BINGE TRAVEL VS. MINI RETIREMENT


Below you will find an excerpt from the book, The 4-Hour Workweek, we couldn't find to be more true when it comes to traveling. As you are setting your New Year's resolutions, take into account Tim's words of advice for your travel goals and make 2014 a life changing one.

If you are accustomed to working 50 weeks per year, the tendency, even after creating the mobility to take extended trips, will be to go nuts and see 10 countries in 14 days and end up a wreck. It’s like taking a starving dog to an all-you-can-eat buffet. It will eat itself to death.

I did this three months into my 15-month vision quest, visiting seven countries and going through at least 20 check-ins and check-outs with a friend who had negotiated three weeks off. The trip was an adrenaline-packed blast but like watching life on fast-forward. It was hard for us to remember what had happened in which countries (except Amsterdam), we were both sick most of the time, and we were upset to have to leave some places simply because our pre-purchased flights made it so.
I recommend doing the exact opposite.
The alternative to binge travel – the mini-retirement – entails relocating to one place for one to six months before going home or moving to another locale. It is the anti-vacation in the most positive sense. Though it can be relaxing, the mini-retirement is not an escape from your life but a reexamination of it – the creation of a blank slate. Following elimination and automation, what would you be escaping from? Rather than seeking to see the world through photo ops between foreign-but-familiar hotels, we aim to experience it at a speed that lets it change us.
This is also different from a sabbatical. Sabbaticals are often viewed much like retirement: as a one-time event. Savor it now while you can. The mini-retirement is defined as recurring – it is a lifestyle. I currently take three or four mini-retirements per year and know dozens who do the same. Sometimes those sojourns take me around the world; oftentimes they take me around the corner – Yosemite, Tahoe, Carmel – but to a different world psychologically, where meetings, e-mail, and phone calls don’t exist for a set period of time.

Excerpted from The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
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2 comments on BINGE TRAVEL VS. MINI RETIREMENT

  1. This is exactly what I am focusing on for 2014! I like traveling, but moving somewhere is so much more connected and involved with the culture and country... so my goal is to save up this year while living (as an expat) in Taiwan and then taking a year off to travel - spending a month living and volunteering in one place before going to a new country. It is SO enticing to binge and check up destinations/countries, but once you're in the middle of it, you get burnt out. I've done the 3 weeks/4 countries race before, and it is something you should only do if its the absolutely only way you will travel, so I try not to judge that style of exploration - some people just are not up to be longer term nomads - but I agree your suggestions make for a much better trip.

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    1. we could not agree more, britney. so glad you enjoyed this post. this is kylie, and much of my travel is spent living abroad for stints of time (namely china, peru, ecuador...) and i agree that it truly is the best way to learn about the culture and truly connect with people and develop lasting relationships with others. it's the best way to travel with purpose, and not just for fun. but i am all about all forms of travel - whatever people can make work for them and whatever tickles your fancy ;) i have just found this to be very rewarding, but as mentioned in the book it can be difficult to take sabbaticals for the "normal" 8-5ers.

      we hope you keep us posted on your journey to taiwan! the people there are incredible!

      -kylie

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