One thing we’ve seen drastically change within this generation are attitudes about travel. Fewer people think of it as a two-week (one one-week) excursion with a tour group, snapping photos, being pampered and attending spas. Today, travel has become a rite of passage. And that means long-term ventures, even with limited funds.
This is, of course, a great development. It’s a direct result of a changing world and economy. One where it’s possible to maintain a job off your computer or utilize the sharing economy to reduce expenses and see and do more.
However, at the end of the day, my own views are not entirely aligned even to this new paradigm. Instead, it goes a step above it.
The Greater Benefit of the Mobile Lifestyle
Although I’ve spent the last 1 1/2 years back in Los Angeles, I still consider my lifestyle mobile. I have the financial skills, logistical expertise and training to grab my backpack and leave if I so desired. I make a conscious decision not to bind myself too drastically to my home base, or any one area. I know by this time next year I will be living in a foreign country once again.
The path to get here has resulted in a lifestyle with much less stress and many more opportunities. Although I live in LA, I work my own business and my part-time is within the distance of cheap Ubers, so I sold my car a long time ago and haven’t looked back. This means no stressful commutes.
My time living in places like hostels now means I have no great quarrels with “humble” living arrangements with many roommates. I pay a fraction of what other West LA renters face. Combined with nixing the car, I’m now saving lots of money.
That money can then be saved or eventually used for something more valuable than new TVs or “designer” (what a joke) furniture – and that is experiences. I rub shoulders with some wealthy people in this city and they incorrectly believe that I must be on their financial level given all of the interesting things I’ve done in my life.
No, not by any means. I just understand how to properly allocate resources.
Finally, I no longer have the pressing fear of requiring reliance on corporate slave-jobs. Instead, I have not only reliable clients that I can make a few dollars through, and a career as an author that’s created a certain level of passive income, I have something even more important – self confidence and reliance on myself. Even in a pinch, I know how to make money. This harkens back to the days, years ago now, when I was living in Thailand. I was fresh off a failed job (an internship that crumbled before my eyes) and a severe injury (a broken leg)—which meant I had almost no money. Literally crippled, I was forced to adapt. Since then, finding freelance work online has always been doable.
Combining all of these skills together means I can choose the lifestyle I want. No matter where I want to live, any location is feasible.
This leads to more difficult decisions, like finding greater purpose and meaning behind the chosen lifestyles. However, it’s a high quality problem to have – one that was typically only reserved for the affluent. Through these options, I can at least give myself the choice to figure out how to best express my spiritual purpose in life.
And that’s how travel relates to the big picture. Independence, freedom, cutting those binds whether they are car loans or your job’s golden handcuffs.