Your money or your life?

It is a difficult balance to reach, and a strange one to even have to consider. How much should you work to be able to afford the life you want, and what kind of life do you want?

Will an extra $10 000 a year improve your life? By how much? Or would you be better of forgoing that extra money and using the time you would inevitably have had to invest in a career or business venture to get it, doing the things you love with the people you love?

It is a tough one for sure, because the world we live in is based around the things money can buy you. This is not neccesarily a bad thing, because the world we live in has some super cool stuff in it, stuff which will make your life better if you like playing with those super cool things.

I mean even if we had the option to go back to a more archaic way of living, even if someone said “You know what, forget about money, here is some land, a couple chickens and a horse, have fun”, who the hell would actually want to do that?!

Not me.

I like having a car, I like watching TV and movies, I like being able to fly my paramotor around the world and surf the internet all day. All of these things require money, which requires work, which requires sacrificing life for money. Money for things. But that is not necessarily bad. It only becomes bad (in my view), when your work dominates your life, when you work more than you need to be happy, when happiness takes a back seat to the money so that “one day” you might be able to do the things you want.

paramotor mexico

This video of my paramotoring coming soon!

One day may never come, and even if it does, we change so much as people as we progress through our life stages, that the cool things you want to do today, will have vanished into memories tomorrow.

How many 60 year olds want to skydive or scuba dive (I know there are a few of you out there and kudos!)? How many 50 year olds want to travel the world (same for those of you who do, super kudos, go do it!)? We lose the desire to push ourselves into these often difficult situations as we get older, and yet we have put these things off until we get older.

Travel brings about its own challenges, it can be tough, especially long term travel.

Not having a home base, leaving friends and family behind, no steady income, daily challenges from other cultures and foods (as my stomache protests its existance for the fourth day runnning). For the most part, it is a young man’s game. I say that as a relatively young man steadily moving out of that moniker, who is already looking towards a less hectic style of travel to go along with my burgeoning desire to be lethargic.

I am likely the laziest person who actually does stuff you are ever likely to meet, yet somehow I still manage to keep doing stuff, and lots of it.

Work verses life. How much is too much and where do you draw the line on work to have the best life for you? It is a tough one.

Sarah and I met a lovely couple here in La Penita the other day who own an apartment down on the beach. They told us that they come to Mexico whenever they get a chance and absolutely love it. They both have well paying jobs and own a house in Canada which they said they could sell and retire if they wanted to, “but”, they said, “The money is too good to give up.”

To me this sounds crazy. But it pretty much echoes the majority of the worlds working population. Either the money is too good to give up, or the money is not good enough, and so you need to keep working until it is good enough, which it likely never will be.

I wanted to scream at them “Retire and live your lives!!” But I am slowly learning that my opinion is just that, an opinion, and although I can talk about my own life as an alternative option, I cannot and should not try to force it down other peoples throats (no matter how much I want to!).

These guys were by no means the exception to the rule, and there are several people I know floating around in my head who are living a similar way, putting life off for tomorrow while they first get this or that done. Never seeing that the finish line for “this or that” is always moving just a little bit further away.

If you are one of those people, which you likely are because I only know several people in this world, stop, take a moment from your headlong tumble through life, and think about where you are going and why.

My turn to work!

Having said all that, I recently finished building Sarah her new website (thank you, thank you, I know it is pretty spectacular :), and it reminded me that it is about time I jumped back on to the work side of this spectrum for awhile.

travel and work Mexico

the latest design for

During and after our somewhat stressful time in Guatemala I was not feeling particularly creative, and as such I have not done any real work for quite some time. I have strolled almost exclusively through the life side of the spectrum for about three months, focusing on my powered paragliding and the next stages of our travels with little to no regard for work, and it has been great!

But now the time has come to knuckle down for a bit and produce some life juice (money) so that I can keep dolling out unwanted advice. I fully intend to walk a line which fits with my ethos as to the work verses life balance, but the great thing about our lifestyle, is that I have all the time in the world to focus on any jobs I get without worrying about rent, bills or the multitude of other things which take up so much time in normal life, especially now that we are house sitting!

So if anyone out there wants or knows of someone who needs a website designed, please send them my way, or to my web design website, I could use a bit of work so as to be able to continue attempting to entertain you with stories of our less than ordinary life.

The main point of this post though, is to remind people to question why they are making the choices they are making.

Do you really need that extra money? Is it worth the time it takes away from your loved ones? Is it worth the hours which will add up to weeks, to months, to years of your life which could otherwise be spent living? As far as we know, we only go around in this world once, and there is barely enough time to see and do a tenth of what it has to offer. When is enough enough?

If you want some advice from someone who should in no way be giving advice, I would say pick a point, pick a number, halve both and then when you reach them, go and live what life remains to you.



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0 thoughts on “Your money or your life?”

  1. Hello Tyrohne,

    I recently stumbled across your blog through Hungry Escapades and wanted to let you know how much I/we enjoy the read and that we are with you! We’ll drink the Koolaid!
    We are happily married 48 yr olds with two kids ages 17 and 13. We LOVE to travel but because of our choice to have kids we have had to be creative in the way we make that happen. We do a big trip every 5 years and our last trip was in 2009 when we drove our 82 dodge okanangan camper van to Mexico from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. If you are good at math you would have figured out that we are approaching 5 years so yes! we are off again.
    We leave Sept 5 for South East Asia for a year. Yes, our boys are coming along and yes, we are super stoked.
    I recently told my two bosses I was leaving for a year but was taking my work with me as I did when we went to Mexico. I’m in the ad business for a food magazine so it’s pretty doable to communicate with clients via internet. Anyway… when I told one of my bosses I was leaving she got very upset. Her reason? because she knows my sales will go down when I leave which I am ok with. Less money for me equals less $ for her too.
    She has several streams of income but she is so focused on the fact that I won’t bring in as much for the company while I am away that she can’t even wish me well on our travels.
    I’m with you- life is too short to spend most of it at work. I have spent the last 10 years or so preparing to get to a point in life where I don’t have any debt ( our house is paid off and we own both cars) so that I don’t have to work as much to maintain the same lifestyle. I don’t shop for “stuff” unless I need it. Need, not want it and now it’s time to reap the rewards of a frugal lifestyle.
    Geesh- some people just don’t get it. It seems the people who have suffered a health scare or who have had a person close to them die, get it. Why can’t we learn from those stories and just live life now? why wait for the hammer to the head?
    I may get diagnosed tomorrow or get run over by a bus and be bed ridden for the rest of my life. I want to go now! Live now!
    Our plan is to work 5 more years after our return from South East Asia then we will buy a Sprinter Van and head off for destinations unknown! We have no time frame from which to limit ourselves and it will be awesome.

    I enjoyed your last post so much I read it aloud to my husband while we enjoyed a glass of wine on our back deck. Thanks so much for a great read and your great attitude! It jives perfectly with ours so of course we think you are super smart.
    Your last post was titles Your Money or Your Life. Have you read the book by the same name? You might find it interesting.
    Keep up the great work and maybe we will see you flying your paramotor somewhere, some day.
    Here is a link to another blog you might find interesting.The couple have been on the road with their dog for over 4 yrs now and had a baby in Peru! Super great writers and another life well lived.


    1. now that was an impressive comment! 🙂

      Thank you very much for your kind words and I am always happy to hear about other people making changes in there lives. It is not an easy thing to do but is almost always worth it.

      It sounds like you are in for an awesome adventure and what an experience it will be for your kids! Thanks for sharing your story and I hope to see you on the road in the near future, maybe at the super smart people conference :).

      You should consider writing a blog to chronicle your year, it is also a great way to keep memories.

      Good luck on your journey and I hope to see you around the blog.

  2. My mom always said, “money is a tool not something to be worshiped.” Of course, we never really had any…but it stills reminds me that we’re supposed to DO something with the money we make, not just sit on it waiting for the inevitable. You really can’t take it with you. Our next chapter will include saving up money again, but it’s so much more motivating to me to save when I have something I really, really want ahead of me. It’s not just saving to save, it’s saving to buy myself some form of freedom – previously it was travel, now it’s a business (which seems less than freeing, in some ways, but whatever).

    1. Hey if the business is what you want to be doing with your life right now, then it is just as relevant as traveling when you were doing that. And if you ever change your mind about it, you can just leave! 🙂 You know now that it is possible if you really want it.

  3. I too struggle to resist the urge to shout at people that there is more to life to money and working/planning for retirement! I

    t seems so simple and obvious when you step off the conveyor belt, but I also know this life isn’t for everyone…. And thank the lordy too! Imagine if everyone in the world just quit their job and went travelling, mentals!! Kind of want it to happen now…

    Nice sarahsomewhere site by the way, I particular like my stupid face on the screen grab, well done.

    1. I think you should stop resisting the urge and just start shouting at random people in the street that there is more to life than money…

      And thanks about sarahsomewhere, I felt like I needed to get your stupid face in there somehow.

  4. ‘Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)’ – Baz Luhrmann – says it all, must have stuck in your mind from your youth, Bren reminded me, love you lots xx

  5. I’ve recently started following your blog through Sarah’s, as an Aussie Drug and Alcohol nurse I find her journey truly inspiring. I totally agree with the underlying premise of this article and have lived my life by this principle, but man you’ve got blinkers on! In answer to your question “How many 50 year olds want to travel?” Plenty! As a 48 year old who was enjoying yours and your partner’s blogs I find this ageist and offensive, however unintentional. I have been travelling for the last three decades and backpacked through SEA with 2 young children when there wasn’t a KFC or McDonalds in sight. I plan (and I say plan instead of hope) to travel for another three decades. You have looked outside the box for your youth if you do the same at every stage of your life you will have damn good one!

    1. Wow it’s funny I have never been accused of being ageist before. The funny thing is you are the exception to the rule which is my point, stating facts does not make me ageist. What do you think the percentage of 20 somethings to 50 somethings seeking adventurous travel is? Do you meet more people travelling in my age group or yours (I mean travelling, not going on tours)? Do you think there are more people like you or more people who have a mortgage, loans, credit card debt, school fees and the rest to recover from and who end up just staying put?

      Would it be ageist of me to say more young people go to raves than old people? It’s just the way it is.

      The point of the post was to make people think about living an alternative lifestyle while they still want to and before they have made life choices which stop them from doing so, because most do not, the fact is, you are the exception to the rule, I am the exception to the rule.

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