What does it mean to be location independent? 

Moreton Island

When I hit the road in July 2014, I had aspirations of being a nomad, wandering the earth, discovering new places, people, cultures, and food along the way. I knew it would be hard. I also thought it would be fun.

In traveling for nearly 1.5 years now, I have wandered the earth. I have discovered new places. I’ve meet a ton of new people. I’ve learned about ancient and modern cultures. I’ve eaten so much new food. It has been hard, and I’ve had a lot of fun.

I don’t want to wander any more. 

In the beginning, I pictured immersing myself in the culture of the present location. I imagined that I would live an ordinary life just in different locations. That didn’t happen. We bounced around from place to place so quickly that we rarely had enough time to remember the main streets before we were researching the next place.

Except now.

For the first time in over a year, I’ve slept in the same bed for 6 consecutive weeks.

When we arrived in Brisbane, I was agitated. I wasn’t sure I could be in one place for two months. Now I only have two weeks left, and I feel like time slipped through my fingers. Christmas shut things down for 2-3 weeks around here. Stores are reliably open just this week. While I like that people take time off, it meant that I spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting for people to return to work to answer my email or read my resume. Waiting to schedule an interview. 

People are finally getting back to work, and I have to refocus my efforts from job hunting to moving again. We have to leave Australia at the end of January before our visa expires.

Do I want to be location independent anymore? 

No.

I want to belong to a place. At least for a while. I still have a desire to discover new places, people, food, and cultures, but I don’t have it in me to research another AirBnb. Travel fatigue is real and both Martin and I have it.

Visiting a new city is easy. Moving to a new city is hard. I want the challenge of living in another country. I want the challenge of learning a new language. However, setting myself up for a longer term stay someplace takes time: time I no longer have. 

Where will we go? Yes, we have a lot of options. We discuss them all, and I’m sure with patience and persistence we’ll figure something out. I keep reminding myself that it is exciting to not know where I will be in two weeks.

Amidst this existential crisis, we took a boat tour to Moreton Island and did some snorkeling and sightseeing.

The day was hot with just enough clouds to provide some occasional relief from the sun. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. It provided a much needed break from freaking out about my next plan. Here are a few photos from that day.

Moreton Island

We snorkeled around these rusty old ship wrecks that now have beautiful coral and other sea life thriving in them.

Moreton Island

We saw dolphins, sea turtles, and dugongs while cruising Moreton Bay. Both Martin and I loved seeing the dugongs, which are similar to manatees, as Martin’s sand drawing depicts. 

Moreton Island Moreton Island

Moreton Island

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We wished that dogs and cats would be welcome everywhere! Moreton Island is an island entirely of sand. The only road is the beach, which I enjoyed walking along despite my foot’s stubborn need for a moon boot. At least my footprints brought me a good laugh.

Moreton Island Moreton Island Moreton Island Moreton Island

Moreton Island

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2 Responses

  1. Mom-in-law says:

    Love your writing and photos, Jill! It all makes sense. Does Martin feel the same way? Good sand drawings, Martin!

  2. Molly B says:

    Such great insights. Wishing you all the best in 2016 wherever you are!