Learning to become an Anywhereist, and starting this website, has been an interesting journey. Let me tell you what happened, and why you should give a hoot. . .
In March, 2009, I lost my “safe” job in the economic meltdown.
It quickly became obvious that I wasn’t going to find another job. That hunch was confirmed when, after more than 200 applications, I garnered one lousy interview.
I had no choice but to start freelancing again, something I really didn’t want to do. But I pulled on my big-girl panties, and went to work.
The trouble was, I really sucked at it.
Oh, the writing part was fine. Once I had an assignment I could complete it, but I couldn’t seem to grow my business. The stress of all the financial pressure just paralyzed my brain and I couldn’t think creatively. (That’s not just me — there are scientific reasons why this happens!)
Ironically, one week before my job went down the tubes, I had launched my Future Expats website. It started out as a blog where I explored the pros and cons of living overseas — something I had always wanted to do — and my husband and I had been talking about it as a retirement strategy.
Suddenly, it became an immediate strategy.
We sold pretty much everything we owned and moved to a small town in Panama.
We lived there very happily for 2-½ years. During that time I started writing about portable careers on the website, my stress melted away, my brain unfroze, and I launched my WordPress Building Blocks business.
It did well right from the start, and provided the income for us to return to the US when my husband decided he wanted to be closer to his elderly parents.
But a funny thing happened to Future Expats when we were back in the States. . . I found I had a very difficult time writing for it any more.
I felt like a fraud
Because I wasn’t actually living overseas, or making immediate plans to, I felt like an imposter. What could I teach people when I wasn’t walking the walk myself?
After months of pondering, flip-flopping, and discarding as many ideas as I came up with, I realized something.
I may not be an expat right now, but I’m an Anywhereist!
Since the fateful day we decided to move to Panama, I’ve lived in seven different places and worked from many more. I’ve written while traveling on a Panama bus, in trains, hotel rooms, hostels, coffee shops, airports, a fifth wheel, and once even in a car speeding down the highway. (That one was awkward! And no, I wasn’t driving.)
I also learned first-hand what it was like to work for a company as part of a remote team, and got to know a whole lot of people who worked remotely from all over the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The idea of identifying myself as an Anywhereist, and helping others to achieve the Anywhereist lifestyle, feels authentic to me today.
I thought about changing to an Anywhereist approach over on Future Expats. Eventually, though, I decided this new approach needed a whole new website and Anywhereist.com was born.
The purpose of Anywhereist.com is to give you the tools and information you need to live, work, and thrive anywhere.
Here’s what’s happening so far
Starting in February, I hosted a live Q&A, and invited everyone on my mailing lists to ask me anything they wanted to know about being an Anywhereist.
Since then we’ve had monthly Q&A sessions covering a variety of topics. You can see replays of them all here. I’m taking July and August off, but we’ll start them again in September. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll get a heads up and an invitation to submit your question on that month’s topic.
I’ve also launched a regular weekly podcast, and I’ve found a wonderful co-host.
Kitty is a talented writer, and an Anywhereist herself (of course). She has a special interest in productivity and productivity tools and apps. She’ll be doing a segment on each podcast and creating lots of bonuses and extras you can download.
Whether you want to develop a portable career to support yourself full-time overseas, travel part-time, or even stay where you are but escape the corporate cubicle, I want to help. Drop a comment below and let me know what type of Anywhereist you’d like to be, and what’s your biggest stumbling block.