We have all heard, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” When I am in my home city I tend to take what it offers for granted and only think about what is missing. I commonly bemoan that the beach is too far away. Yet there are plenty of beach town’s that do not have the city amenities that I very much enjoy and rely on.
Another example is when vising the National Parks I am in such awe of them that I think, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to live near some of them so I could visit on a daily basis.” For instance I found Moab, UT to be a fun interesting city that is only a 10-15 minute drive from Arches National Park, one of my favorite in the whole system. Then again I had to realize that even if I could go to Arches on a whim, I would soon realize that I yearned to easily visit Yellowstone, Yosemite, crater lake, and the rest of the parks for variety.
Realizing the perfect spot cannot Exist
If I were to design the perfect place it would have the best beaches, the most impressive mountains, the tallest trees, the best entertainment and sports complexes, top rated schools / colleges, excellent food, big city amenities, nice weather, and be affordable. Even then it would be way too crowded too enjoy. If the perfect place does exist, please leave a comment I would love to know.
So does the perfect place exist? Of course not, there will always be compromises when selecting a place to live and I am willing to bet that stands true even for people with all the money in the world. I think the fact that many wealthy people own so many vacation homes throughout the country is evidence that there is not just one perfect place.
The secret must be to make the most of where you do live whether it is by choice, or circumstances and look forward to taking trips to visit places that are different from where you do live.
Going a step beyond would be to combine traveling as part of your regular lifestyle. Generally most people tend to want to put down “roots,” to become active members of their community and have a stable place to raise their children. I have read many articles about young people that prefer to be mobile and not commit to any single area for that long at a time. I have also seen how they can raise children and give them a unique experience. Whether you have kids or not, I see both living arrangements as having their own pros and cons. It might be worth trying to incorporate the best of both into your life.
If your definition of putting down roots includes buying a home, you have to be confident that you have a stable job, or that there are many other job opportunities nearby. If you are anti-roots then you need to be confident you can make money no matter where you are. Generally this means you need some sort of freelance or internet business. I think the latter is probably the harder route to a successful career, but for those that can do it I am sure it is extremely rewarding.
Reducing our Possessions
Part of being location independent means having less things to move. This would mean one would need to really par down their possessions. Therefore, it is important to not acquire useless material goods as much as possible. Keep only what gives value and satisfaction. This can be very rewarding for those in the roots camp as well.
As stated before being truly location independent would require an established online type business, but being semi location independent does not. Semi independent can mean moving somewhere and getting a regular job as anyone else would, then repeating after moving to a new place.
Moving vs Travelling
The only caution would be that moving to new places does not necessarily lead to more happiness. It is exciting and at first everything will seem new and exciting, but over time people tend to get used to the new place and it will not feel much different than where one may have lived before. Living in different places can be great in ones development, but having a place to call home can be very important as well.
The easiest and likely most comfortable option would be to put down roots in a home base. This can be a place with good employment opportunities, close to family, or an area you just really like. Having reduced possession already you can afford to buy or rent a small living space. The savings from living in a small dwelling, will help pay for the cost of traveling part of the year.
The best choice would be to work a job that is generous with vacation time, or has a flexible schedule. Then really make the most of this time traveling. If this is not enough time, you could as prescribed above simply work the job for a set time period, and then quit to travel for as long as you desire. Then once you return you could apply for another job or even the same one you left.
We tend to really enjoy places we visit on vacation and think how wonderful it would be to live there full time. Yet we are forgetting that part of the reason we are enjoying it so much is because we are not working and have the time to do whatever we like. If we were in our home city not having to worry about going to work, we may find we are just as happy.