In honor of Location Independence Month here at One Woman Shop, we asked our digital nomad friends to answer the following question:
What is the most surprising or unexpected thing you’ve learned from being location independent? (From the little tips to the life-changing discoveries — we want to hear it all!).
Here’s what they had to say:
The most surprising thing I’ve learned is that being location independent is not such a big deal. I know that sounds crazy, and it certainly feels like a big deal when you make the decision and take the leap! But once you live and work overseas you meet so many people who are doing the same thing that it becomes the new normal, and those people who aren’t location independent become the “different” ones. – Stacey Kuyf, One Travels Far
It’s the sheer newness of all the little details in the world around me – they blow me away on a near-daily basis. It has such a positive psychological impact to notice the different and the unusual with an attitude of joy and wonder. – Sarah Ball, Mango Sticky
I have an apartment in Buenos Aires, and while I like having a home base that in theory I can go back to anytime, and where I can leave some stuff, I’ve discovered that I don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of time there! My husband and I have only spent about four months there in the last two years. – Amy Scott, Nomadtopia
The most unexpected thing I learned is that there’s such a thing as moving too fast, and seeing too much. Just because I can set off on a whirlwind, one-month trip across six countries in Europe doesn’t mean I should. Instead, I’ve found joy in stopping, forming a routine, and getting to know the place I’m in. Much like my old location-dependent life, I guess! – Lauren Juliff, Never Ending Footsteps
I had no idea how much of my day would be spent trying to find decent wifi. And it’s shocking which countries have good and bad wifi — South Africa is awful, while many Eastern European countries are amazing! – Kate McCulley, Adventurous Kate
I didn’t expect to learn about the importance of a holistic lifestyle – running a location-independent online business and travelling the world is just not enough to live a healthy and conscious life. Along the way I unexpectedly discovered yoga, meditation and a vegan diet and realised how much more amazing this freedom can be when I incorporate them into my daily life. – Conni Biesalski, Planet Backpack
The most powerful thing I’ve learned from being location independent happened while sitting in the back of a car owned by a friend of a friend, in the middle of the night, after arriving in Lima (Peru), without my luggage, on a flight that was 14 hours delayed. I learned that I am much, much stronger and braver than I ever had imagined. – Marthe Hagen, The Freedom Experiment
The most surprising thing about being location independent is how easily it flows if you commit to it. Know that you can’t plan all of the details — even though they make the journey smooth. From border stamp adventures to the back of a dusty pickup truck in Nicaragua, to stopping for Tres Leches desert at a local’s home and sailing with new friends, a whole new world awaits you! And you can live and work from anywhere if you set up your business accordingly. All you have to do is say yes! – Lynan Saperstein, The Big Factor
After six years of location independence, my life-changing revelation is that no one truly has their work life figured out. Everyone from the freshly-minted freelancer to the uber-successful nomadic entrepreneur lives with plenty of doubt and uncertainty. What matters is how you approach the next challenge. – Kit Whelan, Seek New Travel
The most surprising thing I realised from living and working on the road for the last four years is the importance of a home base. Counter-intuitive right? But I’ve recognised now that I feel most free, most independent, and more importantly, most grounded, when I have a home base. It’s the knowledge that I’m not completely detached from a sense of belonging, and that I can drift along happily knowing I have somewhere to go back to if need be.” – Linzi Wilson, HelloGlow
The most unexpected thing for me is that even after four years of location independence, I still get these huge waves of disbelief and gratitude that I can do whatever I want – that I am the master of my days. On any given day of the week, I might be roadtripping through the English countryside and taking a client call in the evening. Amazing! – Heather Thorkelson
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