Whenever a movement comes along and begins to gain steam, there often times becomes a chicken and the egg discussion. Meaning, did circumstance A cause the movement or was circumstance B helpful in moving it along, or did it all just happen?
Lately, I have been looking at a specific aspect within the minimalist movement pertaining to those who are living a location independent lifestyle.
Honestly, it’s not a new idea. Thanks to the internet, there is a new, shiny appeal to it and more people are aware of it. But before ‘location independence’ there were hippies, gypsies, pioneers, settlers, and nomads.
So what I have been wondering lately is why all the buzz around location independence? It’s clearly not a new concept to move around from place to place having little belongs. What is different is, thanks to technology, now one can not only document their travels and experiences through social media, blogging and books, but also make money while doing so.
There seems to be a real hunger for this type of lifestyle, both by those actually leading it, and those of us who are sitting on the sidelines, reading about location independence from our living rooms or the local coffee shop.
So, again I ask why are people doing what Nina Yau is doing, or what Adam Baker is doing or countless others? Why is the book Eat, Pray, Love so popular? What are we looking for? I say ‘we’ because there’s obviously a shared experience whether you’re reading a blog about a family of three traveling the states in an RV, or reading a book about a woman who went to three distinctly different countries, looking for three distinctly different experiences to find herself and self love.
Why are people giving up security, jobs, homes, possessions in search of something that is intangible and cannot be named? What does this say about our society and the state of the world? To me, it says we’re waking up. I think my generation in particular has realized corporations fail, companies cut back, natural disasters happen again and again, and money can only buy you things. But an experience lasts forever.
Experiences stay with you. They shape who you are and change your life. They can alter your future and enhance your worldview.
Does the recession and recent waves of natural disasters have something to do with this new state of awareness and surge in location independence? Definitely. It is my hope that in light of all that happens in our world, each event has opened our eyes and hearts to the bigger picture, that life is fragile and fleeting and it is not about what we have, but rather what we do.