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One question we get asked all of the time is, “I want to live my Life Out of the Box, but how can I get out of my box?” The “box” is different for everyone, so first you have to define what exactly are your barriers in life to living your ideal life. After that, getting out of your box isn’t as hard as you might think; anybody can do it–including YOU. Below are 5 steps that will help you get started. The steps are based on our own experience and process that we went through in figuring out what country we wanted to move to. Read them all below!
1. Make a list of your needs, wants and really wants.
This was the first step we did individually after work was over in California. We gave ourselves only 2 mins to fill out all three columns so that our instinctual answers would be the only ones written down. After two minutes we compared answers with each other, and of course, added more later on. It was the crucial first step to figuring out what our ideal life and new country looked like.
Here are some examples:
Needs: wifi (for business, i.e. to make money), safety, water, low cost of living
Wants: near a beach, warm weather, easy flight home in case of emergency, tropical, jungle
Really wants: a place where I can learn the language, affordable health care, good food
We did so much research before making the big step that after three months, we knew the only thing left to do was to just go and experience it for ourselves. We scoured the internet for information from travel blogs, entrepreneurial magazines, cost of living sites and other helpful resources.
It was nice to have a lot of information before we left, but the truth is we learned most of what we know now through experience. Note: Research is important to put your and your family’s mind at ease, but don’t let anything stop you from actually doing it. Inexpensive housing in Nicaragua, for example, cannot be found on the internet—it can only be found by walking on foot through the streets.
3. Figure out your finances/how will you make money
Look at your bank accounts, your credit card statements, any debt you have and get real with yourself on where you stand financially. The best way to be prepared to live overseas and travel is to know how much money you’re working with. Before we moved to Nicaragua, we knew exactly how long we could live there (without making any money) down to the DAY based off the amount of savings we had and the cost of living in Nica. Once you know all of that, then make a plan of how you’re going to make money wherever you go. There are many different options to make money: yoga teacher, freelance writer, start an online business, open a bar and restaurant, social media consulting, etc. Just be sure to budget for anything that requires an initial upfront investment.
4. Budget & Save
Step three is crucial in determining step four. Knowing where you stand financially will allow you to know what you need to save and budget in order to make your dreams happen. Work hard and save when you can. Cook food at home instead of going out to eat, cut any unnecessary expenses you’ve acquired–do you really need that Netflix AND Amazon Prime subscription? Remember that you’re working towards your dream life and that often times requires making small sacrifices, but we promise it will be worth it in the long run!
5. Have a vision and never give up.
This is, above all, the most important. Not everyone will understand or be on board with your life plans at first, so stand strong with the vision you have for your life and don’t ever give up on it. Those who love you and see the passion you have for your dreams will come around eventually and support you like crazy.
Hope these steps help you out! If you have any more suggestions or any stories you want to share on how YOU got out of your box–let us know in the comments below. Always live LOOTB friends. -Q