Family

Our Four Steps to Location Independence

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Berlin, Germany
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – Berlin, Germany

Recently I read a blog post about location independence and it got me to thinking. I love to travel and would love to have my family travel, but it’s so hard to do! How could I have a location independent lifestyle and still be a nurse with a family? And then it came to me. Travel nursing.

My husband and I just bought a house and had our second baby, so picking up and traveling all over the place is not something we’ll be doing in the near future. We need to pay off debt and I need to do more research on international and domestic travel nursing.  Thankfully, there are numerous blogs to help encourage paying off debt like Making Sense of CentsColor Me Frugal, Moving Mountains, and the list could continue. Hopefully we can use the advice and encouragement for momentum to pay off our debt quickly and move forward with traveling.

So this crazy idea looks like this in my head:

  1. We pay off our debts.  So far we are trying to make extra income and reduce our other expenses to throw all we can at the amounts we owe.  Hopefully we’ll get some of them significantly lower before we have to buy a new car (i.e. when another baby comes along…or my air conditioner completely gives out).
  2. My husband takes a very looong leave of absence from his employment and homeschools our kids. My husband is an adept teacher and sometimes I am so envious of his gift of being able to simplify very complex ideas and teach them easily to his listeners.  A great portion of nursing is education (patients, family, new employees) and I wish I were able to grasp and simplify concepts to teach them as well as he does. I have a great example to learn from, so hopefully I will pick up some of his skills. Plus, homeschooling our kids throughout Europe will be great for their history and language skills.
  3. Our family learns at least one foreign language to use on our trip.  My husband votes for Italian and I vote for German. Maybe both! But then again French and Spanish are both pretty popular. I don’t know. We had better decide quickly!
  4. Research. My crazy idea is that I will be working in a few locations over the course of a year or two. This means we would also be living in a few different locations. If we go international, I would hope to get a job at a hospital (or a few hospitals) where I am most easily able to communicate. Like I said, I am not a very good teacher so trying to teach patients in a foreign language may not be successful. But if we stay in the US, this shouldn’t be a problem.  Also, what are we going to do with our house? I think it might be a good time to try our hand at being airbnb hosts.

While it’s not the same kind of ‘location independence’ most people think of, it is the best I could imagine for a nurse with a family. It kind of sounds like a strange twist on the plot of Up, but I think it would be a great learning experience for the whole family. Since we would be moving around a bit, we would have to have very limited material possessions and we would get to experience a more minimalistic lifestyle. Our cultural knowledge would vastly increase and if we get to travel around Europe we get to ride lots of really fast trains (which I’m sure both boys will love)!  I know my parents must be freaking out getting really excited and thinking about starting to save to come visit us in at least one location :).

Have you tried travel nursing? Where would you go if you were location independent with a steady income?

One thought on “Our Four Steps to Location Independence

  1. Yes, you are more accurate with the “freaking out” statement. As you know, it takes all I have just to save up to get to North Carolina (and by “save up” I mean put on the credit card. Which I’m sure is one of the biggest no no’s on all those financial sites you mentioned).
    With that said I must say, your idea does look doable. It would be a great adventure for your family. You would all gain such great insight of the world around us. You will teach your children that boundaries are only lines on a map. That they too can go wherever they want in the world. That your love for them will stretch across land, water and space for them. Then as they grow and become adults, making their life’s plan, they will teach you how their triumphs will instill for you such pride. Then you too will learn how that pride and heart ache will walk hand in hand.

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