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My Colombian Location Independence Experiment

Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce. One day offices will be a thing of the pastRichard Branson

I’m fortunate enough to be able to speak to a lot of entrepreneurs on a regular basis thanks to my passion project. I love asking them questions about their work habits to learn from them and see if I can implement things into my own work routine. One thing that came up time and again was the desire to not only travel but to be location independent. The reasons for this desire varied – it could be because they wanted to spend more time with loved ones, the freedom to move around and even just to have a great work/life balance. Time away from the norm is great as it challenges creativity, physical perseverance and develops discipline. This can help to rejuvenate founders to look at their business with fresh eyes.

As I mentioned previously, I want to try new things and challenge myself and that involved buying a ticket to Colombia for 3 months. Well, it 3 weeks initially that could potentially be extended to 3 months maximum.

Why Colombia? To be honest, there was a sale and I have a weak spot for Latin America. Although I will be in a beautiful location, being location independent is not all as it seems. First of all, it’s not a holiday because you are still working. Whether you are networking with other entrepreneurs or locking yourself away in a cabin, work still has to be done. As I have learnt, working mobile is not for everyone. I have a working routine which travel interferes with, and because of this I don’t see myself becoming a digital nomad forever.

Here are a couple of things that people often overlook whilst being location independent:

  • Wifi: whether the hotel turns off the wifi after certain hours or it is only available in communal areas, wifi (and it’s strength) is essential in being location independent. Not a lot of places have co-working spaces yet and coffee shops can get noisy so this will mean there needs to be a plan for webinars and Skype meetings.
  • Work areaRSI and carpal tunnel syndrome are on the rise amongst people using tech daily. I know this personally because I developed RSI from writing too many articles earlier this year. What this means is that I now look at potential work spaces critically. I need more than just a table and chair – my arms and wrists needs to be supported properly. If I don’t do this, I can be in pain for 2-3 days straight and that’s bad for my productivity. 
  • Work pattern: are you more productive during the day or during the night? This needs to be considered when working from the road. Unless you can sufficiently afford private rooms or Airbnb, if you plan to spend some time in hostels then remember to plan accordingly. 

Apart from this, being location independent has its perks and I plan to exploit the benefits of being away from London. The next 3 months my focus will be on producing more blog content and possibly providing electronic products for a 2016 launch. I will also balance work with play – I hope to learn how to scuba dive and go on some hiking trips. At the end of the trip I will give an update on the process but now that I have announced my plans, I am now accountable to you all. 

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