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Yes or No: If You Keep Living the Life You're Living, Will You Be Happy in 10 Years?

by Jamie Bowlby-Whiting Nov 25, 2013

Yes or no: In ten years’ time, if you have made no changes to your current life, do you think it will have taken you in a direction that will be making you happy and fulfilled?

Think about this question before you read on. A simple yes or no is all you need to answer.

If you answered yes to this question, great. I am truly happy for you and you should continue on this path and spread the love with other wonderful people in the world. Turn off your computer and keep doing what you do, because it’s working.

If you answered no, by your own admission, you want, no NEED, to change your life. I advise you to keep reading.

What we’ll talk about now does not concern taking extended holidays, regularly flying abroad on business, or multiple RTW trips. Nor does it involve a short break from your ‘real life.’ Instead, what we are talking about here is a way of life: It is everything that your parents told you not to do. We are talking about disregarding society in the quest for sustainable adventure for an indefinite period of time.

Avant-garde, by definition, means “to favour or introduce new or experimental ideas and methods.” ‘The Avant-Garde Life’ (an online publication) refers to a new or experimental lifestyle in which one chooses not to conform to conventional rules of society, but instead remain indifferent to them. In particular, this addresses the concept of adventure by travelling the world on a long-term basis. Many people dream of a life like this, but they always put it off or let something stop them.

This untrodden path in life is attainable.

An avant-garde life is not limited to a life of travelling the world. Instead, the phrase embodies the idea of engaging upon a life that favours new and experimental ways of living — thus sustainable travel is a vehicle to facilitate this. By remaining indifferent to conventional rules dictated by society, an avant-gardian is no more or less than a person who engages in this new and experimental lifestyle.

Instead of living the life that they are ‘supposed to live,’ they live an existence on their own terms. Instead of following the crowd, doing as others do, and observing the rules, they will be walking an untrodden path that may or may not overlap with conventional society. The ‘rules’ are undefined, unwritten, and incapable of existence by their very definition. The raison d’être of these words is to inspire and reassure you that this untrodden path in life is attainable. If you stop reading now, there are only two ideas that you should take with you.


    1. Anything is possible: If you can dream it, it can be done.


    Walk the untrodden path: There are no rules to life and every choice that you make should be your own.

By living an avant-garde life, you live a life that does not conform to the normal constraints of society. You do not have a regular job, you do not have a static abode, you do not have one vacation per year…unless you want this — you have what you want, when you want.

If you are still reading, you most probably answered no to the first question in this article. Here are three more insightful questions for you. Grab a scrap of paper, a napkin, anything, then answer these questions honestly to see if this is the life for you.

Question 1.

    1. If you had $50 billion, how would you live your life on a day-to-day basis?

Question 2.

    1. When you wake up each morning, do you look forward to the day that awaits you?

Question 3.

    If you could wake up in 5 different places for the next 5 days, where would you choose to wake up?

When you’ve got the answers, read on and interpret them as follows. Question 1 addresses what you would do with your life without the constraint of needing to earn money. When you know this, think about how much you really need. Question 2 asks if your current life makes you happy. Once again, if you answered no, you need to change it. Question 3 asks if you like the place you live or if you want to explore more. You can be happy where you are or you can be happy in new places around the world. By thinking about where you want to be, you can put yourself in the right place(s).

In an unscientific study published online, it was found that the biggest regret of the dying was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Which brings about one more question: Do you want to have this regret when you die? Do you want to live a life dictated by others, rather than by yourself? Presumably not.

From Question 1, you have an idea of what you want. All you have to do is do it! Much easier said than done. But what is really stopping you from chasing your dreams, the things you wrote down on that precious scrap of paper? Most often, everybody has the same ‘barriers’ stopping them. These barriers can loosely be divided into two categories: physical barriers (such as money) and mental barriers (such as conforming to society).

Expanding these two categories, when people are asked why they don’t follow their dreams, they normally respond in one of the following ways:

  • “I Have a Great Job”
  • “My Life Is Too Comfortable”
  • “I Am Scared”
  • “I Will Do It Later”
  • “I Would Be Lonely”
  • “I Don’t Want to Travel”
  • “I Have a Family”
  • “I’ll Miss My Friends and Family”
  • “I Have So Many Things”
  • “I Don’t Have Enough Money”
  • “I Don’t Want to Abandon Society”

But if people take the time to answer this question, they must want to overcome these barriers. As do you. Please stop reading if I’m wrong.

To open your eyes is just the beginning. Someone opened my eyes for me and I would like to do the same to others. In return, I receive gratification from doing so. This is my fee. ‘The Avant-Garde Life’ is a publication which is available for free download (in many formats) from The ebook is split into three parts: The first introduces the idea, the second breaks down all the barriers that you might have, and the third looks at making your new life sustainable (addressing money issues). In this document, you will find interviews with lantern carriers, people who have already walked this path and show people such as myself (and you) the way forward.

As both a child and a teenager, the world terrified me. In the past couple of years, I have spent a year hitchhiking across Europe, cycled from the UK to Slovakia on a £30 bicycle, and built a homemade raft on which I rafted down the Danube. In all this time, I have only been arrested twice, but you know what? I have had some of the best times of my life and met the most wonderful people. I am addicted to this life and there is more to come. Could you imagine being excited to wake up in the morning? I had never thought this was possible. But I do now. I am a believer.

If you dare to dream, desire to jump, download The Avant-Garde Life. It’s free. What have you got to lose?

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