Location Independence: How Long Does It Take?

by Dan Johnston

I can’t help but laugh when I think back on a conversation I had with my friend Dave.

He was telling me about his plans to take a vacation and visit Europe in 2014.

The original conversation was in 2012, although he did recently message me to ask if I’ll have any time free to see him when he gets here next June.

Some people have a really LONG view of time.

Me? Well, I’m far too impatient for that kind of shenanigans. I like things to happen fast. Why wait?

Last week I was the guest on the Awesome Clarity Podcast. The host Tim asked me how long it took me to go from struggling to “doing well” and make the move to Costa Rica.

I initially said 2 months, and then I thought back to the exact dates and said “actually, it may have been closer to 4. Let’s say 4 just to make sure I’m being honest.”

He named the episode “4 Months To Freedom”.

Apparently 4 months is still a pretty short amount of time. It sure felt like a damn lifetime to me.

Anyhow, over the last few weeks I’ve been bombarded with reminders of how fast change can happen. I wanted to share a few of the most inspiring examples. I hope they help you cut your timelines in half and accelerate the change in your life.

Rashid’s Story

I started talking to Rashid in August, and we began a coaching relationship in late September. At the time, I asked him his dreams and he told me “To be doing what you’re doing! I’ve always wanted to travel the world, live all over and run my business.”

Kindred spirits as they say. Rashid is a badass entrepreneur and may be the only other person I know who likes airports as much as I do…although he’s never used one as an office when he didn’t have a flight (it’s a long story…I needed the motivation!).

Anyhow, last week we had our third coaching call and Rashid announced he was ready. Something had happened between our second and third calls and now he was committed to making his dream a reality: He was going to Paris!

I should have hung up at that point because I really wasn’t needed for the rest of the call. Every “objection” or reason not to do it that would come up was immediately smacked aside by Rashid’s confident, committed reasoning. “I can always get another apartment here if I have to come back, what’s the worst that can happen?”

Good bye fear.

Hello Dream Life.

At the end of the call came the most inspiring part. I asked Rashid “When we started talking last month, in your wildest dreams, when did you think you’d start living your dream of the jetsetter life?”

“Oh man, I thought next September at the earliest! This is crazy, I’m doing it!”
Yeah, it really does happen that fast. Now, let me share one more story with you.

Brenda’s Story:

I wanted to share something inspiring with you. It’s a note I received from Brenda who is one of my coaching clients and gave me the OK to share her story with you.

I actually just started working with Brenda in late September as well and I received this note from her in October: Her progress has been both incredible and inspiring.

I love Brenda’s story because it shows us how fast we can make a change in our lives when we commit to it and have the right people supporting us.

Well, here it is:

“While perusing my International Living Magazine one day, I came upon an article written by Dan. I visited his website where he was offering a free consultation about his coaching services. Free? How could I lose on a free deal, so I immediately contacted him. It was one of the best moves I’ve made all year.

When I contacted Dan, I had just retired from teaching and was thinking about the next stage of my life. I’d never worked with a coach before, but I wanted to make some big changes and I liked the idea of having someone to support me along the way.

My main goals when I started working with Dan were to:

  • Develop my social life and spend time with more interesting people.
  • Create a second income through writing,
  • Find a way to live abroad and recapture the excitement and inspiration I felt when I was younger and lived abroad in Europe.

We had our first coaching call in late September. It’s now October and I couldn’t be happier with my progress.

I’ve made big steps in my social life, have started meeting some very interesting people and am having a lot more fun. I’ve also booked a trip to Ecuador for next month to look at properties. I’ve connected with an old friend who is arranging for me to stay in an ocean front penthouse while I spend a month or two getting to know the community and deciding where I may want to call home.

I didn’t know what to expect from coaching and have been very happy so far. Dan is fun to talk to and a great listener. He’s very good at keeping the calls focused and coming back to the bigger issues at hand; this really helps move things forward both on our calls and in life.”

Current Location: Florida, USA
Future Location: TBD 🙂

You really can be living your dream life a lot sooner than you think. This time of year in 2011 I was gearing up for a dreary winter home in Canada. By January 2012 I was on a plane destined for Costa Rica and New York.


PS: The kind of change I was talking about above is mostly around lifestyle design, the area I have the most experience. When it comes to business growth, particularly cashflow, things tend to work a little differently. For more on that, look out for an upcoming article: Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast. If you’re not already, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list below so you don’t miss out on Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast and other future articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *