Day 21 Challenge: For those of you keeping track, I don't want to throw you off... Day 21 was a day off; a break before starting the 3rd part of our journey...
Day 22 Challenge: "If you chose to live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?"
Day 23 Challenge: "What’s your level of location independence and your nomadic quotient?"
Day 24 Challenge: "What are your travel essentials for your chosen destination(s) or the essential elements you’d want it to have (like history, sunshine, etc.)?"
A Long Time ComingFrom the very first time I visited Hawaii back in 1987, I've had a deep heartfelt connection with the Islands. I'm drawn to them in a very profound way and feel more at home when I'm there than I do here in Rhode Island where I've lived all my life!
I love the people, the culture and customs and, of course, the beauty of the Islands. I love the nice weather and the fact that it's nice year round. I love the calmer, laid back lifestyle and how friendly people are. I love the island style of living. I love to walk on the beach. I love to be near the ocean and listen to the sound of the waves... I can do that for hours. I love to watch ocean sunsets. I love living Aloha.
So I've decided to relocate to Hawaii. It's been quite a long time coming and I'm really looking forward to finally living in the place my heart calls home! It's going to be an enormous undertaking moving my whole life and my company 5,000 miles... all the way across the country into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But I'm so excited about it!
My Wish List
I talked about my perfect day back on Day 5 of the challenge.
Covered outdoor space is super important. I want a huge covered lanai and that's where Niko and I will likely spend the better part of every day. The beautiful weather is another reason for the move. I'm able to enjoy my environment every day and I'm tired of wasting half of every year dealing with cold and snow.
Is It a Go?
There are a whole lot of things to take care of and I was hoping 2013 would be the year. But unfortunately Niko has had a rough year and now he needs to have surgery again so alas my perfect days will have to wait. His surgery is on September 6th and I need to give him time to recover. So, since I'm limited by weather and safety concerns, we'll need to wait until 2014.
And it's all up to this cute little guy. Meet my fur baby, Niko. Isn't he precious? (Asks the proud and very blessed Eskie Mom!) He's my most important consideration. I need to be sure I can relocate him safely because he means the world to me. He'll be 15 years old in November so there's a lot to think about with such a big move; especially because of the quarantine regulations in Hawaii. But, he had his first round of necessary testing and he passed! So, we're taking it one day at a time, deciding carefully and, although I would leave right this minute if there was only me to consider, the timing of this move is all in Niko's cute, white fuzzy paws.
I've never been able to bring Niko to visit Hawaii because of the quarantine laws so I'm really looking forward to sharing this special place with him where he'll be able to enjoy the outdoors 365 days a year.
My Perfect Level of Location Independence
For me, the ability to work from home and on any schedule I please is a blissful amount of freedom. And my perfect level of location independence is to take advantage of those freedoms and relocate to a better place now that I've created the freedom to enjoy my environment 24/7.
Today Natalie gave us four Suitcase Entrepreneur qualities that must be possessed to live that lifestyle:
1. A vision for your business and a life that you'll fight for
2. The ability to spend time alone and enjoy your own company
3. An independent nature and strength of character to deal with daily challenges
4. An open mind and sense of compassion for others
I can say an enthusiastic "Yes!" to all four of them so, within my own personal nomadic quotient, I would say I'm in good shape!
Not Everyone's Idea of Perfect
Of course even Hawaii is not everyone's idea of perfect. I know, huh? But it's true and, just as Natalie has met with resistance for bucking the status quo with her Suitcase Entrepreneur lifestyle, I've had some judgmental comments slung at me for my choices as well:
"Are you serious?!?!?!" (Why yes, as a matter of fact I am!)
"It's expensive to live there ya know!" (No duh, really??)
"How can you just move away from your friends and family?" (Well, I never said it would be easy.")
"Why do you want to move there? You don't know anyone."
"You're going to be alone!?!" (Sometimes this is a statement and other times a shocked question.)
And when all else fails to change my mind, there's always the one guaranteed to get to me... "You're going to kill Niko trying to move him there!" Ignore the fact that every single teeny tiny decision made about this move has been arranged with his best interests in mind, no matter the cost (when we go, how we go, if we go...), this one still gets to me every time. Of course I'm nervous! If it didn't matter, we'd be gone already. So I hate having it thrown in my face as if I don't care or haven't considered it.
The questions and comments can be painful, depending on the tone and who they're coming from. But that doesn't mean I'm going to change my mind. I've never really cared much for being told what to do and I'm much less concerned with pleasing people than I used to be when I was younger (clients not included, don't worry). And besides, I think there's actually much more at play here if you look beyond the surface.
What's Really Going On Here?
Natalie made a great point in her Day 23 post and, although she specifically referred to the effects of world travel, I think it's a more widely felt problem. Here's what she had to say...
"Travel can really change people. It can expand their mind, open their eyes and broaden their horizons beyond belief. This means when you head home after a period of travel, things can feel very different to you and childhood friends may suddenly seem very different, and potentially boring or small-minded.In return, you might seem like some changed person that they just don’t get and can’t relate to. Trust me, this happens a lot and it’s hard to deal with on both ends if you’re not aware of it."
I wholeheartedly agree that it's extremely hard to deal with. But I think that, though it may be more subtle, it affects all online entrepreneurs, whether they travel or not.
I've noticed it in my own life. I have much more of an open mind and infinitely broader horizons than most people I know offline; indeed even more than I myself had before starting an online business.
They are very geographically narrow-minded, "local-focused" and closed off to most of the world with absolutely no idea how accessible it is to them.
As someone who deals with them all the time, I can't believe how many people do not understand time zones, other than the familiar ones in the US of course. They don't understand the concept, how they work and certainly not how to figure them out.
I'm met with a look of shock and disbelief if I mention doing a group coaching call with clients from around the world; or being on a Skype video chat with a coaching client from Australia or a friend in New Zealand. The mere fact that I know and interact with people from all around the world downright boggles peoples' minds.
They just don't get it. And they don't get me. And that is very hard to deal with. It's put a strain on quite a few friend and family relationships.
There's a part of me that wonders if (in addition to the fact that they've never experienced it) maybe part of the problem is that it's invisible and intangible because they kind of "get" my jewelry business. But they decidedly do not get any of the rest of it. AT. ALL.
They don't have so much as an inkling of the possibilities that exist for them. And many of them don't want to.
Fear is another reason for these responses... their own fear. Maybe you're doing something they would be afraid to do themselves. Or maybe what you're doing affects their world and they don't like change. They may even be so averse to it that they want to hold you back... and may try. These issues can be the toughest and, for me, they've meant a whole lot of letting go.
But I'm glad that I allowed my world to open up. And I'm glad that you're in it.
Share Your Thoughts
Feel free to share your thoughts about where you would choose to live and your nomadic quotient in the comments below...
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.