Freelancing is slowly rising to unparalleled heights as the topmost earning online gig in Kenya. With the hours Kenyan youths are spending online, estimated to be six hours and 38 minutes per day by Nairobi News if the online working has not knocked on your pop up suggestions then there’s no helping you.
If you have been working online, be it transcribing, academic writing, article writing, or blogging then this article is not for you. Nonetheless, if you read to the bottom you might just find yourself sharing it (Yes please) or learn something alien that will come in handy in your life.
I discovered online writing during a very dark period in my life characterized by changes in my environment and a variety of other issues I never thought I would overcome at the time. Am still here so I obviously definitely triumphed. During the time, I had just moved into my first house and out of the hostel. For a while, I struggled with learning the various APA, MLA, and Chicago referencing styles and meeting deadlines which is something every freelancer learns to adhere to from the very beginning. Data connectivity in Kenya is not what it is supposed to be and the speeds just get worse if you live in Eldoret, the city of Champions. So here’s a house-hunting beginners guide for everyone who is moving out of home for the first time, or to a new town. Freelancers particularly should love the tips.
Proximity to the main road
Even if you are a private and reserved individual, living close to the road is something that has to go on your checklist. The distance itself actually depends on you as some will consider a kilometer close. The thinking behind this point is that you need to save time to work on your articles. Margaret Atwood once said, “A word after a word after a word after a word is power” which means that every word you write after another is a step towards the ten-mile road to being a successful freelancer. Spending over 2 hours daily to just travel to class, town, get supper, or minor supplies and shopping is just a waste of both the time you are spending not perfecting your writing or the income you forego by not writing.
Proximity to the Closest Town or Center
More often than not, a certain lecturer decides to fix a class in 20 minutes (aargh) or the interview callback you applied last week is happening now or is it that your friends need you to hang out in a few minutes. Whatever the drug you need to be close to the nearest town to be able to show up in time even if your place is connected to it by a dirt road. Also, most opportunities are given to those in towns and you may miss them simply because you go to town only twice a week.
This is probably the most overlooked item on this list. Safaricom is actually very expensive especially if you tether your phone to your computer to meet your deadlines or even precheck your assignments with Grammarly. Some places will normally just have a fast Safaricom connection with Airtel and Telkom signals almost nonexistent. The housing construction is sometimes weird in that there is a strong connection outside and barely then once inside the house. As such, when house hunting, ensure your data is on and test the internet speeds of your preferred data provider.
Schools and Hospitals
Fun fact: hospitals and schools have the best power, water, and sewerage facilities in many underdeveloped and developing countries. In simpler terms, you are less likely to experience extended stays of water shortages or power outages if you live close to such amenities and share their connections. Some hospitals even have a backup generator that they sublet to surrounding homesteads in case of outages. it is also easier to deal with emergencies if you live close to a hospital which may be lifesaving. You will want to select your ideal distance from either of the two. Finding a safe neighborhood that is equidistant to the two facilities is also an additional advantage.
Churches or Faith Centers
This particular point is a gray area. Considering the recent mushrooming of churches all over the country, especially in residential areas that contribute to significant levels of noise pollution, you will want to be extra careful with this point. The takeaway point is established churches, complete with a field and physical address. Apart from similar advantages with living close to a school, churches offer refuge in times of crisis, and spiritual guidance during peaceful eras. As a freelancer, you want to be close to a church that you religiously visit on Sundays.
For Muslims and other religious subscriptions living close to a mosque or your worship center is advisable but I’ve found that most of them are usually in towns if the religion is not the dominant one in that region. Therefore, the first four items on the checklist should serve you well. Either way, freelancing makes time fly and if you are not careful your faith may shink to mustard seed sizes.
Price Range for Lease or Rent
This factor, like most of the other ones not mentioned in this blog, is vast and volatile. Having come to this far in the article I would recommend you live within your means, and even lower if you can. You may also have to compromise other factors as you will rarely find the perfect location within your desired budget. Cutting costs through having a permanent roommate or co-living in a commune is ideal as it is less expensive, requires minimal furnishing and lets you vacate on a whim. Co-living also offers the perfect bonding and interaction experience especially if you travel a lot on a budget.
Freelancing gives you the freedom to be your own boss, but with freedom, the responsibilities to eat right, exercise, spiritually grow and still maintain friendship ties only increase. Living in the perfect location enables you to meet your assignment milestones and still function normally in social events. Additional items on your checklist could include the size of the house, aeration or number of windows, a gated community with 24-hour security and if the place is tiled. Ultimately, your house is what you like and you should go for the one you feel comfortable in.