I’m writing this post to share a bit about our new location independent lifestyle, what it means to us and how you too can live a freer, happier life.
We were once living a life that we didn’t enjoy, so we made some serious changes and now we live an amazing life filled with freedom, travel and adventure. YOU CAN TOO! EVERY SINGLE DAY that Dariece and I wake up in our beachfront cottage in Grenada, we look outside at the swaying palm trees and blue ocean and are thankful for everything that we have. I find myself saying “I love our life!” about 10 times a day.
When we decided to change our lives, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We had never travelled extensively, had never run a travel blog (or even knew what one was), never house sat, never taught English, never lived in paradise. The truth is, anyone can do what we’re doing… if they want to.
Note: This article only applies to those looking for a change in life because they’re not happy where they are. If you love your job, your surroundings, your life… then you’ve already figured it out.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
We may talk a lot about ways to make money on the road and how to turn your travels into a way of life, but really what we’re all about is being Free! Having total freedom to do what you want, when you want is very liberating. Sick of the 9-5 routine? Want to punch your alarm clock when it goes off at 6:30am? Tired of being tied down with debt, stress and drama? So were we! Change something.
Break free and create the life you want to live, not the one you’re expected to.
There’s a new global awareness taking place RIGHT NOW. With advances in our work/life mentality, modern technology and business marketing, work no longer needs to be a place. It can be where you want, when you want, HOW you want. We’re not the only ones doing this, there are hundreds of people living a location independent, free lifestyle. (Click here, here, here, here and here for some examples of other awesome people who are living the laptop lifestyle).
Oh, and you don’t have to travel to be free. You can be location independent in your home country, city, town or house! Location independent just means that you’re free to be where you want to be, when you want to be there.
We live this life right now and we’re so grateful that we found the inspiration and courage to change our lives when we did. We figure it’s time to try to repay some of that motivation and show others how great a free life can be.
“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.”
― Carrie Jones, Need
Below are 7 reasons why we love this new and exciting lifestyle. We hope this will give you insight into why this way of life is all the rage right now, and maybe it will inspire you to explore a freer lifestyle, doing whatever it is you enjoy.
1. We Work When We Want
When we wake up in the morning, we usually make coffee, have breakfast and head to work, just like everyone else. What makes our job so awesome is that we can do it whenever we want, from wherever we want. If we don’t feel like working, we don’t. There are thousands of people who work for themselves and run their own businesses. Up until a few years ago, we didn’t think this was possible without experience… but it is!
If we look out the window and it’s an especially beautiful day, we’ll close the laptops and head to the beach. If it’s the weekend and its raining, we might just decide to stay in and work instead of going out. If we’re sick (like when we just had Chikungunya), we don’t need to worry about calling our boss, we just lay in bed and take care of ourselves until we feel better.
Having the ability to work when we want gives us the freedom to live the life that we want…100% of the time.
2. We Love Our Job
There are so many incredible aspects of running a travel website and online business. We’ve been able to start our freelancing careers, review travel gear & accommodation, get creative with our videography skills, and meet many other travel bloggers.
Another interesting part of our blog is that it allows us to work with unique hotels, dive shops and tour operators in exchange for our work. If we want to take a flight, we can contact the airline, if we want to stay in a luxury hotel for a few nights, we can call up the marketing director, if we want to go scuba diving, we can make a deal with the dive shop.
This type of marketing is relatively new to the travel blogging industry, but as time goes on, companies are starting to realize the incredible value that travel bloggers and travel writers can bring to their business. Of course we can’t always work out an exchange 100% of the time, but we’ve been able to partner with some pretty great companies over the past few months.
You MUST love your work. Most people spend the typical 40 – 80 hours / week at their jobs, and when you think about it, that’s a HUGE portion of your life (the average human being is only awake 112 hours / week). We strongly feel that we should all love what we do, or we’re just wasting our best years looking at the clock and waiting for quitting time.
I used to spend entire 12 hour shifts in Canada wishing that time would go faster so that I could go home, eat something, fall asleep and do it all again the next day. I feel like I wasted so many years wishing that time would pass, and now that I love what I do, I wish that time would go slower. Even when I’m working on the computer, I enjoy it, so I want it to last.
I never want time to move fast again. I want to soak up every minute of life and make the most of it. To me, that is a blessing in itself.
Note: You don’t have to be a travel blogger to have a location independent life. Click here for plenty of other ideas that can get you out of your cubicle and into the world.
3. We Travel
Travelling full-time is not for everyone. In fact, we even take long breaks from travel to house sit and live somewhere abroad, but we find that travel broadens the mind and gives our life an endless supply of adventure, experience and challenges. We’re always learning about the places we visit, trying delicious foods, meeting new friends and experiencing new cultures, and to us, that’s exciting.
Some people find fulfillment in other ways and that’s great, but for us, we find it in travel. The key is to do what you love every single day.
Do you love golfing? Make an effort to golf every couple of days, or every day! Love to cycle? Maybe decide to bike to work, or go for an evening ride each day. No matter what it is you enjoy doing, make an effort to somehow include it in your day. You’ll feel happier and rejuvenated.
4. We Spend Our Life Together
We both consider ourselves extremely lucky to have found each other. There aren’t very many people we’ve met who can live, work and travel together 24/7 without being at each other’s throats. We have our arguments, sure, but they usually last only a couple of minutes and end with us laughing at how ridiculous we sound. Our life is stress-free, so what is there to fight about? Usually stupid stuff like “who ate the last chocolate chip cookie?”
Really, the best part of our life is that we get to share it together. Solo travel definitely has its perks and we’ve met a lot of people who love the freedom of not having to discuss plans with anyone else. For us, we really enjoy travelling as a couple and having each other to share our stories and memories with.
I can’t imagine a better travel companion, life partner and best friend and I am thankful every day that I found Dariece!
Spending time surrounded by people who are uplifting and passionate can really have a positive impact on your life. Bring more happiness and joy into your day! Spend time with fabulous (like-minded) friends, go on more family vacations, enjoy more time with your kids, and give a huge hug and a kiss to those you love, this can really brighten up your life. Don’t argue about the petty things, instead, just let it go and move on.
5. We Live In Paradise
Living in Grenada definitely adds to our happiness. Our home at Petit Bacaye is a jungle-clad, beach front oasis that really can’t be beat. There’s something calming about being surrounded by nature and we’ve NEVER been on a more stunning piece of property in our lives. In fact, the entire island of Grenada is a secret Caribbean jewel that we’ve absolutely fallen in love with.
Here we can laze on white sand beaches, hike to waterfalls, watch the sun set over the sea, explore forts and colorful villages, go for hashes, meet new friends, go sailing, go scuba diving and snorkelling, and basically just live the life that suits us best. Staying active, enjoying the outdoors and the relaxed pace is what living in the tropics is all about!
“Happiness, health and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer of the man with his surroundings”
Grenada is our temporary home and it will always have a special place in our hearts. It’s somewhere we hope to return to again and again. Living in paradise definitely makes us happy!
What does paradise look like to you? Is it a quiet beachside town, or a quaint village in the mountains?
By surrounding yourself with nature and a peaceful atmosphere, you’ll ultimately be a happier and healthier person. If where you’re living right now isn’t making you feel rejuvenated and relaxed, we suggest rethinking your location.
6. We Have Spare
It’s amazing how much our little buddy Spare Dog has played a huge part in our happiness here in Grenada. He keeps us active, he makes us laugh and he loves us dearly. He’s been our little shadow for the past 7 months and we think of him as our own (even though we know his loyalty lies with his owners). He protects us, he sleeps next to our bed and he follows us wherever we go.
We never imagined becoming so attached to him in such a short period of time, and as happy as he makes us now, we’ll be just as sad to say good-bye to him in November. We can only hope that one day we can return and pet-sit him again. We truly love our furry little friend named Spare.
Again, surround yourself with loving people (or animals)!!
7. We Are Free
We are totally free. We are free from debt, free from stress and worries, and free from the restrictions and confinements that typically come with a “normal” lifestyle. We don’t care about superficial things or material items. We only have the necessary possessions needed for our lifestyle, the Universe made it pretty clear that all we need is what’s on our backs!
“Keep your life on your back and get more back from your life”
-Goats On The Road
Sure, we have obligations and responsibilities to take care of Spare Dog for 7 months, and we should keep up with the website to ensure that we have the funds to support our lifestyle, but we don’t feel that this takes away from our freedom.
Our blog and online business has given us more freedom than we could have ever asked for. The more it grows, more opportunities arise and more money (freedom) starts flowing in.
Debt = Stress. There’s no two ways about it.
The best thing we ever did was paying off all of our debt in Canada and leaving that stress behind. We paid our credit cards, sold the house, paid off loans, sold the vehicle and ditched the expensive bills, and we instantly felt as though a weight had been lifted. We believe that if people release themselves from the institutional shackles of debt, their lives will be instantly better for it.
Instead of accepting debt as a way of life, shouldn’t we all think about what we’re spending our hard-earned cash on? If our purchases aren’t bringing us closer to happiness, then they’re probably unnecessary (that “new toy buzz” isn’t true happiness, it’s only temporary). There are numerous ways to save money and pay off bills and once they’re gone, there’s an immediate an overwhelming feeling of FREEDOM.
We saved $24,000 on accommodation costs this year. We also saved $21,000 Teaching English in China. Our online business now makes a wage that allows us to travel, live in luxury and save money for rainy days (saving for retirement?… we feel like we’re already there).
It should be noted that two and a half years ago when we started this online business, we had no idea where to start. We had no prior experience, no schooling and no internet background and now we live a financially sustainable life on the road.
We don’t live a budget lifestyle. We eat at nice restaurants frequently, live in beautiful accommodations and don’t scrimp on any aspect of our entertainment.
If we can make and save money while travelling the world, you can too!
Maybe this sounds like 7 things to brag about… but you know what? That’s okay. We are happy and we should be proud that we’ve been able to create this life for ourselves, but this post isn’t just about us. It’s about how easy it is for ANYONE to do what we’re doing.
Our true passion comes from sharing our ideas and experiences with others. Receiving emails from readers who have found inspiration from our site makes us incredibly proud, honoured and excited.
We’ve received many messages from people who have quit jobs that they hated and pursued a life of freedom, travel and adventure because they read our blog. Our life was changed by a blog called OneStep4Ward and a T.V. show called Departures and we’re just happy to be able to pass on some of that same inspiration and motivation on to people who have read our posts.
It just goes to show that ANYONE can do what we’re doing. We’re not superstars, we don’t come from rich families, we started from scratch and have made it to this point in just 2 and a half years. The best decision we ever made was to stop working at jobs we didn’t enjoy and start following our dreams. Once we decided to start doing what we loved, everything fell into place, which was the only confirmation we needed to know that we were on the right path…