So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015
Chucking it all and running away
Who doesn't like to dream about chucking it all and running away somewhere? Maybe you want to move to an isolated cabin in the woods, or live like a vagabond on the road, or even live on a boat. It's great to dream. Come to think of it, it's great to actually do those things too.
That doesn't mean that life is totally carefree. One of the authors I like to read laid out he eliminated debt, sold his stuff, then moved onto a boat with his wife. It sounded all free and easy. Later I read another book by the same author. One of the big reasons he moved onto a boat in sunny Florida was because his wife had serious medical issues. A low stress life and warm weather helped her condition. He almost went broke too -until he started selling books about life on a boat.
Some people live unconventional lives because they can't handle “normal” life. Those who don't fit in might even be diagnosed with a mental condition. That's assuming living in an artificial world doing work we hate is normal. There are a lot of people in America who take powerful prescription mood altering drugs just to get through their day. What if the problem isn't with them but with the world they live in?
Could it be that the popularity of apocalyptic literature is because there's a wide spread desire for the world we live in to go away? I've always liked those books growing up -thought there was something fundamentally wrong with the world. That can be a trap. Either the world won't fall apart, or it'll fall apart the way Syria is falling apart now. Just because a horrible system is falling apart doesn't mean it won't be replaced by an even more horrible system.
Good thing it is possible to find a measure of freedom and relief from the ills of the world. Most of the unconventional people I know have some connection to “the real world.” It's often necessary to keep living the way they love to live. The guy living out of his van has to find the occasional paying gig to keep the wheels on. Eventually even the most hard core sailor has to come into port for supplies.
I turned my unexpected medical retirement into a chance to have adventures. Even before then I was on a path to retire by age 45. Some people are perfectly fine working until they are old, bent, and used up, but I'm not one of them. To get out of the system before that requires planning and sacrifice.
For me it took about 6 years sort out my affairs to where I could travel. It took that long to settle up my benefits and to regain enough health to be able to go places. As much as I loved being a firefighter, it almost killed me. Once I could function again I wasn't going to waste my life watching TV.
There's no one way to find an escape from the world that's killing you. A big example is to get rid of all debt. That certainly helps, but it's not a deal breaker. I still owe on my house mortgage, but I'm not sweating it. That's getting covered by my little pension. If that pension went away, I guess the house would too. Then I'd have to live on my little boat full time. Good thing that was paid for with cash. For me the lesson is to have your escape plan paid up free and clear.
We happen to like our dome in the woods. Living there during the warmer months is wonderful. We also get to spend more time with family and friends. That another thing a lot of people feel they have to give up -everybody from their old way of life. I've some friends that go back to when I was a toddler and I feel no reason to cut off contact with them now.
My situation is working for me now, but that doesn't mean it couldn't change. For years my lovely wife and I spent winters living out of a tent and doing a lot of canoeing. Since both her shoulders had surgery, long distance paddling isn't a good idea anymore. We found sailing is good fit. We'll keep doing that until it doesn't work for us anymore.
Chucking it all and running away isn't a one time thing. It's a process and an attitude.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.