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I think I want to give up my location independent lifestyle….


Oh no! What’s happening to me?


In the last few weeks I have transformed from a globe-wandering, business-obsessed, adventure seeking, wine-loving flex-pat into someone entirely different. The new me put my foot down and demanded that we return home early from our round the world extravaganza a few weeks ago. I’ve heard myself say that I never want to set foot on a plane again. I can’t stand the thought (and cannot even look at photos) of the country that begins with ‘A’ and is home to cuddly marsupials. Despite having just set up a new website at www.luxuryandboutiquehotels.com, hotels hold no appeal for me. For Chris, it’s like he suddenly finds himself married to someone else.

So what has changed?

Well, the fact that we are expecting a baby might have something to do with it. Suddenly everything has turned on its head.


The advantages of a break


To be fair, I don’t think travel is usually on the top of anyone’s agenda who has spent much of the last 3 months with their head over the toilet. But still, is this going to change things forever? Or might there be some advantages to taking a break?


Can travel get old?


For the last 6 years we have spent 6-9 months of each year travelling around the world which has been incredible. We’ve seen so much of the beauty of the world, we’ve adapted to living in different cultures, we’ve sampled different foods, witnessed natural wonders, tried exhilarating new activities, pushed ourselves to the limits and kicked back to watch the sun go down almost every day. But, at the risk of seeming unbelievably spoilt, lately it had started to get a bit, well, samey.

Can a panorama like this become “just another view”?


Research tells us that after a while, you can become habituated to pretty much any circumstance. The main ‘Positive Psychology’ guy, Martin Seligman suggests that although new things can make you temporarily happier, eventually you settle to your own personal baseline. It’s like people who use drugs and need a slightly bigger hit to get a better high. Eventually their hits will just deliver ‘normal’ and not a high at all.

Facebook friends will start the countdown to their annual holiday weeks in advance and their ‘only 5 more sleeps!’ updates make you wonder how they will get any sleep with that fever pitch of excitement. It’s been a long time since we got that excited about taking a trip. Travel for us is no biggie. But maybe it would be nice if it was a little more special.


A new appreciation

WOW! I actually went to French Polynesia


As much as I am in awe of the incredible life we have lived since we have been married, I want to continue to appreciate every sunset, every forest, every weird creature and wacky insect, every sensory assault, every new horizon, every quirky character, every fragrant dish, every moment of wonder. The freedom we have to go, work, live anywhere can make travel seem part of the normal fabric of our lives. As daft as it sounds, you have to work on reminding yourself that it isn’t the norm, and that every day you should count your lucky stars all this is within your reach.


The independence to be located anywhere- even home


Location independence is the freedom to live and work from anywhere. Not unlike many other similar oriented bloggers, we are simply choosing to stay in one place for a while (it’s just not Portland!) When we return to travel it will look a little different from our previous trips; but even in my recent darkest moments (where I contemplate buying a microwave and ponder a 3 year finance deal on a new car) I know that when we are ready, adventure will still be out there waiting for us; but this time, if all goes well, we’ll be a family.


Does travel still blow your socks off?


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37 Responses to “I think I want to give up my location independent lifestyle….”

  1. First off, congrats on the baby.

    Second, things change in people and that’s fine. I’m sure you will return to location independent travel at some point and if you don’t so be it. Just follow what makes you happy.

    Personally the amazement of the next place isn’t gone from me yet although the travel itself has grown old! I take my time though and want to spend 6months – 2 years in the destinations I choose with some quicker globe hopping in between.
    Forest Parks recently posted..5 Uses for Universities while Traveling

    • Thanks! I’m sure you are right, I can’t see that I’m going to happy staying put for long, but I’ll enjoy this weird nesting phase while I have it! I’m glad you are still appreciating all that travel has to offer- once you get there!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Wow, congrats on the baby!

    Never feel guilty about wanting to stop traveling. You’re not doing it for an audience, you’re doing it for yourselves.

    Change is always good. You’ll probably find novelty is having a routine again and even having a wardrobe! haha

    Best of luck, and I’m sure you’ll be able to continue your online businesses from your new home.
    Steph | DiscoveringIce.com recently posted..Photo of the Week | Misol-Ha Waterfalls Outside Palenque, Mexico

    • Hi Steph, you’re right, we can work anywhere. I just need to get my head round this change as another new horizon, even if it is a little different from what we are used to! I’m really enjoying 2 things about being home- my slippers and the bath. Aah, simple things!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Hi, I completely and utterly understand… My hubby and I travelled East from the UK across Russia, china, Vietnam, Australia and Thailand, for our honeymoon. And while it was absolutely wonderful, I kinda wish we’d stopped after China.

    We were away for 14 months and travelled in a Landrover from UK to Moscow, then took the Trans Siberian train to Vladivostok. After that we had a 6 week tour of China that we parted from in Vietnam which we travelled for 3weeks by ourselves, then to Australia where we lived in Queensland for 3 months, and Melbourne for 9.

    When we left Australia we went to Thailand for a month for a break on our way home but by this time and after having our own house in Oz we hated the noise, and all people and hostels.

    The novelty had well and truly worn off. We had stopped marvelling at temples as we felt we’d seen it all before, and we were no longer wowed by gorgeous scenery or amazed by the diving (after all we’d been to to the forbidden city in beijing, seen lake Baikal in Russia and dived the Great Barrier Reef) and we stopped appreciating our wonderful amazing world.

    We wanted to feel amazement and wonder at everything we saw and we couldn’t do that if we kept travelling. So we came home and settled in Cornwall which amazes me every day by itself.

    It’s ok to want to settle, to stop and be still. I strongly feel that to truly appreciate travelling, I have to stop and come home where it’s normal and a little bit boring maybe. I have to reset back to normal to really be amazed by the un-normal.

    You can have adventures at home, you just need to use the eyes you use when you’re travelling and find the wonder in the ordinary and the difference in the familiar.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! X

    • Wow Kerry, that sounds like an amazing trip! It’s so nice to relate how I’m feeling through your experience – and you put it beautifully. It’s terrible isn’t it when you are looking at something that everyone around you is gobsmacked by, thinking ‘yeah, but it’s not as good as ***’! Cornwall is a very special place so I’m not surprised you are finding so much to wonder at there. I love your advice about opening my ‘travelling’ eyes here- we live near the New Forest, the Jurassic Coast…. we have plenty to be amazed by here, which is probably why, wherever we go, we always end up coming back eventually.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  4. Congratulations on the baby!

    Having a location independent source of income doesn’t mean you MUST travel with any frequency. I’m hoping to just be able to maintain a source of income when I DO go some place other than “home,” whether it be for a few weeks, months or a couple of years. My ideal “travel” is to stay in a place where I have to do the shopping, cooking and getting into the culture. That usually means at least 6 weeks in a “self-catering” situation. One objective in life ought to be to do just what you are indicating you want to do: enjoy the beauty of each moment.

    Having a child is a huge adventure and one that will change your perspective on just about everything! Just like trying to get to a particular airport gate on time, there will be some frustrating moments, you will feel exhausted at times, but realize that time keeps moving forward so enjoy what can be enjoyed in the moment and know that it will change, like the weather in many places, in a few minutes.

    • Christine
    • Reply
    • Thanks Christine. It’s nice to have the freedom to ‘stay or go’ as we choose, without feeling overly obliged to do either. It’s just an adjustment after so much travel the last few years- but seems like that will be the first of many! Yours sounds like a good plan, keep us posted on how you are getting on with that and thanks for your comment. I’m sure I will draw on your comment about things changing, like the weather, at particularly trying points!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  5. Congratulations! Thought you might be pregnant! Hope all goes well. It is the best thing in the world no question, exciting every day. Hope the sickness passes soon, I recommend ice lollies :)

    • Anne Wilson
    • Reply
    • How did you figure it out Anne- psychic?! I had some sorbet (not easy to find in winter!) but I went off that. I’ll send Chris out for lollies, thanks!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  6. CONGRATULATIONS Hannah and Chris!
    I can imagine that the side-effects of pregnancy might put a bit of a crimp in your day, and take the edge off the excitement of travel…
    It’s interesting that you say travel is no longer something special – I suppose you’re right, that anything we do regularly becomes a bit samey. It’s a bit like English actors who live in California and complain that “the sun’s always shining”!! We need a bit of contrast, to appreciate the upsides.
    I do hope you manage to find the special again, when you’re ready.
    Julia Barnickle recently posted..30 Day Challenge – Why I’m Learning Hungarian

    • Thanks Julia. Maybe it’s just that we are scaling back in order to experience a different kind of special. Nothing about this process is conscious anyway so I just have to sit back and see what the next day brings! I know what you mean about the sun, since returning from Australia (took a lot to type that, ugh) I haven’t minded the cold or rain. It’s just different. Let’s see how I feel this time next year and whether we have lasted an entire UK winter! We haven’t done so for years so that will be the real test!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  7. Congrats on the new addition!! I agree with location independence being able to have the freedom to design your lifestyle around your work and interests. This has always been our main goal throughout our travels.

    Just because you aren’t jet setting all over the world doesn’t mean you aren’t still adventuring and exploring life! Good Luck and we look forward to reading more!

    • Thanks Caroline, and well said! Our adventures have been long haul travel for years so it’s kind of exciting to see what they will look like now… I could be wrong but I don’t think gazing at a baby will be enough long term (I might like it for a little while but promise not to write about it at length!)

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  8. I think you had it right at the end and titled this post incorrectly (well, not incorrectly, because it works!): you don’t want to give up location independence at all, you just want to stop travelling for a while. And that’s fine.

    HUGE CONGRATS on the wee one, by the way.

    It’s totally natural to want to stop moving around so much and settle in one place for a while. Nesting can be a really good thing.

    But the great thing about the lifestyle you’ve created is that whenever you feel that wanderlust again you can up and head off without a second thought (unless it’s in 10 years when the nipper’s deep in school, but even that’s no insurmountable).

    I wish you all the best for the pregnancy and in becoming a family, and there’s no need to think you’re abandoning LI: you’re just being independent at home!

    • Aww, thanks Oli, that’s really nice. You’re right, I was being melodramatic with the title! Its just a different chapter. I suppose its natural to panic a bit with any big life change and think ‘on no, am I losing everything I had before?’ I just depends how we play it, and what we decide we want from here. And being quite a changeable creature, that could vary from day to day! Poor Chris!
      But for now, that microwave is looking pretty handy….where’s my ‘nesting weekly’ magazine!!
      Hannah x

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  9. Massive congrats – is this a little Aussie baby? So now we know why you were asking so many questions about traveling with Kids? I best get a blog out on home swapping with kids asap!!

    We have an overwhelming desire to show our kids the world and hope to do home swaps that incorporate swapping schools for a term when they are a bit older, France Italy Canada are all on our list.

    Good luck with the rest of your preg and I hope yu are over the worst of your ms. x

    • Hi Carolyn
      Let’s just say there wasn’t as much wine consumed during our stay in Melbourne as I might have hoped- at least not on my part anyway! A ‘home swapping with babies’ blog would be fab- then if you could produce a new one every 6 months or so to answer our further questions! I love the idea of school swapping for a term or so- think how much more a child would learn from that experience, it would be amazing. Even though I’m feeling a little travel averse at the moment we’ve already said we want to do lots of travel later on because of how beneficial it would be from a learning, and awesome fun, perspective. I’ll look forward to hearing about your family travels!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  10. Congrats on the pregnancy!

    One of the things I’ve found helps have the best of both worlds is to be prepared to buy things and give them away e.g., buy a cheap microwave if where you’re staying doesn’t have one and you want one.

    I have also found taking my bike on trips makes me feel more like I have my own stuff around me.
    Kate @30Traveler recently posted..How to Find an Inexpensive Apartment in New York

    • Thanks Kate, and good tips! We got a lovely offer of a loan of some baby and maternity bits yesterday, I didn’t relish the idea of buying all that ‘stuff’. Whenever we return from a trip and have lived out of a bag for months I am overwhelmed by the urge to get rid of tons of stuff we’d left in our flat- it’s a work in progress but minimalist is my general preference. But then I go to Ikea. Sigh!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  11. Hi and congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope it all goes well for you and that the morning sickness is only for the first trimester.
    It is true that excitement comes with something new and different, but after the difference and novelty has worn off it doesn’t seem so different and so we search for new adventures.
    A baby is certainly something new and different for you! No wonder travel has lost it’s fascination for you…
    Thanks for reminding us that if all we aim for is travel then it might become less than what we thought.

    • Caroline
    • Reply
    • Thanks Caroline. Hmm, the first trimester has been and gone, not so much the ms! This is a good week though, and if nothing else its taught me to appreciate when I do feel better- so easy to take it for granted.
      Maybe it is more common than I thought that novelty can wear off; we just have to work harder to keep it fresh and inspiring. You’re right though, we have a lot of new and different coming our way, we’ll just be experiencing it from here! Great to hear from you

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  12. Ironically, much like you, and no baby to blame ;) I too am looking forward to reaching Berlin to base myself there for a few months for the first time in a while.

    I adore travel but I think I’ve over done it for the last 6 years and am actually wanting some routine and to have a place I don’t have to book and research to live in.

    I do think you need a break from travel, even when you run your business from the road. Much like people who need a break from life and should do more travel. It’s all about finding a happy balance.
    Natalie Sisson recently posted..[TSE 43] The Motivational Secrets Behind Getting Anything Done and Living an Uncommon Life

    • Hi Natalie
      I must confess I’m surprised, I know your travel schedule is always full on but I thought you’d figured out how to do it without getting fatigued! That’s exactly right, balance is the key. I think maybe we would have reached this point with or without baby news. Maybe 6 years (as its around that for us too) is a natural point where a change starts to seem appealing…
      cheers lady!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  13. Hannah – I love you shared this. I haven’t ever identified with the location independent movement as a whole (ironic given I seem to be continually profiled as the example of it in the UK press!)… it’s always been about OPTIONS, and the freedom to make the choices to suit the lifestyle you want. Yet I think there’s a bit of bravado in the full time travel world that there is somehow a weakness in not going all in. That, to me, makes freedom sound as full of rules and constraints as the conventional job world! Yet as you identified so nicely it’s the opposite of that.

    This year my fave things have included buying really good linen for our place in London, and spending over a month with my family in Mauritius. I don’t see why those are at odds… and above all I love that you’re exploring doing things your way now, sounds like a super fun adventure in a new way :)))

    • Thanks Marianne, I appreciate it. I might not have expected this perspective on all things LI from you but you put it perfectly, freedom can be used in all sorts of ways. I have noticed that bravado you mention in some of the circles we probably both mix in (Chris and I may even have been guilty of it ourselves in the past- oops!)
      I have been thinking of investing in a new set of Egyptian cotton pillow cases….I could get quite excited about that!!
      Lovely to hear from you- and nice move on getting your family to locate on Mauritius!! ;)

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  14. Congratulations! I’m so excited for both of you! You will be terrific parents who will instill in your child a love of adventure, and, perhaps more importantly, a fearlessness when it comes to living life on your own terms.

    What I like about you both is your ability to shift your lives to accommodate your true desires. This decision is just another example of that. So I say kudos to you for being self-reflective and open to changes.

    Best of luck!
    Hannah recently posted..Theme Party Inspiration: Pot of Gold

    • You say such wonderfully nice things Hannah! We’re really touched. It’s great to hear from you, thank you
      H x

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  15. Congrats to ye both. As already mentioned, ye have to do things for yourselves first and foremost. The world ain’t going anywhere soon ;)

    Carlo Cretaro recently posted..Italy: A trip down memory lane

    • hehe, thanks Carlo, too true. It will wait for us!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  16. Having a baby is a whole other kind of adventure! As so many have already said, better than I can, it will have its ups and downs, hopefully the ups outweigh the downs. What surprised me about having children is the depth of feeling I have for them. The need to be watchful and directive keeps changing as they grow up. The real challenge/adventure is in trying to strike the right balance (which will never be accomplished if you ask them as teens).

    My ex and I always took our kids with us on our travels. They both are amazing people, in part because they learned at an early age about getting on in other cultures. Today, they are both professionals who travel as much as possible-and they always take their kids, my grandchildren, with them. (I wish they would see the need to take “granny” with them too!)

    I’m looking forward to your adjustment to what actually may be slightly foreign to you now-living “at home.”

    • Christine Pearson
    • Reply
    • hey Christine
      There are a lot of things we hope for our child but two biggies are that we hope to inspire about the travel and teh world, to let them experience new cultures and learn in a really experiential way. But I guess the other hope needs to be that if its not their thing after all, we won’t mind at all!
      Seems like you got it right with your kids, the balance was right I’m sure. Living at home is still feeling good for us. I think it helps that we always know we have options- while it works its great, when it doesnt we can change it. We are very lucky in that respect. H x

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  17. Can’t imagine not wanting to travel but have been in one place way too long and cannot wait to get going again. I know the traveling and the strange beds/foods makes me want to be home even on a 10 day jaunt, but meeting new people and seeing new places is awaiting our new beginnings. My hope is in those travels you meet/connect with a person or a place that leads you to a new journey/lifestyle and we are ready to get going NOW. We will be the Yin to your Yang of travel vs nesting. you staying home is opening the space for me to travel

    • Darla Dressler
    • Reply
  18. Just caught this post via Twitter! Yes, I can understand where you’re at, and I completely agree that the key here is the flexibility and freedom. The freedom to be able to go anywhere, and choose to stay in one place, is huge, and just as meaningful as traveling the world, if it’s what feels right to you.

    For many years, I’ve been able to go anywhere but mostly chose to stay still, and now I’m getting ready to hit the road again. It’s all about that balance and finding what each of us wants in the moment!
    Amy Scott recently posted..Chris Osborne: New Food, New People, New Sights

    • Thanks Amy- you’re right, we just have to keep tuning in to what fits right now, it’s easy for it to get a bit lost sometimes. I’m glad you’ve found that balance, I suspected you had it pretty sussed!
      I thought you were gearing up to leave Buenos Aires, I’m sure you’ve got some exciting adventures lined up! I’ll look forward to reading about them

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  19. “Location independence is the freedom to live and work from anywhere.” – Key word… FREEDOM. Location independence doesn’t have to mean travel. Hope you are enjoying your baby :-)
    Lisa-Marie recently posted..You Need A Mafia Offer

    • Thanks for the reminder Lisa-Marie, you’re quite right, freedom comes in all shapes and sizes. What does it look like for you? We’re loving family life thank you, little one is quite a character!

      • Hannah and Chris
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