Experiences Burstingbubble

Published on May 2nd, 2013 | by Daniel


5 Location Independent Myths

When you are travelling a lot (like I do) you are starting to see the reality behind some common myths about location independence. I mean, many have the vision of sitting under the palm tree on a beach with a laptop when they hear the term “location independence”. However, location independence is not all nice and dandy all the time. In spite of the fact that at this moment I would always choose it over other lifestyles, there are still some misconceptions to take into account when you are starting out with it.

Myth 1: Location Independence is Growing in Popularity

Although this would be logical considering the advancement of technology, the fact is that I experience less location independent professionals on the road than some years ago. I gather the tanking world economy has something to do with this, which makes that it is harder to run a business online from abroad. Or people have to worker harder so they do not have time to travel anymore. Which brings us to the second myth.

Myth 2: It is the Easy Life

I can assure you, it is not that easy. You still have to work a lot, and during that time you cannot spend outside seeing things or whatnot. I mean, it sounds nice to sit under a palm tree and working there, but from my experience it is very hard to get things when you are really outside, there in the sand. I have not seen many other professionals doing this either. Most productivity is still behind your laptop, concentrated, inside, behind a desk. This does not mean you cannot have the wonderful experiences in other countries that you would expect. It is just not only a party as some think it is.

Myth 3: People Understand what it Means

Sometimes I have a hard time explaining exactly what location independence means. Most people have are very fixed conception of life and work, which by definition is inflexible. Holidays for them are just that, an aberration of work hours, work weeks, and work years until retirement. The concept of working and travelling abroad is strange to them. This concept is just not in their stream of consciousness. Which brings us the next myth.

Myth 4: Everyone wants It

Not all people want to live the location independent lifestyle. Many are just happy with the run of the mill, 9 tot 5 working hours and the fixed weekends off. It brings structure to life and it is predictable. For many this is enough if they can combine it with the comfort of their social environment. These people are often risk avoidant by nature and think inside the box. They do not see the point of travelling around the world when you do not have to. I estimate that at least 50% of the population is like this (and more skewed to older people).

Myth 5: It is Cheap

While going location independent can be cheap, it does not have to be. If you are from a western country, you will still desire some comfort, one way or the other, which will cost you money. Also, when you are more a traveler than a location independent professional, you will spend a lot of money, more so than at home. Location independence is only cheap if you put in the effort to be cheap. That is, you look for a long term rent, find the local supermarkets, buy local products and so forth.

While this myth busting can seem a bit of harsh against the location independent lifestyle, I would never want to change it. It is the best lifestyle there is – you just have to know some of it limitations to get the most out of it.

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  • John Graham

    Very well Said !! ;)
    Especially number 5 “It Is Cheap” !! It’s exactly the type of me ;)

    and i’m travelling a lot so i know…

    Thank for the article…

    • Roger M

      I’m with John Here i’m also sympathize with Myth Number 5 even in my early life while i was a teenager i alwayes though that life were easy!! (Myth 2).
      didn’t have to work, had no worries always get what i have wanted. but, in time you realize that life, is not easy!! and every thing that that the writer mentioned in this article is true! espcially with myth 2…

      as for me.. time is changing and so our thoughts and point of view in our real life… so myth number 5! is me for now days…


  • Jenny

    Yep- there is definitely a lot of misunderstanding about the costs. I’ve been living as an expat for the past seven years and discovered that my neighbors assume I own a home in the US (which I don’t). So both my Mexico friends and my US friends assume I have a lot more money than I do.

  • mandyallen

    I laughed when I read myth number 3 – you are exactly right, you don’t see many people working while sitting on the beach! There’s a perception that it is possible but the reality is it’s really quite inconvenient!

    Enjoy the journey.


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