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The idea of a “mini-retirement” was first made popular by Tim Ferriss’ in his New York Times bestselling book; the 4 Hour Work Week. This book, despite its title, doesn’t encourage people to just work four hours a week. It’s all about changing their paradigm from one of being a wage slave where more is better, to focus on how to propagate “quality of life” in the sense of having both the time and money to be “free”.
One of the core concepts, suggests people should take a mini-retirement at regular intervals throughout their career and explore the world in their twenties, thirties and forties rather than use up the best years of their life working for someone else, feeling exhausted the whole time, barely able to squeeze much juice out of life!
Once upon a time, the vast majority of people subscribed to something known as the 40×40 Plan, which referred to the fact people would get an education then work for forty hours a week for forty years of their life then retire on 40% of their salary.
It was at this point that people would finally begin to travel and explore the world and squeeze the most out of life, but think about that for a second. At sixty fives years old people have very different levels of health, fitness, and vitality than they did in their twenties – thus people aren’t always able to pursue the activities on their bucket list if they wait until retirement.
There’s also the sobering realization that not everyone makes it to retirement. What if you spend your whole life working, thinking that tomorrow will be better, only for tomorrow to be taken from you prematurely.
Today, many people are looking for ways to squeeze the most out of their lives, particularly with regard to travel, as young as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is to take regular mini-retirements.
The emphasis today appears to have shifted from amassing great wealth to creating a “freedom lifestyle”.
In today’s flourishing digital economy the opportunity to work remotely, from anywhere in the world, providing you have a laptop and a decent internet connection is in abundance. For many people, “living the dream” no longer features a corner office, fancy title, and fast car parked in their garage – it’s more akin to jetting off to an exotic location and working from their laptop on a beach whilst drinking from a fresh coconut.
The idea of mini-retirements was first introduced by Tim Ferriss in his New York Times bestselling book, but since then the concept has peaked the interest of bloggers, freelancers and digital nomads alike. This article digs deeper into the idea of mini-retirements and looks at some of the destination choices you might want to consider.
A mini-retirement could similarly be termed as a career break, a gap year, or a sabbatical – often involving travel to a cheap country where you engage in the practice of slow travel or even settle down for six months as a local.
Essentially, it’s less about traveling as a tourist and more about getting underneath the surface of a country by integrating with its unique culture. The concept of a mini-retirement in itself is all about recognizing that life is short, unpredictable and (at times) tedious – which is why it’s so important to spread your wings, take some time out whilst you’re still young, and fully embrace all the world has to offer.
Earlier, we discussed how people are wanting to embrace the remote working lifestyle and trade their cramped cubicles and congested commutes for a beach hut in some tropical paradise. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people are having to take out online signature loans in order to afford their mini-retirement, which isn’t really in the spirit of the freedom lifestyle Tim’s book prescribes.
It can be tough to make an income whilst on the road but with so many opportunities to work remotely, from anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection, it is entirely possible.
Now, some people mistake the motivation behind this to be one of lazily drifting around the world without much care for crafting a meaningful career; yet some of the hardest working and most intelligent people on earth are choosing to live and work this way.
Today, it’s less about making tons of money and acquiring fancy things, it’s more about living a life of balance and squeezing the most from life. This is what mini-retirements can offer you.
So, presuming you’re sold on the concept of mini-retirements, let’s take a look at a few places to consider for your own mini-retirement.
Bali is an incredibly vibrant island that has something for everyone; yes, it has become much more touristy in recent years and suffers with the problems of many SE Asian tourist hotspots; such as congestion and pestering from touts – but the beauty of Bali is that there are still plenty of tranquil and serene places to relax and rejuvenate… and you can still do it on the cheap! Read more about Bali, check out the posts from my weeks in Bali here.
In the most part, Morocco is a very safe country to travel around with very low rates of theft and violence – particularly against tourists. You will, however, be bombarded with colors, sights, and sounds that are likely to tire you out in the first few days. It can be a real culture shock, yet there’s beauty in that contrast.
There’s still much-unspoiled beauty left to discover, particularly in the region of Krabi and Koh Lanta, but the undeveloped and rustic image that Thailand once conjured up is not necessarily the case in more popular tourist areas. It’s therefore recommended you head somewhere more laid back and less developed such as the island of Koh Lanta in the South or Pai in the North.
In summary, mini-retirements are great for single people, couples, and even families. They are essential for anyone wanting to break free from their routine and squeeze the most from life.