As a 36 year old, people are constantly asking me “when are you going to settle down?” When I think of the phrase “settling down” I envision a tree, maybe a maple oak, pushing its’ roots as deep into the ground as the soil will let it. It’s as if the tree is saying “I want to be here forever and never leave.” Personally, I’m not a tree and that’s why we as humans have feet and not roots.
Let’s take a look at the definition of “settle down.”
None of these definitions are how I intend to define my life. I want to live loudly and boldly! When I tell people I spend 8 months a year in Thailand, 99% of people cannot comprehend this lifestyle. I have not had a regular, steady job for almost 4 years nor do I intend on getting married. The word “comfortable” is frightening! One of the worst things to do in a relationship or in life is to be too comfortable (link) The only time I want to become quiet and give attention to something is when I am getting a foot massage and drinking the freshest of coconuts on the beach!
Human beings are, by nature, explorers. Ever since birth we have an innate curiosity to explore things and by doing so we learn what we enjoy and we learn what to avoid. Without the innate human drive to explore, human beings as a species would have stayed in place. Diverse countries like America never would have existed.
When a baby sees fire for the first time, he or she is inclined to touch it and only through good parenting (not letting your baby touch the fire) or through the pain of touching it (“ouch that hurts”) do we learn what to avoid.
Likewise, we don’t know what we’ll like until we try it. I remember when the days of raw fish as food was a disgusting concept to me. Now I am obsessed with sushi to the point that I’ve gone all the way to Japan to experience the original.
Most recently I thought the idea of eating baked grasshoppers was something only Simba would be interested in.
It wasn’t until a trip to Tijuana Mexico did I try my first grasshopper guacamole and then more recently grasshopper tacos in Los Angeles at Guelaguezta (link). And boy were they good. If only they were more readily available in America, I would probably eat grasshoppers more often as a primary protein source. Lower carbon footprint than beef! Let’s ignore that I need to eat a whole colony of grasshoppers to feel full. They’re better for the earth and I’m sure they experience far less pain than cows. Here’s my vlog from the restaurant.
The point of all of this is that I find fewer obstacles to exploring and experiencing new things as long as I keep going. The idea of “settling down” is counterintuitive to the notion of being a digital nomad, a freedom hacker, a bohemian vagabond (link) or a freed sheeple.
Human beings and the human mind are in my opinion most similar to balls rolling down a hill. As long as nothing impedes its’ progress, it will keep rolling. To me, settling down represents stopping a rolling ball in its tracks : It’s like super glueing the floor and then asking the ball to move.
Another analogy would be if I stopped going to the gym for a year. Not only would my muscles atrophy but I would likely develop a very fat lethargic gut. Settling down to me is like making a decision to stop going to the gym. For the rest of your life.
Everyone is wired differently so for some people, settling down is the ultimate goal (a goal which I find extremely overrated given the extremely high odds of failure). To me, the greatest reward from achieving financial freedom is maintaining my independence at all costs necessary. I want to relentlessly and selfishly pursue my personal definition of happiness which is to maximize living in the moment!
Having a fixed rent, furnishing an apartment with nice leather couches and 75” televisions sounds appealing, but each luxury item represents a root to me. I had a friend who proudly texted me that she purchased a new $1,000 couch. My response was “you’re really going all-in on this settling down thing.”
There will be some people that say that settling down doesn’t mean to “stop traveling” which I guess is true to some degree but when you constantly have to factor in another person’s opinions and feelings (such as a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or husband), you, by nature of having a partner, will lose some if not most of your independence. Everyone knows relationships – especially over the long term – require a lot of work and effort. But if you prefer your vacation days to your working days, why would you want to create more work for yourself?
I currently travel the world whenever I want to and in the times where I want a companion, I can choose who to bring with me or meet local women wherever it is I’m going (bless Tinder). I find this strategy makes my traveling much more enjoyable as I am either with someone I really want to spend time with or I can get a more intimate experience of the country and culture through a local.
Settling down to me is like building a really epic hamster wheel. No matter how nice the hamster wheel is, it’s still a hamster wheel bro.
The idea of routine and predictability – such as a biweekly paycheck – while sometimes sounds tempting, is something I can do when I’m dead when I’ll have the rest of eternity to do the same thing every day.
We are born free individuals and we must do everything in our power to not only maintain our freedom, but to take full advantage of it!
I find it funny when people think my lifestyle is just a phase or something “I have to get out of my system.” Yeah – it’s not. Maybe when I’m older and tired I’ll reconsider this wanderer lifestyle, but as long as I’m relatively healthy – manageable through exercise, nutrition, hydration, stress and sleep – as Dion DiMucci said,
I’m the type of guy who will never settle down
Where pretty girls are, well you know that I’m around
I go through life without a care
And I’m as happy as a clown
What do you think about “settling down”?
Be Free My Sheeple!