Mark Danger Powers

drummer • educator • author

17 Location Independent Entrepreneurs Define “Home”

To some, house equals home.

But an ever-growing number of determined entrepreneurs disagree, and have been using creativity, hard work and today’s technologies to break free of the chains that hold most of us in one specific place, developing flexible, “location independent” careers for themselves.

In my own ongoing quest to travel more and more, two particular questions continue to surface.

#1) How can I find forms of income that will help sustain longer-term journeys? We’ll be discussing a number of methods in forthcoming posts.

And, #2) What about the value in being home? As cliché as it is, I, for one, have always felt that where I lay my head is home. I could honestly care less whether I’m sleeping in a cushy bed at the Grand Hyatt or on a woven mat on a Ghanaian friend’s floor, with a mosquito net MacGyver’ed overhead. What always have ben more important to me are experiences and people.

But would that change if I were to be gone more often, for longer durations? This seems like an excellent opportunity to turn to some people I look up to, who are already doing many of the things I’d like to be. The group of travelers, writers and self-starters below each inspire me to keep plugging away and pursuing a more mobile lifestyle- something I personally feel an increasing need for everyday.

A huge thank you to everyone that took the time to contribute and share their definition of “home.”

—–

Nora – TheProfessionalHobo.com
Most of us in North American society consider home to be our place of shelter and refuge from the elements (ie: four walls and a roof), filled with items that we buy which provide us with a sense of familiarity and comfort. But if we deconstruct this idea and look at the basic elements that provide us with that sense of familiarity and comfort – ie “home”, it doesn’t have to be such a physical thing.

Close your eyes, and consider these sounds: laughter, glasses clinking, and fire crackling. Consider these smells: scrumptious food cooking, aromatic flowers, and freshly cut grass. Do these ideas and sensations feel comfortable? Familiar? Warm? Enticing? They can be experienced absolutely anywhere, at any time.

Maybe the old cliché that “home is where the heart is” isn’t far off. For myself being The Professional Hobo and having lived without a fixed address for the last four years, my definition of home is an ever-evolving entity. But it is in the little things – the sensations that we often overlook and ignore in our busy lives – that I believe anybody can feel right at home.
@HoboNora

Greg – TheMisadventurer.com
As I’m never in the same place for very long, I seek respite more in a state of mind, rather than a location. I regard “Home” as a period of time that allows me to turn off the outside world, avoid the ever-exhausting stimulus of a foreign country, simply relax and be “normal”.

So when there’s a quiet place to be had, I’ll pop in my earbuds, open a good book and enjoy some secluded “Home” time. – Though it’s the newness and unexpectedness of travel that we all crave so much, a couple of hours each week at “Home” are necessary to renew our energy and appreciation of the world in we are so keen to explore.
@TheMisadventrer

Jeannie – NomadicChick.com
Home – is where you feel the most comfortable, which isn’t tied to your birthplace. A place that tugs at your heart and forces you to be entirely yourself. That comfort could be found in a place or a suitcase. Cause the best part of this is there are no rules. 🙂
@NomadicChick

Wes – JohnnyVagabond.com
I have to say more and more home is becoming anywhere I lay my head. With email, Skype, Facebook and instant messaging it’s become so easy to keep in touch with friends and family that I really haven’t felt homesick once in over ten months of travel. I’m sure there’s an upper limit to how long this state can continue, but I’ve yet to find it. Check back with me in six months 🙂
@JohnnyVagabond

Matt – NomadicMatt.com
Home is where ever my backpack is right now.
@NomadicMatt

Brooke – BusinessBackpacker.com
I’d have to say that my idea of home has changed dramatically from the white-picket-fence that it once was. I left my home in Sacramento two years ago and bought a one way ticket to Bangkok with the goal to run my business abroad. I had my business consulting practice set up for a couple of years already, and made the transition online. My fantastic clients were willing to share the adventure with me, and I’ve been able to live in beautiful Krabi, Thailand doing what I love most. My life here is a combination teaching, climbing, diving, and helping my amazing clients grow their businesses.

I’ve definitely had to have a change in mindset of my idea of home. My old thought was that home is a proximity – keeping everything near and dear to you in one tangible place. But, recently, I’ve realized that I’ve found my home. My home is online. I can reach out and find like-minded people that are smart, fun, adventurous and want to create an incredibly exciting life. I can stay in touch with my friends and loved ones from all over the world. This enables me to live where the activities are that I enjoy, while still having a career that I’m incredibly passionate about.

I believe that you can have it all–you might just have to make your new home somewhere you never thought it would be… online!
@BizBackpacker

Jenny – WhereIsJenny.com
For me, when I’ve traveled long term I’ve always had a place to call my own to come back to. On this travel indefinitely trip I’m on now, I don’t. I feel a bit different. I’m at the point where home is where I’m at temporarily. Home is a state-of-mind when I’m with my friends. Home is when I’m with my family. Home is in my heart.
@WhereIsJenny

Everett – FarBeyondTheStars.com
We need to stop putting the idea of home in a box, it can’t be there anymore. We’re living in a digital revolution where people can live and work from anywhere, and they are. We’re a part of a generation of information generators who are re-investigating their nomadic roots with the added power of an Internet to oversee our futures. Home is where our feet are, but it’s also where our digital self is. We are in essence in a lot of different places at once. Let’s make them all home.
@EvBogue

Karol – RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com
Lately home to me is wherever I lay my head. That changed 7 times last year. But I still consider Michigan home even though I will never live there again. That’s where I grew up and spent 22 years. It’s where most of my family lives and where some close friends still live. That all said, we really need to make wherever we are home. Otherwise we get caught up in living in the past or the future and ignoring (or worse, missing) the present.
@KarolGajda

Colin – ExileLifestyle.com
Home is wherever I happen to be at the time.

So long as I’m able to connect to the Internet and set down my bag, I’ve got all the resources I need to set up shop, connect with my friends from around the world and relax a bit. The people around me are always different, the climates and languages and architecture is always different, but I know that I can build a new life from scratch without losing my existing relationships, and that enables me to feel totally comfortable in even the most foreign environment.

The WORLD is your home! Go visit some other rooms!
@ColinIsMyName

Chris – ChrisGuillebeau.com
home = WiFi, Coffee, Friends
@ChrisGuillebeau

Corbett – CorbettBarr.com
Home to me is where I have friends. Without friends or family, a home can’t exist.
@CorbettBarr

Sean – Location180.com
For me personally I have a hard time thinking of any place other than Eugene where I grew up as my true “home”. I’ve been in Portland for nearly 4 years, and while I refer to it as my home, I don’t always feel that it is. Frankly, I think home is whatever place you can feel comfortable and spend a extended period of time in. Bangkok was a home for me for awhile.
@SeanOgle

Dave – TheLongestWayHome.com
Home is something I’ve traveled the world in search of for the past 6 years. It’s a childhood dream. My definition is simply that the place feel’s right. It’s a gut, soul pulling feeling.

Today’s world of bureaucracy, economics, and society add more to prevent this feeling coming permanent than anything else. I work from the road, my website is my office desk, my wall to hang photos and a journal to record everything. My backpack is the reality of home, it sits in a hotel room most nights.
@TLWH

Jodi – LegalNomads.com
When you’re on the move quite often, home becomes wherever you happen to be that day. I’ve been in a new city for a day and said ‘Oh, I’ll email when I get home’. Constant travel breeds the ability to adapt more easily and get comfortable faster than you expect. For me, feeling at home on the road is associated with a favourite street food stall, the smiles from locals who recognize me coming to and fro and being able to call newfound friends to meet up for some eats.
@LegalNomads

Gary – Everything-Everywhere.com
Home is where your bag is.
@EverywhereTrip

Jason – LifeAfterCubes.com
Interesting question. I would say home means comfort to me. It’s where my family and most of my friends are. It’s where I’m most comfortable.
@LifeAfterCubes

—–

There are plenty of other old sayings and quotes that you may have heard, which echo the words of the location independent entrepreneurs above . . .

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” (Maya Angelou)

“Peace – that was the other name for home.” (Kathleen Norris)

“Where thou art – that – is Home.” (Emily Dickinson)

“A man’s homeland is wherever he prospers.” (Aristophanes)

“My home is not a place, it is people.” (Lois McMaster Bujold)

—–

What are your thoughts on “home”?
I’d love to read your definition in a comment below!

(photo by Robinn. )

27 Comments

  1. Whoa! This article popped up just as we were drooling over Adam & Courtney Baker’s current RV lifestyle. We love being on the road together, and traveling full-time like that seems like a dream to us. But we were on the road a few days ago with our dogs and our cat, and by day 3 we were ready to high-tail it back home. But now on Day 3 of being home, we’re back to aching for adventure. I guess some of us can’t be satisfied either way! Restless souls with bodies that long for a regular place to call home.

    • What is that they say about the grass always being greener . . . ?
      🙂
      I totally understand, Chase! Sometimes it can be difficult for me to remain in one place for very long. But there is certainly an amount of comfort and familiarity that entices me back. Maybe shorter trips are the way to go for you two (or, should I say, four)?

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Great read and I’m looking forward to future posts. Home, for me, is definitely where the heart is.

  3. This was an enjoyable read full of gems of wisdom. I could pick out many quotes I thought were good, but on the whole it’s an important and great read. To often fear stops us from following our dreams, and the fear of the unknown keeps us grounded in things we don’t want to be a part of. It’s nice to see the different concepts of home and people pushing through their fears to live the life they want to live.

    • Very true, Mark- that fear keeps many of us from much that we desire. That’s one of the things that’s most inspiring about the list of people above: they have all pushed through!

  4. Love this. We see so many of these “roundup” type posts in the blogosphere, but a lot of them are just regurgitating the same content, asking the same questions that have been asked and answered several times before.

    This is different, and I love it.

    For me, home is wherever you feel comfortable. Friends contribute to that feeling. Family probably to a lesser degree. Wi-Fi is nice, but I can feel at home without it. I’m with Senor Guillebeau though, that coffee is a pre-requisite.

    • Thanks, Trever; glad you dug this roundup! And, yes, the coffee’s a must.

  5. Interesting collection of responses – the theme seems to be where ever a warm bed is!
    Thanks for sharing

    • Thank YOU for reading and dropping a comment, Cam!

  6. LOVE this! Unexpected poignant as I prepare to move across the country on my own! I’ve been swept up into this world of digital entrepreneurship & the idea of “location independence” has come right along, infiltrating into my mind and becoming my world (whoa, just realized that. May have just fed right into my next post!) It’s amazing to take a step back and see what people who make up this world really think of it, at the end of the day. It’s like what Everett is saying- all of a sudden, we Are digitally evolving to at the very least reconsider even our most intimate dwellings.

    What an illuminating compilation, Mark! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hey, Tessa! Sounds like the “location independence” bug has bitten you as well. 🙂 I look forward to connecting once you make it to the Pacific Northwest!

  7. Great Roster line-up Mark! I hope to travel very soon and I’m sure my definition of home will change when I decide to do that. Like Trever said, it’s nice to see a round-up on a topic that is different. Right now home is a place where I feel comfortable and have friends right around the corner 🙂

    • Appreciate you taking the time to check it out, Monique! I agree that having some friends nearby can certainly help just about anywhere a little homier!

  8. We always said, during our one year RTW trip, that home would be whatever the space between us is. Whether we were sprawled in a room or squished together on an overnight bus…that space would be home. It was a good thought and brought us comfort. Cheers!

    • What a great way for the two of you to define it, Gillian . . . thanks a ton for sharing that!

  9. A very timely question that has been on our minds and discussions a lot lately. When we hit the road full time nearly 5 years ago, I found this quote from one of my favorite sci-fi series:

    ‘Home is not a place; it’s wherever your passion takes you.’ – Sheridan, Babylon 5

    It holds true for me even today. Home for me has not been tied to a physical location for a very long time. I bring ‘home’ with me wherever I go. As long as I have my intentional family with me (my life & business partner and our cat), my laptop with decent odds of connectivity and some sort of space to call my own while I’m there – I’m good to go (or stay).

    • Thanks for sharing the quote, Cherie! It sounds like you & Chris have had plenty of time to really find what “home” can mean to full-time travelers.

  10. Hey Mark, this is one heck of a list. Great to hear from all these wandering bloggers. I’d like to chime in with the married man’s perspective.

    Home is wherever my wife is. Friends help, but they’re easy to keep with using our sexy digital tools, so geography isn’t so much an issue.

    After a year in Korea together, that felt like home. A few months in Southeast Asia, that felt like home. A few months back in my hometown, and that felt like home (though it took some work).

    Home isn’t about a fixed address, it’s about connection. With the people I love, the people that matter, and the geography around me. As long as I can make that connection, home is wherever I (we) choose.

    • Sounds like the two of you share a powerful relationship, Seth! Having that connection and comfort, no matter where you [both] are at . . . beautiful. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time add this!

  11. Thanks for including me, Mark! Seems that there’s a real consistency in everyone adapting quickly to a new place, and feeling comfortable in it. Hope to see you again one of these days, if not this spring than in Portland for WDS?

    • You kidding me?! Thank YOU for your contribution, Jodi- and for checking out the post. We will definitely connect in June, if not before! Enjoy Chiang Mai . . . I’m so jealous right now 🙂

  12. Mark, Great resource! This is a new topic for me. Very inspiring to learn I have options other than what I’ve always believed for the last 52 years. I’m looking forward to doing some MP inspired travel this year 🙂

    • Thanks, Steve! It was fun putting this post together. I look forward to hearing about those travels. So, it sounds like the Philippines might be in your near future?

  13. Well, you know I’m an adventurous traveler and have moved a bit since since my wee years in NOLA, but for now, I consider Seattle my home. While I love going back home to Houston, mostly just to see dad, it’s in my past. I’m a person who moves forward leaving one place and moving on to another. Perhaps Brazil will be my home or Finland, who knows. I like coming home after a long journey, I like my community and I don’t necessarily feel that traveling is my only source of freedom and/or adventure. I’ve found that coming home, is an adventure too. But I can’t tell you how I will feel 30 years from now. Perhaps when I’m old and decrepit, I will stay in one place or return to a past “home.”

  14. My father used to say “your home is where you hang your hat”. But he didn’t travel! I did.
    4 years UK, Canada and Australia in the 60’s. Yes, I am an oldie but young at heart.

    Married, 2 children, divorced, so anchored for years.
    Children grown and flown. One married here with daughter of 3 1/2, one in Dallas, Texas. My kids admire the way I am always “off somewhere”.

    4 summers worked in UK in live in jobs…no fixed abode but good friends who gave me a bed between jobs. I loved it.
    3 trips to US. Old friend from London days in McAllen so great catchups.

    House with flat so am letting house, “stuff” into flat and off to manage a Backpackers for 3 months.
    When winter comes will head to Northern Hemisphere. Where? Who knows!

    My house is my anchor for when my body gets old but home is wherever I am.
    The laptop is a boon. I know where my kids are all the time and they me. My poor parents heard from me about every 6 weeks and had no idea where I was or what I was doing! How times have changed!

    I love travelling on my own because I meet so many more people. If you want chat (which I do), then you have to connect with people.
    So in my father’s words, my home is where ever I hang my (invisible) hat!

    • How incredible, Jo! It’s obvious that you’ve led an adventurous lifestyle. How very cool that you’ve had those experiences. And, while not everyone would agree, I do have to concur that traveling solo is a terrific way to meet people! Please keep in touch- thanks for the awesome comment!

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