In February 2005 when I was 23, I was pretty fed up with several things, such as the daily commute to the city, the huge council tax bill, the ridiculously large mortgage that I would most likely be paying into my retirement and the sheer predictability of everything in my life. Does this sound familiar to you?
When I took a look at my problems, I could see the only way out would be to start working for myself, but I was in no position to do that with my cost of living each month. I decided that in order to start a business, I would need to get rid of my mortgage and my living expenses. Now this isn’t so easy in the UK, costs of living are high, and you need a steady job. So my only option was to dramatically reduce my living costs. This is when I decided I would have to take action and actually move in order to do this.
So the turn of events which follow are the steps I took to quit my job and experience financial freedom, and this all happened in under 3 months:
Month 1 – Choose Your Destination & Give In Your Notice
When you choose your destination make sure the cost of living is low, and Visa requirements are fairly unrestricted.
The year before I had taken a holiday for 2 weeks to Egypt, I was amazed at how cheap everything was. I knew a couple of people there from my holiday, and it was very economical to get to at the time, flights were next to nothing. I decided that would be a good place to go. Cheap rent, cheap living costs and great climate (I love the sun). I was able to very easily obtain a Visa just by landing and heading to the visa office. You can buy a 1 year visa, it’s cheap as chips, and most places near the centre of town in Luxor will have good internet access. There are internet cafe’s everywhere, and if you decide to go somewhere like Cairo, then the lifestyle there is pretty far advanced, and you can have all the luxuries you would normally have in the western world.
So in February 2005 I put my house up for sale, and gave a months notice at my job with a view to making it to Egypt as soon as possible.
Month 2 – Let Go Of Your Material Possessions & Arrange Accommodation
In March 2005 I sold or gave away every item of furniture and the things that I was not able to take with me to my new destination. Now, this was quite easy for me. Once I made the decision to leave, letting go of my possessions was just another part for the process, but I can really appreciate now how difficult letting go of “things” can be. But you have to look at them from the point of view of — how valuable are they, really? Are they essential to your existence? More often than not, the answer will be no… be honest with yourself, electrical equipment, clothes, ornaments – ask yourself, “Are these things necessary for my existence and inner happiness?”
I also purchased my tickets to Egypt and set about closing up my accounts and sorting out loose ends. I had arranged temporary accommodation from a friend I met on holiday, an apartment close to the centre of Luxor, and actually that’s where I ended up living for 2 years. The rent was just 500LE which is £50 – the price in some shops for a pair of shoes. When you arrange accommodation, if you have a family, go for a flat or search on the internet for holiday rentals, see if the owner of the holiday rental will extend the rental period for 3 to 6 months. Many will, especially “out of season” for that country, and it will give you time to get there, set yourself up and find somewhere more permanent. If you are solo, then your options are very open — hostels, guest houses, single rooms for rent or studio apartments.
Month 3 – Pack Up Your PC & Go!
In April 2005 I flew to Egypt, by this time I was lucky, I had a buyer for my house, and the sale was going through. The sale closed in May when I was already living my new life.
I made sure I had a good, light notebook style laptop and an internet connection where I was going so I was able to start researching the best possible options for business opportunities right away, and of course stay in touch with friends and family. Now, at the time I had no idea what a Virtual Assistant was or that my time spent researching was going to result in Virtual Miss Friday. My basic costs of living each month were around £100, which was about $200 at the time, so I pretty much lived like a queen, and did whatever I wanted. Yes it’s totally nuts… But it allowed me to study, and research and enjoy my surroundings. It was one of the most memorable and liberating periods of my life.
Looking back, everyone thought I was crazy, but now I consider it one of the most sober and sensible decisions I ever made in my life. Sometimes you have to act without thinking about it too much, or you will likely talk yourself out of it. If it feels right to you, then it’s most likely the right thing to do. Follow you instincts…