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How to Live a Part-Time Location Independent Lifestyle

How to Live a Part-Time Location Independent Lifestyle

I’m writing this from our apartment in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, but the truth is I could be writing it from anywhere in the world.

My business and life are location independent. That means I can live and work from anywhere, as long as I have a laptop and an Internet connection.

I’m location independent, but not a full-time nomad.

For example, my wife and I choose to maintain a “regular” residence that we sublet when we’re gone for extended periods. We have lived here for about 9 out of the last 19 months. I expect we’ll live here between 6 to 8 months in each of the next few years.

A full-time nomad on the other hand, doesn’t technically have a permanent address. Digital nomads work online from anywhere, and bounce from one place to another, staying as long or little as the mood strikes.

We like living the nomad lifestyle on occasion (like we did for 7 months in the first-half of 2009), but having a semi-permanent residence offers the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned.

Travel is great, but I like to mix it up with having somewhere to call home. We’re really part-time location independents.

What do we do during those location independent periods?

We took a 7-month road trip through the western U.S., Mexico and Canada last year. This year we spent 3 months living beach side in a quirky little town in Mexico that we’ve fallen in love with.

Next month we’ll be driving up to the Pacific Northwest to visit friends and family in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver B.C. We’ll be hanging out for a few weeks and part of the time we’ll be sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands.

Next year, we’re planning to return to the same beach town in Mexico for more surfing and small-town life with all the great friends we’ve made down there.

Besides Mexico, we’d like to spend a couple of months in NYC (my wife is a painter, and New York is the art capital of the world). We also want to take extended trips to Europe and Asia over the next few years. Mexico has been great because it’s easy to travel with our dog, but we’ll figure something out so we can travel without him too.

All this is possible not because we’re rich or retired, but because our careers allow us to take extended time off or work from anywhere.

The business side of things

When we took off on our road-trip last year, I wasn’t really sure where my work would take me next. I was between projects and wanted to use the time off to explore startup ideas and decide which to pursue.

That trip changed my view of life and work forever.

We met people from all walks of life who were living in ways I didn’t know were possible. These people (many who are now close friends) had flexible careers or small businesses that allowed them to spend months away from home engaging in “weather arbitrage.”

Spending three to six months every winter sunning and surfing in a tropical location? Sign me up.

Within a couple of months of our trip, I knew I wanted my next business to be lean and nimble and free from a permanent office or traditional employees. I wanted to be able to work from anywhere, needing just a laptop and internet connection.

So, in March 2009, this site was born. At first it was a place for you and me to explore topics like lifestyle design, digital nomads, location independence and entrepreneurship. It later morphed into a place where I could launch resources to help like-minded people build and market small businesses based on doing something you love.

My business today really consists of three parts, each of which can be operated from anywhere.

First, I sell other people’s products that I believe in from this and a handful of other websites. That’s known as affiliate marketing. Basically, I earn commissions for recommending products I didn’t create. It’s a really simple and flexible business model, and it has represented a big piece of my overall earnings in recent months.

Second, I create and sell my own products, including online courses and guides. One of those courses is called Affiliate Marketing for Beginners, and it re-launches this coming Tuesday, August 10th (see below). The course walks you through a step-by-step process to make your first affiliate sale in an ethical way you can be proud of.

I’ll also be releasing other products later this year.

Third, I work with small business owners to build high-traffic websites and blogs that attract enough readers, customers and clients to make their businesses thrive.

Of the three, consulting with clients is the only piece that could require some in-person time. Most of my clients are spread out across the country and the world, so in practice I rarely even have the opportunity to meet a client in person. There’s nothing about the type of work I do with clients that can’t be done online or over the phone, but I do enjoy meeting people in person sometimes.

Everything about the business is portable. I use cloud-based applications (like Google Docs) and online file storage (Dropbox) so I don’t even need a specific computer to get things done.

As I mentioned in the post last week, I absolutely love what I do for a living right now. It’s taken a lot of work to get here, but I really enjoy every day and have big things planned for the future.

I’ve written a lot about work-life balance in the past, and must confess that I’m working a lot of hours lately. It’s easy to put in a lot of time when you enjoy it so much. That’s why I push people to build their businesses around something they love. That passion will help ensure you get through the inevitable rough patches and dips of starting a business.

Logistics of the lifestyle

Spending a lot of time away from home every year (and doing business on the road) takes some special planning and accommodations.

First, there’s mail service. We’ve converted everything possible to electronic records and billing, but some important records still require snail mail. Last year we used a service called Earth Class Mail, which receives your mail and scans the contents or forwards mail for you. It worked well, but the service has gotten rather expensive recently.

Instead of Earth Class Mail, we’ll probably just have our mail held for us as long as we’re gone for three months or less. If we’re gone for longer, I’ll probably look for a different alternative.

For phone and other communication, we rely pretty much on Skype and email. I also get a local cell phone number when we’re in Mexico, but that’s primarily for local friends and calling local businesses.

Next, there are the housing logistics. I mentioned before that we sublet our apartment. We do that when we’re gone for two months or more. It requires packing up and storing our personal items (we have ample on-site storage), which is definitely a chore. That has made me appreciate minimalism and get rid of a lot of things over the past couple of years.

When we’re traveling, we sometimes stay with friends for short stints, but usually we rent apartments or houses for about a month at a time. VRBO.com has been a great resource for finding short-term rentals. Sometimes you can find better options once you’re in the town you’ll be staying by asking around or using local resources like real estate offices.

Finally, there are the banking issues and costs associated with long-term international travel. Banking is fairly easy, as long as you have ATM access, withdrawals are no problem (tip: look for a card that reimburses you for ATM fees, and doesn’t charge any foreign-ATM fees). Deposits are trickier, and we just really try to avoid paper checks. Sometimes I’ll send an envelope with a friend who is headed back to the States to mail.

The costs of long-term travel end up being less for us when living in Mexico than they’d be at home in San Francisco. If we sublet our apartment, then our monthly costs are about 1/3rd to 1/2 of home.

Overall, the logistics aren’t that difficult to deal with, once you understand everything that needs to be done.

Living the part-time location independent lifestyle is invigorating, and keeps things fresh and exciting. It allows you to take advantage of cheaper countries and warmer locales to make the most of every year. I’m so glad we’ve put in the time to be able to do it.

What about you? What’s your ideal travel scenario? Are you working towards a location independent lifestyle, or do you prefer to be mostly in one place?

There’s no right answer. Share your situation in the comments.

Questions?

If you’d like to know any other details about our location independent lifestyle, or how I’ve built a business to make it possible, let me know in the comments. I’m happy to answer anything.

photo by Troy Holden

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  • Brandy

    Corbett, thanks for sharing how you’re able to live a part-time location independent lifestyle. I feel like I read a lot about people who travel from country to country, spending extended periods of time in each one while working a location independent job, but I don’t feel like I read much about people who have a home to return to in the US when they’re not traveling or living abroad part-time. Ideally, I’d really love to have a home in the US while spending at least three or four months out of the country every year, since I hate winter.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      I’m not a big fan of winter either, and San Francisco isn’t actually that bad. Still, it’s nice to get away and recharge.

  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

    Corbett

    One of the BEST articles on location independence I have read for a long, long time. Good freakin’ job, man.

    I have been living this PT lifestyle for the majority of this year, averaging around just 3 weeks a month in the office, whilst on my mission to that ultimate goal of becoming a FT Virtual CEO.

    I must say it has been liberating, fun, productive and above all enjoyable.

    I particularly liked your ‘logistics’ section on this post. Now, I promise whole-heartedly to get that guest post over to you for FP… As long as you promise to get yours to me for Virtual Business Lifestyle!!! We’re both loooong overdue, my friend.

    Thanks for the GREAT read first thing on a Monday.

    All the best,
    Chris

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Chris, I’m glad to hear your experiment is moving along. It’s been fun to follow your progress. Of course, your office is already overseas, which adds another interesting twist.

  • http://www.regardsfromthebalcony.com Tony

    I tend to do the same as you, keep a base, but travel out for extended periods when possible. This is something I intend to continue once “retired”. I can live in Thailand, Malaysia or Philippines for a fraction of the cost of living in the UK. I like the idea of someone paying my mortgage for me while I’m gone too. Once the mortgage is paid I’ll be able to live “rent free”.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Some people don’t like having tenants (especially strangers) live in their house, but we don’t mind. We’ve had really good luck with it. Just be smart and use references and friends’ recommendations when you can.

  • Adam Mayfield

    If you happen to come through Bend Oregon on your pacific tour shoot me an email. I’d love to pick your brain if I’m still in town.

    For the record, minimalism was the best decision I’ve ever made.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Cheers, Adam. I haven’t been to Bend in a while. Not sure it’ll make the schedule this trip, but feel free to email me anytime.

  • http://www.mikeziarko.com Mike Ziarko Musing

    Corbett,
    Very thorough and enlightening! You are living the dream my friend. I’d be curious to explore you affiliate marketing work further, as I’ve started dabbling in a bit of it myself to varying degrees of success. What kind of stuff do you cover in your Affiliate marketing course? I fear it may be a little ‘too beginner’ for me. Do you have an outline?

    keep it up!
    Mike Ziarko

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Mike, I’ll have more details about the course when it’s available next week. It is definitely aimed at beginners, but it’s also very thorough. I’ve had people with intermediate-level experience tell me they learned a lot from the class.

  • http://blog.matthewhooper.com/ Matt Hooper

    Another great post. This is something that I am striving to accomplish. The idea of having a home base to come back to really appeals to me.

    If you’re ever in Taiwan during your Asian travels, let me know.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Cheers, Matt. Thanks!

  • http://www.workingforfreedom.com Larry Harnar

    Everyone that plans to travel or live abroad should check out the benefits of the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking accounts. It’s the best one that I have found with an absolute minimum of fees.

    http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending/checking?cmsid=P-990750&lvl1=banking_lending&lvl2=checking

    Larry

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Thanks for the recommendation, Larry. Quite a few people have mentioned that Schwab checking account to me before. I happen to have an older E*trade account with similar benefits (that are no longer available to new customers).

  • http://www.entrepreneurialdaddy.com Andy Fogarty

    I’ve spent the last year working very hard to transform my business model to a smaller location independent one. This has been an interesting transition considering we had a physical business making physical products with several employees.

    I have different motives other than just location independence though. Since we started out first business years ago, we’ve had two little girls. That made me rethink everything we were trying to build and how it would fit in their lives.

    The freedom aspect of it all is one of the main reasons, but I also wanted to be able to teach my daughters a system that could work with almost any passion in life, and I believe the online business model does that.

    I LOVE not having to deal with employees too :-)

  • http://fizzle.co Corbett

    Cool Andy, I just checked out your site. Those are really interesting businesses. I like how niche focused you are. Congrats on making the businesses work virtually, and it’s cool that you include the family perspective. Ironically, your daughters will probably want to be ballerinas instead of entrepreneurs ;)

  • Jophiel

    Hi Corbett,

    Shall we coin the phrase “location-flexible” to refer to the mobile-with-a-home-base lifestyle?

    Your article couldn’t be more timely. I’m taking a leave of absence from January through March (mmm, weather arbitrage) and have just begun to consider how to sublet my apartment. Any tips for a stress-free arrangement?

    Jophiel

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      I like that, Jophiel. “Location flexible.”

      Congrats on the upcoming LOA! Subletting has been great for us. In both cases, we’ve found people through our extended network. Just be sure to thoroughly interview people and check references, credit, etc. Don’t skip those steps.

      Once you’ve found some good tenants, as far as other tips go, I’d suggest renting the place mostly furnished, to avoid having to move your stuff in/out for such a short period of time. We just remove all of our personal and expensive items and leave the place fully furnished with all the kitchen essentials. That has worked well.

      And for billing, we keep everything in our name, and then charge a flat fee for rent + all utilities (and set a monthly maximum for electricity/gas to keep yourself covered). We tried billing exact amounts for each bill every month, and it was a hassle to keep track of everything. Just add it up once and include everything in the rent.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. Cheers.

  • Trever Clark

    Great writeup as usual, Corbett. We’re trying to structure our lives in a similar way. We have to keep a home base in central Michigan because my wife and I both have young kids (1 each) from previous relationships. We’re taking our first trip of any *real* length a month from now – We’re heading down to explore the Yucatan for 5-6 weeks. For longer trips in the future, we’ll probably sublet our apartment.
    Thanks for the heads up on Earth Class Mail and VRBO also. That’s pretty timely for me. The mail service is a bit pricey, but I get some important mail once in a while that it might be worthwhile for. And VRBO will come in handy since we’re thinking about renting a place for a month of our Yucatan sojourn.

    Question for you, on a related note – What kind of solution do you use for calling people in the US and whatnot when you’re in Mexico? Do you get a Mexican cell phone? An international phone? And what about web access? Is wifi pretty ubiquitous in Mex? Or do you use a satellite card?

    • http://www.lakechapala.net David Krug

      Just speaking from my own personal experience. There are lots of wifi options in big cities in Mexico, and lots of internet cafe options even in small towns. Much so then here in the United States.

      As far as cell service, and wireless broadband. There are many options most notably Telcel which you can get on a prepaid option.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Oh, cool, glad to hear about the Yucatan trip. That sounds awesome. It will be a good test for you as well.

      Regarding calling and wifi, I always try to book apartments/hotels/houses that have Internet access. However, every town of 5000+ people seems to have an Internet cafe in Mexico. It depends on how much you’ll be online I suppose.

      For calling, we get a local Mexican cell phone, but I use that for in-country calls. For international calls we just use Skype. You can give out your Mexican number for emergencies if someone needs to reach you over something besides email.

      • Doug

        This might be a little low tech for you digital nomads, but instead of using Earth Class Mail, just forward your mail to your parents or some reliable family member or friend. It’s free!

        • http://fizzle.co Corbett

          You’re assuming I have reliable family and friends ;)

          • http://babiesandbaggage.com E.T. Barton

            Something I’ve recently found in Australia (a highly expensive country) is that Internet is a major pain-in-the-(you know what). They charge you by the amount of MB you use, which can get bloody expensive for us “Must Use the Internet” people. I tried paying the “monthly fee” for a service and actually ran out of MB in three days!

            To save money on Internet usage, I’m finding that McDonalds everywhere now offers free internet, as do some family entertainment centers. Also, I got a Network card for my computer and look for the bonus MB and GB. I would love to hear if this is the case for other people in other countries.

  • http://UncorneredMarket.com Audrey

    When my husband and I left our previous home (Prague) in December 2006 to travel the world, I didn’t think much about not having a base. But, the longer we’re on the road, the more I miss not having our own place to return to from time to time to recharge and work. We are now slowing down a bit from our full-time travel/digital nomad lives to take breaks where we can rent an apartment for several months to focus on catching up on content and finding new projects. So, I definitely appreciate the idea of a part-time location independent lifestyle – it’s the best of both worlds.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Wow Audrey, three and a half years of full-time travel? That sounds like a lot of fun, but I can see why you’d be ready for a change. You must have seen just about everything by now. Is that what your blog is about? I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for stopping by.

      • http://UncorneredMarket.com Audrey

        When we set off on this journey, we thought we would travel for 12-18 months…but quickly realized that exploration took time. We also picked up some freelance work which meant we could extend the life of the trip by continuing to work on the road. So, that’s how the journey took on a life of its own :) Yes, the blog is about our journey and what we’ve learned from our travels, work with microfinance organizations and life as digital nomads.

  • http://www.neverendingvoyage.com Erin

    I love the fact that location independence means that everyone can choose the way of living that’s best for them. It’s all about having the freedom to choose. We don’t have a base, and can’t see ourselves wanting one, at least for a very long time. At the moment we combine periods of travel (for example we spent 3 weeks backpacking around Paraguay recently) with periods of renting an apartment for a month or two (so far in Buenos Aires and Salta). We would LOVE to spend a few months in San Francisco if we can afford it – it’s our favourite city.

    This gives us the best of both worlds as when we have an apartment we can get lots of work done, enjoy having some comforts and our own kitchen, and take a rest from constant travel. Then when my itchy feet kick in we can move on and explore. Next up is Bolivia, where the internet will be a challenge so we’ll see how that goes.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Erin, it sounds like you have it figured out. Buenos Aires is awesome (and inexpensive). I’d love to spend some time there again soon. San Francisco is great, but expensive like you said. Although if you really look around you might find a deal. Craigslist is great for that.

      Have a great time in Bolivia!

      • Jophiel

        Speaking of, Corbett, could you name some favorite cities with a low cost of living? So far I see:

        1. Buenos Aires
        2.

        *4HWW mentions a few, but with the caveat that as an experienced traveler, Tim Ferriss knows how to live well for cheap almost anywhere (including Australia).

        • http://fizzle.co Corbett

          Hey Jophiel, Buenos Aires is definitely great. Most of South America is a really great deal, actually. Central America and Mexico as well. Friends tell me that South East Asia is really cheap and lovely, although I haven’t been there myself. I guess it really depends on what you’re looking for, including weather, city size, beach accessibility, language, safety, etc. There are way too many options to list broadly.

        • http://www.instylerentals.com Aida Grinspan

          Hi Jophiel,

          Please let us know once you decide to come to Buenos Aires, We have beautiful apartments, in the best and safest neighborhoods at very good prices. Perhaps you may wish to take a look at our site http://www.instylerentals.com/home.asp?m=1 or send us a mail with your requirements and we will help you with your search.
          All the best. Aida

  • http://www.thewaythatyouwander.com Nate

    Something I think about often is if I want to be a full blown digital nomad or if I want to have a home base kind of like you and your wife do. There are definitely pros and cons to both options. I guess maybe I’ll try a little of both and see what I like the most…

    Great post Corbett. Usually long posts tire me out but this one kept me reading!

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Nate, sorry for the long post. Sometimes they just come out that way. Glad to keep you reading.

      If I were you, I would definitely try a little of both. Why not if you’re in a position to, right? Who knows which will strike your fancy.

  • http://thomasbartlett.blogspot.com Tom

    I’m an ESL teacher, using that to travel around the world. Finding short term contracts can be a bit of a challenge but I’ve got plans to visit/work in 6 countries over the next two years. So it’s possible to have a job with a location and travel.
    You can check out my blog to see my travel plans. I’m pretty excited about it all.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Cool Tom, thanks for the idea. I’ve met people who teach ESL for a few months in the same country every year. It seems to work out well.

  • http://pixelbuz.com Taylor

    I am in the planning stages of hitting the road in mid-sept down along the US West Coast. shooting stills. HD and timelapse. Then I will head to Sayulita Mexico for a month to learn how to surf. I am wanting to continue on with the journey…and hopefully can use my skills to get some gigs.
    Thanks for a great article and blog Corbett.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      I’d like to see that timelapse when you’re done!

  • Yael

    Hi Corbett,
    I just discovered your blogs yesterday, and really enjoyed reading..
    I can really relate to your story, because mine in very close.
    We spent a month in India last year on our honey-moon, and met some amazing people (for example, a family with two kids that travel around the world), and a friend of us gave us a copy of “4 hours workweek” – that has completely changed our attitude towards business and lifestyle. We still at the beginning of the way, building our existing business the way that will allow us to work from anywhere and also some new projects.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Awesome, Yael! Sounds like you’re on an exciting journey. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

  • http://www.adambeckett.com Adam Beckett

    There are two parts to this comment; where I am now with regards to working location independent and also a word about affiliate marketing.

    I already work location independent as a well paid self employed sales guy (I supply commercial energy contracts) and I always charge a fair price to my clients (you’ll see the relevance of this statement later in this comment).

    Even though I’m at a fixed location right now, the plan is to buy a Motorhome and tour the UK with my Girlfriend for at least one year starting October 2011.
    That’s after I clear the debts from my previous business cock – ups (mistakes are a part of success).

    I expect we’ll return to a fixed location again, since Jen loves to be near her Family; thereafter I want to get away to the Sun during the Winter, and return home to rent a property, or maybe we’ll buy and lease out in our absence.

    I love working from home, I’m very well paid and the company I work with are great – they’ll even pay me a substantial passive income when I retire or take mini breaks from work.So you could say I’ve got it made.

    Here’s my problem.

    I have no real ownership of my income.That makes me nervous.If the company I work with goes pop or decides to stop paying me I’m screwed.

    It’s my fault that I don’t have a backup income – because I don’t have my own defined and developed brand, I haven’t created a product and I haven’t leveraged my time/income enough (i.e got other people promoting my product or service for me).

    I’ve created my own fixed location self employed traditional business before switching to MLM – that didn’t work out – even though I managed to be a top achiever within a prominent and successful business I didn’t feel it had enough of a future for me, due to the recent rise Broadband and therefore of Online location independent earning possibilities.

    So three years ago I stepped off a luxury company cruise that hadn’t cost me a penny and started searching for a better way.

    At this point we come to affiliate marketing.

    After months of bleary eyed research online I bumped into a well know Online Marketing “Guru” who seemed to make sense to me; promote information products, make money from the people that didn’t join your main opportunity, enhance you credibility etc – it all sounded great.

    So I bought the course for @ $300 and it pointed me in the right direction.
    However I would not have felt comfortable promoting that course at its full price of $997, considering the amount of info it gave me – personally I’ve had as much useful info from a £12.99 book.

    So Corbett, when you talk about being ethical my ears prick up….

    The big question I have for you is “What defines real Value?”

    Does it matter if you charge $4,000 for a course if the person that buys it believes it offers good value, even if the content is hyped up by some extremely effective marketing? I don’t feel comfortable with ripping people off, even if they don’t know I’m doing it at the time.

    That’s the trouble (or advantage, depending on your perspective) with marketing information products – how do you price them right to ensure you gain LONG TERM followers that buy time and time again?

    I’ve sold a few low priced marketing courses that I considered good value at the time.
    But as I’ve said I wouldn’t recommend the really high priced courses from this particular provider to anyone, because even though they contain some excellent key advice there’s also a ridiculous amount of bullshit that’s designed to push people’s “hot buttons” and make them pay more.

    I’m in sales, I can spot BS a mile away.Works on hapless victims, doesn’t work for the people you really want to have as clients though.

    What I need to do is align myself with people who say it like it is, in order to really help people get results and create mutual benefit in the long term.

    You strike me as a straight talking guy, that’s why I follow your advice.

    Adam

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Whew, that was a long journey to your question, Adam ;)

      So, you don’t feel comfortable ripping people off? Great! Neither do I. That’s why I only promote things I really like and think will genuinely help people. If you promote crap and/or don’t mind ripping people off, you won’t be able to build/maintain an audience big enough to support yourself.

      Oh, and it sounds like you’re assuming affiliate marketing only applies to “marketing” courses. That’s just not the case. Affiliate marketing is simply a model of compensating people for referring customers. The model can apply to any market. It’s just that the “gurus” tend to promote high-priced marketing products because they’re good at it and can make a lot of sales.

      Anyway, I like the way you’re thinking. There is a whole big band of people gathering on the Internet that “tell it like it is” and only promote things of genuine value and that they have actually used. That’s the group I call myself a member of.

  • Jodi E. | Microsoft SMB Outreach Team

    Another option to keep your business portable is through Office Live Small Business. You can get e-mail accounts, online doc storage and sharing, contact management and website hosting – free. You can be anywhere with an internet connect to get your website started with templates and online support.

  • http://www.quietentertainer.com/free-download/ Quiet Entertainer

    I am trying to take everything I learn from blogs like yours, Far Beyond the Stars, and GenYRockStars.com in order to live location independent so I can tour and take my music and art all over the country and world. But in the States I don’t really want to just tour and hit different stops but also experience and infiltrate the different music scenes. That’s a goal of mine.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Sounds nice!

  • http://www.lifestyledivine.com Roxine

    Hey Corbett! I’m super excited about Tuesday.

    In answer to your question, my ideal situation is living in a tropical foreign destination as my home base and having the freedom and liberty to travel on occasion. The destination I want to live in is not one you can rely on for employment and I simply have no interest in taking up another J.O.B. again anyhow. Also, I want to be able to enjoy the resources and lifestyle of the location so my goal is to build a business that, for the most part, runs itself and affords me the freedom to live, travel and do as I see fit.

    QUESTION: In terms of bank deposits. How about sending your money western union back to a family member or friend to deposit? There is a small fee involved for the transfer but that way you don’t have to depend on someone travelling back.

    p.s. Thanks for your kind words, it appears my dad is going to recover fine.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Awesome, Roxine. That sounds like a nice plan. Of course replacing the “J.O.B.” is the hardest part.

      I haven’ used Western Union, so I can’t really comment. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that? It sounds like you’d be receiving checks in the foreign country and want to deposit them back home? If you’re going to be living in the foreign country semi-permanently, you might be able to apply for a different visa type that will allow you to open a local bank account as well.

      • http://babiesandbaggage.com E.T. Barton

        Western Union can wire money to any where in the world, but once you send it, it’s out of your hands. I prefer PayPal 100% because you can receive money via email and then transfer it instantly to your bank account. You can also get their debit card and have money taken out from any ATM.

        Also, Tim Ferris suggested in his newest edition of “The Four-Hour Workweek” to try http://www.GreenByPhone.com for deposits. Apparently, for like $5, you can call up with a check number and account routing number and they can process the payment. If you think about it, that means someone could just email you the check info (or fax it to your efax) and then you could have it deposited directly into your account. I, personally, love that premise.

  • http://babiesandbaggage.com E.T. Barton

    Hey Corbett,

    I really enjoy reading your website, and I can’t remember if I’ve commented before or not. I know I do follow the Think Traffic site as well…I thoroughly enjoy your work.

    Currently, my family and I are doing the whole “Round the World in a Year” route and just took off on August 3rd, 2010. At the moment, we are in Australia (incredibly expensive, by the way), but I did find a great deal on our lodgings. I bought up some “Resort Certificates” from SkyAuction.com, and for about $300 a week, we are able to book some fabulous resorts in many places around the world. Like right now…we are in Coffs Harbour Australia, and for the $300, we are getting a week in a 2-bedroom, 2 bath apartment that has tons of amenities at the resort. Our room overlooks a private lagoon and forest, and EVERYONE is telling us what a great deal we got.

    Again – for anyone looking for cheap resort lodging – I bid on the Certificates at Skyauction.com, but you can also buy directly from ResortCerts.com (although it will cost your $500 a week to go direct).

    Can’t wait to read more of what you write.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hi E.T., I don’t believe you’ve commented before, so thanks for the note.

      Congrats on starting your trip. Sounds really awesome. Thanks for the tip on the killer lodging deal too. Talk to you soon.

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  • Byron

    Corbett,
    great post. My ideal situation is location independent/ simi-perminent/ dual stays in SoCal, and Mexico. I am putting all my chips into blogging this year and truly hoping to be a thoughtful contributor of value like you. Thanks for your insights and lifestyle of inspiration. Keep’em coming!

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Awesome, Bryon. Sounds like a good plan, although I have to tell you I’m not an impartial judge ;)

  • Jay Pee

    Corbett,

    I’m an avid reader of both Free Pursuit and Think Traffic. I just wanted to let you know that this post was really inspiring. I could really see myself in a few years living something similar to what you are describing. It was funny that you even included some details like the logistics of your lifestyle. I bookmarked your page for when I’ll be ready to make the jump and I’ll use it as a map to where I’m going and what I’m doing.

    Keep updating us, it’s always a pleasure to read you.

  • http://www.nomadcouch.com Juha Liikala

    Hey Corbett! A very refreshing and down to earth post about location independence. Part-time location independence is our personal goal as well. We love the the idea of staying in Finland for the summer with our friends and family and then head off to a warm location for the duration of the winter (South East Asia most likely!). We too have made the change from paper to e-paper with bills, letter’s and stuff of that nature. Right now it’s a very rare occasion that we ever receive anything in a more traditional paper form (except for some ads, which we still haven’t being able to get off our “physical inbox”!)

    Good reading, loved it! Hope all is going well with your latest projects mate! :-)

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Juha, hope all is well with you too. Thanks for the note, and good luck getting to SE Asia for the winter.

  • http://easybusybear.blogspot.com/ Lee Clark

    Hi Corbett

    This blog entry sparked a debate between my wife and I last night – one that ended up with us evaluating our current lifestyle and how we can integrate recent work-life success with the arrival of our new baby… Part-time, location independent lifestyle makes more sense to us, thanks to your blog!

    I own 1 business at the moment, with divisions within that business becoming an easy, efficient way to try out new ventures. I’m on the cusp of being able to step back even more, giving me time to spend on other things (some of which may well be spent in other locations, although with my new daughter in tow, I’m sure we will start by trying short visits to other cities in our country, before longer stays in foreign territories as our level of independence/freedom improves).

    PS – you have inspired me to start my own blog (first post was today)

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Hey Lee, congrats on the new blog, and new horizons. I hope the debate between you and your wife was civil ;) Best of luck with the adventure, and let me know where it takes you.

  • Marc

    Great post and an interesting read.

    I do however feel compelled to comment on your notion that ‘New York is the art capital of the world’ – this is perhaps a little naive. It may possibly be the ‘art capital’ of the USA but the ‘world’………Really?

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett

      Either way, it’s debatable, but I suppose I meant “the contemporary art capital of the world.”

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  • http://gratuitious-discourse.blogspot.com Tim

    Wow. What a dream-come-true it must be to do all this. This is why I’m excited about the idea of making a living online; it’s such a customizable field where I can make a living doing something I enjoy and it offers a freedom the 9-to-5 punch-clock zombies will never know. I think everyone who CAN work online SHOULD work online. I love traveling. I can’t wait to figure get a good idea off the ground so I can quit working for other people and live and do whatever I want. Thanks, Corbett.

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  • Denise

    My plan when I first graduated college was to buy an inexpensive house where I could dump my stuff and then spend the better part of the year living and working out of town. I really wanted to see the world. Sadly, I got caught up in a vicious cycle of living the American dream and excessive people pleasing that has led to a stuff filled life.

    Currently, I’m working towards letting go of all the things and habits that don’t work in my life and moving towards what I really want out of life: adventure, fun, friends. Thanks for inspiring me as I move down the path.

  • Colin G

    Hello,
    I am also in SF right now, living a location in location independent lifestyle. I’m slightly more nomadic than you describe yourself as, being that I don’t have my own permanent residence, but I also don’t live out of a backpack. I am looking for my spot to call home.
    However, what I am writing about now is the name of the quirky beach side town in Mexico that you enjoyed visiting. What is the name??? I am looking to go to Mexico next month but I don’t know how to start my trip.
    Thank you,

  • Thierry

    Hi Corbett.

    This is a great post! This is exactly the kind of lifestyle I have the intention to create for the next few years. I’m almost 23, and I feel the urge to see more of the world, to live amazing experiences, develop my skills, meet new peoples etc… . I’ve never been appealed by the common 9-5 office work lifestyle, I always wanted to be free and do what I wanted when I wanted. I always thought I could only accomplish this lifestyle through earning loads of money; but this year, I’ve came to the realization that money was not the right goal to go after. I need to enjoy and create the life I want RIGHT NOW.
    So I’ll be starting my first online business before the end of this year. Ideally I would love to be home-based where I am right now (in Paris), and to live multiple months in the year in the USA. And at the same time visit other countries when I want to.
    The biggest concern to me right now, for realizing this lifestyle, is having easy access to the instruments I need on a daily basis. I’m a musician, and it’s important for me to being able to practice regularly my artistry (and also my business may involve shooting some music videos).
    If you know people in the same case who have already accomplished a similar lifestyle, I’d be glad to learn more about how they did it.
    Wish you the best.

  • http://www.careerbreak360.com Liz

    A great post. We are looking at becoming location independant at the moment and are exploring a few revenue streams. Realistically how many revenue streams do you think people need and when travelling, how do you stay in touch with like-minded people so you can bounce ideas around?

Up Next:

3 Ways to Become Location Independent

The idea of becoming location independent sounds great to most people. Who wouldn't want to be able to live and work anywhere you choose? The hardest part about reaching your goal of location independence isn't in having enough desire to do it. The hardest part is earning an income that doesn't require you to show up to work every day in one place.

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