You have an idea of what Location Independence means. But when it comes to families what does it truly mean?
Does it mean owning less stuff?
Does it mean traveling aimlessly?
Does it mean not owning a house?
Does it mean living out of backpacks?
What is the Location Independence movement for families?
And how does freedom fit into this? Is it better stated as a location freedom movement? But there wouldn’t most everyone in a western culture fit into this, they have the freedom to live where they want to (with limitations like finances, and goals). Is it all about the freedom to choose?
Well I’m not planning on making a definition that will fit everyone’s choice of lifestyle. I just know that for those who choose a location independent lifestyle as a family they have a few things in common.
Work, Revenue, Income – Free From Bondage
First off, unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have to earn money. Typically in the Location Independent Family movement we earn revenue through some form of Digital Nomad work. Sometimes Location Independent families own businesses, but not all. Sometimes they are contractors/freelancers but not all. Sometimes they take location dependent jobs for a season, traveling to a new location for the next job. And some families volunteer while raising support from friends and families back home.
No matter how you look at it the basic underlying principle is that Location Independent families choose their location despite the revenue. They are not bound to a location by their revenue stream.
So if you want to become a location independent family you need to do one of the following for your revenue
- Raise financial support/donations
- Be a freelancer/contractor
- Run a profitable business which doesn’t require your physical presence
- Work temporary (seasonal) location dependent jobs
School for the Kids
One of the more common objections to the location independent family movement is “what about school/stability for the kids?” Now those are two different questions I typically answer the first question about school and if they press on the stability issue I jump into a whole other blog post (coming later). Suffice it to say kids need stability within the nuclear family unit. However, not all kids need location stability. I know for a fact that my kids thrive on changing locations with the seasons (about every 3-5 months)
Anywho, there are lots of options when it comes to school and how it fits into a location independent family. From Homeschooling, to roadschooling to unschooling. There’s also international schools and enrolling kids in the local school system wherever you are. Boarding schools still exist and are an option for location independent families but I would encourage you not to pursue this option if at all possible as it’s very hard on the kids (and the parents).
So if you want to become a location independent family you need to choose one of the following for your kids’ education
- Enroll in local school systems (changing locations as you see fit)
- Enroll in international schools
- Homeschool, Roadschool or Unschool
- Boarding school
Other Location Dependent Stuff
Outside of Income Generation and School for the kids there are a couple of optional location dependent things that you need to consider for you and your family what is right. There is no universal standard in any of these, I’ll present the topics and some ideas. I’d love to hear your opinions
Typically extended family is location dependent. It’s your choice how often you want to visit or not visit. Choosing to move to live nearby family for a period of time is also possible. The key is that you have made a decision as to how to stay in touch and how often to be in physical proximity.
Owning a House
Many Location Independent families choose to retain their house or properties and rent them out. We personally didn’t feel able to do that and instead sold our house. Either option is possible and both bring in positives. Which means both have negatives too.
What else defines a location independent family? Notice that current residence, current form of travel, current amount of belongings did not make this list. These are all very flexible and all allow you to choose the lifestyle you’d like while being location independent.