Our 2012 Top 5s!
As you contemplate a change of work arrangements and lifestyle for 2013 we wanted to share our highlights from 2012- and help you decide if you think it’s really worth it or not! We think we’ve had a fantastic year- 3 months at home, 9 months overseas and a lifetimes worth of adventure! It’s been location independent living at its very finest. Here are some of our stand out moments (in no particular order and for a bit of balance, some lower lights too…)
Top moments together
- New years eve dinner party at home in the UK with friends where the ladies had to wear dresses and Chris’ attempt at a tux make him look like a waiter
- Eating pizza with scissors (no cutlery or slicing provided) after accidentally shaving Chris’s head bald on a French Polynesian Island.
- Realising that we still do miss each other (phew!) after I return from 3 days at a hippy, happy, healing festival, (unsurprisingly) by myself
- Hysterical laughter after Chris unbalances me with his shouted warning of ‘wind!’ (not sure which variety) and I nearly knock myself out falling off the paddle board in Australia
- Playing with the inflatable basket ball and hoop we bought for Christmas in Australia in the pool
NYE party with friends and family – A great start to 2012
Top 5 yummy foods and drinks
- Moreton bay bugs in Australia- they’re hideously ugly to look at but as a cross between lobster and crayfish they taste so good!
- Raw fish in coconut milk in Tahiti; so popular you can even buy it at the petrol station!
- Craft beers in Oregon – waaaaay too many to mention by name
- Sushi in New Zealand – never has Chris’ obsession been so well satisfied
- The best chocolate soufflé – we returned to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restauarant in Palm Desert where this dessert been known to reduce us to tears.
If you love beer, go to Oregon!
Top 5 people we’d love to hang out with again
- Beverly – Pack your Passport. We like a girl who likes her wine and doesn’t take our dating suggestions the wrong way!
- Gillian and Jason – One Giant Step. Inspiring without realising as they man up and head out on the road for their new, permanent adventure
- Yamille – Creative Web Biz – lovely easy company and likes to hike, sleep and eat ice cream as much as we do!
- Sean Ogle – Location 180. Generous with his expertise, easy-going to have around and very good natured when ‘taken the piss out of (it’s a British phrase that we can’t believe Americans can manage without!)
- Meg and Tony, LandingStanding– a really nice couple, I don’t think they saw us at our best!
Top 5 places we’ve stayed
- Vahine Island Resort, French Polynesia. Just paradise. All of it.
- The River House, Oregon. I got used to the kitsch decor and found it was one of the happiest places we’ve lived.
- The Lonely Bay Lodge– great views, lovely food and my goodness were we spoiled!
- Loire cottage, France- a mini break of red wine, croissants and cards with friends who are thankfully also satisfied by mostly eating and drinking.
- Our home in Ballina, Australia. We’ve been to the neighbourhood Christmas party, we’ve met most of the neighbours and their kids, we walk the dog. We live here- don’t we??!
We challenge anyone not to be happy in French Polynesia!
Top 5 animal encounters
- Being mounted, in a friendly way, by an flappy, rubbery, over-zealous stingray.
- Releasing baby turtles into the wild from a beach in Mexico. They were as cute as buttons but not the brightest as they repeatedly missed their target – the ocean!
- Watching deer prance past us through the forest at twilight from the hot tub in Oregon
- Our home exchange sheep in New Zealand. Much friendlier than the sinister geese who loitered nearby
- Stroking a koala slumped amongst low branches. He’d definitely passed out.
Hannah always protected her heart just in case!
Top new experiences
- Gong meditation – lying on a conference centre floor with sounds so loud you can feel them inside your body; weirdly wonderful
- Racing an outrigger canoe with people who only spoke French and who were much tougher than us
- Tubing the river on a hot Oregon day. Icy water, icy butt, icy beer and big smiles.
- Horse trekking through ankle deep (the horses, not ours) muddy slopes to a waterfall. I was terrified. The horse seemed resigned.
- Black runs – The completely unanticipated moment when I decided to go off piste on my snowboard through the forest. Chris thought I’d been momentarily possessed.
Top 5 disasters
- Driving a small tin boat into the side of a luxury yacht- while the owner was on it
- Sunrise yoga in Byron Bay – I got up at 4.40 to attend this global sunrise ceremony event, but in the end the yoga was a bit of an afterthought as it got too hot and everybody started skinny dipping instead.
- The New Zealand ‘beach house’ – the only home we only stayed in for just one night; it hadn’t been lived in for years. The rat traps were a little off putting.
- Locking ourselves out of our snow cabin in Utah. In February, mid afternoon, in my pyjamas and snowboarding boots. Embarrassing.
- Realising we (Chris!) had booked the coach to catch the very first flight of our round the world trip for the wrong day. Less than 12 hours to go and we had no way of getting to the airport!
This was taken shortly before we hit the yacht, sorry!
Top 5 views
- Sunrise in the Phoenix desert – almost worth the 3am start!
- Sunset cliff top walk in New Zealand – why do more people not live here? Oh. It’s the weather!
- Watching the sunset over Bora Bora from our over-water bungalow
- Watching the sea mist roll peacefully across the dunes, rocks and crashing waves along Angel beach in Australia.
- Finding a small gap out of the snow covered window to see over 10 inches of fresh powder that had fallen over night in Utah
A perfect snowboarding day!
Top 5 business mistakes
- Delaying setting up a service which a competitor stepped into and potentially stolen our market
- Constantly making changes to sales copy without getting decent statistics first
- Relying too heavily on Exact Match Domains to get our search traffic
- Not following up on potential clients regularly enough
- Not being 100% crystal clear on our business goals
Top 5 questions we’ve received
- What do you think of my business idea?
- Can you give me a few pointers on an income direction with the skill set I have?
- How do I turn a love of travel and encouraging others to travel into income or a business?
- I’m burned out and feel trapped – how can make my business compatible with remote living?
- How can I create passive income?
Top 5 successes
- Completing our 180 days program and helping others get their location independent on. It’s awesome.
- Increasing subscribers to one of our services by 42%. When passive income works, it really works!
- Getting paid to write travel blogs – did not see that coming!
- Having some amazing experiences thanks to the exposure of our blog – result!
- Fulfilling contracts with two new corporate clients whilst we were out of the country- not easy to do in some of the places we’ve lived but we’ve resisted temptation and kept the money coming in
You can really run a business from anywhere- even from a motorhome with no mains water or electricity!
What have your Top 5 2012 highlights been?
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