Gone West

September 06 2013

So I won the listserve lottery just after moving across the country. Here is a short version of the story. This summer my husband and I quit our jobs and moved from the Midwest to the Northwest. I'd been missing mountains something terrible during my 16 year tenure in the flatlands, and this year the time was right for us to make the move. In some ways the plan was taking shape over the last several years, but really came into focus the last 12-18 months.

We did not have jobs waiting for us, at least not in the traditional sense. But we no longer want to have jobs be the primary driver in deciding where we live and when we could travel. Our goal is to cultivate location independent sources of income (we do still need income.. there is no trust fund we can fall back on). Before we quit our jobs we cultivated freelance consulting work that would give us a foundation to build on and we worked to have at least a years worth of comfortable living expenses in our savings account.

Our longer term goal is to have a home base but to be able to spend 3, 6, 12 months in other locations learning and working with different people in different environments.

My work focuses on community engagement and helping groups develop collective decision making practices. My husband is a technology writer, though his first love is radio. You can find one of his projects by searching for Radio Survivor.

I'm interested in hearing from people who have experiences with working freelance or as a contingent worker (by choice); and from people who have made decisions that some considered risky but just felt right to you.

Also, tell me about where you live (or where you have lived) and what is great about it, or why it should be avoided... I'm always looking for the next place for a new adventure.

Thanks to the folks at The Listserve for running this great experiment, and thanks to Jenny B for turning me on to it!

all the best,

Ellen K.
[email protected]
Portland, OR

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