Category Archives: Location Independence

How I became a couchsurfer

In 2004, a group of friends invented a concept called couch-surfing. When I embarked on this new form of travel – it changed my world.

Everybody has a goal when it comes to travel – a special place in particular they absolutely have to see. For me, my goal was to see the incredible migration of the Christmas Island Red Crabs.

Each year millions of these large crustaceans migrate in a mass spectacle of heaving red shells, carpeting the beaches on a mission to release their eggs into the sea.

Remotely positioned off the coast of Indonesia and way out in the Indian Ocean, getting to Christmas Island is a challenge in itself. My first two hour flight from Singapore to this isolated volcanic landmass was aborted on final approach due to weather conditions. It was another six hours before I finally arrived on the island that was to be “home” for the next two weeks.

Finding somewhere to stay had been equally problematic.

Accommodation choices on Christmas Island are few and my limited budget didn’t exactly cater for a selection of luxurious hotels.

Fortunately, I remembered a website I had heard mentioned by fellow travellers. “Couchsurfing” was about to change forever the way I would travel and experience the world as I pursued my “100 goals” challenge.

The couchsurfing organization was created in 2004 by a group of friends in Iceland. They came up with the idea ………..

Read the full article on Virgin.com Travel here:

http://www.virgin.com/travel/how-i-became-a-couch-surfer

Working off-grid: Is there such a thing as too remote?

Remote working opens up a world of exciting opportunities – and I really do mean world. With the latest technological advances in the realm of communication, borders are no longer barriers.  In some situations it is now possible to work remotely from absolutely anywhere…

For many people the term remote working suggests a small office space at home, or a co-working space that provides an alternative working environment. It is a workspace that allows them to apply focus away from the traditional company office. But today’s modern inter-connected world allows the true entrepreneur to dream and achieve on a much bigger scale. Let me tell you about my remote workspace, to give an example of what is really possible when you start to live and work on your own terms.

I live with my partner on a small two acre island off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Our home is completely ‘off-grid’. We have no connection to mains electricity or water. Solar cells and a bank of batteries provide our power and rainwater collection …….

Read the full article on Virgin Entrepreneur here:

http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/working-off-grid-is-there-such-a-thing-as-too-remote

MAKING A BIG LIFE CHANGE IS PRETTY SCARY ….

regretI don’t know who wrote this quote but it certainly resonates with me.

Making a big life change is scary – I should know, I’ve made enough of them. I’ve given up secure jobs to travel, I’ve extracted myself from failing relationships, and I’ve lived in several different countries around the world, including the island in the picture above. But the scariness is short lived. I’ve discovered that the fear I imagine is far worse than the reality of the experience.

Change for me is liberating. I like nothing more than the slightly “edgy” feeling of embarking on a new adventure, of stepping outside my comfort zone – it makes me feel alive!

Of course, I’m not suggesting life is all about relentless, perpetual change. There have been many times when I have been settled, content and taken time to enjoy a particular pastime or environment. But I am suggesting that living in any sort of long term compromise is bad for the soul!

As kids, most of us are naturally explorative. We are pioneers and adventurers! But the older we get, the harder it is to step out of our comfort zone, regardless of any desire to do so. It takes a concerted effort and a lot of support! The more “security” we have, the more “insecure” we seem to become and for some this can create a feeling of being trapped and unhappy.

We all get bored from time to time – that is why we have created so many activities and pastimes to fill our lives. We need continual stimulation to feel positive and inspired. But occasionally we become more restless and recognize that a bigger change or challenge is needed to rekindle our spirit of adventure.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a big change or a small change – any change is better than none if you feel unhappy or restless with your life. Much will depend on your circumstances, your personality and your financial situation, but these should not be constraints. There are ways around all situations with some “out of the box” thinking and general resourcefulness.

Learning to set and accomplish goals can be an important part of making successful life changes. Writing down your goals is also very important – it shows a sense of commitment and makes a statement of intent.

If you are ready to make a change in your life, start by making a short list, just 2 or 3 things you’d like to be different. Then work out a feasible plan to make these changes happen. Stay out of your imagination and keep everything very practical. Set a completion date and mark this on a calendar. Tell as many people as possible and talk to your family and friends. The more support you have the easier it will be to follow through.

Of course there will be some people who will want to convince you not to follow your dreams – but remember they are usually the ones who are too scared to make similar changes in their own lives.

Stay strong, and keep yourself focused on what is important to you – you will be an inspiration to others and you may find yourself living your lifestyle of choice sooner than you thought possible!

No regrets!

The Road Not Taken

Image by Richard Sheppard

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost