How To Become Location Independent – My Story

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Being location independent means just what it sounds like.

You earn your income online and therefore you can base yourself anywhere in the world as long as you have a decent internet connection.

(By the way, I was pretty new at being a location-independent person when I wrote this in December of 2017. But the origin of my story and my thoughts are just as fresh and relevant now in 2022.)

Okay, so…

Had I always dreamt of having the freedom to travel the world? Of course! Who hasn’t??

Well, I’m not exactly sure how this vague dream of mine started to turn into a serious goal. But, I think I can attribute it partly to hearing about the “digital nomad” phenomena from people like JohnnyFD and his Travel Like A Boss podcast.

A little over six years ago (in 2016), I was sitting at home, depressed and unhappy with life in general. I was working a job I had settled for and was trying to start and run other businesses but there was a deepening pit of despair growing within me. I had returned to college in the hopes that would be the ticket to happiness, but after four years of part-time collegiate study, I was getting very disillusioned and increasingly jaded.

Meanwhile, I would turn on Johnny’s podcast and he and other young entrepreneurs sitting in Chiang Mai were saying “quit your shitty job and get out here to Thailand!” 

“Quit your shitty job and get out here to Thailand!”

The location independent seed was planted

I started to devour all of the information on making money online that I could find. I followed little tidbits of info here and there. Much of the tactics were either obviously bullshit/scams or I knew they wouldn’t make me any happier doing the work (ripping innocent people off for a few bucks?? Thanks, but I’ll pass.)

From listening to Johnny’s podcast, I became acquainted with the Anton Method, which was a dropshipping course (now called Drop Ship Lifestyle.) Now, I had never really considered that paying $1,000 or more for an online course was something that any sane person should do. (However, my thoughts are actually quite different today).

But, never-the-less, I got sucked up into the hype and dream of dropshipping.

I did not have $1,000 to spend on a course, however, so what I did was ravenously devour all of the free information Anton and Johnny were giving out. I did pay for a great, and more affordable course from a website called StoreCoach. And I consumed everything Google and YouTube had to offer on the topic of dropshipping. Through this process, I felt I was armed with enough knowledge to take the plunge and start my own eCommerce store! (I did later purchased a small course from Johnny on advanced dropshipping techniques.)

Related: 9 Steps To Getting Remote Work And Living As A Digital Nomad

How does this relate to being location independent?

🙂 I’m going to come back to the details of my store soon, but long story short, the beginning of my location independent journey began with me craving more out of life – more fulfillment, more adventure, more challenge, more opportunity, and more beauty!

From dropshipping, I moved into other strategies such as web development, affiliate marketing, writing, travel photography, and many other, sometimes fleeting schemes.

Fast-forward a bit, and after a failed attempt to cash-out of a real business I had been running back home, I hit a new low. I was hoping to be moving out to South East Asia to start my new life in time for the Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai, but now I was stuck at home, with no money, and feeling about as depressed as I’d ever been.   

Thankfully, a brooding determination gradually took hold of me, starting within the depths of my being and rising up more and more into my daily consciousness.

I had to get out! I had to make this dream of traveling happen no matter what! I would rather die in a burning blaze of TRYING  than sit here adrift any longer. 

I would rather die in a burning blaze of TRYING  than sit here adrift any longer.

So, I made the decision to pack up my belongings and take a friend up on her suggestion to meet up in Southern Mexico and just go from there. I would be forced to learn and make my way in order to survive. I would have the support of a couple of friends, and hopefully the Universe as well.

I made arrangements and left town, in not the smoothest of fashions, btw. I’m regretful and sorry to a close friend for leaving her responsible to deal with some of my shit. But, I was desperate and had to take desperate measures, I felt at least. Hopefully, she will forgive me one day. 

You are now independent of a location…

I made it thankfully, and I’m still here! Not in Mexico any longer, but I’m still alive and getting by very well. My online income has supported me this entire time. I’ve gained so many new skills, started this new blog, and I’m feeling very positive in general!

As I type this I’m sitting in my hotel with a view of orange tile roofs and mountains extending into the misty clouds. My journey, I believe, is just beginning.  (cliché?)


Cuenca, Ecuador

Elijah Etc.

About the author

Elijah Charbonneau is a copywriter, content creator, and email marketer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When not working on this website, he enjoys making art, traveling, and trying new foods. Follow his journey at

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