Take Back Control of Your Time with Freelancing

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on June 29, 2017 in Online Income

Katherine Beem writing on freelancing…

It was still dark outside when I woke up to greet one last sunrise over the ocean. I’d been renting a house in Chincoteague, Virginia for the week.

It was a small cottage, located down a rutted, unpaved lane. But the back deck was generous and shady — I’d spent every night sitting out, enjoying a frosty beer as I gazed at the stars. It was only a few minutes’ drive to the pristine, protected beach of Assateague. There’s no boisterous boardwalk here — just powdery sand, dune grasses, and wild horses.

Chincoteague had been a gracious host for the week. From my cottage, I could wander up to the little seashore village’s Main Street. I could catch a film at the Island Roxy, a perfectly preserved Art Deco movie theater, or explore the artists’ shops.

Although I try to cook my own healthy dishes every day, I admit that I made several trips to Pico, a little whitewashed taco shack that serves up incredible chilli-rubbed corn on the cob. Pico has a large yard that invites you to linger long after you’ve finished your meal, swaying lazily in a hammock or enjoying a game of lawn bowling.

My week’s lease was up, so by mid-morning I’d packed up my little van, bid one last farewell to the salty sea air, and headed back to the mainland.

The big question: Where to next?

That’s a question I often ask myself. After nearly 10 years spent in a cubicle, I took the plunge and became a freelance writer and editor…working primarily in the financial field.

I love to travel, and the flexibility of freelancing makes a slightly gypsy-ish life like mine possible. All I need is access to WiFi.

It had been quite hot at the beach, and I wasn’t due back home in Baltimore for another week, so I decided to head for cooler climes. Stopping at my house just long enough to grab my tent and camping gear, I drove from the Virginia shore to the mountains of upstate New York in one day.

From a Starbucks somewhere in Pennsylvania, I solidified my plans (and took care of a bit of work email as well). I booked a campground in the pinewoods near scenic Swan Lake for a few days, and a B&B in the historic town of Woodstock.

I spent the first part of this week “roughing it” in the woods — and by “roughing it,” I mean hanging out on the campground office’s patio, listening to live music and bravely tasting my site neighbor’s homemade moonshine hooch…after I’d finished writing my daily article about stock market trends.

Then, I headed for relative luxury — at least, air-conditioning — in the heart of the world-famous art colony in the Catskill Mountains. Woodstock is loaded with colorful locals, many of whom I met while on my “lunch break,” cooling off in the swimming hole just a few blocks away from the town square.

There was Ric, who’d escaped from New York City for a weekend decades ago and never left, and Stu, who dangled his feet in the stream while slapping out funky jazz licks on his bass guitar.

Eventually, it was time to head back to my house in Baltimore. But I already had plans for my next adventure — in this case, a long weekend spent camping out at a music festival.

There are so many things to see and do, and so many people to meet. I’m glad I’m no longer cooped up in an office, missing them all.

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