So I went and did it. I packed up my life, chose to be location independent and doing it, at the age of 35. I know, I know…there are lots of people doing this sort of thing already, I might be late to the party…but it’s still a big deal for me. #nomadLife y’all!
This blog is a way to keep my nearest and dearest (and anyone else who might be interested) up to date with where I am and what I’m up to as some of you have asked me to keep you posted. I’m going to be experimenting with frequency and different mechanisms for doing this, writing, vlogging, photo diary (is that a thing?) so bear with me. It’s called Fumes & Bravado because that’s what it feels like I’m running on most of the time. Faking it, til I’m making it!
I also thought it would be good to try to document some of my experiences and what I learn about this lifestyle as it may be useful to anyone considering it. I’m playing the pass it forward game as I have certainly benefited from the example of others and the resources I found online to help me navigate this lifestyle change.
Where did this no-madness and decision come from?
Did you see what I did there with that heading?
Aaaaanyway….there are lots of reasons but let’s start with being in Birmingham for 10 years. I moved down for a job 10 years ago and at the time, didn’t think I’d stay that long. But I did, I love Birmingham and I don’t ever regret moving there and staying, but I fancied a break, maybe just like 6 months to live somewhere else, do something different, then wanted to return having made a choice to do so.
My first thought was to temporarily return to Liverpool. I love visiting home, but my visits are rare and fleeting but I do love each visit. After a few workcations to Liverpool in an attempt to get to spend more time there, I realised how woefully unacquainted with my beautiful home city I am. I thought it would be a good opportunity to rectify that. I also enjoyed the workcation concept though, so I moved on to returning to Liverpool but taking the occasional week long workcation to somewhere abroad in Europe.
After a work trip to Australia earlier in the year, I got the solo travelling bug. I’ve always had the travelling bug…I’ve been places! But I never did the whole gap year/year abroad thing as a spring chicken. Other than the 3 month trip to the states in my early 20s with my bestie, it’s always been holidays, pretty finite weeks or fortnights or long weekends to places, where you get a taste but you don’t really get to know it.
It was pretty much after I got back from this trip that I started thinking, “Why stay in one place at all?” and my thoughts moved on to becoming a full fat nomad. I can’t remember exactly when it was I was committed to the idea, but it might have been in February when my tenancy agreement renewed. At that point, I knew I had an opportunity at the end of August when it ended, not to renew and do something else. I’d been keeping an eye on this whole digital nomad business for a while, reading avidly all the information, blogs, resources I could find. I did one last workcation to Mallorca to seal the deal in my mind (it was pretty made up already I think) and then handed my tenancy notice in as soon as I got back.
I should add, that being fortunate enough to work in a job and for a great company that has truly embraced remote working has really enabled me to embrace this. I’ve also resolved to say “Yes” more (within reason and sometimes unreason) in life and see where that takes me.
I did set myself some rules:
- I can’t stay anywhere for less than 3 weeks. I’ve settled on a month in each place but trying to stay flexible so that if I really like somewhere and want to stay, I can do so
- I must live with at least one other person wherever I go
- I must go to an office every day so there has to be a decent co-working space
- Try not to book anything more than 2 months in advance to keep flexible
- If it’s by the sea – bonus
So, I write this from my first stop which is Brighton. 2 weeks in already which have flown by.
If you do want to keep track of me, I’ll be posting bits and bobs on here.