I posted this very question on my Facebook wall and received a number of responses. To my surprise (I guess I thought I was alone in this) almost everyone said they would take the time to travel…. to hike the Appalachian Trail, mountain climb in the Himalayas, go to Spain, Argentina, and the Mediterranean. I’d love to move somewhere new, travel around the world, partaking in exciting adventures.
This vision of no constraints seems like a pipe dream. There’s no way that I could put together the kind of vacation time required to check off all the adventures on my bucket list. I’ve always assumed that I can take maybe one or two of these trips a year if I’m lucky. Visiting Angkor Wat and backpacking around Southeast Asia. Going to Florence. Or I’ll have to wait until I’m retired when I’m truly able to define what I do with my time and where I am at a given moment for extended periods of time.
My thinking has become increasingly influenced by schools of thought of the so-called lifestyle design movement that point in a direction that this kind of dream lifestyle is accessible to us now. This is best summed up by a favorite Gary Vaynerchuck saying that I love to repeat, er, imitate, “There is no reason to do things that you hate. Stop doing that. Please!”
(Please watch the video if you’re in a motivation rut. You’ll either find his voice grating or hysterical. My take is the latter but you be the judge. Thanks to Baker at Man vs. Debt for posting this video!)
With the advent of the internet, a whole generation of people are now working remotely from far flung places across the globe, expats consulting from Cambodia, running businesses from Buenos Aires, and writing on the side to support their travels to every country on Earth. They’re trading high expense lifestyles in Western countries for lower wages but more fulfilling lives in less expensive locales. In some cases, they may be making less money than me, but they’re rich in ways that I am not. They have true freedom of time and location.
I don’t want to save fastidiously for a future that never comes. I don’t want to sit in a desk wondering where the time went. I believe that you and I can create that life for ourselves now. I challenge for us both: that in one year we’ll be doing what we love as much as we can as often as we can — whatever that looks like for us.
I’m getting dangerously close to having saved one year’s worth of expenses. I want to have cushion in case there’s not a soft landing on the other side– but ultimately I just have enough confidence that I can make it on my own that I just might take the plunge. I’ll keep you posted.