A Postcard for Suitcase Entrepreneurs

© 2018 Allyson McQuinn

© 2018 Allyson McQuinn

© 2018 Allyson McQuinn

© 2018 Allyson McQuinn

© 2018 Allyson McQuinn

When folks find out that I’ve tailored my life to live in Mexico and Central America while also writing, editing books and serving my patients on-line via Skype, they want to know how I got to be so lucky. I often counsel them that with a bit of planning, forethought and ingenuity, you can craft your life to live this way too.

Back in the late nineties, I had a very sick little boy suffering Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD). It was a nightmare, trying to solve the root cause of his ills while also meeting the demands of my corporate responsibilities.

I felt I was on a failing teeter totter trying to keep my stress levels under control while working as a financial advisor and looking after my challenged son. Back then, January to May year end were brutal often with a dedicated 12-14 hour days to work alone.

Often I’d come home late to look after my son’s supper, put him to bed and get back to work until well past midnight. The truth is that the stress and pull between family and work was killing me and I was showing significant health challenges of my own.

Thankfully, while off on maternity leave with my daughter, I did some major soul searching, finding some alternative approaches that really helped my son and I too, thankfully, was able to solve much of my own health issues. Interesting as my own life path took a serious jog to the left, as a result, in that I started to study alternative medicine, while researching and writing a book about how my son’s ASD issues were resolved. That book became a best-seller and audio podcast.

In those two small steps to write and study, my whole world changed. I became a Physician, based out of Canada, with a mostly international practice working by Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or by phone three days out of the week. I’ve also penned thirteen books also writing monthly for another half a dozen publications related to my field.

My husband also does the same work I do and he runs the publishing arm of our holistic clinic. While it is true that we’re both busier than we’d like to be, we enjoy living and working in Mexico or Central America during the Winter months. Our biggest challenge has been finding locales that support our need for really stellar upload speed in the same timezone as our North American clients.

Next year, our goal is to become full-time international nomads joining the ranks of the few other suitcase entrepreneurs that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in our travels along the way. Looking back, I’m not sure how I ever managed working daily in my corporate garb of heels and stockings with feet still sopping wet from trudging through 6 foot high snow banks just to be sequestered many hours alone plugging in Excel formulas in an 8 x 11 cubicle.

Now, we get up early to cycle in our flip flops to the local juice bar about 10 kilometres away down the bike trail next to the turquoise shores of the Caribbean Ocean, stopping to snorkel around the pier for an hour before getting back to serve patients in the early afternoon and evening. We love our lives and wholly count ourselves truly blessed to live in such a resonant way for our physical and mental health.

Thankfully my son is whole and autonomous, too, working as a trampoline acrobat and parkour instructor with a staff of twenty back in Canada. No one would ever guess that he’d suffered such prior limitations. Actually, when I think about it, I have him to thank for leading me to this way of international living and the freedom I now know everyday. Cheers!

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