How I Ditched My 12-Month Lease in Favor of Full-Time Travel
This blog is a guest post from Landing member Shawn McGee.
After years of being stuck in leases, I made the decision last year to start traveling the country full-time while working remotely. I had been staying in an apartment in Birmingham, Alabama, and hated being trapped in a 12-month lease that was keeping me in the city longer than I would have liked.
To satisfy my sense of wanderlust, I started to search for short-term housing and a new way to travel and live. Here’s the story of how I was able to adopt flexible living full-time, and what I’ve learned along the way:
Working from the road
I consider myself a very outdoorsy person and an adrenaline junkie, so I tend to base my travels around being close to new national parks and adventures. When I initially started my journey last January, I was pretty much bouncing between short-term home rentals and campsites all over the western U.S. There was even a period of time when I was sleeping in my car, working at my campsite, and then exploring in the afternoons.
I did that for eight or nine months last year, but kept finding major inconsistencies in the quality of places I lived in from city to city. It was also hard to find places with consistent Wi-Fi. In some cases, I was happier just staying at a campsite and working at a coffee shop or public library.
I work as a product manager for a startup called JobGet and I am fortunate that my company is fully remote and dispersed all over the world. I set my working hours to be similar to Central Standard Time, since that’s where the majority of my coworkers are located. Right now, I’ve been working from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., so I still have a little bit of daylight at the end of the day.
It definitely helps to have a job that’s okay with flexible hours, and allows me to split up my workday.
Living with Landing
After months of bouncing between short-term home rentals and campsites, I discovered Landing when I returned to Birmingham for the World Games in July. Renting from Landing was really a last-minute decision because I needed somewhere to stay during the games. It paid off!
After that experience, I moved to a Landing in Broomfield, Colorado, and have been there for the past three months. I’ve been an avid rock climber for about a year and a half now, so one of the big reasons I came back to Colorado is that all of my rock climbing friends live here. It’s been great to be close to them and my gym.
Landing has been the easiest experience for me in terms of switching locations and not having to worry about whether my new place will have a desk or whether my new campsite will have cell service. It’s been very convenient for ensuring I keep growing in my career while being able to explore.
This winter, I am grateful for the opportunity to test out where I want to live long-term. For my next few Landings, I’m planning on testing out areas that I can see myself living in, including the Pacific Northwest, Salt Lake City, and the greater Phoenix area.
One of the greatest things about adopting this flexible lifestyle is that it’s not permanent if you don’t want it to be. If you think you might enjoy it, it’s a low-risk thing to try out. You can try it for a month and if you don’t like it, you can just go back to what you’re doing before. It’s a really low-risk, high-reward opportunity.