Many people think a laptop lifestyle means that you need to live in a third-world country to keep your living costs low, sit around on the beach, eat lavishly every day, and hardly do any work.
Sadly, sitting on the beach may sound great, however, getting sand in your computer and squinting to try to see the screen is the reality. As is the fact that businesses need time spent on them by someone to build and maintain them.
Many so-called laptop lifestylers spend a lot of time coaching and working in their accommodation. Yes, they may live cheaply, but I believe this can also be done without being away from our family and friends.
What is a laptop lifestyle?
A laptop lifestyle, in my opinion, is the opportunity that allows you to work anywhere with just a laptop and an internet connection. The hours that you work will vary depending on the type of work that you engage in.
In the early days, I chose to travel around Australia selling goods as I went both in person and online. I did this for ten years.
Today, I still travel a lot but do so as a retiree with income from my superannuation, and the sale of my hobbies, and I am building this blog and my social media in order to increase my traffic streams.
The laptop lifestyle is often promoted as a way of following the guidelines of Tim Ferris’ book “The 4 Hour Work Week”. I discussed my thoughts on the possibility of achieving this dream in an earlier blog post.
Do you need to travel on a laptop lifestyle?
No. There are many ways to have a laptop lifestyle and work from home. A laptop lifestyle primarily means you are location-independent, no matter where that location is.
Some people work a 9-5 and then take work home with them, others work from home and only attend a workplace every couple of days to collect new assignments.
Then there are the lucky ones who receive instructions online and perform the work required.
Most people need to work each day as they are paid per action. These are examples of laptop lifestyles, but working from home with an online business is also possible. Therefore, travel is an option, not a necessity.
In the future, I plan to buy a small house in the country and spend a little more time at home. I can do this because I choose to have a laptop lifestyle that coincides with a simple lifestyle. It is possible to do this without resorting to some exotic – yet far away- location.
Are there disadvantages to this lifestyle?
Yes, unfortunately, there are some things that need to be considered.
My former laptop lifestyle allowed me to travel but unfortunately, I wasn’t always able to set my own hours. I needed to travel to where I could exhibit my wares to interested people. When you sell in person, you must interact with potential customers at a time and place that suits them.
There are also logistics issues that need to be considered as you move around the countryside. I needed to ensure that I was able to easily get to a post office in order to dispatch products sold from my website.
To overcome some of these disadvantages I tried moving my retail business to a strictly online operation. I had a 3rd party logistics center that stored goods and arranged freight. However, the costs did eat into profits considerably and I had some issues following up when freight went astray. Nothing is perfect.
What is it like to be fully mobile?
Believe it or not, there are some disadvantages to being 100% mobile.
As my home also travels with me, there are times when this is inconvenient. When I visited Hong Kong and China, I had to find somewhere to leave my mobile home and car so that it was likely to be there in one piece when I returned.
It is easy to arrange for short trips, even if a little expensive. Allocating extra funds to ‘park’ your house, plus ongoing fixed business costs while on holiday still needs to be taken into account.
There are times, particularly during busy holiday periods that I try to get off the road. When you are mobile, it means that you can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of increased traffic during these times.
If you have physical products that need to be sent to the customer, you always need to be contactable and able to forward orders. This may limit where you can go in order to avoid traffic.
I turned to blogging in order to create income streams that complement my lifestyle so I could slow down and stay in one spot longer. I can work on my blog anywhere.
Now that Starlink is available, I always have access to the internet and often this now includes phone service in areas where the phone was once non-existent.
Many people choose to have a home and travel however, this may mean working the 9-5 grind for a much longer period. There are other things to consider, depending on the location, including the disadvantages of having a vacant house attracting unwanted attention.
Having a house when you travel also means a commitment to return from time in order to clean and do maintenance or have someone else rent it from you. There are pros and cons of doing this.
Selling my house, gave me some freedom. It will not be forever, but taking time without a mortgage and downsizing allowed me to enjoy a nomadic life through my fifties. It is only now, at 62, that I am reducing my travels a little and buying a house.
The main driver, in the beginning, was I wanted to ensure that I didn’t work too long and find myself unable to travel because of ill health. I have personally known too many people who have simply left it too late. After selling my first business, I closed my second and turned it mobile. Thus I began my laptop business at 50.
Life always puts obstacles in our path. I urge everyone to grab whatever opportunities that come your way. Life is too short to miss out. I love the lifestyle I live
How do you start a laptop lifestyle?
There are many jobs, tasks, or businesses that can be done as part of a laptop lifestyle.
Some people have skills like computer coding, graphic design, or the knowledge to promote content through SEO or social media. Others can create written or video content that teaches others.
If you don’t have computer-related knowledge, you can still learn to teach others something you do know.
You can learn how to create a website, create content, attract visitors and potential customers, and market your website. There is a lot of information on the internet. You can read lots of conflicting information, and watch YouTube till the cows come home, but often there is a much simpler option.
I am sorry to say that I didn’t realize what a wonderful opportunity I had and nearly let it pass me by while I continued to consume content without really getting a good grasp of what was needed. I spent a lot of time and money chasing shiny objects.
I have been able to make the changes that are leading me toward a true laptop lifestyle with the freedom to travel because of a wonderful training opportunity I have been a part of for the past six and a half years. However, I have not been the best student and have not spent enough time in the classroom.
I will never stop learning and carefully considering new ideas as I hear about them.
I will listen to YouTube but take more care to ensure that I am listening to helpful creators.
I will always be a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community and actually listen to the continuously updated lessons.
Wealthy Affiliate is the training and hosting program that has enabled me to create this blog. (This is an affiliate link. If you follow this link and decide to join I will receive a commission at no extra charge to you. I will also receive a notification and have contact with you inside.)
You can test drive the website free of charge. All it will cost is your email address and your time and effort. You heard correctly, there is a free starter membership so that you can build a website and check out the website. No credit card is required.
If you decide to continue with the awesome training you can create more websites, all hosted and backed up.
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Don’t let a laptop lifestyle pass you by simply because you were uncertain about the possibilities.