Location independence: Why nomadic families are choosing life on the road

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A new way to live and work

The pandemic changed the key aspects of how we live and work, leading to what is sure to be an uptick in nomadic families traveling the globe.

The mobile lifestyle has been calling to families ready to forego traditional lifestyles for a while now. With the recent surge in remote jobs, it’s becoming increasingly evident that people are not willing to settle for metropolitan cities just for the sake of work opportunities. They exist online now, no matter where you are in the world.

As long as you have a stable internet connection, it’s completely up to you where you live and work. Or where you raise your family.

How remote work can increase your quality of life

Working remotely, especially if you are fully location independent, can help you create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. If you were previously based in a large city because your company had offices there, but always wanted to live by the beach and enjoy a more natural environment, this is your sign to truly consider it.

If you thought being a digital nomad or working remotely from a beach paradise can’t accommodate those with a family and a full-time job, you’re sorely mistaken. As long as you work remotely, you have a plethora of options.

Here are a few scenarios you can opt for if you’re working remotely:

Create a home base you truly want

You’re not forced to be in a city anymore.
If you’re working remotely, it’s never been easier to choose a home base that works better for your family and the life you’re trying to build. You’re not forced to be in a city anymore. Have you always dreamed of buying a bigger house outside of the city or in nature, but couldn’t make it happen because of your daily commute to work? Not a problem anymore if you work from home.

We realize that some companies don’t have policies that allow for complete location independence. If your employer requires you to stay in the country but lets you work from home, this is a great compromise.

Travel more

You can stay there for longer, keep working and truly immerse yourself in the culture.
Are you already happy with your home base but now have the opportunity to work remotely outside of your home country? Why not stay in your home base for most of the year, but go work remotely and travel, for example, in Italy for a few months? It sounds unconventional, but many remote workers, and families, are exploring this way of travel. It’s the perfect scenario – your travel to Europe doesn’t have to fit into a two-week holiday, you can stay there for longer, keep working and truly immerse yourself in the culture.

Be fully nomadic

Use the full advantage of working remotely and explore the globe with your family.
Have no intention to set up a home base yet? Use the full advantage of working remotely and explore the globe with your family. The thought of it might seem daunting, but there are nomad families already doing it, like the Expert Vagabond. They even introduced an interesting term – “Citizenship hacking” which allows them to acquire additional citizenship in foreign countries, using completely legal loopholes. For example, they were traveling in Mexico when their son was born and, because Mexico practices birthright citizenship, their son is entitled to a Mexican citizenship now. As his parents, they can claim Mexican citizenship in just 2 years, even though they are not based there anymore.

Their family now has 3-4 citizenships amongst themselves thanks to this, which puts their kids a large step forward towards a more borderless world.

What are the benefits of this lifestyle?

Whether your family is in search of a new place to plant roots, or you’re ready to bounce around soaking up experience and culture, now is surely the time. Here are some of the benefits of traveling as a family:

1.   Richer experiences

From learning a new language as a family to heading out on culture-packed excursions, the nomadic lifestyle opens up many opportunities to learn about the world around you.

There’s only so much that can be gained between the covers of books and the world is waiting to be explored. When you’re traveling the globe, or simply exploring a new place, there’s ample opportunity for learning that goes beyond the classroom.

The world opens up for nomadic families to learn and grow together. From taking on new adventures like learning to scuba dive, to seeing the great wonders of the world, traveling together gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself and your family.

Children that travel grow up to be more adaptable and flexible, more curious about the world around them while having ingrained respect for different cultures since young age.

2.   Flexibility

If the pandemic has taught us anything (besides how to properly wash our hands), it’s that life is too short and your job can probably be done from anywhere. And if it can’t, chances are you can find one that can.

Remote work often allows for unique opportunities to create a more flexible schedule.

Not only does this newfound flexibility allow for a healthier lifestyle, but a better work-life balance along with that. Your family will thank you for it.

3.   Reduced costs

While it depends on your location, the average cost of living in the United States can be upwards of $4,000 per month.

That is a high price for essentials when the average salary across the nation is less than $52,000/year. Comparatively, if you move across the border into Mexico, you could cut your expenses in half. Nice weather, good food, cheaper living, undiscovered experiences  – is there any reason not to go?

And it’s not just Mexico. For those willing to leave the traditional “western lifestyle” – the United States, Canada, United Kingdom – the world is truly your oyster. From Poland to Portugal, it turns out you don’t have to spend your entire paycheck just to put a roof over your head and food on your table.

Another major benefit of remote work is not having to compromise on your job in order to move locations. Usually, when people move, it was because you or your partner found a better job in another city. This puts the other partner in the position where they had to leave their existing job and either find a new one in a completely new city, or stay at home and take care of the family. If both you and your partner have a remote job, changing the location boils down to just that – physically moving from one place to another. It has nothing to do with your work because you can do your job in the same capacity, no matter where you are.

Even if your goal is to eventually return to the United States, spending some time living in Europe or Latin America might significantly help you save up money and purchase that property sooner.

Challenges of the nomadic lifestyles

While the advantages are never-ending, it’s not without its challenges. Depending on where you go, how long you’re planning to stay, and what you want your lifestyle to look like, you might encounter some of these challenges:

Language barriers

The biggest challenge for nomadic families probably boils down to language barriers. Even a basic daily routine of going to the grocery store is more difficult when you don’t speak the local language.

While you can certainly learn, it takes time. You might end up leaning on Google Translate more than you’d like. If feeling like you’re a part of the community matters to you, choose a destination where you speak the language (or at least know the basics!)

If you truly fall in love with a destination and can imagine setting up a home base there, you’ll be motivated enough to learn the language. Kids learn very quickly too.

Immigration

Moving from country to country comes with legal challenges. Each country has its own visa rules, and while some of them have a process that’s easy to navigate, that’s far from the norm. Hiring a local lawyer to help you with the fine print, especially in a place like Mexico where an appointment only costs $30, will help with the stress of it all.

Depending on your passport, you might have to apply for a visa for your family ahead of traveling to your next destination. There are several visas created specifically for digital nomads that are a great option if you want to spend an entire year in locations like Spain, Portugal, Barbados, etc. For other countries, a tourist visa will work just fine. As a remote worker that likely won’t be staying in their country for more than 6 months, you can work remotely for your employer while on a tourist visa.

Childcare

Unlike your home country where you probably have more support from grandparents or family friends, something as simple as finding someone to babysit won’t be as easy in another country.

This may or may not be challenging, depending on the lifestyle your nomadic family plans to live. If you’re working remotely, do you always work from a coworking space/café or from home? If so, you might not need to take your kids to day-care or need a babysitter to look after them during the day.

Another big benefit of remote work is that both parents can be employed in some capacity while raising kids. There are many mom entrepreneurs that started a side project, their own company remotely, or do freelance work for a few hours a week online.

Health insurance

The most practical thing you might worry about is healthcare insurance. We’re not trying to hide the worrisome aspects of leaving your home country – you are essentially losing your safety net. Luckily, all of that exists online now.

Products like Remote Health by SafetyWing offer comprehensive global health insurance that you can use worldwide, while you travel. Think of it as healthcare that’s provided by your home country, but available global and online. You can create one plan for your entire family, and know that you are covered wherever you go for the same price instead of setting up a health insurance solution in each country you travel to. If you’re not fully nomadic and can rely on healthcare in your home country, opt for their travel insurance product that has Covid-19 and unexpected quarantine coverage.

Ready to start your nomadic journey?

Nomadic living is on the rise, and there’s no reason why your family shouldn’t reap the benefits. If you’re not in a position to pack up and go right now but want to, it’s time to start planning. If your current employer won’t allow you to work from home, there are plenty of remote jobs that do.

Slow travel is shaping up to be the future of adventures, and a nomadic lifestyle might be the perfect way for your family to see and experience the world. So, why not start planning right now?

Sponsored article from SafetyWing

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