Travel the world

Earning In Dollars, Spending In Rupees: Location Independent Income

Indian Rupees-50 note

I was just thinking about the nature of your job. Wherever in the world you have internet, you have your job. Did you ever think about this? Most people migrate to countries like US or UK in search of highly paid jobs and they have to deal with the cost of living in those countries. If they have a sort of job like you, they can earn according to American standards and can spend in Indian Rupees […] If you have to spend your life in India where you can have a high standard life with $ 5000 a year, would you consider staying in India with some visa that permits you to stay as long as you want ?
– M

Income that is independent of location is something I have worked on for the past 12 years.

In other words, yes. I have thought about it.

Having been in India, I would say that it is definitely a country I would visit frequently. India is amazing and beautiful, and the people are incredible (as is the food). However, India is not somewhere I would live permanently, at least not at this point. There are many reasons for this… top on the list is that the only places we had good internet were Hyderabad and Mumbai, and that was only when the power wasn’t going out (which happened every day expect in Hyderabad and Mumbai).

Places where I would live permanently (of the places I’ve seen so far) are Germany and New Zealand.

Places where I would return and live for a few months include:

  • Argentina
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Brunei
  • Many places in Italy
  • Others…

However, my whole family is in the United States.
I grew up in the United States and really appreciate all the opportunities that are available because of the United States.

If some or all of my family was in New Zealand, I would definitely consider moving there.

Though the costs are higher in New Zealand, the quality of life there is really great. The same goes for Germany.

Location independent income allows you lots of flexibility in life. However, there are trade-offs for everything.

Living location independent means that you live in a way that most people don’t understand.

Location independent living means that you hear a lot of comments from people

  • who think you’re “on permanent vacation”,
  • who think you live “foot-loose and fancy-free” while “leaving the rest of us behind”
  • who say¬†that when you travel somewhere within a country, you’re “taking a vacation from your vacation”
  • or that you “have to really be tricky about your work” (implying that we somehow cheat people)
  • or from people who ask “Why don’t you have a real job?”

We hear these kinds of beliefs directed towards us (sometimes with a fair amount of hostility) on a somewhat regular basis.

And they can cause hurt, until you realize that the thoughts aren’t about you, but rather about the people who are saying the comments.

This means you have to be very patient and understanding with other people.

Having location independent income also requires a LOT of self-motivation.

It means getting up when you’re tired and working late when you’d rather go to bed.

It means looking for opportunities all the time and taking advantage of what life presents, even if the outcome appears quite uncertain.

I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me in the past year “I would LOVE to do what you do”. (It’s easily more than 50 people.)

When they ask, I start to tell them how we do what we do. Most people either tune out within 2 minutes (glazed over eyeballs or actually talking to someone else), or say something to the effect of “Oh, I would never be motivated enough to do that.”

Location independent income means being willing to try new things.

Location independent income means willingness to do work that most people consider “risky”…

All the work I do, I have no idea whether or not it will pay off.

I have no salary.

I do the work anyway, hoping that it will pay off. Sometimes it works.

But unlike many jobs, every day I have to look at what I am doing and figure out ways to do it better, AND do more of it.

Most days, that is one of the first thoughts in my brain. Most days, it is close to the last thought before I go to sleep.

How to do more things, how to try more things, and how to persist longer, when the going gets tough.

And the going does get tough.

There are trade-offs for everything for sure.

Regardless, I do consider myself fortunate to be able to live in a location independent way, and that I have the opportunity (as we all do today) to build an income that isn’t dependent on where I’m physically standing.

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