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Musings of a Café Writer living #LocationFree

By December 3, 2020Uncategorized

Living #LocationFree for the past 5 years is often met with wide eyes, scrunched up noses, and some weird questions. I know it might sound like nothing more than terrifyingly homeless mixed with exhilaratingly glamour-filled champagne parties on yachts, Instagram style.

It honestly falls somewhere smack between these two extremes.

While it may be very real that digital nomads (aka global nomads, remote workers, location free, etc.) might not have one permanent base to call “home,” we are certainly not “homeless.” We have a gazillion ways we each live into this lifestyle, and we can pretty much make it up as we go along – if we don’t like somewhere, we can move on to more suitable spaces, cities, countries (Covid and visa/passport reliant of course). Plus, folk living this lifestyle are not doing so because they have zero responsibilities, no partners, kids, animals, etc. – we are all working and contributing to society in some format. We have just figured out the best way to earn the required dollars en route – whether working remotely for a company, working in the digital online space, working in the country they are in, running global companies, have property investments, Bitcoin, or business investors – any type of work is possible, to be honest! The worklist is as varied as your creative brain allows … with the added benefit of freedom from a location.
Of course, we sleep in beds too! Whether in fancy hotels, rented homes, snazzy apartments, Airbnb options, co-living, house-sitting, or any combo of the above. What binds us together as a tribe is that we are not bound to one location for work or life. There is a sense of freedom, mobility, choice, and possibility!

Possibility of options, countries, cultures, environments, lifestyle, etc

Right now, I’m chilling in a quaint café on the prom of Portobello (see pic taken at Miros <<<) with the quieter than usual buzz and banter as “we-are-in-weird-lockdown-life-but-still-allowed-out” vibe. I’ll soon be self-isolating again before I make my way to my mum in the UK for Christmas, so I am making the most of a little thrill of being outdoors at Edinburgh’s Seaside. There is a delicious light shimmering off the sea and bouncing off the clouds, reflecting the changes in the sun as we edge towards winter solstice. After 7 years of spending most of my time in summer or what travel agents refer to as shoulder seasons, I am fondly referring to my current city of choice as Edinburrrrrrr.

Remember my cold water swimming escapades on Iona that I shared earlier this year? I will manage one more cold dip this month, which means I will have been cold water immersing for 6 whole months! I didn’t even know that I wanted to try it before starting my significant retreat and detox process on Iona. I’m still in a bikini with no warm booties, gloves, or wetsuits like many swimmers – just keeping it real and semi mad. Even if my swims are super short -they still count as a cold water blitz of energy and immune-boosting habit!

 

This week, I launched my fifth book, and I feel like a kid in a Christmas Santa store, to be honest. It’s some insights, sharing, and tips from living the last 5 years #LocationFree. I also interviewed 16 other souls (between 40 and 60 years of age) living in similar ways to me. It’s a super exciting collection of tips snd stories for anyone who is intrigued about the possibility of downsizing, packing up, and living and working globally.

One of my all-time favourite things to do when I travel is sitting in a café or restaurant on a beach somewhere – from Malaga to San Fran, Cape Town to Skala Eressos. I simply need my laptop and a strong coffee or a fab glass of vino, depending on the time of day. And always water – and usually a kitty somewhere close by. I seem to attract them and consider myself a bit of a cat-whisperer.
Did you spot the content kitty on my book cover?

There is an element of pure delight that is elicited when I can look up from my computer and see water – waves, sand, pebbles, sheep munching seaweed (yes 100% on Iona!), people laughing, kids playing, folk squealing in the waves and that heady aroma of sun, sand, sea, and sun-lotion. Or the smell of rain mixed into it more often than not, here in Edinburrrrr.

I find myself in this glorious city for most of winter 2020, exploring somewhere North. I am still officially #LocationFree and will be for the foreseeable future. I was only planning to be location free for one year, to figure out what country I wanted to live in, but it turns out it’s been too much fun, and here I am five years later.

Ooooh, the cafes you will find when not in your hometown. From dingy and downright skanky, to glamorous, elegant, and exotic; to simple family-run salt of the earth to trendy hipster vibes with a gazillion delicious choices; or the simple paired back local café that only serves one type of coffee and eggs – just the way you like them: the smells, the chalkboards, the conversations, and the locals. The cakes and the decadent treats made with love – from the latest LA trend to grandma’s secret pistachio and rose water recipe. A café is always filled with possibility – and is still the first place I seek out to feel like a “local” in a new spot. It’s one of my “settling-in” hacks I share in my book “10 Lessons for Living #locationFree

So I find myself with a big grin on my chops as I own the fact that I am a café writer. It can be a table on a busy cobbled street, a hotel lobby with glorious views of the pool, a tiny spot perched precariously on a hill, or my all-time favourite, seaside café!. Anywhere in the world, this will put always put a smile on my face.

If there is some Latin Salsa or Bachata music drifting out of the speakers even better, offering the quiet promise of a party as day turns to night….that will always make me type faster and get through my workload ready to pop on my salsa shoes and have a whirl on the floor.

I don’t even need earphones, really –in fact, my ears always get sore trying to wear earphones, no matter the brand or style! I usually welcome the buzz around me and find ways to switch off when I need to focus.

I have amassed a few “offices’ around the world that I have stamped my name on. To this day, there is one table at Gialos on Skala Eressos where we run writing retreats, which is known as Kate’s office. Although I didn’t get to work there in 2020, I know it is waiting patiently for me 2021. I am usually sitting at my “desk” by 6 am before the rest of the sleeping Greek village stirs. While the restaurant is still being cleaned and set up for the day – George will even stop his daily prep to bring me a double greek Coffee. Or as we order there – ena diplo hellenico para kalor!

PIC: This one below taken at my “office” Gialos in Skala Eressos when the world cup was on (and my Argentinean partner at the time was in Russia supporting his team) 

It’s always about the views, to be honest. I find vistas open up my creativity and thinking. Sea trumps everything for me – being able to sit outside and feel the sunshine and breeze is high on my list of needs. When not working, I also love to be a fly on the wall, simply watching people. I can make up stories in my head ad Infinitum. Travelling a lot on my own, I also love to smile and then connect, laugh, and chat with total strangers. It’s bizarrely natural for me to make random comments and speak to people I walk past or sit next to. I will always talk to cats and dogs and stop owners for a cuddle of their four-paws if allowed. I guess that’s why I have found it relatively easy to be location free. What’s the point in staying separate and cut off from others– even when communicating from behind a mask nowadays, we can still connect energetically and with a twinkle in our eyes.

 

PIC – The awesome Malaga crew where I pulled together a writing group and started my book 10 Lessons for Living #locationFree exactly one year ago!! Note the lovely views right on the sea! 

Wi-Fi is surprisingly not always high on my agenda, as I prefer working offline with fewer distractions when in writing/blogging mode. In fact, I will often choose cafes that do NOT have Wi-Fi – especially if I am running a writing group – as that just distracts everyone.

My challenge to you today is to visit a local café and watch the world unfold around you! Make it an adventure if you haven’t done it for a while. Take your laptop, a great book, or your journal to pen some thoughts. Let me know what you find on your café outing – I’d love to hear what great conversations you engage in or inspired ideas you come up with when sitting with a different view.

A dear friend just sent me this on Whatsapp this morning – so I will do my level best to simply keep on writing from my heart wherever I am. I just have to. What about you?

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate, and the governor is out of the country, and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” Alan W Watts

WANT SOME INSPIRATION ABOUT POSSIBILITY?
GRAB MY BRAND NEW BOOK  10 Lessons for Living #LocationFree 

Do you wish you had the courage to follow your dream, to quench your wanderlust? To downsize, pack light and explore the world while still working? Do you honestly think others are able do it because they’re younger, richer, are single and have fewer responsibilities, with no kids to tag along?

Wrong. That’s simply not true. This book will show you that it’s possible no matter what your age! Do you really want to play it safe just because you’re no longer in your twenties, waiting on tables as you backpack around the world?