I’m not gonna lie, this whole FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) thing sure grabbed my attention. It’s only been over the past few years that I’d even heard of such a thing. But I’m not one to follow by the rules and for me, FIRE has too many rules. It did however light a fire under my ass.
I guess I’d never really thought about early retirement. Figured my only choice was to work through to my pension. I thought early retirement was reserved for the wealthy. Well, that’s about to change.
FIRE has been more than just some mathematical 4% rule. It’s been a kick in the butt and a wake-up call to seize the day. If you want it, go get it. I’ve been following all the big dogs, Nomadic Matt, Thrifty Nomads and dozens of other successful entrepreneurs in the travel field. You see, my wife and I both love to travel. That’s all we work for. We crank out hours at a job we don’t particularly love for that month of bliss where we can explore this great world.
We’ve slowly come to the realization, a TRUE realization, that if you want it you CAN have it. As kids we’re told over and over again, “you can do whatever you want, the world is your oyster.” As adults, we lose sight of this optimism and get funneled down this life of “normal.”
The truth is, the opportunities are endless. You just have to take that first step. How bad do you want it?
For my wife and I, it became apparent that we wanted it. And wanted it bad. What was it that we wanted? Well, I talked about it here in a guest post, The Best Job in The World and Why I Quit. Essentially we wanted our freedom back. And with that comes the challenge.
I want my hard work to be rewarded differently than the “normal” reward structure of society. Not looking for the bigger house or to have the highest salary on the block. Not looking to promote up the corporate chain to the private office.
Life is an art and any good artist will tell you, there are no rules in art.
I want my hard work to be rewarded in the form of freedom. Being able to live free and explore this amazing planet is a priority of ours. I’m not looking for free money. And yes I’m willing to work hard. And yes I know it will be hard. But 4% rule, you can take a hike, because we are all in.
The funny thing is, my parents who I thought would give me the most crap for this, were like F’ yeah do it.
Why is it that doing the “normal” thing feels safe. And doing what jives with who you are feels dangerous. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we be terrified of spending our one chance on this planet doing something we don’t particularly love.
The thought of dying and only having lived a life of conforming to “normal” society is what really scares me. The big house, fancy car, keeping up with the Jonses. All with the false pretense that these will make us happy. That right there is something to be afraid of.
As I have worked through this desire for something different I have developed a new appreciation of what to be scared of. I used to be scared of not owning a home or having a nice car. I used to be scared of not having the secure job with good benefits.
Now I’m scared of not spending my life how I want. I’m scared I got tricked into the “normal” path when it wasn’t right for me. I have skills, I have talent, there’s nothing I can’t do.
My wife and I have been spending a lot of time traveling and living in our van. Not because we don’t have a house but because we enjoy the simplicity of it. In Van Life, I talked about how taking a break from all the stuff is the thing we like most about living in a van. The reduced stress and having less allows us to focus on the things that bring us joy.
I ask the question would you rather have 10 acquaintances or 3 really good friends? We tend to think more is better when it’s not.
We are looking forward to what’s next to come. No longer afraid to break free from the societal “normal.” All I can say is, we are excited. We now know what to be fearful of and this next step doesn’t scare us a bit.