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British full time traveler, writer + wine pro. Loves a simple life. charlotte.emma.brown@gmail.com

I pursued all of them until I questioned why

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My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t work hard at school and didn’t go to college, I’d end up stacking shelves at Woolworths. In her mind, it was the worst insult she could think of.

I heeded her warning and worked towards everything she wanted me to. In my adulthood, I have gained a college degree, bought a house and attempted a linear career path.

Perhaps you were brought up in a similar household that spoon feeds the ‘success equals office work and suburbia’ rhetoric. …


I am not the person I thought I would be

Me, wine, Spain. That’s really all you need to know about me

My younger self would have assumed that by my 36th year, I’d be married with children, a 9–5 job, living in suburbia. The marriage came (to fellow Medium writer Sam Dixon Brown), I tried suburbia (hated it), I ditched the 9–5 job nearly a decade ago and there are no kids in the vicinity.

Growing up, I didn’t give a damn about food. I didn’t even try wine until I was 18. And yet, at 28, I became the co-owner of a wine store and bar (the youngest female wine merchant in the UK at the time) and food and…


It’s all about using a unit of money measurement that matters to you

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You might already engage in this strategy without even knowing it.

I once had a friend whose Coca-Cola habit was his big barrier to losing weight. So instead of using calories as his weight loss measurement, he coined the word Colaries — 1 Colarie was around 150 calories, the rough equivalent to a can of Coke.

He’d say, “that snack is equal to 1.5 Colaries.” or “that bottle of wine is the equivalent of 5 Colaries.” He had a meaningful measurement that he could visualize, better equipping himself for the question is this snack or wine worth it?

This method…


The weirdest year of my teenage life had some unexpected consequences

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I’m a Brit, so a trailer actually means a small, 4-berth caravan made of polystyrene and fiberglass. They were the workhorses of the good old British holiday in the 80s and 90s, complete with leaky roof and chemical toilet.

They are not designed to be full-time lived in by a family of 4, as I did when I was 13.

The craziest thing about the whole experience is that we were not living in a trailer because of necessity; it was because my parents made a couple of completely avoidable bad decisions.

Which taught me some valuable lessons about the…


And 3 ways to help you make it happen

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5 signs, no preamble. Let’s get stuck right in:

1. You can’t sleep

You look at the clock. 3 am. Have you been to sleep yet? Have you heck. Why? Because of the ‘bad thoughts.’

It starts the moment the lights go off. Did you remember to double-lock the front door? What about the back one? What’s that noise, is it the cat or someone breaking in?

You look over to your partner, sleeping soundly. Hmm, a little too soundly. Are they dead? Hang on, ARE THEY DEAD? You poke them. They grunt, they’re not dead. But imagine if they were. No, don’t think…


Slow the heck down

Photo: Sergey Pesterev/Unsplash

Becoming a digital nomad is like having the rug pulled out from under a normal life. It’s a bit of a head-f**k.

But there are some things you can do before you pack your bag and walk into the digital sunset to ease your transition into this brave new world. These nuggets will save you time, money, and heartache and make the whole experience a little more joyful.

After all, bringing joy and contentment into your life is why you’re considering this lifestyle in the first place, no? Let’s make it happen for you.

1. Know how you like to travel

Do you like to hike or…


Being financially free isn’t just good for you; it’s good for everybody

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I’m an out and proud, nerdy do-gooder. In the early 90s, my father — and 5-year-old me — used to make aid runs to Romania. We’d take a van full of paracetamol, donated fur coats and cans of Coke to use as bribes so we wouldn’t be literally robbed on the highway (remarkably, that strategy worked).

The do-gooding has stuck around in my adult years. These days, I’m not all that keen on walking down life avenues that leave me trampling all over the world in exchange for my own comforts.

It’s one of the reasons I love the concept…


But it will get you far

Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash

Last night, I asked for the check at a cocktail bar. I’ve been staying in Hvar, Croatia for a couple of weeks, and the owner and I had built a rapport, bonding over our love of classic cocktails and a shared background in hospitality.

“No charge. You were great to have around this past 2 weeks. Also, here’s an original sketch of the bar a guy drew for us the other day. I want you to have it.”

I went on to dinner. I’d been once before, building a rapport with the owner over a shared love of great wine.


I did it for years, and it resulted in a breakdown

Image courtesy of author

Apparently, if you love what you do, you can live on the sheer gratitude of it alone.

You’ve heard it all before, I’m sure.

“You’re so lucky to work for yourself! That must be worth the pay cut in itself.”

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life! How lovely that must be for you.”

What these people are really saying is that you should be grateful for the opportunity to work in an industry you love, to hell with the money, or lack thereof.

And the biggest issue is that we, as the…


It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot, lately

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

Ethical concerns in achieving financial freedom are not talked about enough. I get it; money is an emotive subject enough as it is, do we really want to throw ethics into the mix too?

Yeah, we do. Because financial independence / freedom / FIRE / whatever you want to call it has an image problem.

On the surface, it looks like a movement that only belongs to highly privileged twenty and thirty-somethings. They amass a huge amount of money in order to satisfy their own desires. They cream passive income off the top of systems that keep the poor even…

Charlie Brown

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