Make a Decision, Any Decision: Lea Woodward Interview

Lea has been taking my little corner of the Internet by storm recently with the website and blog she runs with her husband Jonathan called Location Independent. With courses, coaching, ebooks and travel guides available, you know I just had to find out whether this go-go-go gal had any hidden Somedays lurking about…

Lea WoodwardWho: Lea Woodward of Location Independent
Lea is a rat race escapee who usually travels the world permanently with her husband, Jonathan running their business from wherever they choose; she’s now on a mission to inspire & enable others to do the same and become ‘location independent’.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
I’m not really the kind of person who throws a pity party for myself – although I do have my moments. I’m annoyingly practical and tend to have a brief minor meltdown and then pull myself together and tackle things head on.

After watching my Mum die from a cancer-related complication about 6 years ago – and subsequently *not* throwing myself a pity party despite the fact we were in the middle of planning our wedding which we ended up cancelling & the fact that my career was most definitely not what I wanted it to be, I’m pretty confident that a pity party is just not my way of dealing with things.

This may stem from the fact that I suffered from depression for a few months as a teenager and having been there before, I swore to myself I’d never go there again – so now I’m pretty good at pulling myself up if I ever feel I’m headed that way.

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
When I do have a meltdown, I allow myself to let the negative emotions and thoughts flow freely. I tend to deal with difficult & challenging situations by using a kind of “worst case scenario” strategy.

I let myself imagine the worst case scenario, get really upset over it and have a good cry, then I’ll start to pull myself together. By doing this, I almost feel like I’m preparing myself to cope with whatever might happen – in a way like I’m almost trying to prepare myself so that nothing can shock me. Once I’ve done this, I feel able to move on and think about the practical ways I’d cope.

It’s how I dealt with my Mum’s illness and her death – and how I deal with most of the things that scare me in life.

Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
As I said, I let myself freely wallow in the feelings of pity and self-doubt for a while, have a good cry and then pull myself together. Usually I’m strong enough to do this myself but if not, I’ll seek out whoever I feel I need to talk to help. Typically this is Jonathan, my husband (we were teenage sweethearts), but at times it may be someone less close to me or the situation who can help me talk things through rationally.

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
For me, making a decision and then acting upon it are the most satisfying parts of overcoming any challenge. I’m a big believer in taking any kind of decision & action, even if, at the time, you’re not sure whether it’s the *right* one to take.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
When we finally stepped off the conventional path of life and became nomadic, one of the main drivers was to find a place we could settle down and build our lives. Neither my husband nor I really want to settle in the UK permanently so we decided to head off looking for a place we did want to settle.

Two+ years later we still haven’t found it. We’ve had so much fun leading the nomadic lifestyle that we’ve been putting off thinking about where we might eventually decide to settle, even though we know it’s something we want to do.

I think it’s a combination of the syndromes “My Ship Will Come In” and “I’ll Get Around To It” – expecting that ‘ideal’ location to somehow find us without us really having to look for it at the same time as procrastinating and delaying seriously thinking about how to make some of the big decisions we really need to make for our long term future.

Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
With the arrival of our daughter imminent (end of June), we know that at some point in the next few years we may have to consider being less nomadic and make some decisions about where we want to be based (if not permanently, then at least for 5-6 months of every year).

Whilst we believe we’ve still got a while before we have to make any final decisions, we’re fully aware that with kids you just never know!

So we’ve already started to make practical plans for places we’ll visit within the next 1-2 years and have been researching & discussing the various options we’re considering far more seriously than our previous half-hearted attempts.

Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
I think the content of our problem is quite unique given our lifestyle – but the cause of it isn’t. As with any big decision which affects your whole life and possible future happiness, I think it’s valuable to keep in mind that no decision has to be the final one you make.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being on the road, it’s that the important thing is to make a decision, any decision…and if things aren’t right to make a move, any move. The new position you’ll find yourself in (even if it’s still not the *right* one) will give you a different perspective – a new one from which you can then make further progress towards the right one.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
On a practical note, immigration information (or residency) for the various countries we’re considering! That whole aspect is one that feels like a huge hurdle to me and one I’ve not been prepared to deal with yet. I know there are plenty of stories of expats out there who’ve done what we want to do – and one thing that’s great about the community I’m growing at the moment is the opportunity to meet & connect with people from countries all over the world who are all sharing their experiences and lifestyles with the community – but it still feels like hard work to do the research and make that decision.

At the heart of it all however is our ability to make that decision – something I’m usually very good at – so it’s really going to be a case of ‘just doing it’ and then adjusting our course based on how that works out.

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7 thoughts on “Make a Decision, Any Decision: Lea Woodward Interview

  1. Andy Hayes says:

    Oh I do love it when two of my favourite peeps have a conversation on Someday Syndrome.

    I for one can say that Lea’s passion for, let’s just say “independent living” – her advice is sage even if you have a fixed location, is infectious and if you spend any time over at her site, you will definitely come away energised.

    Thanks for sharing, Alex.

    Andy Hayes´s last blog post..Photo Essay: Reflections

  2. I come from a long line of nomads, you know tents, goats and horses. Essentially a nomad’s life is ruled by weather/seasons and land that provides food for animals. Their needs are few but vital at a level of survival.

    The modern nomad is fortunate to have the Internet. It’s like the greatest trading post and you don’t have to be location-specific to trade. I still value roots, however. Have roots, will travel is my motto.

    Pamir | Reiki Help Blog´s last blog post..Let’s conjugate to “Heal”

  3. Lea Woodward says:

    @Andy – thank you, Andy 🙂

    And thank you Alex for the opportunity to examine and explore my own Someday Syndrome…it was an interesting & valuable experience that I think everyone could benefit from doing.

    Lea Woodward´s last blog post..Ask the Coach: When Things Take So Long, How Can I Stay Motivated & Focused Enough To Create A Location Independent Income Stream?

  4. “Doubt is ended only by action.” I think this is less wordy than how Thomas Carlyle put it in the nineteenth century, but that’s the basic idea that this post brings to mind for me.

  5. Really enjoyed this interview – the questions really brought out alot of good answers that people want to hear, especially during these times of uncertainty for many. I like Woodward’s philosophy that you just have to make a decision and pull the trigger sometimes. I think that we always can adjust no matter what, and our gut usually tells us the “right” way to go.

    Laura Cococcia´s last blog post..Laura Interviews The Clientele’s Alasdair MacLean

  6. Alex Fayle says:

    @Andy
    Even though I’m now more or less settled in San Sebastian, I live with a Location Independent mindset, meaning that if we wanted to we could pick up and move no problem. And it means that I can work from home easily even though the home is only 250 sq ft.

    @Pamir
    Roots are very good. I did a totally nomadic existence for six months in 2007 and found that I felt the lack of community even though I had the Internet and my contacts there. I wanted to plant some roots. Now I mix it up with travel and being a homebody. I think it would be easier to be a nomad with your family/tribe going with you.

    @Lea
    It was a pleasure to interview you. As always I learn from every interview I do.

    @Paul
    Funny, I missed that line altogether and yet now that you’ve highlighted it, I love it and think you’re right – it’s a great summary for the theme of the post.

    @Laura
    I’m all about decisions and actions – because evening not making a decision is a choice of sorts, although all too often the choices that are made for us as a result have nothing to do with what we really want.

  7. […] you saw in Monday’s Someday Interview with Lea Woodward of Location Independent, she’s lived it. She’s traveled the world while working with […]

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