Today I have the pleasure to introduce Sarah. Sarah is a long-time reader of the blog, and first contacted me almost a year ago to share her desire to become location independent. She recently accepted a full-time remote job and is now proud to call her family LI! Sarah graciously agreed to answer some interview questions and will now join the ranks of Steve, Jaime, Moose, and more in the “Location Independent, International Jobs” series. Without further ado, here’s Sarah!
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? Where you’re from, how long married, degrees, kids, ages, etc.
I’m Sarah and I live with my family near Sacramento, California.
I live with my husband of nearly 10 years, our two kids (ages 5 & 8), and two cats. I have a master’s in library science and he has a PhD in the biological sciences. We’ve lived in the Sacramento area for 2 years, having spent time in the Bay Area before that and over a decade in the Chicago suburbs before that.
My family is from the Pacific Northwest, and my in-laws are in Chicago & San Francisco. The majority of our family is on the west coast, so we’re able to see them a lot more than we did when we lived in Chicago.
How did you make the decision to work remotely?
Working remotely was actually suggested by my previous employer in late 2013 (after they’d denied the request in 2009), as we transferred from their Chicago office to San Francisco. I absolutely jumped at the opportunity, since commuting was a huge factor keeping me from my kids. I started looking for new remote work in early 2018 and accepted a new position in July. I’m the librarian for a digital library at a relatively small company based in the Bay Area.
What’s the impetus for wanting to become location independent?
I was treated for depression and anxiety after our oldest was born; it was then that I came up hard against the realization that what I was “supposed to do”–work full time and see my baby for a few hours and be totally ok with that–was not actually working for me.
And so I cut down to part-time and began to radically change our spending, habits, and lifestyle, and really started to question everything. I read blogs like The Minimalist Mom, Frugalwoods, Zen Habits and others, and we kept at it as our son grew and our daughter was born. Then my husband lost his job and we moved to CA in the hopes that there would be work (there was!).
Between the 2-3 hours a day we spent commuting in Chicago, to this stressful time moving across the country for work and cramming into 900 sq ft so we could be closer to work in the Bay Area, my husband and I were unhappy with being tied to a workplace.
Enter our move to Sacramento and my finding The Three Year Experiment, and we started thinking about where we really wanted to be (still under discussion!). I guess we chafe at the ideas of things we have to do, like work in the city, live in the suburbs, have a commute, buy a house, live paycheck-to-paycheck, and so this idea that we could set the terms around where we live and what we do was incredibly appealing. For me, I’d been reading about Financial Independence for some time, but it was a bit nebulous without a really firm vision (we’re still working on that). Continue reading “Location Independent, International Jobs: Sarah”