We’ve been travelling for over a year now, are still happy doing-so & have no plans to return to the UK. I’ve been able to work remotely as a Virtual Assistant, supporting my clients with just a few hiccoughs to overcome with the internet. Being a VA certainly enabled our decision to travel, become a reality.
When we explain what we’re doing (travelling Europe with everything we own packed in the car), people usually say “I wish I could do that” &/or “You’re so brave“.
To be honest, we don’t feel brave & to us, it was a logical decision to packup our house & start an adventure. Yes, we’ve run into difficulties occasionally, but life in the UK wasn’t free of stress & strains either. We may have a challenge with language, but we’ve always found someone to help when required. There’s the uncertainty that we can continue, but I was self-employed in the UK for seven years so was responsible for generating an income & paying the bills there anyway.
I’d mentioned my concern to my pension advisor about the uncertainty of being 100% responsible for my income whilst abroad. He pointed out that having a job wasn’t necessarily secure either, as employment could end at any time. I should know as I was made redundant four times in ten years!
That’s why I setup my own business. To have control over my future.
There are more & more people living as digital nomads & earning their living online. They, like us, made it happen, but this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. & you need to work out what you want from life & what your life will enable you to do.
I’m fortunate that my business allows me to travel & work from anywhere & I was half-way to making this happen by being self-employed in the UK. Anyone can do it if they’re determined enough & ensure travel is part of their life-plan. But everyone’s circumstances are different & the choices will be too.
We wanted to live abroad & even bought a house in Portugal, but our first attempt failed. We kept hold of the dream & revised how we could make it happen a few years later when circumstances were actually more favourable.
When we sailed for Spain in September 2017:
- We didn’t have small children, or even grandchildren to consider
- Our children were adults with independent lives
- Our elderly parents were healthy & independent so didn’t object
- I had an established business that enabled me to work remotely
- My husband Rob, was working part-time on a zero hours contract
- We were used to living on one wage
- Our house was rented & we didn’t have a mortgage
- We are not materialistic nor put great value on possessions
- Rob & I both had the same dream
- Our pets are part of our family & had to come along too
- We wished to experience new countries & cultures
- We wanted to see new sights & create memories.
Being a VA was a large part of our decision to travel, but I was also happy with my flexible lifestyle, working from my home-office in the UK:
- I didn’t have to commute
- I chose the days & hours I worked
- I was home when Rob returned from work to a warm house
- I’d sit in the back bedroom watching the birds in the garden
- I’d pop out & pull a few weeds or sit in the sun for a while
- I’d go have a coffee in the village cafe, or a massage or have my hair cut
- In Winter I could walk my dogs late afternoon before it got dark
- I could pet-sit for my kids, working from their home for a while
- I worked outside in the sun which is actually not easy to do
- I’d snuggle in front of the fire, working with my laptop on my knee
- I setup my office the way I wanted & have it a temperature to suit me
- I did sometimes work in my pyjamas
- I saved money on travel costs & work clothes
- I could join daytime online webinars & improve my knowledge & skills
- I’d attend networking events, courses & conferences
- I could choose when to take a holiday & by working, be able to stay away longer
- My family could call & contact me when they needed to.
No-matter your particular circumstances, being a virtual assistant or freelancer gives you the flexibility & freedom to choose how where & when you want to work.
Check out my free e-course which will work you through the steps to identify if being a VA is truly right for you & your individual circumstances, dreams & desires.