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The Top 5 Rubbish Bits of a Location Independent Lifestyle! (You asked for this post!!)

Getting internet access can be so painful!


We recently asked you a few questions on what you thought of LovePlayWork.com.

We’re still trawling through all your lovely responses (thank you!) to work out how we can best use the info. But something that did come up quite frequently was a slightly dark preoccupation (hehe) with the unexpected, unpredictable and downright rubbish aspects of location independence.

Now we all know that location independence brings wondrous moments, uplifting experiences, rainbows and fairy dust (lol)….but what about the bits that, when you embark on your journey, are likely to piss you off too?

Lucky for you, I’m in that kind of mood today, so here goes, warts and all (plus some of our worst pictures!). Don’t forget, you asked for it (you sick puppies).

  • The travel arrangements

    Going on any trip involves a fair amount of preparation. Being location independent turns travel planning into a part-time job. You want to make sure your destination is going to make you happy, and getting that right takes A LOT of research. Especially if you are a little (ahem) high maintenance. Don’t under-estimate how time consuming this is day to day; that way you may avoid the frustration which will lead you to simply book into the nearest 5 star resort.


  • ‘It’s a lifestyle not a holiday!’

    We’ve just returned to the UK after a 7 month stint aboard. I’m sure my mother won’t be the last to remark, ‘ahh, isn’t it nice they’ve had such a lovely long holiday?’ After a holiday you tend to return relaxed and carefree. After a prolonged spell of location independence you may be a little worn around the edges. Why? Anyone who has ever been travelling knows that it’s a full time business. You can lose half a week simply changing location, finding a post office and getting your laundry done. Working for yourself is also pretty full-on as you juggle the multiple roles of chief idea generator, project manager, administrator, finance officer, designer, tech support, marketer etc. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that fitting two full times roles into one supposedly more chilled out life can present logistical challenges. And meanwhile everyone back home assumes you spend all day on the beach ;)!

  • Not quite what you imagine a Mexican beach to look like!


  • Who are we? Where do we belong?

    We are very fortunate that we have friends all over the world. Our social circle is eclectic to say the least. But while we can find someone to have a beer with most places we go, when we return home it’s a little harder to slot back in. It takes time to put down roots and form the bonds that spell home, and when you aren’t there to put the effort in, those relationships can grow a little rusty. Inviting your mates round to relive your trip with hilarious travel stories and several thousand photos, for some reason, doesn’t seem to help….


  • Living in someone else’s space

    This one bothers me, although Chris couldn’t care less. As much as we love home exchanging, especially when we arrive at someone else’s home which is WAY better than ours (hot tubs, views, pools, cinema rooms etc- hell yes!) sometimes I get tired of living amongst someone else’s things. (To be fair, I have just done this for 7 straight months- ask me again after 6 months of being in our small apartment!) It’s the same if we are renting or staying in hotels- sometimes, you can get tired of impersonal surroundings. Right now, I’m particularly loving having slippers and wrapping myself in my furry blanket to watch TV. One of the forgotten benefits of going away is how much you appreciate the small things you otherwise take for granted when you get back.

  • Grey in paradise


  • Money

    It probably depends on your work set-up but for us, however cost neutral our trips often are (and we are pretty good at this!), being away does put a dent in our earnings. It’s not so much about spending as the cost of living is inexpensive in many places we choose to go, and even if the costs are comparable to home the standard of living tends to be a lot higher when we are away. But because of the way our business is set up there are occasions, despite outsourcing and using fantastic associates, where we miss out on work opportunities because we simply aren’t there. Being away does pay in so many different ways that it’s not a big deal, but we do come back to the UK periodically to get our heads down and top up our savings.

We reckon our future location independence is going to start to evolve a little to avoid some of these issues.
The winner of last weeks iTunes voucher competition is…drum roll…Cliff from CliffCoaching.com. Check your emails Cliff, I have emailed you with details of how to claim it!


But what do you think?
Are these downsides unexpected?
Would you anticipate something different?


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11 Responses to “The Top 5 Rubbish Bits of a Location Independent Lifestyle! (You asked for this post!!)”

  1. Thanks :) This post was completely necessary for those of us thinking of starting an adventure like yours. Sometimes, it’s good to know the bad things, as well as the amazing things. We are getting prepared for this!

    BTW, did you really spend a LOT more money than when you are at your home? This is one of my worries….
    And what about your health? Were you sick or had any accident during the “7 month holiday” and how did you cope with it?
    Roser Goula recently posted..Elogio al Road Trip

    • Thanks for the comment Roser. I think overall the money we spent was on par with our costs at home in the UK, had we not gone to more expensive countries like Australia and French Polynesia I think our outgoings would have been lower. We plan to do a blog soon on comparing the costs so look out for that one.

      Re our health, we did have to go to the pharmacy a couple of times but that was fairly easy. Other than that we had 1 trip to the hospital but that was covered under our medical insurance. When you are in one place for a month or 2 you have to accept you may get ill so you just need to be aware of how to contact a doctor or where the nearest medical facility is. Hope that helps,

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Awesome post. I felt every word of it. I have been living overseas while running a location independant business for three years. I’ve lived in Mumbai, bangkok, Manila and done a fair bit of travelling elsewhere during this time.

    I would say my biggest “rubbish bits” doing this have been…

    - Internet (slow, inconsistent speeds that drop in and out grrrrrrr)
    - staying motivated while in paradise (knowing when to work and when to play can be tough)

    Totally agree on the “who are we? Where do we belong?”

    But overall I’m sure we can all agree that running a location independant business truly rocks ;)
    Alex Sidoryn recently posted..The Bruce Lee Guide To Creating A Kick-Ass Lifestyle Business

    • Thanks Alex, good to know that you feel our pain! Completely agree though, the positives massively out way the negatives so being location independent does ROCK!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Hey Hannah and Chris,

    I found your website after hearing Hannah’s interview on the Suitcase Entrepreneur podcast and I love what you’re both doing! My partner and I are trialling location independent working for the first time right now in Mexico. We’re having a blast, but I can definitely relate to some of the points you raised above, particularly the internet issue (!) and the amount of research you have to do for each part of the trip.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in the future :)

    • Hi Hannah, so glad you found us through the Natalie’s podcast. That’s excellent that you are giving location independence a go in Mexico, where exactly are you staying? We were in Puerto Vallarta last September and found Mexico a great place to run a business from.

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  4. Great insight for those people considering being location independent. I have for a number of years been running my business remotely and have worked from numerous countries. In my opinion the biggest niggles I have encountered were finding stable internet and of course the motivation to sit and work on your computer when the sun and sea are calling.

    Luckily I am quite a disciplined person and know that I will not be able to have this lifestyle if I don’t discipline myself which is then the motivation to work. Also I agree that it is nice to base yourself back a home once in a while.

    • Hi Phil, I think we have been lucky so far as of all the places we have been internet hasn’t been a massive problem. Of course sometimes it is slow but between 3G and broadband we have always managed to work just fine. Love to know what has been the worse country for internet you have been to?

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  5. I can relate to so much of this. I’m a super picky planner because I don’t like being disappointed. But that takes sooo much time. Also, as much as I love freedom and travel, there are some days when I think a $5000 sofa would be just as good as a $5000 holiday, yet in reality I always choose the holiday.
    Kate recently posted..AirNZ Standby Tickets – Review

    • I think planning is the part every traveller underestimates how long it takes to organise, it is like having an extra job! C

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply

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