"Nothing has been more amply demonstrated during the past three thousand years than this:
that the great majority of men do not esteem, or understand, or even desire personal liberty"
- Freeman Tilden -- A World in Debt
I think people volunteer to get in the box because at first it seems so comfortable, and the entire herd is doing it. By the time some figure out the insidious nature of the machine, it can take much more work to get out than it did getting in. Some are ignorant of this altogether, and many actually prefer the matrix.
What you say is true though, anyone can un-volunteer. I would add that disengaging from the credit system can include much more than just credit cards.
Your 10 points are a great primer. Basically it's adjustments in money, mind and action.
I think one can make the distinction between tourists and travelers in much the same way. The tourism industry is geared to keep you in an expensive bubble. That way you must return to the machine to pay for it. It's unsustainable for most to have tourist level expenses 24/7/365. In other words, the tourism industry in general is an integral part of the machine.
Re: Latitude, Longitude Andy is on a beach in DR.
11. Develop location independent income streams and/or skills.
You are absolutely right, we need to de-colonise our minds first, then free ourselves from this system that enslaves us all and leaves most people in the planet without basic goods such as water or food, and basic rights such as health or a house.
Shelter is a need, most of a house is a want, a luxury. I do not expect anyone to understand this post, you will think me crazy.
Great Post which I HOPE helps a few people change their lifestyles and follow their dreams. I just finished reading a short simple book, "Rich Dad Poor Dad" which explains the difference between education and IQs and financial common sense and basic philosophy. I read "Walden" and "Thoughts of Thoreau" in my late teens retaining and using the advice and wisdom expressed in each book to FREE myself of the way I was raised. Another great book but probably difficult to find now is Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book" and Jerry Rubin's "DO IT" and "Growing ( Up ) at Thirty-Seven" where he explains his shocking one liner , "Kill Your Parents" meaning to kill the "parents" inside of yourself or stopping behaviors and attitudes inherited / taught by the generations before us.
Here's my list I created for people still struggling to escape the "rat race".
10 Simple Living Tips to Help You Make Travel Dreams a Reality
Below is how I answered a woman who wondered how could we take a year to travel around the world when we home schooled our daughter.
My wife and I grew up with very modest financial backgrounds guess you'd call it "blue collar" families. So we realized at a young age that not just making money was necesary to become free of the society tied to their jobs but SAVING money was important to reach financial independence. An old Chinese equation for financial success is:live on one
third of your income,invest one third conservatively and invest or take a chance with the remaining third with possible higher investment returns. The "GROSS SALARY" is one of American society's "Brainwashes" on the American people and the other are MENTAL IMAGES of what possessions you need to live the "good life".
We didn't really have to save up for a long time but did plan the trip over a year ago because of our 12 y.o. daughter's school and activity schedules. Tips to be able to make your dreams a reality are as follows:
1.no impulse buying
3.pay cash for your car not installments
4.pay all credit card bills monthly with no remaining
5.share rent or live with your parents until you save
6.work more so you are not able to spend
7.know that traveling around the world is cheaper than
living in the States and many other developed economies
8.love yourself so you don't need to buy something to
"improve your self image"
9.be active with hobbies that don't cost much money
like exercise, education and lovemaking.
10. realize that you're only human and all the above
"tips" will be broken but try your best.
Thanks for all this. A post that needs to be stickied by all us dreamers...
Andy, As another who has "escaped" several times I agree with your observations. For me it is being in control of myself and making decisions when you are aware of the long term consequences. Also realizing you will not be 100 accurate, but learn from your mistakes and choose paths that lead in the direction that takes you to a state of economic, social, political and familial you have chosen. Great to hear from you. John
Andy, I don't think you crazy for this post! I agree that we are enslaved by this system, just I don't think giving up on a house or rejecting a 9-5 job can get us out of the box. I mean, I have no fixed address, I don't have a 9-5 job, a pretty much live footloose day by day, I don't have credit card and the most expensive thing I have is my laptop, but I don't think I'm living out of the system. As long as I use money, I'm enslaved, as long as we are forced to live the way we are forced to by the monetary system, we are all in the box, a way or the other.
Of course we can start getting out, but this would mean thinking about another system, maybe resource-based instead of money based, because as long as the money is created out of debt, we will never have full control of our lives, our governments will always have debts with the central banks, public debts will never cease to exist and we will always have to pay for something has never to do with us and we don't even know anything about.
Ok, now I guess you will think me crazy :-P
Demonizing money isnt the answer. Money is merely a convenient way to exchange something of value, that you own, for something of value that you want/need. If money didn't exist, you would still be engaging in a value exchange of your labor/goods/expertise/etc..for what you need to survive. The only way out would be to grow your own food, purify your own water, and own your own shelter with no form of taxation affecting you whatsoever. That would be a job in and of itself. Also, you would need to homeshool your kids and somehow acquire the myriad of other things that you couldnt possibly produce yourself but would otherwise eventually need (schoolbooks for kids, materials for repair to your property, etc, etc).
Andy has more personal freedom than someone who would live under the above described conditions. He has such freedom not through eschewing money altogether, but by living in a way that avoids being trapped by debt and living beyond his means. Therefore, money doesn't shackle him. He uses it to purchase what he needs, and doesnt want to produce himself, but no more than he requires. Excess luxury is what he sacrifices, personal freedom is what he gains.
Great post. Try to get a hold of the book "The 4 Hour Workweek 2nd edition" which, while having a bit of a sensational title, smartly propagates the very principles, lifestyle and philosophy that you embrace. There is a lot of substance in the book. A lot more than you would expect, both in the practical philosophy and hard resources and methods. Its a great resource for people attempting to live your exact lifestyle. At worst, you will find it affirming. At best, it may reveal a resource or two that will help you to run your business more efficiently or even possibly provide inspiration for further income streams for you. The guy who wrote it is quite intelligent. Call me a fanboy, but there it is.
The point is not demonising the money itself, it's understanding that as long as money is created out of debt, you can have "more" freedom than others, but the system you are part of doesn't allow you to be free.
Here it's better explained: http://www.themoneymasters.com/
Also the movie The Money Masters is very helpful to understand who owns us and, at the same time, gives us the illusion to be free.
Not sure why the talk about money, but it is here to stay. In the end all you need to do to stop the machine is say no, the machine does not care.
Read the book, I am ok, your ok, everyone wants to fight, this is the machine talking, not the goal of this post.
The freedom you have is exceptional. Very few can emulate it. One reason is the fact that you do not equate living in $10 rooms as a reflection on you. Your self-worth is not diminished by that. You do not need the trappings of luxury to make you feel good about yourself.
Apparently, freedom is not worth it to many of us. We would have to heat our bath water in a 5 gallon used vegetable oil bucket. Andy, don't ever change!!
I always enjoy reading the insight of those, such as yourself, who have made a successful transition from stress-filled 9-to-5s to "a life less normal" as you put it.
Lately I have been studying Buddhist philosophy and how it relates to eliminating desire. It ties in very well with your suggestions for frugal living. The only suggestion of yours that I do not follow is #3, only because I receive reward points and cashback bonuses on my cards I always pay off my credit card balances immediately and also treat my card as I would physical cash.
You, along with Timothy Ferriss and a few others online, serve as an inspiration for me. Even though I may not agree with everything you write, I respect where you are coming from since you have actually "walked the walk" (whereas I am only at the "talking the talk" stage at this point.)