How to become location independent and travel the world

How to become location independent

What would your life look like if you were Financially Free? Have you ever considered being Location Independent?

You probably have a long list of things you’d like to see or do, when you no longer need to worry about money. If you’re like most people, the #1 thing on the top of your list is: “Travel the world!”. 

There is good news for all of us who are not quite there yet. Did you know, that it’s actually possible to travel the world while you’re still pursuing Financial Freedom?

Read on to see how Location independent blogger Shlomo Freund from FreeFinancialSelf.com does it.

A short intro about myself

Hi, I’m Shlomo. We are a couple in our 30s + (almost) 3-year-old daughter which we homeschool. We are based in Israel but really have a flexible lifestyle (you’ll see how in a minute). The highlights for us are what we call “workations”. We travel to different places for 2-4 months at a time, get to know the place and live like the locals.

This is the start of a 10 days trekking trip in rural south-west Portugal. 
All equipment on our back + baby

When I spoke with Jørgen about publishing a guest post we brainstormed a few ideas. The first few things that came to mind was:

  • “How do I get the most out of my money while pursuing financial freedom?” 
  • “How to become location independent and travel the world?”

I’m glad to share from my own experience how it’s possible to combine FIRE with Location Independence.

So, how do we manage to be location independent?

When we are in Israel, we rent out our Yurt on Airbnb. This helps us pay the bills and the loan we have on it.

This is where we live:

It’s a small place, about 55 sq m, but it’s more than enough for what we need even with more children to come. It’s affordable, cozy and flexible for changes.

What do we do when we get a booking?

It’s basically very simple. We have a few options: We either go stay with family, friends or (rarely) rent another airbnb at a cheaper price. Since we are spending time with our extended families most of the weekends, it comes out quite nice. We plan our family visits to go along with the bookings we get.

Sometimes if we have extended time out of the house and no Airbnb reservation on that time, we will rent it out as a normal rental for 10-14 days. But, you get the point, we use our place as a resource as much as we can.

Same thing happens when we fly for a workation for a few months. The place is rented out. It covers a large sum of our expenses of the trip and when you live like a local your expenses are usually not that high. On our trip to Portugal for example, we managed to be there for almost two months and it cost us almost nothing.

And yes, there were a few other things coming together to help us with doing such an affordable trip.

Here are 4 guidelines we use to make this lifestyle work:

1. Choosing to be location independent

The most important thing is that we choose to be location independent and our other choices in life derive from that. So, higher paying job which is definitely possible for us to get, are non negotiable. Working 9AM-6PM and therefore spending time in traffic for 2 hours a day is not something that we want to get into. We like raising our daughter and spend time with her. With normal work hours it would mean that at least one of us would see her very little. So, no stressful morning for us.

Some would say we compromise here but we don’t feel that way. We focus on what we really like, which is basically our next trip.

2. Live like a local

The next thing that we do is living like locals and staying in affordable places. We buy food at the market or supermarket most of the time or eat at local (not touristy) restaurants occasionally. South-East Asia was an exception for us though. When a whole meal costs us $2-4 and also saves shopping and preparation time, eating out most of the time was a better choice. But even then, we still had some of our meals prepared fresh from the market.

Location independent in Thailand
This is where we used to live in Thailand. 1 db apt + swimming pool for $280 USD a month

We get a few things when we adopt the local style. The most important thing is the experience we get. In Thailand we sent our daughter to a local nursery and lived in a local neighborhood where we got to know people living in our street. Even if we don’t speak the language we have better connections with the locals vs. staying in a hotel.

For longer stays in one place we will rent an apartment and for shorter stays we will go with a private room Airbnb booking. This way we get to meet other locals.

3. Long stays

Being location independent also means that we save a lot on flights. The price of a flight is the same no matter how long is your stay. The longer the more our rented place pays for the flight.

Also, longer stays means that we can do more, in a relaxed pace. We would usually work during the week and travel over the weekend. From time to time we also take time off during the week. This means we have the time to take public transport instead of more expensive taxi’s or renting a car, for example.

4. Travel cheaply

We always try to find the most affordable way to go. We use public transport and do things that usually don’t cost much.  

The bottom line is this: Traveling is not that expensive if you plan it right. I’m aware that not everyone can take a 2-3 month vacation and save on such a long trip.

Still, there are many tools out there today that can save a lot on a trip.

8 travel hacks that really makes a difference

Here are a few travel hacks that can make a difference on your trip especially when using a few on the same trip:

  • Rent out your place – Whether Airbnb or just to a friend, it’s worth the effort.
  • Use low cost airlines – Yes, these are not as convenient as the regular ones sometimes, but when you are frugal, try to find the best deal among several websites before you book automatically on your favorite platform.
  • Forget Hotels – Airbnb or any other similar house sharing website should be your choice. It’s cheap, it’s different every time and yes, you get to meet the locals.
  • Make money when you fly – AirMule or Grabr will do the work here. If you have extra space in your suitcase, sell it and fund your trip.
  • Free or almost free car rental – Get a free car here for a few days with TransfercarUS  (They have similar services when you travel to Canada, Australia or new Zealand).
  • Crowdshipping – Ship something to someone along your route with services like Roadie.
  • Give a ride – ShareYourRide and CarPoolWorld are two examples but there are many others.
  • Get a Ride – If you decided not to rent a car, why not get a ride from somebody on those carpooling platforms? BlaBlaCar is the most common one I know in Europe.

Find your “why”

Generally speaking we are very focused on what’s important to us and pursue this. Others might have other dreams to go after. When you break up your needs vs. your wants you discover that we as humans need pretty basic things to live and be happy. The problem is sometimes people have a problem separating between a need and a want, which is then a serious burden on their finances. I encourage you to look into yourselves and figure this out.

So, what’s your “why?” Do you like the idea of being location independent? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author

Shlomo Freund combines FIRE with location independence. He helps others aligning thier finances with their life goals in order to achieve them faster. Shoot a message to schedule your free financial fitness call with him.

Follow Shlomo on his blog Free Financial Self or any of his social channels: Twitter –  Instagram – Linkedin –  Facebook –  YouTube

location independent
Shh.. Baby is sleeping!

4 Replies to “How to become location independent and travel the world”

  1. That lifestyle is very compelling. I have never considered living like that, and it’s not easy for me to do that. I love to explore, but home is very compelling to me. I wonder how many people have the same feelings of wonder when they hear your story. Could I do that? Do I want to? Perhaps something less or more would be better? I see a lot of daydreaming in my future!

  2. GenX thank you for the comment. As I mentioned in the post, this is the way that works for ME. When I’m telling about this to others they do sometimes telling me I’m living the dream. I thought that many people would like to live the same way. Of course not everyone would like to wander all the time, but then I put a survey up in a few FIRE facebook groups. Here is a link to the largest one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChooseFI/permalink/1928660157429870/ . Was surprised to see that about 40% actually don’t want to be location independent. I don’t know if it’s because that don’t like travel, LOVE staying at home or anything else.

    I also have examples from clients I work with. When we get down to details of their dream lifestyle. In many cases it’s not different from what they do today. Then the question is prioritise their goals and build towards them to know what they are and CHOOSE them confidently. I like travel, some people like other things.

    So, yes, every person is different.

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