11 Reasons Why You Should Be Location Independent
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11 Reasons Why You Should Be Location Independent

For the past three years, Heath and I have traveled full-time in our motorhome.

When we starting RVing, the idea of being location independent was just starting to take off and #vanlife hadn’t taken over Instagram yet.

But now being a digital nomad or location independent is the hip, cool thing to do and for good reason.

Since taking our lives full-time on the road, we’ve started two businesses, filmed a feature-length documentary, grown our blog, and partnered with awesome companies like Winnebago.

Plus, we’ve traveled to all fifty states and continue to travel full-time all while working from national parks, beaches, and on occasion, even Walmart parking lots.

Every day is different than the day before and full of its own set of adventures.

And while our family and friends like to tease us and ask when we’re going to “settle down” or come back to the “real world”, we don’t see ourselves giving up this lifestyle any time soon. Here’s 11 reasons why:

1. More jobs can be done remotely now than ever before.

No more spending your days in a cubicle.

Growing up, the internet was mostly only good for instant messaging with the guy you were crushing on or illegally downloading music on Napster.

Now, the internet means that I can literally work from anywhere with cell reception.

If your company allows you to work from home, why not work from the beach, or the mountains, or at winery?

And if you’re an entrepreneur, what’s stopping you from taking your show on the road?

We run two businesses from our Winnebago: our film production company and a software startup called CampgroundBooking.com. When we moved into our RV, we hadn’t started either of these companies yet. They were both born on the road. In fact, when we first started traveling, Heath was still employed full-time.

Now that we run our own business, we choose our own clients. So when we need to shoot on-location, we work our clients into our travels. This means choosing to work with people who live in San Diego, Santa Cruz, Portland, and basically anywhere with great weather and a healthy proximity to beaches.

2. You can travel more.

Traveling full-time is cheaper than living in one place and taking yearly two-week vacations.

renting RV on outdoorsy

It cost us $23K to travel to all fifty states over the course of one year. That’s all of our living expenses for two.

In comparison, before our wedding we spent a week in New York City at Christmas for $3,000.

Even if you’re travel hacking, vacation travel is often pricey. And when you factor in your expenses for the year (rent/mortgage, utilities, cable, etc.), odds are that you are spending way more than what most full-time travelers spend in a year.

During our first year on the road, we learned how to travel cheap and still enjoy our time on the road. You can learn how we made it happen in our free 7-day course, How to See America on $2K/Month.

3. You’ll stop wasting your days in rush hour traffic.

Once on Valentine’s Day, Austin traffic was so bad that it took Heath three hours to drive home. Three hours! That’s ridiculous.

Working in an office, every day was the same: an hour to drive to work, an hour to drive home. And then once you finally make it home, you’re so exhausted you need an hour of Netflix to decompress.

I’d like to think this is why most people want to work from home: no more wasting your time in traffic day in and day out.

Instead, your morning views can look like this:

Boondocking in the Teton Mountains

4. YOU CAN WORK IN YOUR PAJAMAS.

Or in real clothes, your call.

As a girl, I love not having to pick out an outfit and put on make up first thing in the morning. Or ever.

5. You never have to experience winter.

When you’re a digital nomad, you can pick and choose your seasons. We choose our driving routes based on weather. Our goal is to always be in the 50-80 degree range (Fahrenheit). AKA the perfect temps for hiking and eating meals outside.

This means snowbirding in central Texas or California and heading north for summer and fall. This year we’re spending the hottest months of the year in upstate New York and Maine and then sticking around to follow the leaves changing all the way south.

6. Set your own hours.

I love never needing to track my hours or worry about clocking in and out. I can sleep in until nine and work till six, or I can work three hours and spend the afternoon hiking.

Of course, if you’re working for someone else on the road, you might have a few restrictions.

For us, this is where running your own business on the road becomes so attractive. We can set our hours and decide for ourselves what needs to be accomplished each day.

Plus, and this is a huge bonus here, I can go to the grocery store at 10:30 in the morning before it’s crowded instead of going in the afternoon like every other adult in the country. It’s the simple wins, guys.

7.Your desk can be your lap while you lay in a hammock.

advice for full-time RVers

Is there anything that will kill your creativity faster than sitting in front of a screen all day under fluorescent lights? I doubt it.

I love being able to take my laptop out of the RV and literally work from anywhere. Although, I must say hammocks are usually the best place. Second best is probably by the pool. Third best involves a view of the mountains. Actually combine all three and you have an awesome day ahead of you.

8. No more annoying co-workers.

We’ve all had an annoying co-worker or two in our lives.

Whether you’re starting your own business or just taking your job on the road, one thing’s for sure: your co-workers aren’t coming with you.

This means less small talk and water cooler chat and, incidentally, way less pointless meetings to suck up your time.

9. Spend more time with your family.

After our wedding night, Heath and I moved instantly into our RV and started traveling. We joke that we’re married in dog years because in addition to living in a tiny space together 24/7, we also run our business and this blog together.

After starting our marriage this way, I can’t imagine what our relationship would look like if we had stayed in Austin and worked full-time jobs. We would only see each other for a few hours every night and on the weekends.

We would miss getting to see the best parts of each other. We wouldn’t get to enjoy lunch together or take a nap together every afternoon (another awesome perk of working from the RV).

We never would’ve learned how to build a business together, how to talk about taxes and finances without fighting, or how to handle navigating a 33-foot motorhome across the country. These are things that have molded our marriage in big ways, all because we decided to take this show on the road.

Plus, since we are traveling, we have the chance to connect with other family members we don’t often see. We’ve been able to visit my cousins in California and Colorado and even parked our RV at my great aunt’s house in Michigan.

And instead of visiting our parents for a few days around the holidays, we can drive our RV to their house and park in the driveway which means we can enjoy time with family and still have the comforts of our own home.

10. More opportunities will find you.

It isn’t common to live and work full-time on the road.

While this fact may make it harder to tell your friends and family that you’re ditching suburbia to travel full-time, it also makes you extremely memorable. This is especially helpful if you’re running your own business or starting a side hustle to get freelance gigs from the road.

People remember us as the random kids who travel the country in an RV.

And businesses want to work with people who have proven that they aren’t afraid to take risks and make big things happen. Nothing says I do big things like moving into an RV and traveling full-time. It’s like a free billboard saying that you’re fearless and willing to work to make stuff happen.

This has been one of our biggest assets for growing our business and our blog. We’ve had opportunities to film tv shows, be interviewed by national and international news outlets, and partner with major companies in the industry like Winnebago, Jellystone, and RV Share.

We didn’t even start our business until we were already traveling full-time. It was something that our location independent lifestyle made possible.

And as more people asked us questions on how to travel and work full-time, Heath started his podcast, The RV Entrepreneur, where he interviews fellow nomadic entrepreneurs on how they’ve built and sustained businesses on the road. This podcast led to our first-ever RV Entrepreneur Summit where we gathered 120 fellow travelers and talked about how to build a lasting business from your RV.

The more we travel, the more we learn, the more people we meet, the more opportunities we find, the more awesome things we can make happen.

11. Freedom.

why you should be location independentI remember sitting in my office at a non-profit in New Orleans nearly four years ago now. I was in the middle of a huge undertaking: digitizing the past ten years worth of volunteer intake forms. Fun, right?

I had the office to myself most of the time since my co-workers were usually working off site. I typically had Netflix running all day while I was flipping through forms, removing staples, walking over to the scanner, sending the files back to my computer, cataloguing them and repeating the process with the next folder.

Most days, it felt a lot like giving up on my dreams to write books, travel the world, and make a difference.

Now, we don’t have to feel that we’re sacrificing our dreams anymore. We have the chance to pursue then every day.

We can decide how we spend our time, who we work with, where to work from, and if we want to take off all afternoon to go hike Enchanted Rock or kayak down Snake River.

Most of all, we can own our day. Every second, every minute, we chose what we do.

Our “own your day” shirts made for The RV Entrepreneur Summit

Are you location independent, or trying to figure out if leaving the office for better views is right for you? The best conversations happen in the comments below 🙂

Follow Alyssa Padgett:

Travel blogger

Second half of Team Padgett and full-time traveler in our Winnebago Brave. I blog about our travels, how I run our production company from the road, and the ridiculous things Heath does on a daily basis. My husband thinks I'm funny.

  • Eric Booth

    You guys are my heroes. Seriously. Keep up the great work!

  • Tyler James

    You’ve inspired my partner and I. We put a deposit down on a RV and are in the
    process of selling all of your “stuff”.
    I won the battle against addiction about 1-1/2 ago and am ready to start
    living and doing what I love to do most.
    I’m ready to take my video skills on the road and make memories that
    will last a lifetime. Really love
    following your journey!

    -Tyler

  • Linda Utz

    Can I order one of your shirts?

    • Hey Linda! We currently don’t have any inventory on the Own Your Day shirts. But I’ll let you know if that changes! 🙂

      • Linda Utz

        Thank You!

  • Teresa Rosche Ott

    You guys were so brave to buck the system at such an early age. Most of our adult children seem to be settling for the expected paths in life, which would be OK if that’s what they really wanted.

    We’re more like you & Heath. Why be trapped inside in a job that doesn’t use half of our capabilities (yet still manages to be a mental drain)? We don’t have it all figured out yet, but the RV will be in our driveway soon & we’ll just keep taking the next step that feels right.

    It’s inspiring (and instructive) to read about how you guys pretty much just got on the road and got creative. Grossly oversimplified from your actual day-to-day, I’m sure, but you made bold moves & made it work.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Teresa! It was definitely a leap of faith for us moving into life on the road, but it has paid off. We certainly never expected we’d still be RVing after our initial trip to all 50 states, and finding ways to make money on the road was a crazy adventure in itself! But staying committed to the goal of living this lifestyle forced us to find ways to make it possible 🙂 Totally worth it!

  • Bridgette

    Those are all such great ways to embrace life and collect moments. I adore that you guys did it in 20’s. Since MY 20’s I said wanted to travel while young. I did get to travel places in Europe due to military life moving us there and that is a blessing. But the dream to travel my own country was thought of a few years ago and we are looking at not doing it till Jan-July 2019… so just fist bumps, high fives and hugs for being brave and dreaming big.

    • Aw, thanks Bridgette! That means a lot. It was certainly a scary choice when we chose this lifestyle, but 100% worth it! Best of luck as you prep to travel more in the coming years! 🙂

      • Bridgette

        Besides I dislike the term settling down. You would be settling and why give up those views eh? Thank you. Going to buy RV six months befre go. Raised my siblings and two in house still. So last one graduates June 2018.. so we will hit the road then. But I am a planner.. haha. So thank you for all the resources.

  • Just stumbled on this blog and I am so impressed by everything you two were able to do on the road together. It is definitely a testament to how productive and happy people can be when they get our of the 9-5 world and can do what they love. Many of your reasons are the exact some ones that led me to leave the corporate cubicle and I have never been happier. When are you taking your travels overseas?

    • Aw, thanks Julian! It has definitely been an amazing journey for us together. Our plan is to do either 6 months in Europe next spring or maybe jettison off to New Zealand for a few weeks this winter. We really want to find out what it’s like RVing in different countries!

  • Don

    Very nicely done! Lots of great reasons here… Keep up the good work!

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