Is this the huge change to finally end our location independent lifestyle?
Although it feels like our location independent lifestyle has been on hold, looking back over the year it hasn’t at all. Since January we’ve explored more of Spain, hopped to Ibiza for a review trip for Luxury and Boutique Hotels and spent two months living in a tent travelling through France. Not bad with a two year old. Plus of course we left our UK home base to live in gorgeous Javea, Spain.
But as much as we’ve still been covering plenty of miles every couple of months, psychologically it’s felt like we’ve been settled. We weren’t in a position to drop everything when an exciting home exchange offer to Bermuda or Costa Rica came through (we’d rented our flat for a start!) The Spanish climate vanquished our usual itch to head for the southern hemisphere by October. With nine whole months of living in the same house, and 12 months in the same town, it felt like we were finally putting down some fledgling roots.
That news, again?!
But now it’s all change again. This week we say goodbye to our gorgeous house on the hill, beautiful nursery school our daughter has blossomed in, our growing group of friends and unexpected sense of community.
We’re heading back to the UK because baby number 2 is on its way!
Last time I was pregnant I lost my desire to be a digital nomad. Much the same happened this time in the early months, but now, 5 months in, I’m feeling excited by all the possibilities our business model presents. I know this isn’t supposed to be how it works; plenty of expectation has already been voiced that with 2 kids our lifestyle will finally be curtailed. Maybe, for a while. Not forever though. Not if we can help it. And we can help it, of course.
A lifestyle that can evolve
My desire to travel has evolved. I used to be content with moving between countries as a hedonistic pursuit, enjoying simply ‘being’ somewhere new, luxuriating in the differences in food, landscapes, beauty and culture. I used the new vistas to feel inspired, and used this to create business projects and build our growing online income.
Becoming a parent has changed my outlook. I see the world differently and my self-assumed responsibilities more clearly. We will continue to travel because our children need to see for themselves that there are different people who live in different ways who are really no different from us. But how children in other countries will be treated throughout their lives is likely to be very different from the experiences our kids will have.
I want them to learn first-hand that they don’t have to be chained into a cycle of consumerism and debt if that’s not a path they want. I don’t want to tell them. I want to show them that you can choose where you want to go, be led by what inspires you and contribute in ways which fulfil you and give you a sense of purpose. Our children will have freedoms denied to most. I want them to know that it’s ok to use this, or not, as they choose.
A few (!) of our forthcoming priorities and challenges
We’ve definitely got some challenges ahead. Returning to a place we felt we’d left. Becoming parents to a new-born again. Making sure Eve comfortably adjusts to sharing her place at the heart of our family.
Deciding on the next steps for her development. Finding a home and location for us to hunker down for the remaining ‘baby years’. Finishing (are they ever finished?) the websites we are currently working on. Adding to our consultancy work. Building a team for Chris to manage to advance our business goals. Creating the space in our lives so I can develop my psychology skillset around dealing with trauma, and volunteering with the people who desperately need support in finding the pieces which will make some start towards putting them back together again.
When we set out to be ‘location independent’ (before we knew that it was even a ‘thing’) we didn’t really consider the different directions it would allow us. We just knew what we didn’t want; working for someone else, constantly wishing away the hours till we reached the time away from work, our horizons compressed and unchanging, our purpose stifled. Honestly, sometimes the freedom has felt like a burden – it’s not always easy to make decisions, not always clear what you want. But despite so much uncertainty and plenty of hurdles, next year does feel full of promise.
Are you excited by what next year might bring? Has your vision for your lifestyle changed since last year? Do you know what you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
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