In January, 2015, Sara kicked off the new year by packing a small suitcase, ditching her beloved paperbacks in favor of the travel-friendly Kindle, and flying across the world for 35 days in New Zealand and Australia. Over 15 flights and nearly a dozen cities, she was asked by locals everywhere: “You’re American! How are you allowed so much time off?” (Silly Americans and their stereotypical work-crazy lives.)
And ahhh -- the glory set in. No one needed to allow her to do it. As a location-independent solopreneur, she worked ahead, planned with her clients, and packed her laptop and Moleskine to take her work with her.
Was it easy? No. Distractions abounded -- after all, there was a whole new world to explore. Was it successful? Not at first. Bringing the wrong laptop charger will bite you in the ass. Was it worth it? Absolutely. It was proof that not only is taking work on the road possible, but acting on wanderlust as a location-independent solo business is a fantastic way to stay inspired.
Meanwhile, back in August of 2014, Cristina put all of her
shi stuff into a storage unit and set off to Central America with a 3-month round-trip ticket and a backpack (granted, it’s a wheeled backpack. Does she still count as a backpacker? We’re undecided). At month three, she put up this status:
Over the past 10 months, she’s adventured through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, but has somehow managed to avoid hiking a single volcano (blasphemy, we know). She’s stayed in hostels and with families, learned to salsa, gotten sick countless times, learned a boatload of dirty slang, and put up so many annoying traveler statuses about her awesome location-independent life.
Why are we sharing our location independent stories with you?
Well, because it’s Location Independence Month here at One Woman Shop! But also because...
As we were drafting our July #OWSchat questions, we debated (via GChat, Google Hangout, and comments in our Google doc -- Google owns us) about one of the terms thrown around when talking about location independence -- digital nomad. Though we often use location independence and digital nomad interchangeably, we're clarifying things a bit right now.
To us, digital nomad means someone who works online while traveling from place to place. As our friend Wikipedia says, "Digital nomads are individuals who leverage telecommunications technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner." (Nomadic meaning moving around and having no permanent house.)
Meanwhile, to us, location independence is solely having the freedom and flexibility to take your business on the road if and when you want.
So, while Sara and Cristina are both location independent, only Cristina is a digital nomad. Anyone else feel like you just entered a logic class? Don’t worry, this is a fun class -- we promise 🙂
We're writing this to let you know that we're catering to you during Location Independence Month -- whether you want to sell everything and backpack around the world, you want the option of travel when wanderlust strikes, or you simply want the ability to grab your laptop and work from the cafe around the corner.
We’re also sharing our location-independent stories from two very different perspectives to drive home one of the most important One Woman Shop philosophies -- that business, like life, isn’t one-size-fits-all.
What does your location independent story look like? Are you a digital nomad or do you prefer having a home base to come back to?