I remember standing by the large living room windows of our apartment in Vancouver back in November of 2016… I was just admiring the view, overlooking Vancouver City and the snowcapped mountains in the distance. But after a couple of minutes I began to notice something…
The apartments in the nearby high rises were empty… why?
Because it was a Friday and everyone was at work.
This isn’t surprising- on a weekday, most homes are empty, right?
What got me intrigued was the fact that people pay so much for their living arrangements when in reality, they’re not home most of the time.
Why aren’t they home?
Because they’re at work, earning money to be able to afford to live in that place that they leave vacant the majority of the time.
I use to find this so normal. It was just the way of life. Something everybody had to do, no questions asked.
But as time has gone on and I really began to think of this concept, the stranger it began to seem.
Now here is something else that interested me…
A friend of mine said to me…
“How can you afford to travel full-time. It seems like I am forever saving up for a trip that’s never going to happen”.
Well, for one… If you’re working full-time and take a holiday, you will be paying for two accommodations simultaneously…
You have internet bills, power bills, fixed expenses you have to pay regardless if you’re away on vacation or not.
You also have food costs and transport costs…
Then you have the costs of making sure your appearance is perfect for your line of work… the fancy suits etc.
And then…. You have the large airfare cost to fly out to your chosen destination and back again (this cost is especially large for New Zealanders down at our little corner of the Earth).
Yes of course traveling will be expensive for you! That whole scenario is ridiculous. Yet it’s something everybody seems to strive for!
Here’s the costs for me- Let’s base it off Asia as their cost of living is so cheap..
- A one way ticket.
- Rent a fully furnished apartment with all utilities covered… In Asia this could be less than $500/month for a very nice place.
- No vehicle expenses because I usually find places in great locations.
- I eat out almost every meal for less than $5/meal. If you weren’t lazy like me and actually cook your own meals you’ll pay half that.
- No need to buy professional work clothes… Just that funky dress in the market for $7.
This is just an example… But I probably live cheaper than those people at home counting pennies… And my standard of living is probably better too. I’m not bragging, I’m laying out the facts.
Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Yeah yeah, but how is this sustainable if I quit my job and take off, I’ll have no income!?’…
That’s why you leverage your skills and the internet.
We live in the information age my friend. People are constantly paying for information online.
And everybody has a skill or knowledge that someone else wants.
So, what’s yours?
What is something you’re good at?
What is something you know you have, that someone else wants?
How can you package it up and offer it online? Or at least in a way that allows you to work for yourself.
There are other ways to work online and live a lifestyle you desire.
I’m not the only one living like this… you’ll come across more and more people as you open yourself up to the fact that something like this is possible for you. My intention here was just to shed awareness that there is an alternative life out there other than the 9-5 grind we all get caught up in.
I want to leave you with a quote. The same quote that opened my eyes and had me questioning my entire existence…
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” – Ellen Goodman