I became a freelance writer a year ago, and it was easily the best life decision I’ve ever made. Travelling aside for one moment, I was stuck in an office job in London that I hated, pottering along for roughly 10 hours a day (plus almost 3 hours of travelling time) in a dingy office five days a week.
I had no time to myself, I was burning out, and I was feeling completely unfulfilled. Becoming my own boss has allowed me to work half the hours I did in London for double the money, which is an absolute no-brainer. It’s also meant I don’t have a manager breathing down my neck every two seconds about KPIs and that I can have a range of interesting clients on board rather than just sticking with the same job every day.
The Freedom of Freelancing
When people ask me, “So what industry do you work in?”, I simply say “I don’t”, and I love that freedom and flexibility. I now work with clients such as tech start-ups ShiftWear and Cocoon, a men’s beard care product company called The Shoreditch Beard, digital marketing agency Opace, and remote-work gurus Surf Office.
I can work when I want and from where I want, and it allows me to travel the world in two respects. Firstly, having clients based everywhere from Europe to the US gives me the chance to visit them, explore new cities, and get involved in exciting projects.
But secondly, being a freelancer myself, I can book a trip at a moment’s notice and not have to be accountable to an HR department or a ridiculously restrictive 27 days holiday a year contract. I’ll be spending 10 of the 12 months of 2016 away from my home in London, and it’s purely down to freelancing that this is possible.
Not only am I not tied down by a lengthy and boring contract, but I can keep funding my travels as I go. In the past month alone I’ve seen two of the seven wonders of the world, and in between exciting trips and sightseeing, I can freelance to get the funds together for the next adventure.
I’ve met a lot of people on my travels who work for half a year to save up to go travelling for a few months and then head home to repeat the same cycle. This is a great way to see more of the world, but it’s not sustainable.
Chasing the dream or chasing the youth?
I know a lot of my friends look at me and think I’m just prolonging growing up and am chasing my youth a little too long, but I think most people don’t really understand freelance work. I’m travelling the world and building my portfolio and business at the same time. And maybe chasing my youth a little, but hey, nothing wrong with trying to live a little young!
Travelling is often seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that people embark on before they return to a 9-5 they probably don’t enjoy that much, but I just don’t see it like that.
My freelance writing work, which as I’m so passionate about doesn’t really feel like work, allows me to make that once-in-a-lifetime trip a permanent lifetime trip. I have absolutely no plans to settle down anytime soon, and the beauty of freelancing means I don’t have to. The only person I’m accountable to is myself, and the freedom of travelling and the freedom of freelancing go together almost as nicely as two bars of a Kit Kat.
As good as freelancing has been for my travelling adventures, I’ve also found that the travelling itself is great for my freelancing. It helps to get my creative juices flowing, and by breaking what was previously a boring routine, I’m able to approach my work with a fresh and energetic mind.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from travelling is that there is a hell of a lot to see in the world, and I feel I’ve only scratched the surface in the last year. Occasionally, when work gets on top of me, and I can feel the stress rising, I remind myself that it’s all completely worth it. One, I don’t have to return to that dingy London office again, and two, I get to see what else the world has to offer. Which is definitely a lot more than you can find in that small London bubble!
About the Author:
George is a freelance writer who works with a number of startups across multiple industries. His base is in London, but he spends the majority of his time working remotely all over the world. Aside from his freelance work, he is also a mental health campaigner and writes for The Huffington Post and the leading UK mental health charities on the issue. His personal site can be found here. And you can hire George on PeoplePerHour.
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