I am sitting at a sidewalk café in Buenos Aires in January, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and shorts, sipping an espresso, and chatting with friends back home—who are huddled indoors against yet another northeastern U.S. snowstorm.
That’s when it hit me, “this being homeless thing isn’t so bad after all.”
But perhaps I’d better back up and explain.
I actually still own a home in the northeastern U.S (I’m sure it’s buried in snow). I also had a day job there; a really good one. So, it was despite the protests of friends and family, who all thought I was insane, that I gave it all up for life on the road. Or as I jokingly put it: “rendering myself intentionally homeless.”
How was I able to do it?
I’m a copywriter. As long as I have a computer with internet access, I can work from anywhere. That means I can live anywhere, even if that “anywhere” changes every few weeks.
There’s a great big beautiful world out there and two weeks a year simply isn’t enough time to properly explore it. So I decided I wanted to travel full-time. The idea is to spend a few weeks in a place and really get to know it on a deeper level before moving on to explore someplace else.
With that one decision, I put all my stuff into storage, put my house on the market, packed a couple of bags, and got the heck out of dodge.
Let’s see…where is someplace interesting and warm right now?
Egypt. It’s always hot there, right? Maybe I should go see the pyramids. So off I went to spend a month in Cairo. The pyramids are great. So are the mummies, and the King Tut exhibit, and the giant outdoor market bazaar.
However, in January Egypt isn’t quite as warm as I was expecting. Granted, it gets into the 70s F during the day and only down to the 50s F at night. That’s vastly better than the arctic blasts that were ripping up the U.S. east coast at the time. Still, I wanted summer, not spring.
Well, the southern hemisphere’s seasons are exactly opposite to those in the northern hemisphere…and I’d never been to Buenos Aires.
Even as a newly-minted copywriter, such freedom is possible simply because of the nature of the work. My clients usually don’t know, or care, where I’m physically located. Whether I’m working from Des Moines or Damascus, it’s all still done by phone and email.
They give me an assignment, some guidelines, and a deadline for when they want it done. My job is just to write copy that works.
So here I sit, at an outdoor café, shaded from the blazing summer sun under a wide red umbrella. Espresso, ice water, a few snacks to munch on, and my laptop. The café provides free WiFi and they don’t mind if I sit here all day.
My old office had a window that could be opened. That was quite the status symbol at my old job. My new office doesn’t have any windows at all—or walls, for that matter. But it does have a guy who comes by every so often to see if there’s anything he can bring me.
I’ve got to say, this “homeless” gig may not be so bad after all.
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