Location Independence and Choosing Where to Live
“In reality, it’s about getting the best out of life. You work hard, you build a business, why not build a life too? Location independence isn’t for those who are fed up with life but those who want a better life, the curious types and the adventurers.” Says Graham Brown in his blog post Location Independence and Choosing Where to Live
Click Play to Listen to this Episode of Barefoot Radio Below
When you’re location independent or a digital nomad, the world is your oyster. But, with over 300 countries to choose from, where do you go? In his recent podcast (link aboved), Graham brings to you from his breakfast table in Andalucia, Spain, thoughts on the decision process that goes into choosing a place to live. Graham also explores three main categories to use when planning your move;
#1 If you are looking to get a Startup going, or you are looking for networking, ideas, inspiration, two great choices are at hand; Chiang Mai, Thailand and Saigon , Vietnam.
#2 But if you are already an entrepreneur looking to grow or looking for tax advantages and capital, then look into Singapore, Malaysia, or Dubai.
#3 This one is big for Graham, and that is if you are raising a family and want more stability, education, health care and safety, look into Europe, specially Spain.
So, Graham story starts were him, his wife, and son, in August 2012, sold all their stuff and flew out to New Zealand. He said “It was a big occasion. I forked out on 3 upper class tickets because… what the heck, we were spending money like it was going out of fashion on this project anyway. What difference would a few more grand make? It was our dream anyway, so this was the once-in-a-lifetime trip (or so we thought).”
“Well, it turns out, after a week in Tokyo visiting the outlaws we arrived in our new home and didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand is a cool place but it’s just like England only far, far away. Maybe we had high expectations. I bet if we flew coach 27 hours to New Zealand we’d just be glad to be alive. But, after 4 weeks down under, we felt this wasn’t what we had in mind.”
Graham writes & podcast at The Barefoot Journal & The Barefoot Radio – Here is a video on What is Barefoot?
So, after a few more weeks in New Zealand his family and him shipped out for a brief interlude snorkeling in Fiji and Hawaii then landed in San Diego October 2012. He stated “It was a great time living in Orange County. We were just a family of 3 backpacking around and seeing the sights. We owned very little except what was in our suitcases and it felt good. But US immigration didn’t share our dream of settling in their precious homeland. Things may have eased a little now, but back in 2012 the political climate was very anti-immigration. One lawyer I spoke to wanted $20,000 to process my application with no guarantees of success.”
“Now if I was an Iraqi translator or a Mexican immigrant under amnesty, well… come on over. But entrepreneurs? No thanks. I couldn’t find a consensus on the visa I should be applying for. Every lawyer gave a different answer.
Screw this. I was getting used to the idea that California wasn’t the promised land it once was. I set up a business in California some years earlier in 2010 and, I have to tell you, never experienced so much bureaucracy. Licenses, forms… jeez.”
Setting up my business in New Zealand by contrast was fast. He started to get the hunch that getting anything official done in California would take time and a lot of money. “It’s a shame. It’s an amazing place. The problem is the lawyers… another story” he added.
Then moved to Cypress, subsequently to Canary Island, and today the Barefoot family is in Andalusia, Spain.
My strategy, says Graham, Multiple income streams, multiple industries. Some passive, some active. “I’m an entrepreneur who travels rather than a traveler who’s an entrepreneur.”
“Which is why I don’t hang out much in the scene. Not just that reason, I’m twice the age of most of these startups anyway! At 42, I don’t have much interest in backpacking the Chiang Mai scene or full moon parties down in Koh Phangan (ok maybe a little). I did backpack around South East Asia in the 90s when the internet didn’t exist and loved it. I’ve been traveling ever since, off and on, for business.
Now, however, my mode is to travel with my family. We find a great place to live for 6 months to a few years, get my son in school and take it from there. For us that works. We can immerse ourselves into the local culture, make local friends and a semi-permanent base.”
I’m a location independent entrepreneur traveling the world with my family.
Everything I run can be done online, even my real estate business which is fully outsource. Here are the 8 business projects that keep me busy (5 Startups, 2 Business, plus a blogger and publisher) :
- My “day job” is 2 business-to-business companies completely unrelated to travel (here and here)
- I also have 3 startup projects related to the location independent community: Location Offshore, The Nomad Awards and The $5 Startup
- I’m involved in 2 startups in the field of marketing & travel that are under currently wraps but due to launch in 2015.
- My real estate investment business in Europe and Asia, which has kept the whole show on the road.
- I’m also a published author on Amazon (wearing different “hats” here and here), a radio show host and write for this blog.
In retrospect Graham added, “I had a pretty damned good life. I was running a 7 figure business, flying all over the place to speak at conferences and doing okay. When you build that lifestyle for yourself, you’ve generally gone through a lot of crap to get there. That makes you a believer in the power of changing things.”
by Vagabond Elmer, founder and curator of the Vagabond Lifestyles blog, a community for those people interested in living a simple, economically sustainable, and nomadic lifestyle.
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