Everyone Should Retire In Their 20s and 30s and 40s... A Third Way To Look At Unemployment

It's the question everyone dreads in a job interview. You have been out of work for an extended period and your last job didn't even relate to your previous employment history. It was obviously just another job to have instead of being on unemployment, but you had to spruce it up on you resume. They can sense your desparateness. They can see right through your nervous, beady eyes, and they ask you, “So what have you been doing in the past 6 months since your last employment?”


The unavoidable answer that you try to muster with some pizazz is how eager you have been looking for work. But that answer falls flat and everyone knows it. Your voice gives it away. Eager for what purpose? To pay those bills or to be a confident and creative employee? Your chances of making an awesome impression in this interview are quickly sinking to next to nil.

What if instead you could say something totally different? Something so cool and incredible that this would instantly change from a lukewarm interview to an awe inspiring conversation? Take a look at this gem of an answer…

“Well, Sir/Madam, I traveled for over 6 months in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and the surrounding area. I climbed volcanoes, both dormant and active, visited numerous Mayan pyramid archeological sites, and learned the recent history of Guatemala my high school classes didn't have time for, in part by eating breakfast with a Guatemalan army general and listening to his narratives. But beyond all that, I traveled to Guatemala to give myself complete freedom and space to redefine my vision of work. I don't believe in being somber and depressed as the only emotions while out of a job. They serve their purpose but there is room for more. I see it as a time to boldly step into uncertainty, to embrace the unknown and find my truth within it. I spent as much time as I needed until I reached total clarity on what job I wanted next, and when the moment arose I flew back to the United States and, well, here I am, sir/madam, more excited than ever to work for you.

Lake Atitlan was a heavenly place and I found a way to live there forever by teaching English if I wanted to do that. But your job opportunity speaks to the highest goals of my life and I would rather be here doing work with you than living in paradise.”

Now that, my friends, is making an impression on a future employer.

A Life of Balance

What can we say about this supposed method of being unemployed while travelling the world in exotic places? First, the basis for which this idea stands.

This loosely stems from a series of articles that depict a new way of thinking about one dimensional and linear politics found within the source notes 1) 2) 3) 4). Our world is more accurately described as we move to incorporate more dimensions. That is to say, a cube is a more precise depiction of a square. Squares don't exist in physical reality, they exist in our minds (that piece of paper, and by extension the square on that piece of paper, has a dimension of height that is simply ignored for practical sake). A cube has considered a third dimension of space to accurately describe the object. Politics is rather similar. We tend to polarize ideas into either/or arguments, or arugments made up of lines and maybe squares. We should strive to describe our political positions (and other positions as well) beyond lines and squares in favor of cubes and other three dimensional objects. This article will attempt to add some dimensionality to the question of your work life. Will it succeed? How will it fit with your perspective?

Our thinking is so outside the box that it may not be applicable to you or a centralized system of planning known as government. To this author, that is inconsequential. You are free to do as you please and that is always good. Government is mostly a reaction to societal forces as they happen in larger and larger movements. The larger the movement of societal action, the more effort goverment puts in to regulate that action, investigate it to make sure no rights or laws are being violated, and finds ways to tax it if at all possible. Your actions can be what the government chases, so make your actions worthy of being chased. The following is a new way to look at how we approach “work” in the United States, but the effect of this investigation leads to a more beneficial outlook on not just work but life itself.

Life has always been about balance. In The History Of Muggle Magic classes posted on devtome, we see the value in the yin/yang symbol as a basic expression of the universe (and we make particular note that if white is the first piece, black is the second piece, the whole thing in unison is a third piece). Living feeds off of and depends upon non living. Conscious depends upon the unconscious to exist. Your waking existence is nothing without its converse, the sleeping state. Try to any of these to an extreme with the neglect of its opposite, and the quality of the entire picture decreases. A philosophy more in tune with the laws of the universe would try and harmonize the opposites to produce a more perfect whole. This, in effect, is what we argue for the work day, the work week, and indeed the way we view work altogether.

Tim Ferriss 5), author of The 4 Hour Work Week, was the first to make popular the notion of balancing work and play in a way that benefits all parties involved. While he has pushed back against the leviathan of endless work with his 4 hour suggestion, a suggestion that goes beyond what even we think is an appropriate “balance” between the two, the answer probably lies somewhere inbetween 4 hours and the typical 40 hour work week. Besides this caveat, who can deny we are overworked and without adequate time for self reflection, relaxation, and creative output unrelated to money? What makes this following plan work is based on the fact that it is resetting the scales towards a more balanced state.

Unemployment Should Signify A Time For Realigning With Your Life Goals, Not Embarassment And Shame

Why is it that society has an obsession with the positive? Perhas its better than a society that is constantly morbid and dark all the time. But the inability to balance positive and negative will always produce consequences, and we see this in the perspective on the work environment. People are expected to get a job young and hold that job for as long as they can. They should only jump ship for higher paying jobs that come along. All of this is viewed positively. If you fail to do this, your work perspective has a negative slant to it. Being unemployment is supposed to be a sad time, a time that you are lacking that good job. Not that they talk about this emotional state. They gloss over it with the constant search for new work. Don't be depressed, get a new job and be happy. Little do they realize the that you need to have that space of no work sometimes to create better work in the future. The myth of perfect work from college to retirement is breaking.

A more holistic approach sees the fact that most people actually change careers between 5-7 times in their life, with the Bureau of Labor Stastistics expecting almost 10 different jobs per person well before retirement age 6) 7). Since we can safely break the norm of having one job and holding it until retirement, why aren't we creating an environment that accomodate for this fact? Everyone is in a sorry state when they are unemployed. It's unnecessary, frankly.

Today you will be presented with just one way we can create space for having unemployed time 5-7 times within our lives that are extremely constructive (and awesome, too). Most people leave unemployment with a sigh of relief, but after reading this, you just may be sighing when you leave your tropical paradise for more traditional work.

The Nature Of Systems Is Equilibrium

The nature of systems is such that they fluctuate between two periods. Sometimes they exist in a state of stasis and certainty, like your body at its resting operations. Other times they exist in a period of uncertainty, like your body during a high alert state of sport or exercise. All natural systems function best when there is an appropriate equilibrium between the two. Should you stay in a resting state all the time, your body lacks the positive stress (called eustress) it needs to stay healthy and your health actually falters. If you continually excercise without rest, your body will likewise begin to breakdown due to the imbalance.

When we look at human systems created within the society as a whole, we are likely to take good ideas which come from uncertainty and solidify them as best we can. This is called institutionalizing. We create standardization and reliability around that good idea and we try to control, monitor and solidify the connections that come from this idea. This process doesn't give enough credence to the creative side of the equation. When a good idea comes from our minds wandering freely without concern, we create more systems to milk it completely dry. Work can be had much more easily in this world than operating in a creative space to generate ideas, and this is unfortunately because it is the good ideas that generate good work. The sooner we create a societal norm to appreciate the work as well as the down time, the better we will be as a species.

Smart businesses are already adjusting their day to day work operations to reflect their understanding that previous generations have had an imbalance in work to play ratios. They are providing decent breaks in the day for your mind to wander away from standards and into uncertainty.When you return after your break and perform better than you would if you work for 8, 10, or 12 hours straight, even businesses are realizing they benefit from happy workers who are productive 8).

As mentioned in another article 9), a number of new and big companies are changing their perspective on work life. By virtue of the tool the technological companies are using, the laptop computer, they realized that work standardization practices do not fit anymore.The informality of a personal computer, being the most important aspect of their work, realxes the work environment. Many companies like Google, Linked In, Youtube, and Facebook allow frequent work at home days and other benefits beyond the scope of the Unions. Most of the benefits relate to human happiness. These companies provide mini golf, slides, ping pong, video games and other forms of amusement because they recognize if you allow the diverson process to occur splendidly, you can expect the work process to flow even smoother because they look forward to work in general. These work places are becoming more balanced between work and play, and they are seeing improvements across the board. Is there room for improving the way we look at our unemployed lives?

Let's Look At Work And Unemployment

Traditionally, you attend school and graduate, and that is considered good. You find a job and stay there as long as possible, and that is considered good. But when you lose your job (many times through no fault of your own), that is considered bad. Here is where we wish to change that perspective and understand how the lack of employment can lead to a more fulfilling and enriching life, if used in a manner similar to what is going to be proposed.

The process of being unemployed in the U.S. is simple. You lose your job and immediately apply for unemployment benefits. This covers probably half or less than half of your bills depending on your income level and your spending level. The rest is made up for by savings, family, or credit cards. Many people lose significant portions of their savings during unemployment because they lead lifestyles whose cost cannot be lowered down to their unemployment benefit check. If a person making $60,000 annually has around $3,000 in basic living bills monthly and their unemployment check only covers $1,500, each month they are out $1,500. By six months of unemployment, they are minus $9,000 and by one year they have spent $18,000 dollars of savings or somebody else's money. While the most talented and desired candidates can get jobs with two months of ending their previous employment, the rest of us tend to take longer, sometimes much longer if we are making big career changes 10). No wonder people are so glum during unemployed periods.

What if I told you that your unemployment period could be as fun, if not more fun, then your employed time? What if with less than a year's preparations, you could be fully excited to enter your period of unemployment when that time comes?

We propose a new method of handling unemployment and here it is in a nutshell.

  • Save $3,000-5,000 before quitting job when you are ready for something brand new
  • Travel to very cheap, exotic location
  • rent your apartment or house at home to cover all base expenses you can't stop
  • Live freely for 3 months or more, experience the retirement life
  • Soul search for who you are, what you have done, and what you want to do with your life
  • Find out how your next job can more succinctly meet your life ambitions
  • *Optional* Find less than 20 hours of work a week to cover all expenses so you can return home without losing a dime
  • Return to United States envigorated and with a plan for your next employment

Let us take a look at two examples of Americans and see how they can radically change their unemployment life. American 1 will be a low income New York City worker and American 2 will be a low-middle income suburban teacher. Presumably, the reader would be able to see after these examples that if these can do the above mentioned, a person of middle income or high income could easily do these things. People pushing the poverty line will hard a difficult time making this happen, however. They should still read this article, because contained herein are possible solutions to their poverty.

American 1

Our example person works 6 days a week and makes 24,000 after taxes, or roughly $2,000 a month. They have $2,000 in savings. No stocks, no bonds, nothing extra.

Low income Americans can hardly imagine living within central Manhattan, but with some exceptions and on the outskirts of Manhattan you can find room rentals for 800-1000 bucks. You can find room rentals in Brooklyn for 500-1000 bucks and you could conceivably rent your own apartment, not just a room, for between 1000-2000 bucks on the low side. Let us say our examplary American found a room share for $750. Internet, basic phone, no cable tv, and utillities add another $100. A monthly metro card is $115. Food, including eating out and drinks is around $300 a month. Catastrophic health insurance is $150 a month. They also are paying $300 a month for the next year for a family loan. This leaves around $300 dollars a month for spending money or saving money.

American 2

Our second American is a seasoned teacher who makes $40,000 after taxes, or around $3,330 a month. They have $10,000 in savings, a retirement account, and around $4,000 in gold and silver under their mattress for when shit hits the fan.

They own a modest ranch style house and pay $1,200 on their mortage. Cable, internet, electricity, heating, central AC, and cell phone add $250 a month. Car payment is $200 a month, insurance $50 a month and the gas for the commute is $150. Food is $600 a month, including eating out, drinking, etc. Full spectrum but basic health insurance is $200 a month. Their student loans are $150 a month. When it is all said and done, this person has $2,800 in expected monthly bills and $530 left over for spending extra or saving.

The Proposal

In light of the fact that most people switch careers more than once during their lifetime, we propose a system where you can semi retire while looking for your next employment. Semi retire? Yes, of course! If that is what you do when you are completely done with work, why can't it be what you do when you are just done with work's current iteration?

With a small amount of savings and some intelligent preparation, you can be living for months in Central America while your mentally, physically and emotionally prepare for the next stage of your work career. You can work part time (online tends to pay better since the cost of living in your area should be low) or save enough so you dont have to work at all.

Most of your time will be resetting the imbalance that the universe is asking to you address. You have worked for a period of time and your brain has established connections that it revisits habitually. Now that that job is gone, your brain needs to unload and prepare for new connections. Living in a tropical environment is just one example of how you can help your brain unplug and enter a state of uncertainty, because in this state of uncertainty we expect our minds and hearts to more properly land on what will be fruitful work for us then the stressed, somber environment of the unemployment line back home.

How could it be that you could buy a round trip plane ticket (or if you are daring, one way), spend months in an exotic location, and not lose money? For sake of knowledge, allow this author to give in depth details about one such personal experience in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, a place so wonderful that Aldous Huxley called it “too much of a good thing” 11).

Settling Up At Home

Let's be honest here. If you get fired from your job unexpectedly, this process might take a month or two where you are eating costs and collectin unemployment. But if you choose to leave your job with the following precautions in mind, you may not lose a dime without your consent. All details assume you are planning to leave your job, not unexpectedly quitting or geting fired, so bare that in mind.

Our low income American should be prepared to list their apartment or room share as a sublet on craigslist. Normally it is better to be living in your own apartment, but having a room share has major advantages here. So our American looks to rent out their room for the same price, maybe slightly more at $800, plus utilities. They should make sure to get someone who can agree to the amount of months that they will be gone for. They should also ask for a deposit for the full $800 if possible, or if they are feeling nice around $300-500. This could also be the case if they are only leaving for a few months but getting a deposit is helpful. One, your roommates can keep can eye on this new person and make sure no funny stuff is going on in your room or with your bed and other furniture. Two, should your subletter bail on you (or be kicked out), you have the deposit money that can help you find another subletter. How will you do this while sipping coconuts in Lake Atitlan? By paying one of your roommates to find another subletter with the deposit money you had from the previous renter. Easy Peasy, but hopefully it doesn't come down to that and you can return the deposit to your happy subletter when you return…if you return…

Now we have made it so your apartment is paid for and possibly coming in with another $50 on the side (this can cover some of your cell plan if you have annual coverage). Next, we suggest taking A TESOLs course for teaching English to second language learners. The course itself is valued at $500-600 dollars, but this author purchased a coupon for $69 so it isn't too much of an investment if you search around 12). The course is easy enough and should take you around 2 months of work if you do around 30-45 minutes a day. This will be your first step towards enabling you to work from the internet while you are abroad.

Second, you should go to the local library and put up signs that you teach very basic English to second language learners, preferably in Spanish but any experience counts. Since in this example you will be going to a Spanish speaking country, you will be immersing yourself in Spanish Language. Most Americans have had entry level Spanish courses and this should be enough to teach FREE classes at the library. These aren't anything special at all, really. They are just for experience sake. We emphasize the free portion to take off any pressure. You could view it as speaking English slowly and explaining basic things in your free time to foreigners. You will need this experience of teaching adults if you wan to apply with your TESOLs certification to teach online. If you are already a teacher, obviously you can skip this step. You may be able to skep this step as well if you can reflect on your life history and quickly come up with examples of you teaching other adults.

With these two prerequisites, you have a decent chance finding part time work teaching English online. There are a number of organizations who are seeing lots of growth in this sector, most notably a company called Open English. Take a look around and see what you want to do, but always stay vigilant to the idea that this trip is for finding future work, not just teaching online. This should be in the background and not preoccupy a majority of your waking life during your trip.

You can also skip the part time work entirely if you just save another $3,000-5,000 but for some this is out of the question.

Your Budget In Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Your plane ticket will depend on how early you buy it, but you can find a ticket from NYC to Guatemala City one way for under $300 if you are patient and have time to wait. You can fly from Florida to Honduras for under $200 as well. If you are more on a crunch, expect it closer to $450. We recommend buying a return ticket if you just want to save a couple hundred dollars each way. Hopefully you give yourself at least 3 months.

Internet and Phone

Internet is probably going to be the only expense that costs more in Guatemala than back home. They don't set up true internet modems for short to medium term travelers. You need to be living in Guatemala for 18 months before they will do something like that 13). Thus, the internet for travelers is portable USB modems that connect to cellular satellites. It functions well when the service is good but it is charged by the gigabyte used. Since Americans love their internet and you will possibly be using video for teaching services, you will be using a lot of internet. Expect to pay around $75 a month in internet unless you seriously curb your Youtube and video usage. There is an alternative to this but it is covered in the room and board section.

You can buy a cheap phone for under 20 bucks if you so desire. The cost of using that phone will be around $15 bucks a month, but in reality you don't need a phone here. We will consider this a luxury item not within the budget. You can visit our page on how to save extensive money while buying internet and phone service in Guatemala by following the source notes 14) listed here.

Room and Board

The cost of living in Atitlan is minimal. You can find room shares for 800Q (around 100 bucks) or splurge on your own budget place for 1200-2400Q ($150-300). Electricity is usually included and in some cases not even mentioned. One town, San Marcos, reportedly is in collective dispute with the electricity companies and rumor has it most people are boycotting their high prices. Gas is usually powered to heat stoves and showers. Expect that to be around $30 a month. More living options will be explored below as they relate to the question of internet.

Keep in mind what season you happen to be visiting Guatemala in during your semi retirement. They have two seasons generally, rainy season and dry season, and both are completely fine to live in. Rainy season will see some showers everyday in the afternoon, some much heavier than others. Most people prefer the dry season and so there are a lot more tourists from November to May. June to October represents the rainy season and you see a lot fewer tourists. This greatly effects the price of hostels. A typical hostel has a daily rate, a weekly rate, a monthly rate and sometimes longer if you ask. This author has seen the usual budget hostel charging in high season around $15-20 a night for a private room, which would be $450-600 a month for rent if you were unaware enough to pay the daily rate. You can probably get this down closer to $300-400 a month without too much effort. Dorm room rates during the high season are $7-10 but you would be hard pressed to negiotate beyond a minimal discount as they tend to fill their dorm rooms pretty easily during this time. Catch them early in the season and you might get $6-8 a night or $180-240 a month, which is now quite close to your cost of renting your own place.

During the low season you can expect prices to be 20% less and possibly more. This puts your potential monthly cost in a private hostel room to $240-320 and you can more realistically negiotiate down a hostel bed during the low season. You might be able to get a low term bed for $3-5 a night, clocking in at a measely $90-150 a month for rent.

Why would you consider staying in a hostel when you can have your own place? Many times the hostel owner has lived in Guatemala for over 18 months and they have convinced the telecommunication company to come out and install real modems. If you are working online and depend on good internet, this may be your easiest access to it. One thing you could try is to stay a night or two at the hostels around the lake, see who has the best, and make your long term offer there. You can also cross reference any reviews on Trip Advisor or some other travel review site, as internet service is a highly commented characteristic at these kinds of places.

The fact that you can get a place for around $100 a month should make you hot in the pants if money was a concern. Usually the hot water is lukewarm or nonexistant, but you can pay more for these amenities…a gas powered shower will cost you a whooping $20 a month.


Food is ridiculously cheap by American standards. Most vegetables and fruits are selling for under 50 cents a pound. Take a look here 15) for standard prices found around the lake and you can readily conceive a food budget of $150 a month with some vigilance.

Food and apartment are your biggest budgets, so if money is a conern you need to be mindful everyday. We suggest cooking in for breakfast and lunch as a norm. You can eat out at local restaurants for 3 bucks and under. Western restaurants can be $5-15 dollars. If you spend less than $3 dollars for breakfast and lunch combined and around $3 dollars for dinner (a total of $6 x 30 days = $180), you are pretty close to the mark.


In some ways transport is expensive and other ways it is cheap. Most public buses cost less than a dollar and these are relatively cheap. You are living on a lake surrounded by mountainous volcanoes, however, and boats are a much more efficient way around. Tourists get screwed by pricing and you can expect to pay $1-3 per trip, depending on the town you want to go to and where you come from. Since you can probably limit your boat taking to twice a week, we advise a budget of around $35 a month. Your first month will probably break this as you visit a few towns; just don't use the following taxi budget to cover this added expense.

Taxis are these little 3 wheeled auto riksshaws from India called tuk tuks. Charge in one of these is between 75 cents and 2 dollars. We advise a $15 a month budget for these as some town walks can be long and arduous. You can dip into this for more boat costs if you don't mind 15-20 minute walks on occasion.

We have set out a plan where you can work as an English teacher online, but this is only optional and not the purpose of this semi retirement. You should also experience the country you are staying in for months at a time by checking out the tourist (or non tourist) sites that interest you. Think about it…it would be like visiting northern Arizona for months and casually not checking out the Grand Canyon. Just in this area alone you can hike a volcano, visit a colonial city, see archeologial sites of Mayan pyramids, and shop in the biggest open air market in Central America at Chichicastenango. There is plenty to do that will help your mind explore the possibility of what is and learn a thing or two as well. Budget around $100 a month for these kinds of activities. If you don't spend it all in a month, save it because some trips may go beyond that another month and you don't want t miss budget if you can help it.

Live For a Fraction Of The Cost Back Home

Assuming our low income American found a living situation where he is paying $250 dollars to live at a hostel where good internet is included. With the above mentioned budget suggestions, his expected baseline cost of living in Lake Atitlan is $550. How incredible is that! It is so low that if you miss your target and spend $600-700 in a month, it really isn't a big deal.

Our recommendation based on this budget is that you should save $3,000-5,000 if you wish to be semi retired for around 4 months. For our low income American who had $2,000 in savings and $300 in discretionary spending, a vigilant 9 months of thriftiness before the trip could net a higher savings within the above range ($4,700). They could live for 4 month here, spending $2200, buy a plane ticket back and return home with right around the $2,000 they started with before the planning. And THAT is assuming you don't work at all while you are gone. It also does not put value on the activity you accomplished while being semi retired, which hopefully helped you find a better job for your passion and your skills. There isn't an amount that could accurately reflect the value of finding work that fits your life goals in a more satisfying way, all for hardly any cost when you consider what you started with.

Our second American has $10,000 already saved so they can pull of this kind of retirement for longer without extra work if desired. Assuming $700 a month (for slightly better digs and food options than what is quoted for a budget above) in general expenses, this person could be semi retired for 6 months and spend $4,200. We quoted their potential savings at $530 a month, so they would need to save for 8 months to be able to pull of a 6 month stint such as this. How crazy is that!?! The longer they save, the longer their trip can be. Maybe we all should retire in our 20s, and our 30s, and our 40s…

It goes without saying that higher income people can make this happen easier. They may even be able to rent their home for a price that is a few hundred dollars above their mortage and pay for the paltry budget in Lake Atitlan. Granted, a person living in the city can avoid car payments and insurance payments so the benefit may be negligable. A wealthy person can probably make this happen without much planning.

You Are Exploring Your Future Self, You Are Not On Vacation

Who knows how to look at their self? Not just their body, but themselves in totality; body, mind, emotion, and spirit. We don't provide useable tools or skills to attempt this when we are younger. The focus on is on the outside world. Turning within is doable by all people and it is as natural as breathing. The gorgeous setting and minimal pressure provide a setting where you can let this process of turning inward happen of its own accord.

We highlight two American examples who have to save a little to make this happen. Obviously the rich can do what they want, that is nothing new. The point here is to say that the average joe can do this with less than a year's saving or planning. So often the lower class is left to do the grunt work and they are never allowed the time to self actualize on their own bidding. Considering psychologist Abraham Maslow saw self actualization as the highest attainable goal in a man's life, why aren't we creating space for that to happen? Who disagrees with him?

At this stage, you are probably giddy at the prospect of “vacationing” to Lake Atitlan for months at a time. That is not the goal. Instead, you are going to such a wonderful place with the idea that you need time and space to better identify what you want to do with your life. Putting such a pretty environment on that space helps you get closer to self actualization, but don't get lost in the appearances and forget the meaning behind it all.

Now that the search for a new job just got an awesome makeover, you can settle into what you really want to be doing. Take your time and really open up to what is possible. Consider your skills, your talents, and most importantly, you life goals. So many people live their lives 9 to 5 in a job that sort of satisfies them. Then they reach middle age or older and wonder what happened to their ideals when they were 20. You didn't come to Guatemala to get a tan, you came to find a more meaningful expression of you.

Have you accomplished what you wanted to your work thus far? If not, what small steps can you take to reach that goal? How can you position yourself in you next employment that better satisfies your life ambitions? These answers usually aren't discovered right away. They come from chatting with other travelers and finding out what they do and why. They come from gazing at the three volcanoes around the lake and contemplating your life like you haven't been able to do in years. They come when the time is right, so when you do begin to get some answers as how to proceed with your life from here, take them seriously. Once they come to you, can you picture yourself in the United States (or elsewhere) doing that newly discovered work? What do you have to do to make that happen? Begin listing all the things needed to make your new vision a possibility. You can start preparing for this job by searching in the United States where you might do this (in your town or another town).

There is no forcing this step, period. You may be surprised of what comes up and the potential work it suggests. Forget your preconceptions about what is a good or a cool job. If it aligns with who you want to be, that is now a cool job.

You may want to keep a daily journal of your musings on future work. Just sit down and write for ten, fifteen minutes about what you want in your work life. It will be useful to view once you are back at home.

That's all! You're finished! With a clear picture of what you want to do, how you are going to do it, and inspiration from months in paradise, you couldn't be in a better unemployed position. Get back into the working world with some funk!

Caveats And Doubts

Are there things not mentioned in this guide? Probably although we meant to cover the basics. Are there a lot of assumptions in this guide? Yes. But sometimes the assumptions work in the other way. We assume you can get a job teaching online. While you may not be able to get that specific teaching job, we leave out the fact that there are many ways to make money online. We cannot anticipate everyone's little budgetary details, but we can lay out the costs of living in an example location and consider how much, roughly speaking, can be saved to make this happen. While we pitch this as an awesome and invigorating way to get to know yourself better and take a step in the right direction (on the path of life), there are no guarantees that path won't come with trials and tribulations. Perhaps you come back empty handed, just as you left. What will you do then?

If nothing goes according to plan and you barely make it back to the states, that will be okay as well. When your future employer asks you what you haven't worked in 6 months, you will have an awesome adventure to tell, and that is just another way to wow you in an interview.

(“So I lost my passport In the mountains of Maya country when this Pacaya volcano erupted…”) At the very least, you have seen more of the world, which not that long ago was a frontier to be explored by humanity's bravest and brightest. You can take pride in that part.


Keep in mind this truly is not a suggestion that all people out of a job travel for months at a time. You need to take stock in your own life if it is a big transition moment or if it is a small transition moment. There is no problem traveling when you want if you can find a way to pay for it, but you probably won't need the constant soul searching and you will eventually settle into your own projects even while travelling. Smaller transitions don't necessitate an inner journey as big transitions may.

The proposal today has been attempted by this author in its first iteration, a slightly less than one year journey away from the work environment in a foreign country. While the goal of this author's travels were rather different than listed above, in some ways this plan happened organically to the author during his trip. Travel will always be apart of his life. He writes this guide in the hopes that people a) consider travelling more and b) don't feel so glum when they don't know what to do with their life. Everyone has a purpose, you just have to find it (within).

travel | political philosophy

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