Bridging the gap between virtual and real life

Two weeks ago I went to Newark-on-Trent (of all places) to meet with a group of location independent women to share experiences and create connections in real life. I have known some of these women for years – online that is. And yet again, I was impressed by how easy it is to take an online friendship offline. All it takes is a place to meet.

Finding a tribe for my “weirdness”

I often feel different to everyone else around me. I work remotely, usually from home or a cosy café around the corner. I am location independent, though I do not travel the world as a digital nomad (even though I could). I am a minimalist, and I scatter my few belongings over a four-bedroom flat where I live alone half of the time. I am German, living in Spain, and I usually dream in English. The phrase “home is where wifi connects automatically” very much resonates with me.

I tick a couple of “weird” boxes, and then turn them upside down by creating my own exceptions. Talking to the other ladies on that weekend showed me that I am not the only one doing this. Though all of us have different backgrounds, sharing our stories was an inspiring experience. Being location independent is so much more than being a digital nomad (though it certainly does not exclude it).

Location independent vs digital nomads

Location independence evokes this romantic notion of working at the beach somewhere in Thailand. That’s what digital nomads do. They are, more often than not, young, male, single, and work in tech. And it is not the whole story.

Location independent simply means that your livelihood does not depend on where you are at any given moment. You could travel the world. Or you could design your perfect work environment in your living room. You could discover a new country every month. Or you could move to your parents’ small town to spend more time with them. You could worldschool your children. You could homeschool them. Or you could move wherever the best school is available for them.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to. Working at the beach certainly makes for better Instagram photos – but there is no rule against working in the same sand- and mosquito free environment day after day after day.

Connecting with others like me – in real life

I basically live online. It’s safe to say that I spend the majority of my awake hours connected to the internet. That’s not surprising though. I work online. In my free time I write, mostly online. And most of my friends are online. Some of them I’ve met in real life, most are online-only for now. It’s not that easy to find people with a similar outlook on life around the corner.

Or is it?

I wonder how many other location independent women are there in and around Barcelona. Would it be possible to create a Location Independent Circle here? Statistically, there must be more location independent women than just me, and I am sure they have amazing stories to share – even those who have never been to Thailand. The real people behind the carefully curated online presence often turn out to be even more interesting in real life.

If you are one of these women, get in touch!

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