If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably reached the same point of discontent with life as we did. The shopping, the television, the nine to five drudgery to pay those bills and simply exist from day to day probably don’t make sense any more, and probably never really did, deep down.
And why should any of this make sense? All of it conspires to trap you and keep you from your true purpose.
We embarked on our adventures of a life less ordinary after feeling utterly done with conventional living and working. We minimalised, investigated independent working and explored the limits of finding shelter without paying rent or a mortgage.
What resulted was beyond our imagination. We suddenly felt the happiest, the most limitless and the most productive we’ve ever been (and this website is only a fraction of that energy). So, if you are feeling the same sense of wrongness with the world as we did and you’re wondering whether it’s worth investigating a different way of life, we recommend reading our list of symptoms and seeing if there’s anything you can identify with.
1. You love travelling and want to do more of it.
Everyone loves a holiday and many people get to the end of their break with the same sort of dread that precedes going for a root canal at the dentist’s. I remember my first taste of travel, a tiny weekend break to Rome that interrupted my monotonous day job like a ray of Italian sunshine after months of non-stop rain. Those two days of bliss seem ridiculous now, having spent the best part of two years continually travelling as I work. Work doesn’t have to be something separate from travel. The digital frontier offers a world of earning while you enjoy a more mobile lifestyle.
2. You are bored of your current job and dislike the routine.
Perhaps the mere thought of returning to work feels like an onset of the world’s worst migraine. Perhaps you feel like you’ve been living in your own personal version of Groundhog Day/The Truman Show. If you have thoughts like these, it’s time to get out, although we can guess that you knew this a lonnnng time ago. There are other options besides working the 9-5 grind, and even if you don’t want to perpetually travel, there are still ways to untether from conventional employment obligations.
3. You want to have free time to pursue your personal goals and interests.
This one kind of relates to Number 2. Work has a really crap habit of getting in the way of, well, life. I remember working two jobs just to make ends meet, all the while watching my paintings sit gathering more dust than new layers of colour. That novel I’d been meaning to start was sat as a collection of notes and mad scribblings, occasionally added to in a mad outburst of repressed creativity at 2am after a long day at the office. It really doesn’t have to be this way.
4. You wish you had more time to spend with loved ones.
Another result of Number 2 (funny how that number also applies to sh*t): That four-letter word has its effect on the important things in life. If you and your lover/spouse/partner have been passing ships in the night for so long you’ve started to forget what each other looks like, it’s time for a change. Same goes if the last time you rang your folks was on a night when you weren’t zombified by another 12-hour shift, no doubt during the commercial break of a movie you’re likely to miss the end of due to sleep deprivation.
5. Even when you do have free time, you work so hard that you’re too tired to do stuff.
Quite a pattern emerging with that W-word. Most people experience that catch-22 situation: There are things you’d love to do.You need money to do these things. You work hard to get that money. The work takes up time. Now you have no time (or energy) to do the things you love. But hey, you have plenty of money. No wait, you’ve blown it on things to help you forget about work. Damn…It’s a cycle many people get trapped in, but there is a way out.
6. Work tends to get in the way of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
If an alien lifeform visited our planet and analysed what our ridiculous species gets up to each day, it would no doubt headbutt the warp drive console and switch its engines to reverse (or else go and find some dolphins. They know how to live). I say this, because there can’t be many other creatures in this galaxy which forsake their own mind and body in their pursuit of material wealth. Surely if something is making you ill, mentally and physically, it’s worth exchanging it for something that isn’t?
7. You want to be your own boss.
We’ve met so many people who crave this… it’s something of a no-brainer. How can you live a life of freedom while being beholden to someone who affects your flow of income and the management of your own time? Time to say bye-bye to your boss and hello to a more entrepreneurial existence.
8. Your earnings seem to vanish into a sinkhole of having to pay for things you don’t need or want.
Once you recognise that many the things you pay for simply wouldn’t fit into an unconventional, freer life, you’ll notice how most of your possessions are, in effect, contributing to your own cage. We don’t own our possessions; our possessions own us. It's time to downsize.
9. Consumer culture makes no sense to you.
We started to feel this once we took our first steps on the path of minimalism. It became VERY difficult to go shopping, for ANYTHING. We found ourselves repulsed by advertising of any sort. Commercials on television and radio became even more inane and pointless than normal. Freeing yourself from conventional living often results in wanting to spend your money on experiences rather than objects.
10. You could easily imagine carrying everything you own in a backpack.
Do you fantasise about packing all your worldly possessions into a bag and setting off into the sunset? There’s something romantic about living so lightly that your barely have enough underwear for a whole week, right? (ok, maybe a bad example) But it has to be said that there’s something liberating about owning less. I think it relates to the thrilling notion that you could hurriedly pack everything you own into a tiny suitcase, James Bond-style, and vanish into the night aboard the next available train, if you needed to. If minimalism is your thing, you’ll be well prepared for a life of escape.
11. Retirement now seems redundant.
This concept hit us both around six months into our first journey. Once we realised that this was our life: experiencing different countries and cultures; being our own boss; earning money from activities we enjoy; feeling healthy and happy and free, we understood that there was no longer anything to retire from.
If more than a few of these points resonate with you, you have come to the right place. We have met so many others on our travels who have felt as lost and as disillusioned with life as we once did, and their curious questions inspired us to create this website. We wanted to give something back by sharing our knowledge and experience of this unconventional lifestyle. So, now you know the signs, your next step is to do something about it and truly start your escape…
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