There is a story I love of how human life is reversed. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we were born with all the knowledge of a lifetime, to live all of our best years of youth with money and wisdom, so we could start working in our forties and fifties when we want to be less active, so we could work harder when we are older, then later we start forgetting everything so someone else can take care of us when we are old.
Obviously there is no way this could ever happen. So we are left with living a life of work for 40+ years in the hopes of being able to retire with some money so we can then enjoy the benefits of having lots of free time.
If you stop for a minute and think about it, we are all rich with the most important resource in life – TIME. Most of us are born healthy with hopefully a lot of time that we can decide what we can do with it. The problem is most people give away most of this important resource in hopes of finding happiness in other things. AKA Money.
It is no doubt that we all need some money to live a comfortable life, and because of this we need to trade some of our time to live the life we want, but how much of your time are you open to give away in order to buy things?
A great way to alleviate this problem, is to start taking Mini-retirements when you are young instead of waiting 40 years when you are 65+ and probably don’t want to do much anyways.
In our trips to different countries we have encounter plenty of older folks who have retired and start traveling around the world in luxury because they have both the money and time. I’m always happy for them and I hope to still have the energy and all the resources to do the same, but travel, which is one of the top priorities of many people when they think about retirement, is best enjoyed in your younger years. Waking up at 3am to hike a volcano in Indonesia, staying all night partying with people from all over the world in an island in Thailand, trekking the Matchu Picchu trail for days. These are all activities that while I see some older people do it, are activities that are much more enjoyable when you have tons of energy on your body.
Think about all the things you want to accomplish in your life, the bucket list items that you have put up for so long. These are all things that you should start focusing on today. Think how you can start accomplishing your long life dreams as soon as possible.
A Mini-Retirement is a great way to do it. Anywhere from 3 Months to 1 or 2 years to take off time from whatever you are doing and truly experience life. Most people I know are very capable of doing this; they have both the resources and ability to do it, yet only a few do it.
Our society tries to fill our heads with worries and constrains, it wants us to keep playing the rat race game so we can make the banks and big corporations richer and the rest of the people un-happy and un-satisfied.
There are plenty of ways for you to take away some time and experience what you have always dreamt of. Visiting exotic destinations around the world, working at a farm, volunteering in a poor country, working with rescue animals, just staying at home working at a passion project. These are all things that oftentimes do not cost that much and are within reach of most people.
What is the ultimately worst that could happen, you lose your job, come back home and just find a new one.
Chances are that this Mini-Retirement will give some new light into your life and enhance your lifestyle. You could easily find out new things you like that you probably had no idea, maybe you come so inspired that your boss gives you more responsibility and perhaps even a raise.
There is no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow, this is why we have to act today and decide to choose life and goals instead of wealth and gold.
Think of the many ways you could incorporate Mini-Retirements into your career and your life.
Some examples of people we have met along the road include:
> A German 30 something guy who quit his job at a marketing firm to travel all the way from Germany to Australia by motorcycle. We met him in Indonesia and he had some of the most interesting stories of the world. He was on his final months and obviously was ready to go back home after such long tiring trip, but he told me he was very glad and happy to have made the decision to do it.
> A young American couple that right after college decided to teach English overseas for 2 years. They found a job in Seoul, Korea and loved the city. Now they are working in different fields and will probably come back to the states to continue their careers, but the experience they had of working abroad and getting to know a different culture will most likely stick with them forever.
> A single Uruguayan girl, who did not have a lot of money, saved a lot at her regular job and took off to travel the world for one year.
These are only a couple of examples of how regular folks with not a lot of money decide early on in their lives to go after their dreams.
There is never a perfect moment to do anything in life, there will never be the perfect moment to travel, to buy a home, to have a kid, things will just happen in life and you have to be able to embrace them. Be pro-active and plan your mini-retirements, go and do all the things you always wanted to do.
You never know and tomorrow might be too late.