
I think the best way to look at it if you’re considering this lifestyle is:
Consider what you’re giving up for what you’re getting
Again this depends on the individual. But consider—as realistically as possible—what you will be leaving behind in your “old life” and compare it—as realistically as possible—to what you will be getting when you become location independent.
If you’re making 100K/year straight out of college, or you’re on a clear path to a highly lucrative career, or you’re working in a field that you love and that’s what you want to do then of course it wouldn’t make sense to quit and travel to a foreign country. (And obviously.. people in that position know this already)
But if you hate your job, you have little or no chance of upward mobility in your company or field, or you’re living in a buttfuck little town somewhere and you’re bored out of your mind thinking “There’s a whole world out there…” (there is!) then travel and location independence might be for you.
One thing’s for certain though: if you don’t like your life, you should change it.
You have to be honest with yourself and that’s difficult because it might mean accepting the fact that you’ve been lying to yourself for months or even years. If deep down you know that you don’t like where your life is at or where it’s going, then you need to change something. And that change could mean quitting your job and travelling somewhere else.
I think if you’re honest with yourself then you will know what you want to do. You will know if something is a good idea or not… for you.
The ‘upwardly mobile young professional’ and the ‘dissatisfied underachiever living in the middle of nowhere’ are two hypothetical, extreme examples. The reality is that there’s everything in between.
For example, I have a good friend who quit his job on Wall Street to travel, train Muay Thai, and explore consciousness and meditation. He then started a profitable drop-shipping business, and he’s now working on several other “internet money” projects with business partners here in Chiang Mai. He’ll be the first one to tell you that he’s happier living here (or anywhere!) than he was in New York.
I have another friend from the UK who left his office job in central London to travel Southeast Asia, and who now works online. Something that’s important to him is visiting South America and exploring the continent for an extended period of time. He’s in the process of establishing himself as an authority in his field and he may take the South America trip later this year. Would this be possible if he had stayed in London and followed a more conventional path? Would it ever have been possible? Probably not.
I was recently in Bali and there I met a complete mishmash of people. I met an Australian couple who run a joint copywriting business and write a successful travel blog. I met several “life coaches”, and a South African guy who specializes in online sales funnels and just left home. I met a (female) software developer who has been working and travelling for over 5 years, and I met a girl fresh out of California hoping to make a living from her blog (good luck!)
Completely by chance in a cafe I met Pieter Levels, somewhat of a celebrity in this community, who is projected to make over $200K this year from his various (location independent) startups.
And I recently met Nic Gregoriades, a BJJ black belt who works online, earns a living through his websites and travels the world teaching jiu jitsu seminars.
Another guy I know—he actually lives in the apartment next to me—didn’t go to college, came to Thailand at 19, and just sold his first drop shipping business for $10,000. And different guys, who came here for the same conference we did back in October 2014, are getting frustrated and angry because they still haven’t made it work.
“Location independence” is not black and white. It’s a messy, splattered painting with a thousand different colours in every size and shape.
Don’t listen to people who sell you the “location independent lifestyle” as a fairytale utopia or cure-all solution for your life’s problems.
Don’t listen to people who tell you that travelling is risky, dangerous, or that you need to get a “normal” job-car-house-wife-kids and then grow old and die.
Neither is right. Neither is wrong. There’s only what’s right or wrong for you.
And in fact, when I said that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, I was wrong too.
The only answer is to make an educated, informed decision based on what you want to do and what you want for your life.
What are your thoughts on location independence? Have you lived it? Do you want to? Let us know in the comments section below.