I have spent the morning online searching for an "official" definition for "Location Independence". Couldn't find one.
I was searching because I got "the look" from someone yesterday. If you have ever used the words "location independence" while trying to explain to someone what you do, you are familiar with "the look". It is a quick glance up and down your body trying to identify the bed bug scars from the hostels you have been staying in. It's a check to take a guess at the last time you washed your hair. It's a look around for your backpack.
Most people who hear location independence think, "homeless traveler".
It's not all their fault - it's a reasonable assumption. A large number of people who are out in the world speaking about the location independent lifestyle are different from us. They usually leave their possessions behind, travel out to Southeast Asia or some equally inexpensive location, create an income stream from some sort of web business ("who knows what you people do on the web", "the look" says, "must be dodgy though") and choose to explore the world.
Notice that word… choose.
"The look" usually comes from someone who lives a traditional lifestyle. You know, house, stuff, two-cars, full-time job or two and debt. I have lived a traditional lifestyle and may one day choose to live it again (well minus the debt part).
Notice what I did there? I said choose.
It just so happens that we spend a lot of our lives traveling. We don't stay in hostels, couch surf, or even backpack. Not because we don't think those are great options (they are amazing options), but because we choose to have a different experience.
Many people living the location independent lifestyle choose to homeschool/unschool their children. While we chose to homeschool our daughter for a few years, we knew that it wouldn't be a permanent solution for us. Although many location independents talk freely about never going back to the US. We choose to have a home base in the US so our daughter can have the high-school experience she chooses and because we have business here.
Many location independents get their income from blogs, web businesses or freelancing. I choose to have a manufacturing/retail business. Yes, you can make almost any "traditional" business location independent.
Location Independence is not about back-packing and sleeping on beaches. It's not about taking your kids on an adventure they will never forget and giving them an unschooling education. It's not about US bashing. It's not about "get rich quick" internet marketing schemes.
Location Independence is about the new economy.
Location Independence is about establishing sources of income that are not dependent on you being physically present at a certain place, at a certain time for a certain number of hours.
It's about choice.
So I have decided that I don't need an "official" definition. I can define Location Independence with only one word… freedom.
What does it mean to you?