by the Center for the New American Dream
Our intention for living abroad and joining the Peace Corps was to take a “sabbatical,” a time set apart where life looks different from the normal and where we can grow, learn, and reflect. Throughout this whole journey, we’ve been asking ourselves: What’s next? Well, we have a lot of ideas. Turns out they all kind of center around two common themes. One: more travel. And two: making a change in first-world values.
It’s seeming more and more like our vision for a sabbatical may become less of a break-from-“real-life” and more of a long-term reality. That is to say, there’s a very good chance we won’t be going back to the 9 to 5 world and, instead, will continue to pursue an unconventional, nomadic lifestyle (maybe it will only last a year, maybe it will continue indefinitely). We even have dreams to grow Simply Intentional and make blogging part of our livelihood.
I think we’ve come to realize that the consumer-driven American Dream was pointing us in the opposite direction of our true values. We want to learn how to live outside the box. And we’re passionate about seeing more first-world people break free of materialism to embrace a simpler, happier, healthier, and more generous life.
Little by little, as we explore all of our various options for life after Peace Corps, I’ve been doing some research online by finding like-minded bloggers. Three sites stand out to me for the quality of their work and for showing me that a meaningful, “location independent” life is possible.
“Living with less quickly became a passion for my own life. But additionally, a passion was growing in my heart to spread the message of minimalism in a world bound to consumerism—to become one voice calling people to buy less when every other advertisement was calling them to buy more. My passion for simplicity quickly grew beyond the walls of our own, uncluttered home.”
Great posts I’ve read by him recently are:
How a Decision Became a Passion. And a Passion Became a Career. and Owning Less, Intentionality, and Living Your Best Life Possible. One of his e-books, which I just finished, is pictured to the left here.
Hecktic Travels: No Posessions, No Plans, Just Travel
“Upon return to Canada, tired and weary of life on the road, we half expected to be lulled into staying and picking up our suburban lives again. This didn’t happen. After a few months of rest with a housesitting job in beautiful British Columbia, the wanderlust returned in full force and compelled us to jump on another southbound plane for a 6 month assignment in Honduras.
Nothing like a few months in paradise to reassure these vagabonds that we are onto something grand. We’ve since explored more of Central America, lots of Europe, some of the Middle East, and even our own backyard of North America.
The decision is made. The time to slow down and settle down is NOT now. This life is too good.”
For an idea of how they pull it off, see: How to Travel Long-Term
The Art of Non-Conformity
“The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC) project chronicles my writing on how to change the world by achieving significant, personal goals while helping others at the same time. In the battle against conventional beliefs, we focus on three areas: Life, Work, and Travel.”
I especially appreciated his blogging guide 279 Days to Overnight Success and the manifesto about living a remarkable life.
2 thoughts on “America The Possible”
I’ve also found that the simplicity that comes through my PC service is refreshing and rewarding. In the states, it’s so easy to get too busy and let life get too cluttered. Here, in Africa, I have time to sit, think, pray, relax….enjoy a simple life.
Jen- I agree completely. It’s going to be a challenge- but a worthwhile one- to figure out ways to keep that simplicity in our lives when we’re back in the States, despite all the distractions.