Welcome to my project for 2013!

Hi! My name is Audrey Reynolds and I’m a multi-potentialite who loves living, learning and traveling.  I’ve been a lifestyle designer since about 2008 when I returned to a desk job after 4 months of independent travel and realized my old lifestyle wasn’t going to work any more.  I’d always had a life that allowed me to play – a lot.  But I craved more freedom.

At the end of 2010 I got my wish when I was unceremoniously laid off from my steady state job.  Thanks to Rick Perry (for real), I finally got serious about intentionally creating the life of my dreams.

Six months later, I started BeYourOwnTravelHero.com with the vision of

  • inspiring people to travel more … big travel! epic travel! travel during life transitions! whatever ~ let’s go!
  • helping people get ready to travel, combining their passion with a plan that actually gets them out the door and on the road
  • creating a business that would financially sustain me during my own travels and could be done from anywhere with minimal overhead (allowing me to be location independent)

I was very enthusiastic about this idea and still am.

But something happened a few months later:  I decided to relocate to the wise and beautiful old mountains of western North Carolina. How I made that decision is a story for another post – but after a decade of good living in Austin, Texas, I put down fresh roots in Asheville, North Carolina.

Overall moving from Austin to Asheville has been a most excellent decision.  However the business of launching a business (Be Your Own Travel Hero) has been a rather slow affair.  At first I thought it was me being busy – I have a day job and obviously needed to immersed myself in the delicious offerings of Asheville [future post alert: Asheville is amazing … deeply connected community of open creatives and a plethora of craft beer, farm-fresh food, hiking, kayaking, bluegrass and more … oh my!]

But I’ve come to understand that another aspect of the slow launch is that my energy is not about traveling (for now). I am not focused on epic travel adventures; I am focused on growing roots and connecting with my new community.

This does not mean I am not traveling – I am. I took 6-7 trips last year alone! But it wasn’t epic and my attention is not on planning big trips. As a result, content about that type of travel has not been flowing out of me.

The funny thing?  I actually am planning an EPIC trip.

Yep. I’m planning to embark on a RTW (Round The World) trip in the next few years. [nb: I initially listed a date of spring 2015 but the reality is my whole paradigm may shift before that time.  2 years is close yet far given the constant change we all live with today – priorities, goals and opportunities must be flexible.  So I’ve decided to step back from a firm date to allow for amazing opportunities to develop as they need to for me and for my partner.  This is a long-term, lifetime goal of mine and I completely trust it will happen when the time is ripe.]

Every decision I make today reflects my plans to take that trip.

For example, I am resisting the urge to adopt a pet again because I know that warm fuzzy thing will need a home while I’m traveling the world.  And I am not buying a shiny new mountain vehicle with heated seats and 4WD because I know I won’t need a car (or a car payment) whilst traveling the world. You get the idea. More on this later.

For many people, including me, planning and preparing for an epic trip can take more than a year. There is money to be saved, kids to be raised, houses to be dealt with and stuff to be organized. Quite frankly, preparing what you leave behind can take more time than planning where you are going or what you’ll do when you get there. This is the stuff I help people with in my role as a Travel Coach.

Towards Location Independence

While I have this fantastic world adventure percolating, I do have another goal. Ultimately I want to be Location Independence. What is Location Independence? For me it means being able to live, work and play from anywhere in the world. It means having my life set up so I can travel and live where I want, when I want.

On a practical level, it means (for me)

  • being able to take advantage of travel opportunities at the drop of a hat
  • being able to live and work away from home for several weeks or even months
  • having access to my pictures, music and important papers on the road
  • having my bills paid regardless of where in the world I am (and whether or not I’m connected)
  • being able to generate income from anywhere

It does not mean (for me)

  • not having a home
  • not having stuff
  • not having a job
  • living the life of a nomad

Being location independent means I get to choose when and where I am going to live/work/play without the constraints many of us (including me) have. Taking off to another country or holing up in a remote cabin for a few months will still require coordination and planning – but my life will be set up to facilitate that happening with as much ease as possible.

Becoming location independent is a process and a journey.

I’ve decided to make the process my project for 2013. I intend to document my journey here for others to follow and hopefully benefit from.

Note: even though many of the steps in becoming location independent are also key for people planning an epic travel adventure, I’ve decided to keep this project separate from my content at Be Your Own Travel Hero. This will allow the content to evolve without needing to be related to travel.

I’ve divided up the project into manageable sub-projects and will be tackling one every 1-3 months until I achieve location independence. My next post will outline a plan for the following aspects of my life to be consolidated, cleaned up, organized and made available from anywhere:

  • finances
  • other accounts – online and otherwise
  • important documents and resources
  • contact information
  • media – pictures, video and music
  • and more as I work this process

I will also be creating a different way of generating income. By having the above areas working smoothly, I will free up energy, time and space to create my business.

And finally, I am tackling my physical belongings. I very much want to have less stuff in general, to keep the clutter to a minimum. This is actually my first project because it is so key to that strong foundation. In fact, I’ve spent the past 2 days purging and decluttering my closets, my cabinets and my work spaces. It feels awesome!

Care to join me?

If this mission speaks to you, it is my sincere hope that my journey will inspire you to begin the process yourself. I will post updates here at BeLocationIndependent.com 1-2 times a month, reporting on my progress and my next step. I envision these check-ins serving as accountability for me and a roadmap for you.

If you’d like to follow my progress, please check back each month — or just sign up for the list below and I’ll make sure the posts are delivered directly to your inbox.

To creating our dream lives!

♥ Audrey

2 Responses to Welcome to my project for 2013!

  1. Congrats on taking the steps and making a plan to be location independent! I started taking steps to make my freelance graphic design business location independent last year. I put it to the test with what I’m calling a trial run this holiday season. I’ve been on the road for two weeks with one more destination and location to go before I return home. So far so good! I want to be better prepared for traveling and earning a living when I venture out overseas.

    • Thank you! I am super excited and motivated. I’ve spent the first week getting organized and decluttering and have been full-on with those tasks (eg cleaning my email out at 3am). Congratulations to you as well on your plan! You are smart to do the test run. I feel comfortable with how most areas of my life will function when I’m location independent, since I’ve traveled for a few months at a time. My challenge is income – creating a business and/or finding a job I can do from anywhere. It sounds like you are well on your in that respect so bravo! Thanks for reading.

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