Dutch Nomad Couple | Increase your sense of freedom and happiness now the no-nonsense way
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Increase your sense of freedom and happiness now the no-nonsense way

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I know how precious time can be. I’ll be walking you along the path of probably the 3 most influential things which influence on your day. Time, Work and Money! Along the way, I’ll illustrate the connection between these 3 factors in our lives. Also, I will be sharing with you my vision of how you can adjust the order of things thereby increasing your sense of well-being, freedom, and happiness.

After having read the book Vagabonding(by Rolf Potts) from cover to cover, I knew my wife and I identified that which we had sought after for a long time. The urge, no the need, for a new and different lifestyle. It could be done. In this book, veteran shoestring traveler Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent, curious spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel, once thought to be the sole province of students, counterculture dropouts, and the idle rich. He describes how two desert brothers in Egypt yearned to travel and discover the world at large. The religious brothers had taken a vow of piety and obedience which had always been their stumbling block and withheld them from realizing their dream. Year after year they vowed, once winter lifted it heals, they would too. New dimensions awaited them. The courage to actually leave their protective environment never materialized. So the years passed, the dream stayed and so did they- safe in their cocoon till they were too old to travel. My eyes were opened.

vagabonding-dutch-nomad-couple

These past months’ reactions of those around us have been, “Wow, good on you. Go for it.” Or from others who said, “good on you, we’d never be able to do what you are doing.” Followed by others who relayed long lists of why they didn’t stand a chance, or that this dream was out of reach for them. “Lucky us,” they’d say wistfully.

The thing is, we once thought it wasn’t ‘for us’ either, this nomadic lifestyle. Just imagine all the insecurities and unknown factors. No, we couldn’t imagine achieving that type of peace within ourselves. The eye-opener that the story gave me was, ‘Follow your dream, or stop making excuses.’

It took quite a lot of determination, commitment, and purging of things, habits and ideals we long had held dear. It wasn’t a plan we implemented and succeeded in completing overnight. We had to find out where our balance was to be with time, work, income.

Time

Time is the same for everyone. The amount unknown, the length of the days, 24 hours, the same everywhere. Although time is constant, it disappears into nothingness. Each second passes never to repeat itself. There are moments when time flies, literally. You wake up on Monday morning and before you can blink an eyelash it’s Friday evening. Other times the day slowly crawls by – being able to count each second as the clock ticks. Painfully slowly. Will that day NEVER end?

And there’s the second factor. Work.

Being active and productive gives one a sense of purpose and usefulness. At work, one can develop, unfold and extend talents and grow as a person, both professionally, personally and socially.

As an employee in a company, one enters a workers’ agreement, eg wages and vacation time. As an independent, hired by a firm one agrees to the terms offered for remuneration, eg. Money for services rendered in whatever form, euros, dollars, or even bitcoins.

Money, a worldwide accepted available resource

Money, a worldwide acceptable means of exchange. Money for goods and visa versa. Money buys not only food and clothing but also transport, hotels and holiday resort accommodation and other commodities we have become reliant on.

The monthly earnings dribble into accounts for medical care, mortgage payments or rental accommodation, insurances and many more of the necessary ‘must do’s in today’s society to keep the country afloat. Part of the payments gives security, like your mortgage, ensuring a roof over your head. Other payments go to the often unfathomable insurance coverage of which many have no idea where that money actually goes.

We also exchange some of our earnings with our governments in the form of taxes. This enabling other bodies to decide where our hard earned money is to be spent on. The word ‘tax’ alone makes me uncomfortable. I feel the money disappears into a bottomless pit and it never seems to be enough to do all is promised.

Solution?

A solution to not earning enough is often, to work harder. Climb the corporate ladder and reach great heights. Not only financially but with responsibility, heartburn and other stress-related symptoms. Because the fictional thought is, when is enough (earnings) enough? Pondering that thought I came to the conclusion that no matter how hard of high I could climb, the thirst for enough was not within my grasp – in the lifestyle I now lived.

That was my conclusion while I went ‘walkabout’ in the beautiful area of Limburg one weekend. Taking a long hard look while separated from that which kept me and (my wife) captive. The lifestyle we had built up and developed while it didn’t bring the joy and satisfaction we dreamt of. I started identifying the things in life which did bring those joyful feelings and the sense of freedom I longed for.

limburg-dutch-nomad-couple-003

How did what I yearned for and what my reality was, fit the bill? It didn’t. Working long hours and coming home fatigued, I had little energy for the most important person in my life. The dreams of travel and experiencing the world at large. The wanting to discover and immerse myself in other cultures and lifestyles was not going to happen with the way my life was structured now. It was time to throw off the shackles and re-design our lives.

My wife and I have become Nomadic Entrepreneurs. Unchartered waters- we embraced the challenge. No more, ‘what if’s’ and ‘buts’. We were to meet and overcome the challenges. Our mindset was to set goals and focus on them. Our challenge was not to be distracted by the negatives. Around us, many voiced their own barriers as to why they couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to do what we were doing. We were seen as sort of heroes. I never felt like that. I knew I had to keep the faith in ourselves and the plan. We had to do the work- it wasn’t always easy but it definitely gave us more than we ever imagined.

By the positive approach and the internal voice encouraging us, we were able to adjust our thinking. We changed many of our previously held convictions. Although money hadn’t been the problem and we had always been in the position to ‘have-buy and obtain’ whatever we thought we needed, it became evident we actually had more than we would ever need.

A cleansing of ‘things’ became a priority. We sold, gave away and rid ourselves of much of our materialistic selves. We changed our focus on what was important or necessary.

Cutting costs

I made a list of the subscriptions, annual fees, extras, magazines and other paraphernalia. When I added up the amounts I paid monthly to these and other expenses I was quite alarmed. Because I could- didn’t mean I should! What a spillage of resources. Monetary resources which could finance a week or two on a sunny paradise. I started making choices weighing each one against the desire to travel and be free to decide my own destiny.

 

 

I stopped feeling embarrassed turning down pub nights and dinners out, explaining to friends why we were making these choices. I didn’t feel I owed them justification, just out of longstanding friendships they needed to understand why we weren’t always part of the crowd as we had been in the past. Our goal, to live a life as Traveling Nomads. Not tied to mortgages and insurances. To a desk and a building – but to work at places of our choosing.

Yes, some people accepted this decision better than others. Some were very understanding and supportive, others confused. Some also envious. It didn’t deter us in our determination.

The choices

Everyone will face a different set of dilemmas that will need to be addressed. If one wants to reset the balance between Work, Money and time when things need to change. Obstacles are moments of opportunity. To grow, learn and achieve. If you’ve had years of being like the monks at the start of this story, then maybe the dawning of a new era is there waiting for you too. Don’t wait too long. Before you know it, time will have ebbed away. Choose your own style of happiness. Take the plunge.

Everyone will face a different set of dilemmas that will need to be addressed. If one wants to reset the balance between Work, Money and time when things need to change. Obstacles are moments of opportunity. To grow, learn and achieve. If you’ve had years of being like the monks at the start of this story, then maybe the dawning of a new era is there waiting for you too. Don’t wait too long. Before you know it, time will have ebbed away. Choose your own style of happiness. Take the plunge.

Has this blog inspired you? Do you think it might inspire others? Feel free to share this story with friends and family alike. We have developed a concise set of 7 tips for increased Freedom & Happiness on the Homepage of the Dutch Nomad Couple. Download the list now.

– Written by Tino Kreijns from Dutch Nomad Couple 

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