The “Laptop Lifestyle” is an outcome desired by wanderlust entrepreneurs and freedom seekers around the world. I am one of them. And I am now doing it … well I’m at the beginning of it anyways.
For years I have dreamed about combining my work with travel in a way that means I get to spend a decent amount of time in the places I visit. Not just a ‘fly in fly out’ kind of deal. I want to experience the culture of each place – which roughly translates into ‘I want to eat, drink and exercise my way through a country’.
The pull to make this happen had been getting stronger and stronger until finally early last year (2016) I said to Mike (my now Hubby – wahoo) that we needed to leave Sydney in 2017. I needed to have an adventure, one that meant getting outside my comfort zone of Sydney and making one of our lifelong dreams come into fruition.
I love Sydney but the desire to pack all my shit into a box and escape could no longer be denied. We had to make it happen. And so we did.
In May we travelled back to our homeland of New Zealand (pronounced Noo Zulund by Noo Zulunders) got married and chose to use the love celebration as the start of our adventure.
So Christchurch, NZ, is where we currently are. In 3 weeks we get on a plane and head to Cambodia. Fuck yes!! Some would think that the #laptoplifestyleadventure starts in Cambodia – it is exotic after all, but the reality is that we started this as soon as we MADE THE DECISION to leave Sydney. An adventure begins when you start actioning your thoughts.
Sure NZ is just across the ditch but we have still had to run our businesses from here; contending with, what I will expect in other places, the obstacles that come from working abroad.
The reality is certainly different from all the pretty memes that circulate.
Before diving into our reality check I want to share one of the biggest pet peeves I have had so far. People tell us that ‘we are soooo lucky’ for doing this. No. Nope. Nada.
Luck has got NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. We are NOT lucky people (grateful and fortunate yes – lucky no).
Luck can fuck off. We are here because we have spent YEARS working towards this. Every decision that we have made in our businesses and personal lives have been because we had this goal in mind. Specifically in the past 2 and 1/2 years we have had to take big risks, be courageous and step out of the box in order to make stuff happen.
We sacrificed going out for fancy dinners and buying clothes in order for us to invest in our businesses. We have invested a ridiculous amount of time and energy learning new skills and developing systems so that we are not tied to a location.
A location free lifestyle does not happen over night – it is years in the making.
My second biggest pet peeve comment, “you guys can do it because you don’t have kids”. Correct, we don’t have kids but there are some amazing examples of people with families living location free around the world. Sure having children would make this situation a little more challenging but not impossible.
It really comes down to how bad you want something. Have a family and want to travel? If you want it bad enough you will figure out a way to make it happen, as I said there are some amazing examples and role models who are doing just that. As with anything in life what you achieve comes down to what your priorities are.
We’ve been in NZ for 8 weeks now and the past 4 have been this most difficult and challenging. Here’s why:
1. I let my morning routine slip
Being in a different time zone and thrust into the middle of a very cold, wet and miserable winter has zapped all my motivation. Actually, let me rephrase that; I allowed myself to neglect the very things that keep me motivated, focused and disciplined. I was sleeping in late, waking up and checking social media straight away. I’ve been eating foods that I wouldn’t ordinarily eat and watching a LOT of tv (escapism at it’s finest).
My morning routine which consists of meditation, journalling, black coffee, reading and watching something inspirational is the NUMBER ONE thing that locks everything into place. My morning routine is my KEYSTONE habit.
(Want to know what a Keystone Habit is? Watch below)
Avoid setting too many goals at once – zoom in on couple, achieve them then move onto the next – rinse and repeat!Posted by Nardia Norman Freedomology Coach on Tuesday, January 3, 2017
It’s been pretty interesting to watch my life become less productive and motivating because I let one habit slip. This proves to me that my morning routine has to be an absolute NON-NEGOTIABLE – no matter where we are in the world.
2. My laptop crashed
Fuck. What an issue that was! I had a launched planned and two days out my computer decided to shut up shop. I had to scramble to problem solve this and get myself back on line immediately. Fortunately, my brother n law came to the rescue and I was able to borrow a laptop whilst mine got fixed. I did back it up however I had not done a backup in the days leading up to the crash so I lost everything that I had created for my new product.
I was taught a valuable lesson! Back everything up daily and keep it all in that mysterious cloud thingee! (By the way I use Backblaze; I can have a backup of my computer sent to me anywhere in the world and it’s super cheap and effective!)
3. I am with Mike 24/7.
I am a person who NEEDS a ton of personal and physical space. I have been with Mike 24/7 for the past 8 weeks and this is obviously going to be the norm throughout our travels. In order for both our needs to be met we are having to put strategies in place. I’m not sure what this will look like just yet, but if you decide to do the laptop lifestyle with a partner make sure you really like that person. Not love, like.
I am fortunate that I really like Mike, and even though I need a ridiculous amount of space I still like being near him (which we are all day because we work on our laptops next to each other).
Finding ways of creating space for myself will be an ongoing challenge. It will take some creativity from the both of us to make this work.
4. Managing multiple time zones
There have been a few scheduling fuckups from my end as I try to come to grips with operating out of different time zones. Fortunately I have an awesome app called “Time Buddy” which has helped me keep on top of these things. Due to being in one time zone and running my business out of another, my ‘work day’ hours have shifted. This means adjusting my day to build in plenty of ‘me time’ and ‘recovery time’ so I don’t end up being on the laptop all fricken day (which would defeat the purpose of being in a different country)
Ok, so that’s the very real state of our laptop lifestyle adventure so far. I am sure that when we move to Cambodia we will be presented with even greater reality checks and challenges.
My aim is to share with you the highlights as well as the low lights and everything in between!
Come at us Cambodia.