I’m sitting in a tent. On my yoga mat. There’s no plug socket, obviously. There’s no WIFI, either. I slept here for the first time last night. It was thrilling and exciting and I’ve pictured myself doing this for a really long time. I’ve imagined myself living out of a tent or a camper and being closer to nature. And I’ve imagined the stories and photos I’d be able to share with you along the way. My heart’s wanted this experience for so long.
And it feels good.
But did I mention there’s no plug socket and no WIFI and I have to go outside to go to the bathroom (not to be confused with going to the bathroom outside). It’s my first full day here and I’m in the middle of finding my flow and my new routine. It’s not at all easy.
This morning I was trying to log on to Facebook - I’m running a programme right now and it requires me to access the internet and engage with the group via Facebook. I thought it wasn’t going to work. I was wondering if I was going to have to email the group and tell them it’s over and I’ll refund them their money. But I got what I needed to get done done. It just wasn’t as simple as it was when I lived in London and had a home and unlimited fibre internet and all the conveniences of modern, city living.
Being here is going to be a lesson in patience and going with the flow - two things I could most certainly use a lesson or two in.
Location independence is a dream of so many. The freedom to work from your laptop and travel the world. To work on the go, from cafes, the beach or wherever else you find yourself.
I’ve written about this before, back in 2013 when I went travelling. I wrote about the loneliness, the shitty rooms, the lumpy beds and the impossibly slow or non-existent WIFI. I wrote about how being a digital nomad isn’t as romantic as many people think.
But you know what else there is apart from no plug socket, no WIFI and having to go outside to go to the bathroom?
There’s also my tent, which is a small piece of paradise. There are the mountains on all sides I woke up to this morning with cloud rolling dramatically over their summits. There was the pitter patter of rain on canvas last night. There’s the smell of the country air. There’s the gushing stream a few minutes’ walk away and any number of hiking trails to choose from. There's the getting into my sleeping bag at night and snuggling up in my blankets with a book. There’s the feeling of just being here, outdoors and connected to all of this.
I should also tell you that I’m not actually roughing it all that much. My sister and her husband live here and I can totally go use their shower, kettle and other four wall conveniences whenever I want. I’m not sitting here cooking my little can of baked beans and porridge in the morning.
Travelling has never been the goal for me. The freedom to choose has. It’s never been about moving from here to there to there. What it has been about is having the freedom of choice in my life. Freedom to choose what I do, when I do it, how I do, where I do it and who I do it with.
That’s what location independence is all about for me. It’s about freedom to choose. It’s what so much of this is about for me. Freedom to explore all that I am. Freedom to continually create and reinvent my life in whatever way I choose. Freedom to express myself in all the ways I want to express myself.
It’s too easy to look at the photos and images of the lives other people are living and see nothing but perfection. But it’s essential to always look behind that and ask yourself, what’s the life I really want to build? What would a beautiful, day-to-day life look like for me? What do I find I want when I disengage from what external images of success are telling me I should strive for? What is the life I really want to work towards?
Sitting here in my tent, with no internet to browse, it’s much easier for me to start connecting and engaging with the things that truly matter to me.
For now, more peace, more nature, more ease, more presence, more gratitude and more writing.
Today, if you have a few spare minutes, perhaps a little time spent contemplating what the life you truly want to build looks like?
Love and courage,