Andy, I've come across your blog recently.
I really enjoy it. It's quirky, fun, educational and compelling. And short 'n sweet.
When I do not work I get depressed because when I work I save money for traveling now traveling and not working are two different things I work to travel
and I love to travel people work for different reasons
when I travel I work volunteer
its how I get to know the people which is why I travel
seeing things is empty getting to know and to laugh with people of all cultures is full
exchanging ideas and skills I love it so when I am not working I get depressed as It gets in the way of my dreams
I enjoyed Panajachel and the whole lake area some good memories its beautiful there
One of the major differences between cultures is whether they choose a "work to live" like tribal cultures and those living tropical climates or "live to work" like those in colder climates or in weathier nations in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. A certain percentage of people raised in each culture can cross over, adapt and prosper. Many previously hard working expats relocate to sunny climates where there work ethic slowly fades away, replaced as you mentioned by other choices. And locals who grew up fairly idle depending on their families to support them without much work ethic when emigrating or becoming an overseas contract worker change, work long hours and integrate into the hectic, productive culture. I have chosen to live each way, swinging between the two attitudes living a carefree, work free lifestyle for a few months until boredom sets in then create a project with goals to complete over a 6 month period until I fell it's time to lay back again.
This hit a chord for me. I could easily get deep here, as I have had time over the last 8 months trying to crack this key mystery of life.
I was working full time for 4.5yrs in an off shore country to get some money together - and it turned out the company, people and philosophy were at odds with who and what I am.
Prior to that I worked for 20 years in a corporate environment with home loans, car, taxes, family life, grinding away in a company that mostly was in sync with my values and did a great job for them - but getting poorer financially and stuck.
so for 8 months I have been learning some new skills and working independently - still based off-shore where it's cheap to live and my trade (shoes is around here). so I have been able to keep some keep some regular income going and yet have lots of time to experiment with my main industry and my hobby which is video photography.
I agree we need to work - but perhaps work is the wrong word - if doing your hobby which makes you happy that can give you an income, then it's not work as defined in the traditional Anglo Saxon tradition that many of us have been brought up on (hard work that is not enjoyable but necessary) - rather it's enjoyable, fulfilling and (here's the deeper bit) helps you grow as a conscious human being and accept your life's purpose.
When I was working in that terrible environment - nearly going mental - I discovered Andy's site - and it encouraged me to think about how to come to terms with continuously living off shore and break the shackles and thinking that limits you to living in your home country. In my case I have traveled a bit, but not continuously as have returned to my off shore base (which sadly is not a beach or beautiful lake) but a sanitized Chinese city, so I am sensually deprived while I am here (no beautiful architecture, no breath taking natural vistas no little cafes in squares) just row apon row of concrete tile covered buildings and traffic laden streets and people who are just working for money and not thinking beyond that.
My stock footage is selling ( this is going to take years to build up) hower like many of the people you mention in your travels, without the shoe business that makes me stay here - I too would be absorbed all the time in trying to figure out how to make money. I must say though, what I do now in the shoe business is 90 through my virtual office - a laptop in a small flat.
Have a great day everyone - and appreciate your feed back for some ideas around conundrum!
How is the travel bag project coming along in Guatemala?