Dispatch from Anywhere, USA

Welcome to this new blog on ITworld.com. I'm your host, Mike Elgan. The Brains Without Borders blog is about the growing location independence movement, which is nothing more than the skillful use of technology to free yourself from having physical location dictate what you can and cannot do. A location independent professional (or, what I call a "lippy") is a digital nomad, but one who gets paid.

[ See also: What kind of digital nomad are you? ]

Don't look now, but YOU are a location independent professional. If you've ever worked at home, played at work or answered e-mail while standing in line at the DMV, then you're a lippy. That didn't used to be possible. When your parents were your age, they probably did work and only work while on the job, personal stuff at home, and they daydreamed unproductively whenever standing in line. They took vacations, and retired or are still planning to retire. If you're skillful, motivated and lucky, you can work, take vacations and retire all at the same time, rather than serially. The Internet, laptops and cell phones enable garden variety location independence. But this blog is about taking it all to the next level. For example, as I write this, I'm in a car traveling north on I-15 in Southern Utah (I will have posted it at the next Starbucks). I'm driving across the country to visit my cousin in Washington, D.C. (I live in California). No, it's not a vacation. Neither my wife nor I are taking vacation time off. We're working while driving across the country. Last year, we lived in Greece for four months. Again, no time off. Three years ago, my wife and kids were on vacation, but I wasn't. Still, we toured Mayan ruins in Southern Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and I worked all the while. "Wait a minute," you might say! "I'd love to do that, but a) I'm not a freelance writer, but instead have a respectable job that requires me to be on-site; b) that sort of thing is obviously very expensive; c) I have kids in school and can't just take off; or d) all of the above." These objections are precisely the point of this blog. These are challenges to be overcome for those of us who want more freedom and independence. Brains Without Borders is all about figuring out how to make location independence a reality. I'll cover career choices, financial and lifestyle decisions, and productivity techniques, as well as products and services that enable the location independent lifestyle. Besides, location independence is not an either/or situation. It's a matter of degrees. Here are situations where being skilful at location independence can really come in handy: 1. You have to travel on business, but have noticed that productivity drops during travel. 2. You spend too much of your so-called "time off" working to meet deadlines, instead of spending time with family. 3. Your spouse has more vacation time than you do. 4. The cost of living where you live is too high. 5. Your career would benefit from being closer to clients and customers. 6. You do work on a project basis, and each project is headquartered at a different location. 7. You want to spend more time traveling. 8. You want to spend all of your time abroad or traveling. 9. You want to go anywhere you please and still make a living. The skills, knowledge, habits, lifestyle choices, products and services of location independence can help you meet all these challenges and more. And if taken to an extreme, can transform your life into a daring adventure. Welcome to Brains Without Borders! This is going to be fun! (Now, if you'll excuse me, it's my turn to drive.)

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