Location independence. Sounds so free. When I returned from India a couple of months ago, immediately regretting my decision upon remembering what January and February in England are actually like, my landlady was pleased. She was pleased because she’d decided to sell the house I live in and didn’t want to give me a heart attack by telling me if I was still in India.
I’d also returned to find that part of what I’d run away from was a lack of work. This seems ironic – surely it would have made sense not to spend all my money on running to India only to return to the same problem that was now, obviously, worse. But the reality was, India saved me. If you’d like to glimpse why – watch the film Outsourced.
So now I’ve got a locker in London, which costs £18 a month, and have packed all my things into a 1m x 1m space ready to go in it. I have some contract work that will be fun, but won’t cover the outrageously expensive cost of renting in London. Obviously eventually I’ll build the work up again to a point where I can afford to live – but most people who have successful blogs have a full time job that most certainly isn’t blogging. I earn less than £10k a year copywriting and writing occasional travel articles and have supplemented that with savings. So in all probability I will run home, even though I haven’t lived with either of my parents in a way that either party has benefited from for a long, long time. In the blogging world, bloggers call this ‘location independence.’ Go on, laugh.
But I feel quite relaxed about everything now I have stopped fighting against it. Sometimes you just need to regroup, and have time to pitch to people without deepening the lines in your forehead worrying about £600-800 every month that you just don’t have.
Also – when you spend enough time telling everyone you need work they do hear you, which is nice.
Along the way, I’ve found out about some amazing alternatives to renting. I won’t mention couchsurfing, as unless it’s with my friends I don’t find it that appealing.
The first is trustedhousesitters.com. The site features thousands of properties all over the world. In most cases, the owners are going away on holiday and need someone to look after their cat or dog. Sometimes they need someone to look after their herd of alpacas. Sometimes the properties belong to people who split their year between two countries.
The second are property guardian schemes. These schemes allow people to sort of legally squat in properties that are undergoing refurbishment or are due to be pulled down some time in the future. The rent is often half what an average rent for the area would normally be.
The third is probably one of the most rewarding schemes – living with an elderly or disabled person and spending 10 hours a week making sure they are alright, by doing the washing up and getting their shopping for them etc. The housesharee again pays half what they’d normally pay for rent in the area, and they are really giving something back at the same time.
So with T-minus 12 days, anything could happen. I’m going to dance about it like this kid:
Sophie Collard on Google+