Can you live anywhere you want? Do you have a job that allows you to earn money, no matter where you are?
We hear a lot about location independence today. We like the idea of being able to live where we want — or to be a digital nomad, going where the mood takes us.
But what does location independence really mean? And can you simply pack up and leave because you feel like it?
Much of the time, we think about location independence as being able to work from anywhere. You have a job that doesn’t require you to stay in one place. I have a location independent job by those standards. I’m a writer; I can live anywhere and still make a living.
However, that’s not the only way you can become location independent. To some degree, it can also refer to your ability to have an in-demand skill set, no matter where you go. To you, it might mean that you can take your pick of places to live. There are a number of skilled health care jobs that are in demand just about anywhere.
If you have the right skill set, you could choose where you live. And when you’re ready to move somewhere else, it’s possible to do that, too, because your skills are in such high demand. Developing those types of skills can lead to a degree of location independence, even if you don’t have a “typical” online job or do the consulting work that we often associate with being location independent.
Why Does Location Independence Matter?
For many of us, it’s about choice. The fact that I am location independent makes it possible for me to live in the same town as my parents, without worrying about the below average wages that are the norm in my hometown. I have more options because I can decide to move elsewhere if I wish, and I have the financial resources to make the move.
Not everyone has those resources. It’s possible to feel trapped in your location because low pay or other circumstances prevent you from being able to change your situation. You might not even be able to afford schooling to improve your skill set so you have the ability to move elsewhere in some circumstances.
A location independent job or skill set provides you with more options. Indeed, one of the reasons that I am grateful for a wonderful career that provides me with a good living is that my resources provide me with a variety of options.
Life becomes a lot more bearable when you have options.
As you consider your own next move, it can be worth it to figure out whether or not you want to develop a degree of location independence. Decide what steps you need to take in order to get to that point. Even if you decide you like where you are for now, you never know when the situation will change. Developing income diversity now, and creating a skill set that makes you location independent, can mean more options later.