I know it's a common thing to hear, but choosing experience over things is a better way to live.
And I am no different than most other relatively fortunate affluent 38 year olds in the USA. I'm still chasing more.
The white picket fence and family that our parents told us was the American dream isn't what I am drawn to.
If that's your cup of tea, fuck yeah.
If it's not, you're not alone.
Don't want kids? You're not alone.
Don't want to spend 35 years waiting to retire? You're not alone.
There is an alternate path: choose experiences over safety and stability.
There is a common ground between this and being homeless and jobless. Either way you choose to create income tends to make life decisions easier.
The real magic trick of it is not getting owned by your job. Decide to live more affordably so you can avoid feeling trapped. This is different for all people.
For me, that's living in a city I like. It's close enough to a major airport, so I can travel consistently and adventure whenever. The money I make hasn't been spent on a giant house ($280k is most I have ever paid for a home), luxury items, or sports cars.
As many of you have seen, I've built a truck, and now a van that enables me to adventure more, and I have bikes that I get to ride on these adventures. This is as close to flying right above the ground as I'll ever get. I've chosen to shift my focus to less "luxurious" items so that I can live the life I really want.
This comes when you make some hard decisions about what really makes you happy. If traveling the way I do is interesting to you, it's possible to get started without spending too much money.
Now more than ever, van life is happening. Chances are you can find a second-hand van from someone who lived in it for a year already.
You don't have to wait until you can afford a brand new van, you can start living the life you want sooner than you think. Life is too short to keep waiting for the "special" moment when things will finally fall in place for you.
You have to make it happen on your own.
Because, at the end of it all, when you have your last moments before the darkness creeps in, you don't want to have memories of you sitting in front of a desk, wishing you could be doing the things you enjoy.
When my life flashes before my eyes I want to see Iceland and my memories there. I want to see the long road trips with the people I love. I want to revisit great training sessions in my garage when everything was clicking. I want to be consumed by the feelings of looking around Banff. I want to smell the amazing air at the top of a mountain in Glacier National Park.
I don't want to think about bullshit I bought to impress a stranger. Fuck them. Do this shit for you. All of it. Too often, we hear, "do it for the gram." Fuck that too. Do it cause it sets your heart on fire!!
You want to live a life that makes you happy.
I know there are people scared of all of the "what ifs" out there.
Here's my advice for those that want to quit a job they hate and embark on a new adventure: If you have worked in a field for some time and been good at it, you can always find work. But there is only so long you get to make risky moves. Don't wake up at 70 in a house you don't care about, dreaming of what you should have done.
Play it safe, or don't. Both roads end at the same place.