Bill was one of the first people who immediately joined to the next Freedom X Fest participants. We are so happy to have him in the Freedom Tribe and appreciate his unconditional trust. He has some really useful thoughts (and some really important information for the US citizens who are planning to travel in Europe!) that we want to share with you, his story is also so inspiring! Please read it, and feel free to share it with others, everyone has to know that there is another way of work life out there, even if at the moment they can’t really see the HOW!
“With my business (*He is a land surveyor, someone that lays out boundary lines of land ownership, or someone that creates topographic maps for civil engineers to design from), of course I can't do every aspect of land surveying remotely. But I can do one function, the AutoCAD drawings, from anywhere. I think it's important for the newcomers to understand you don't have to be a UX designer, a lifestyle coach, a web developer, etc. in order to be a digital nomad or a remote worker. Traditional careers can be adapted to live this lifestyle.
Let me share a little bit of my background to get the whole picture. I'm from Kansas City, and I was married young and had a child at 20. After 23 years together, my ex-wife and I divorced.
After the divorce, I quit my corporate job, and met a girl from Germany online. We talked about it, and I moved to Germany to be with her. After 5 months, it wasn't working out, so I came back to the US. Although the relationship didn't work out, it lit a flame inside me for travel.
I'm a land surveyor in the US, and I've had seasonal remote work for many years.
The next year after I lived in Germany, the girl and I from Germany tried to give it another chance. I came back to Germany for her, and we were to move to Crete, Greece. On the last day in Germany, she backed out. But I had already paid for everything, and didn't have enough money to stay in Germany, so I went ahead and went to Greece by myself. I was there for four months.
During my stay in Crete, I saw an ad for a chance to win free tickets to Freedom X Fest in Spain win a ticket to Bali. I had never heard of "digital nomads" or "location independence -movement before." I had been remote working for years, on and off, but didn't know there was a community of likeminded people out in the world.
Although I didn’t win the ticket I decided to go to the Festival anyways. I was intrigued by the idea of having a community of people to interact with while I travelled the world. I needed to find my tribe, and I thought perhaps this could be it.
I left Greece at the end of June, 2018 to go back to the US for a while before going to Freedom X Fest in Spain. When I was going through passport control, I was pulled aside and had to speak with an officer. See, I had overstayed my allowed time in the Schengen Area by one month. As a US citizen, without a visa I'm only allowed 90 days in a 180 day window, and I had stayed nearly 120 days. So I was banned from Europe for 30 days.
I had two weeks left after the ban before Freedom X Fest, so I was ok with that. (I also thought that by leaving the Schengen Area it reset the 90 day clock. I found out later it didn't.)
So in June, 2018, I flew to Barcelona and then boarded the bus to the Pyrenees with a bunch of strangers, not sure what to expect.
At first, I was taken aback. There were lots of available workshops, but not many of them applied to my business. I have a traditional business that doesn't lend itself very well to remote work, while most of the workshops were geared towards new economy type businesses. I decided to attend a few of the more spiritual workshops instead and found them very rewarding.
I had the opportunity to meet so many people, many of them have become good friends and we communicate regularly.
I've now been to two Freedom X Fest events, and a group meetup in Budapest You can find our international group here. , and I'm very excited for the opportunities it has created for me. And very excited about the future and what it holds.
One of the things I see about my situation is that it is possible to adapt traditional careers or jobs into a location independent situation.
This point is something that I hope to develop into a talking point in the future. I hope to be on the stage next year giving a talk and explaining my life and path that lead me to where I am and where could I be in the future. This could be extremely helpful to those who are in similar situation with their career.”