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How I Earned Location Independence and Moved to Belize with a Family of Four

How I Earned Location Independence and Moved to Belize with a Family of Four

I’m here in Belize, living in my apartment overlooking a shimmering canal and only a five-minute walk from the beach.

I finally have location independence and it’s seriously a dream come true. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, finding it hard to believe I live in beautiful Placencia Village. And other times the wifi goes down and I have to kick myself and physically rein in the desire to jump on a plane back to the States. But, you know, one day at a time kind of thing.

Anyway, I’m here. The location independent lifestyle is mine, and unless something goes drastically wrong, mine for good.

And I could never have done it without becoming a copywriter.

Location Independence: A Multi-Step Process

If you’re already well into your career, it’s possible you may be able to make the jump pretty seamlessly from employment to the location independent life. Editors, marketers, analysts, consultants … these are all examples of people who could theoretically move online without a lot of trouble, drumming up their own clients within a few months and going from there.

Chances are good this does not describe you, though, or you wouldn’t be reading this post. You would be sunning yourself in Barbados, cuz you already know all this crap.

Right?

Becoming Your Own Boss: The First Requirement of Location Independence

In any case, it wasn’t me at first. No, sir. I worked for other people, went to school, repeated that cycle a few times, and finally used pregnancy as my excuse to start working from home. Once I made the jump, it took me a bit to figure out how to actually make money doing it.

Which is a critical part of the whole process, ya know?

Okay, yes. That was a dumb question, because you obviously know. Becoming your own boss and learning to make money writing has the reputation of being extremely difficult, but really, it’s not as hard as they say. I mean, if I can do it, you can.

My first workdays as my own boss involved crappy coffee, screaming babies 15 months apart, frustrated dogs (my Labrador was NOT a fan of the suddenly reduced him time, if you know what I mean), and some serious ups and downs at work.

But it happened. And it can happen for you.

So the question is … how?

(As a quick aside, I want to note that location independence is possible if you work for someone else. However, working for a company that lets you travel or live abroad is not the same as having location independence, because you can’t decide when to travel or move. So it’s up to you; if you want to try your hand at this lifestyle as an employee, more power to you. But I think it’s much more likely to work if you become your own mistress first.)

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Location Independence

Well, that’s what this series is going to answer. We’re going to start with the story of how I built my business, stone by stone, including the platforms I used to start earning money right away. If you’re wondering whether content mills are for you, I’ll provide some answers on that front, as well as several ideas on how to land your own independent, high-paying gigs.

Next, I’ll walk you through what it looks like to set up an international move. We had to deal with dogs and children, but you may not. And during it all, I tried to keep working as much as I could (tough, with a 5-month surgery process, but that’s another story). I’ll take you step-by-step through the requirements, the paperwork, the housing, the scouting trip and more.

After that, I’ll tell you all about the move itself. How I dealt with transitioning abroad, what the travel day was like (hint: utterly insane), how I weathered the storm work-wise, and what working abroad looks like now.

Lastly, we’ll talk to other people who have successfully moved abroad. In some cases that means living and working in one place, and in other cases, it means pursuing a true digital nomad lifestyle, where “home base” is wherever your suitcases are.

In all posts, we’ll take the approach of examining what makes an international working move sustainable. Because, come on, if you’re independently wealthy … then this blog series isn’t for you.

Although if you ARE, let us know if we can have some of your money.

Because we wantz it.

Ahem.

You can read all the posts in the series here:

Part II: Building My Business

Part III: Becoming a Bona Fide Digital Nomad

Part IV: Setting Up the Move

Part V: Advice from the Experts

Also, stay tuned for more updates from the digital nomad front! Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wrap this up by encouraging you to go the writing route …

Earning Location Independence by Becoming a Writer

Obviously, I’m a little biased about the best ways to gain location independence, because I did it by cultivating a strong business as an online freelance writer, which required the right approach and the right mindset. You may find other methods that work just as well for you, which is great. However, with the absolutely exploding number of businesses online today, it’s a better time than ever to jump into freelance writing, which is why I recommend it so strongly.

Assuming you have the chops, that is. Which I’m going to go ahead and assume about you. Because I like you. Because I think you’re neat. And because I’m just in a good mood today.

… kidding. I’m assuming that because you’re here, on this page, and you’ve read all the way down to the bottom. You’re STILL willing to hear my story about how I gained location independence, and to me, that says you want it for yourself. Through writing, probably, though if you’re a modern dancer or kettle corn maker, I hope you still get something out of this series.

To that end – the becoming-a-writer end, not the kettle-corn end – I welcome you to check out the Free Resource Library. It will help you in your pursuit of becoming a copywriter, developing a fantastic voice, building a smart business and becoming the person you were truly meant to be.

Future You won’t regret it.

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