Day 25 Challenge: "What skills do you need to build or refine to be a happy Suitcase Entrepreneur?"
Day 26 Challenge: "Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?"
Day 27 Challenge: "What’s your best travel hacking story to date (where you scored a free upgrade, used miles or just got a bonus perk) OR Name 2 ways in which you’re going to become a savvy travel hacker in the next 6 months."
Day 28 Challenge: "What travel tools and services are most important to you when taking your business abroad?"
Moving to the Most Isolated Land Mass in the World
Yes, that's right I'm preparing to pack up myself, my dog Niko and our belongings and move 5,000 miles away from where I've lived all my life to the most isolated inhabited islands on earth... the beautiful islands of Hawaii. And I. Can't. Wait.
As much as I enjoy following Natalie's travels and watching her videos and photos from all over the world, I don't plan to follow exactly in her footsteps of Suitcase Entrepreneurship. I rather like having a home base and, for the most part, I'm also quite the homebody. My favorite "job" is Eskie Mom to Niko and I'd much rather live in one place with him than travel extensively without him. He brings an endless amount of joy into my life.
And I do work at home now. The days of leaving him for 12+ hour tours of duty at the hospital are over. I have my own business, work from home and get to spend all day with the little guy. Quite a nice change actually.
And that's why it makes perfect sense for me to relocate now. I've wanted to live in Hawaii since the first time I visited in 1987. It's been a long time coming. Moving to Hawaii is my version of Suitcase Entrepreneurship, location independence and having a lifestyle business.
Because of the freedom I've built into my business, I get to enjoy my environment 24/7. So although it's quite expensive, being able to enjoy it all day every day makes it well worth the cost in my opinion. It's my "retirement" plan... and, in true lifestyle business fashion, I'm taking it while I can enjoy it.
Right now I'm in Rhode Island. I hate it here. It snows here. I hate snow. The only reason I'm here is because I was born here; my family is still here (I love them with all my heart - leaving will not be easy); and I didn't have the freedom (school, job, career, ex-husband...) to live where I wanted. Now I do. We have summer-ish weather for (if we're lucky) 6 months out of the year... that's about 6 months too little! I want 12 months of sunshine and flip-flops! So let the packing begin!
Mastering Some Necessities
Luckily for me I'm quite good at most of the skills and attributes needed to be location independent as far as the working part. I'm very dedicated and extremely self-motivated. Working is not a problem... knowing when to stop working is. Having no partner or children to squawk about me working, I tend to put in a ridiculous amount of hours. Right now I look at that I am, as Jerry Rice said, "doing what others won't so tomorrow I can do what others can't." In other words I am on a delayed gratification plan, as far as my relocation goes.
I LOVE what I do so it really doesn't feel like work. That makes it very easy to do way too much of it. I anticipate decreasing to a normal amount of work hours once I move and have a larger team assisting me. But I know that as I reach goals, I make bigger ones so I will need to keep an eye on this.
I'll have to get used to not having friends and family around and that won't be easy. I'm quite close to my parents and have never lived more than 30 minutes away. I'm an only child also so that makes leaving much harder. But another reason for now being a good time is because they're at retirement age now. Dad is already retired and, once Mom is, the plan is for them to come live with me in a second house on the property so I can be there when they need me. As far as friends, I'm looking forward to making a whole lot of new ones!
Keeping in touch with family and friends here will be trickier because of the 6 hour time difference, but working for myself will make that a lot easier because I can make myself available when it's logical and convenient for them to talk.
Unlike a true Suitcase Entrepreneur who is always going new places, I'll be living in Hawaii so, although there's plenty to see and do, I can take my time. So it will be easier for me to work than it is for someone trying to take in all the place they're in has to offer because they'll only be there for a limited time.
I have a schedule and a routine and I anticipate they'll stay more or less the same once I'm there. If it works, it doesn't need to be messed with.
It will be nice to be able to get exercise outdoors with Niko year round. I'm really looking forward to that. And very happy to no longer need bulky winter clothes!
I love summer clothing... sun dresses and matching flip flops are office attire for me. And I'll be able to fit more of them in my closet now that there will only be summer clothes... yay!! Speaking of which...
Minimalist? Uh... No.
I'm likely the furthest thing from a minimalist. Maybe I'm nowhere near being featured on an episode of Hoarders, but trust me I'm reeeeeeeeally nowhere near fitting my life in a suitcase either! A 40-foot shipping container is more likely what's going to do the job.
Luckily for me I'm not an aspiring minimalist because I'd be failing miserably. I'm very sentimental. I love my stuff. And I have lots of it. I also love books... you know the old-fashioned paper kind? Yeah. Those.
I will admit that I am looking forward to packing for this move and one of the reasons is because it will be the perfect opportunity to go through all my stuff and get rid of anything I don't need. I'm excited about having a house with less "stuff." I guess that's what minimalism means to me in the context of my ideal lifestyle. I'm looking forward to living in Hawaii and I want my house to be nice, open, airy and not filled wall to wall with stuff... just my favorite special things. Clutter makes me crazy. And I'm dealing with a whole lot of it preparing for this move!
So that's my goal... to sift through all my belongings as I pack to be sure only the best stuff comes. Getting my stuff from here to there will be expensive enough without moving anything unnecessary! I'm very much into "island style" so, other than a few pieces and my office furniture, I'll be buying the perfect furniture for my island life once I get there... and I'm soooooo looking forward to that! (I love interior design type stuff!)
Now that I think of it, I guess preparing for this move has kinda put me on the road toward minimalism in a bit of a way. For the last couple years anytime I was contemplating buying something and how badly I wanted it, the litmus test has been "Is it worth paying to move it?" And I can tell you I've saved A LOT of money... and probably accumulated less stuff than ever before in a 2 year span! Yay me. It's a start.
Travel Hacker... Not Yet
I don't have a travel hacking story either. I actually haven't done any traveling to speak of in quite some time. But I'm sure that I'll be using all the tips from Natalie, Chris Guillebeau, Steve Kamb and the rest of the challenge bloggers' posts today to help me as I set out hunting for hacking deals to bring friends and family out to visit once I move! The resources Natalie shared on Day 28 will definitely come in handy, too.
And I guess I may need them even sooner than that. Our relocation will include a road trip cross-country with Niko... from Rhode Island to California... then dropping my truck off to be shipped and getting us from there to the airport for our flight to Hawaii. With a million details and all the hoops I'm jumping through to get Niko there safely and direct-released to me at the airport, I'm sure there will be lots of research and travel hacking to be done between now and then. So thank you in advance guys and gals :)
I'm writing this post as part of Natalie Sisson's 30 Day Blog Challenge during which I'll follow the path she's laying with inspiration and challenges for daily blog posts. I hope you'll enjoy coming along on this journey and share your own in the comments every day. If you'd like to participate in the challenge on your own blog, just click one of the links here and you'll be taken to the page with all the details.