Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

FAQ: What Is Location Independence?

March 21, 2013 | , ,

The phrase “location independent” is frequently used in certain circles, but it isn’t a term that everyone knows, and I often get asked what it means. I wanted to address this question, because somebody might be longing for this kind of lifestyle and not know what to call it! In fact, I was location independent long before the term existed. (I wish I’d come up with it myself, but I must give props to Lea Woodward, who I believe first coined the term.)

So, what does it mean to be location independent?

Here’s my definition of location independence: not being tied to a certain location for any reason.

Why Be Location Independent?

There are lots of reasons you might choose to stay in a particular place, but being location independent means that you could easily go somewhere else. I’ve been location independent since 2004. I have actually spent much of the time since then staying in one place, but because I work online, I can go somewhere else anytime I want.

Here’s why I choose to be location independent, and why I think it’s one of the best ways to live: freedom.

Being location independent gives me the freedom to:

  • Go anywhere in the world
  • Travel and work on my schedule, without having to ask for time off
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Have a deeper cultural experience wherever I go
  • And much more

Location independence gives you the flexibility to do all kinds of things in addition to the ones I just mentioned. Even if you don’t make any other changes to your lifestyle, being location independent means you can move more easily if your partner gets a job in another city. It also means you can go help out a friend or relative in need, and take your work with you if need be.

Could You Be Location Independent?

For most people, work is what ties them to a particular location, so being able to make money from anywhere is a significant piece of being location independent. That might mean working remotely with your current job, or building an online business.

Owning a home is another reason many people feel tied to one location, but you don’t have to stay there. You can be location independent and still own a home (I do!). In fact, it can be the perfect balance of both worlds, allowing you to have a home base and also providing a source of rental income and a home you can exchange with someone in another location.

Or you might feel location dependent because you want to be close to family, or because your kids are used to going to a certain school. Both of those things are great, but if you also value other things, like freedom and travel, you could become location independent, give your kids a global education, and still have lots of time to spend with family.

It can take a lot of work to become location independent, but it is possible, and it is worth it. Nomadtopia is all about helping you make it happen, and this site is chock-full of resources and inspiration.

There’s plenty more I could say on the topic, but this is a good start!

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