We were interviewed yesterday by a reporter for the Bend Bulletin, the local paper. They plan to run a little article about our upcoming travels. Alandra Johnson, the Family Reporter, came to the house to talk with us and our girls about our plans, thoughts, and hopes. It will be fun to see how it comes together in the newspaper. Now that our departure date is approaching, we are attracting a little more attention. (Update: Link to Bulletin Article)
Although I have not been posting to the blog or the main site an awful lot, I hope to keep everything more up to date while we are off on our adventures. At the moment, the focus has been on tying up all these loose ends. It seems as if the list is not getting any shorter, we think of and add things as quickly as we cross them off. That said, most of the bigger and more urgent things that the list started with are done; the things we are adding are more typically minutiae.
One of the larger components of our upcoming location independent lifestyle is the ability to make some sort of income from the road. Since the sale of our business, I have been working on this “big list” item: a mobile business model. Although we don’t need to replace our entire past salaries, some incoming cash flow is a necessity for us.
When looking for work, most people start by evaluating their existing skill set to find what is saleable within themselves and their past experience. We decided, instead, we should start with what we would really like to do and find a way to get there. On one hand, this meant we were on the beginning of a steep learning curve and also incredibly excited to be learning something completely new after two decades in the same place. On the other, it meant I had a few knocks coming.
Twitter sucked me in and took a huge amount of my time this past year. Although it doesn’t really drive a lot of direct traffic to the site, it has provided connections that are very helpful. I was recently asked to write guest posts for Location Independent Parents about looking for online school options, and a Valentine’s Day piece for One Travel, (a blog site for Cheap Flights.) I was invited to become a featured blogger on Raveable. Another travel blogger tagged me to write a post of my favorite secret places as part of an online bloggers game. I’ll link to the blog posts as they are published.
I’ve joined both the Travel Bloggers Exchange and the Global Bloggers Network I was also asked to write a column in the regional newsletter of society of which I am a member. (My super secret handshake society…)
I recently was accepted by iStockphoto, although the process was so frustrating I don’t yet believe it was worth it. Granted, I am a relative newbie photographer. That said, I often used my own work in our marketing materials at the dude ranch, if we did not have what I was looking for in our library from the professionals. Some of them were my favorites. Having spent years managing our own marketing, apparently, does not give me understanding of what will sell. Anyway, ironically, one of the very photos I was accepted with was rejected when I tried to upload it, among others. I have a small handful loaded and the jury is still out as to whether it was worth the bother.
These wonderful ideas are not providing an income, though. They may be fun, and what I’d really like to be doing, but I also need checks to arrive from time to time. And so, I have been working freelance for clients, developing content for their web presence. Editing and writing materials for online use, helping them put together programs to use Twitter and Facebook as a marketing strategy, and monitoring their key terms and publicity online. I guess in some ways, it brings me full circle. Although I chose not to follow my previous work experience as a guide to my future earnings, necessity brought me back there anyway. At least I have found a way to take it on the road…