Getting started with nomadic living required some changes to my work life. I was contracting with a primary client and did side projects for five years.
Step one in the process was to find work that allowed me the flexibility to perform duties remotely. Initially, I attempted to negotiate remote work with my existing client. I was working only 20 hours a week anyway and aside from the occasional meeting, my physical presence at the office wasn’t required (at least as far as I was concerned). I had meetings with the new head of my department. It was apparent that not only was remote work not an option but my future there was threatened if I wasn’t willing to become a more permanent fixture in my cubicle (i.e., become a full-time employee), not exactly the outcome I wanted.
It was time to look for another option. An opportunity to work on a project came about the very next week. I knew that it was the type of thing that I wanted to do to both broaden my skills (developing iPhone/iPad applications) and get out of the cubicle for good.
Seven months later, things are going well. I have made the first steps to create the life that I have always wanted. There are many more challenges (short term and long term) to come, particularly:
- Creating a toolkit that allows me to work remotely. I have started developing a set of tools (hardware, software and processes) to see how effective they are in stages (working further away from Atlanta).
- A plan of how/where I will live. I haven’t given much thought to the details other than to select certain places I want to go (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Seattle, Vancouver, Japan).
- Generating more passive income. While I am not tied to a cubicle, I am still tied to the “billable hours” model of work. While it’s nice to be able to work from another country, I want to flexibility to not have to work for long periods of time and pursue other interests. I am working on software products that will help alleviate this problem.
- Accommodating family. My current status (single with no kids) allows me to move freely but someday I will get married and have children. Traveling with family poses some new challenges that I look forward to solving.