Loving the Boss-Free, Rent-Free Life

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on November 8, 2016 in Uncategorised

Eddy Collins writing on geographical independence

Back when my wife, Francesca, and I were working full-time, our vacations were a constant battle to see and do as much as humanly possible in a limited amount of time. This meant barely scratching the surface of places – like Mackinac Island on Lake Huron – that had caught my interest.

The moment we stepped off the ferry, the sweet smell of homemade fudge hit our noses. Mackinac is famous for its fudge…and for being car free since 1902. We grabbed our bikes and waited impatiently for a break in the “traffic.” Then we crossed Main Street and made our way into the first fudge shop we saw, Ryba’s.

This is the kind of thing we get to do regularly. We travel around freely in our VW van and make enough money to live on, through our online freelance work. We haven’t always had the freedom to live our lives on our own schedule. However, the idea of traveling with no time limits is why we decided to take the risk of quitting our full-time jobs, and dive head first into a life full of new experiences.

I loved my 18 years working as a veterinarian. The downside was having to be at a certain place, at a certain time, on a very regular schedule. The typical 10 to 12 hour days left little time or energy to enjoy my other interests. At the same time, Francesca was working full-time as a veterinary technician. Like me, she was becoming less and less interested in the nine-to-five constraints.

After several years, we finally reached the tipping point.

I started looking into the growing world of online freelancing. I took an online course to get the basic concepts down…and prepared to start putting my skills on the market. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected.

I wasn’t looking to fully replace my income. We wouldn’t be spending nearly as much as before, and I also wasn’t looking to work as much either. I began proposing for jobs—writing newsletters, blogs, and short articles related to veterinary medicine, the pet food industry, and dog care and training. I was pleasantly surprised at how much demand there was and how quickly you can get established.

When we bought our 1985 Volkswagen Van, it was basically two front seats with a cargo area in the back. That’s the way we wanted it. We wanted to modify it to fit our lifestyle. We wanted to use the van as our office. We added solar panels, deep cycle batteries, and an inverter to power our small fridge and charge our laptops and tablets…we don’t have a cell phone.

With our new incomes in hand, we sold everything we owned – house, furniture, and vehicles – and took to the road.

Now, at a café with WiFi on Mackinac Island, we put the finishing touches on an article before submitting it to a client. We can stay as long as we like…or move on to look for the next great town or area.

The most liberating feeling in the world is knowing that you are free to go anywhere you want, stay as long as you want, and you no longer have anything holding you back or tying you down.

Image: ©iStock.com/Bee-individual