(Be warned: this one is a bit free write editorial rant. If I used profanity, there would be lots of it in here. Also, I probably sound braggy. It’s not meant that way at all. And the pic above wasn’t taken on vacation. This beach is 10 minutes from our home.)
Lately I’ve been meeting a lot of people on vacation. After finding out I live here, with my family, they inevitably say, “Boy, I sure wish I could do what you’re doing.”
I usually smile and say, “Yeah. It’s cool”.
I hold my thoughts to myself. But here on this blog, I’m letting loose. It’s time.
Why? Because in addition to all of the sun burned vacationers I’ve been meeting, I recently got an email from a friend asking me about my family’s “alternative lifestyle”.
From his point of view, we have an alternative lifestyle. But what does that mean anyway?
I had to think about his life to see maybe where’s he’s coming from.
Sure, I don’t have a job. I don’t have a boss. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t really care about what’s on CNN or ESPN. I don’t commute in traffic. I don’t get in fights with my HOA.
I guess I really don’t have a lot of the things that people living a “normal life” have.
But what else could he mean?
Maybe he means having a stable job? Maybe he means providing consistency for his kids? Maybe he means life can’t all be fun and games? Maybe he means you’ve got to grow up sometime.
Well, the simple fact is that I just don’t subscribe to that line of thinking. The result? I have a pretty awesome life.
But I’m no one special. I’m not famous. I’m not a millionaire. I’m not retired.
I’m just living the results of some very specific actions I took.
No, I’m not a hippie. No, I’m not a vegan. No, I didn’t move to Portland, Oregon, shed my socks & shoes, and become a life coach.
I’m actually a pretty average guy with a wife and kids who just plain wanted something more from life. For us, that meant living exactly where we want to live in the world and doing the things we want to do.
Currently, that means living on the island of Cozumel, getting in the water a lot, and eating tacos almost every day.
Yeah, my kids go to school. Private school in fact. Last year, my oldest daughter had 8 other kids in her class. Contrast that to the 32 kids in her California school the year before.
Yeah, I have a nice place. It’s actually nicely furnished and literally one block from the Caribbean Sea.
Yeah, I have a business with real money coming in. I set it up intentionally to fund our life. It’s worked out pretty well.
So What’s an Alternative Lifestyle?
To me, the alternative lifestyle means doing something you have to do when you can’t hack doing what you really want to do.
It’s the Plan B because Plan A fell through.
Like, “I couldn’t make my dream life work so I had to get a job”.
An alternative lifestyle is the one you’re living because deep down you’re just too chicken to make the leap.
Ooooh! Yeah, I said it!
Fear keeps a lot of people from taking action. And doing the things you deep down really want to do.
Oh, I’ve been there by the way. It sucks. Big-time. But I learned a ton from the experience and vowed never to return to that dark place.
To me, an alternative lifestyle is spending two hours a day in traffic – time that could be spent playing with your kids or trail running or sipping horchata.
An alternative lifestyle is answering to a boss and having to ask for time off to be with your family.
An alternative lifestyle is spending your best waking hours with people that aren’t your family or friends.
An alternative lifestyle is taking a vacation once a year.
An alternative lifestyle is having to work just to be able to afford the stuff you’ve accumulated (probably though debt).
An alternative lifestyle is going through your daily life but not truly living it.
So Who the Heck Wants an Alternative Lifestyle?
Let me make this perfectly clear. Just because you have a job, a mortgage, stuff, etc isn’t necessarily bad. It’s not.
So long as you’re totally conscious about it.
If you have a job because it’s what you really love, awesome.
For example, my brother is a speech pathologist and he loves his job. He helps people speak again. That’s pretty awesome.
And he chose this course very carefully even going through 6 years of school to make it happen.
That’s the difference.
This message is not to people like my brother.
This message is to the people like the past me. The me that sat in a cubicle daydreaming by looking at the tropical island screensaver on my computer. The me that took another job because it paid more and was closer to home. The me that never even had a real vacation for like 5 years in a row.
That’s who this message is for.
That’s What the Family Rocketship Is All About
You can do it. You can pay for it. You can bring your family along. Oh, and you can still have a “normal life”.
The big difference? Your normal life will be completely awesome and you’ll wake up every day grateful for what you get to do that day.
And when that guy you’re talking to at the beach says, “Boy, I sure wish I could do what you’re doing” you can say, “You can! I’m freaken doing it!”
Then you can watch his reaction.
He’ll either squirm and invent some excuse to justify his fear and inaction.
Or, you’ll see a tiny flame ignite in his eyes and he’ll start asking you questions. Then you know your new friend might just be joining you on the beach sometime in the near future.
And that’s what this rant is all about. If you’re like the past Sean, wake up man! Take action. Make it happen. Your wife will love you more. Your kids will be happier. You’ll fall asleep every night with a smile.
The rant is now over.
PS – my 7 year old just shouted to me on her way back to the pool, “Thank you for my life. You’re the best dad ever!”
I swear she just said that. Not even joking. Perfect timing.
And that, my friends, is the pay off. They’re not just words after all.
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