‘Stop consuming things and start experiencing life’

lifestyle design, Travel Perspectives — By on September 21, 2009 at 7:25 am

That’s a philosophy that John Bardos tries to take to heart and live by. There are a lot of people out there who have taken the risk to travel, to make a career break, or to live a so-called unconventional life. John is one of them. He runs a blog called Jet Set Citizen, about “lifestyle design at the intersection of work, play and travel.” There is a great interview with him online at Business Backpacker.

How did you know you didn’t fit in to conventional society?

There is no reason why we should drive on the right side of the road or the left. The idea of getting a job and working at one company until retirement is only about three generations old and it is already dead. The concept of retiring at age 65 was created in 1935 with the Social Security Act in the U.S. Even that has to change because of the increase in average lifespans. Everything around us is just an idea. If you realize that, then it is easier to see that there is no set plan for life and we are free to do whatever we want.

Encouraging words you would pass on to readers: If you could have had someone there when you took the leap of faith, what would you have needed to hear the most?

The only real risk in life is dying or getting sick before you have a chance to do the things you want. When you start getting older and more and more of your friends and family get sick or die and you lose energy and motivation, you really start to understand how short life is. I don’t want to sound like a parent telling his children how tough life was in the past, but it is all true.

We live in a time of great affluence and opportunity. It is easy and cheap to travel around the world, start new businesses and even become famous if we are willing to put in the work and are able to commit our energies to a single focus. The greatest times in my life have been when I didn’t have much money, didn’t have many possessions and was working insane hours to accomplish something. The “good life” is not an easy life. Easy makes us fat and lazy.  Even if you completely fail, there are unlimited opportunities to start again. Our parents never had these opportunities. Our grandparents couldn’t even imagine this level of wealth and choice. There is no excuse for not attempting great things in life. The only barrier is our own fears, which are generally unfounded, and our unwillingness to do the work required.

Check out the entire interview with John. It’s good stuff.

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