Top 10 Reasons to Live Remotely
Living remotely isn’t easy. It takes months, or depending on how adventurous you want to be, possibly even years of planning. It costs money too. Travel isn’t cheap and neither is lodging, especially if you’re relocating an entire crew of littles. At this point you may be asking yourself,
“Why go through the trouble to live remotely when I like my home and I can travel anywhere when I go on vacation?”
That’s a fair question. It’s a question that you should agree whole-heartedly with the answer to before you even give a remote lifestyle a second thought. Not only that, but the answer should stir something within you that makes your head spin and keeps you up at night.
What it comes down to is this: A vacation is just that. It’s a period of time to rest, relax, travel and recharge. Living remotely, on the other hand is the exact opposite. Besides the travel part, the similarities are pretty sparse. Instead of relaxing comfortably, you are actively challenging yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. There is no leisure or rest, but rather growth and development, both personal and professional. There are so many reasons to pursue a lifestyle of location independence, but here are our top 10.
1. TO ACHIEVE PERSONAL GROWTH
If you’re not challenging yourself regularly, you’re not growing as a person. It’s as simple as that. We simply cannot grow and improve without facing and overcoming challenges. Simply enjoying the routine of everyday life is familiar and therefore, comfortable. “So what if I’m comfortable, I’m happy this way!” That’s a valid argument. You really can’t argue with happiness. BUT, ask yourself this: If I look back at my life 5 or 10 years from now and I’m still in the exact same spot, will I be happy with what I’ve done with my life? The answer is no for most people.
People naturally want to improve themselves. One way to do that is to challenge yourself. Living remotely is a great way to challenge yourself and achieve personal growth. It’s a way to force yourself to think outside the box, problem solve and seek new experiences. The fun part is, you might not even realize you’re doing these things until you’ve put in your share of labor and sweat. That’s when you step back and realize, Wow, I did that! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I am better for it.
2. STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS
Maybe you’re the head of a 6 person household, or perhaps it’s just you and your spouse wandering this planet together. Either way, you’re going to come out of this experience closer to everyone in your family unit than you were when you left. Think about it, when you’re home, you’re constantly distracted by events, social gatherings and neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have these things in your everyday life, but having a break from them can give you a chance to connect with and grow closer to the people that matter most to you: Your family.
Instead of inviting the neighbors over for a cookout and letting the kids run around in the yard all night while you listen to the fine details of your neighbor’s latest job promotion, you’ll have a chance to really learn the nuances of your kids’ personalities, their fears, their dreams and everything in between as you sit around the dinner table night after night. Or, you’ll carve out time each day to walk the streets of your new city with your soulmate, talking about your hopes for the future and making plans to take over the world. Whatever your circumstances, there’s something about the solitude and isolation of the remote lifestyle that forces you closer to your family, creating bonds that will far outlast the 2 or 3 months you spend away from home.
3. LIVE A MORE FULFILLING LIFE
We all seek fulfillment in life, whether we realize it or not. Some people find it in family, others their career, some find it in their faith or a combination of these. My point is, everyone finds fulfillment in life in different places. If you’re one of those people who feels like something’s missing in life, chances are, you’re seeking fulfillment in the wrong places. Maybe it’s social status, or perhaps you try to fill the void with shoes and handbags. A remote lifestyle will allow you to stop seeking fulfillment in shallow or materialistic things, and start finding it in enriching life experiences, relationships and a career that allows you to live your life to the fullest.
4. CREATE NEW LIFE EXPERIENCES
Which brings me to my next point: Living remotely allows you to create new life experiences for you and your family. Living someplace new for an extended period of time forces you to see what else is out there. Think about it, if you’re living in your home city every winter, chances are you’re going to do the same activities during the winter months year in and year out. Go to the movies, go shopping, maybe bust out the skis a time or two….and these are all fine ways to pass the winter months, but that’s exactly what you’ll be doing; finding ways to pass the time rather than finding new ways to live your life!
5. EXPOSE YOURSELF TO SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t help but think, Wow, I live a very sheltered life. Maybe that’s just me. I find myself thinking that whenever I’m learning something new that I feel like I probably should have learned a long time ago, or when I’m exposed to a situation that makes me feel out of my element. Or maybe sheltered isn’t the right word for all of us. Perhaps you haven’t lived a sheltered life at all, but you’ve lived in a tough environment your whole life, and that’s really all you know. You’re in a bubble. A safe, normal, sterile bubble. It’s time to pop the bubble people. Expose yourself to the elements!
If you’ve lived most of your life in a suburban town, check out what city life has to offer. If you’ve been tied up in the rat-race of a big city for years and years, retreat to the countryside somewhere where you can breathe the fresh air and enjoy a slower pace for once.
6. SLOW DOWN TIME
Speaking of slower pace, a remote lifestyle allows you to slow down time. Say whaaaattt? But that’s impossible, you say. Just hear me out. Have you ever had the experience of driving to a new place and it seemed to take forever to get there, only to find that on the way back home it didn’t seem to take nearly as long? That’s because the drive there was all new, foreign territory, while the drive home was familiar after having just driven that route. You have familiar signs and scenery to let your brain know how much farther you have to drive. Well, think of your life as that car ride. When you do the same thing day in and day out, your brain recognizes the familiarity of each event and the days seem to fly by. Pretty soon weeks start blending into months, which blend into years and you get the picture.
Who hasn’t ever wondered where the time has gone or wished to be able to slow down time. Especially since we know our time on this earth is limited, wouldn’t it be nice if we could slow it down, if only just to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of what it has to offer? Living remotely offers your brain an unfamiliar route: One that can be driven slowly, one day at a time, in order to savor each mile and enjoy it for what it is.
7. GET TO KNOW A NEW PLACE
Here’s another key difference between taking a vacation and living remotely. When you go on vacation, you are a tourist. You see all of the sites and go to all the best restaurants. When you live remotely, you might do these things, but then after you’ve exhausted all of the recommended Yelp! and TripAdvisor activities you’ll discover hidden gems that only the locals know about. You’ll discover these gems the same way that you discovered your favorite coffee shop or hiking path in your hometown. You talk to people, explore and eventually you come across these wonderful places and activities that every place has to offer, but not everybody knows about.
8. ACCEPT AND CONQUER A FUN CHALLENGE
When you think of a challenge you probably don’t also think of the word fun. That’s because challenges are meant to be hard, and hard things are rarely fun. Living remotely for a month or two, on the other hand, that’s a fun challenge that you’re going to be happy you accepted. Especially if you have kids, you might be thinking that a remote lifestyle sounds pretty close to impossible. I only have one child and I remember thinking that same thing when we were first toying with this idea. It sounded hard. But it was one of our goals for the year; to live somewhere else for a month or longer. And you don’t list something that isn’t challenging as a goal, now do you?
9. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Depending on the nature of your career, you may be able to actually further your career, improve your skills or make new connections while you’re living remotely. You have a chance to see how business is done on the other side of the country, or heck, in a different country! For example, Chris is a software programmer. He is super into the tech scene, only in Green Bay, there really isn’t much of a tech scene. So spending time in a bigger city allows him to attend conferences and meetups to get his nerdy fill for a while. It’s also a great way to seek out business development opportunities that you wouldn’t have as easy of access to from home. Be creative. Think outside the cubicle.
10. ESCAPE THE COLD
Okay I admit, this one’s personal. I know this won’t apply to everyone, but hey, what do you expect? We live in Green Bay, Wisconsin! It’s cold for a good 5–6 months out of the year. So why wait until you’re 70 to become a snowbird? No one’s keeping track. You’re not going to win any kind of reward for toughing out the coldest winters. Get out if and while you can!
So there it is. The top ten reasons to live remotely are pretty great, right? Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to live remotely, but if your reasons are to have fun and site-see and relax, you might be in it for the wrong reasons. These things are all great, but if that’s all there is, you’ll be ready to come home after a good week or two. There must be a deeper purpose for your travels. Maybe your reasons align with one or many of these, or maybe you have your own reasons that are completely different. Either way, we’d love to hear what you think! Why do you live remotely? Why do you want to live remotely? What is it about this lifestyle that keeps you on the road?