Ever since I started hearing about the internet, I started thinking about the possibility of someday moving out to some remote location with lots of trees, open space and cheap property. Of course, that remote location would need to have internet access and some kind of express delivery like FedEx. I live 10 miles from San Francisco, so I pay a substantial premium for being so close to a major city. It's very convenient, believe me.
As I started thinking about moving out to the boondocks somewhere, I thought it wouldn't work for me because I've been primarily a computer consultant and my base of customers is very local. After doing consulting for 18 years, I've got a big reservoire of satisfied customers - well, maybe there's a couple out there who aren't ;-). I get a lot of business from local referrals. I thought I needed to be a writer *or* create a software product. Then I could move to the boonies.
That led to my developing a software product to experiment with the possibility of having a business that wasn't location-dependent. And, lo and behold, my software business is now my primary source of income with my consulting a second and lots of the consulting is done remotely using phone and email with lots of pdfs and file exchange. It works quite nicely.
So now that I am capable of living somewhere else, where could be as good as where I am right now, I wondered? My first thought is - probably nowhere except other similar situations near really cool English-speaking cities such as Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA, New York City, San Diego, CA (the beaches are so great down there). So, one option is to move to one of these other places and work and just have a great time seeing what it's like there. I would throw in a few *foreign* cities as well such as London and Sydney. Two years per - or would it be 5 years?
I bet some people do this now and more will in *the future*. The reason I'm not likely to do it is that I am introverted enough that I would be homesick and have trouble making deep friendships quickly and would miss my friends and family. Or at least, that's what I imagine. The way you handle part of that problem is to either move somewhere where one of your friends has already moved or take one of your friends or partners with you if you can convince them to move.
But, this doesn't really fit my original idea of moving out to the boondocks where it is cheap. So here's my second idea: What if you could form a community or find a community out in the boondocks that was full of talented, creative, progressive and interesting people? I am spoiled by the big city of San Francisco - the cosmopolitan and liberal social standards. I like a *live and let live* environment. I like a place that frowns on ethnic and any other kind of prejudice even if everyone still has to struggle with it due to enculturation. I like a place where people are growing and experimenting. I don't want to worry about being harassed by rednecks because I'm not dressed conventionally. [To be continued]