Isn’t that a great thought? I saw it on a Facebook meme that I think was started by a young man named Rob Hill Sr. Although the grammarian in me wants to reword it, A Life From Which You Don’t Need a Vacation. Ha!
It reminded me of a story.
One of our favorite places in the world is a little island nestled off the coast of mainland Belize in the Caribbean Sea. It’s the home of a single town named San Pedro.
San Pedro has a tiny airstrip where small aircraft shuttle people to, among other places, the international airport in Belize City so they can fly home from their vacation. Some of the locals call the little San Pedro airstrip the Airport of Tears.
It got that nickname because of how frequently visitors to the island end up crying as they wait for their flight back home. I’ve seen it happen. They are sad to leave what they just spent a week or two experiencing. They wake up on their own schedule, spend time doing things that are fun, are surrounded by people laughing, telling great stories, and they feel the stress and tension leaving their body. They see people who live in San Pedro year round or for large portions of the year. They hear the stories of how people just left the rat race and never looked back. People just like them.
Then they think about going back home to a job they don’t enjoy, to a life of endless bills for things they are tired of, and keeping up appearances with their friends and family. Mostly they think about how they can’t live the authentic life they want to live because of the circumstances life’s inertia has pushed them into. How they have to appear happy even when they aren't.
The Sticking Point
And the single most common circumstance that is their sticking point is that they can’t earn enough money without the job they have now. That’s the giant anchor for most people. Or a ball and chain!
People say, “Yeah, I’d love to live all the time like the folks on a Caribbean island! Who wouldn’t? But how would I make a living?” The truth is, most people used to do it by having enough capital to buy a hotel or resort, or maybe a big enough bar or scuba diving operation that could generate tons of income during “the season” and then coast through the quiet months and still have enough left over to live on. That’s fine if you have an extra half-million dollars collecting dust.
And just getting a local job is not easy because every country protects itself from “foreigners taking our jobs.” Plus local wages can be shockingly low anyway.
The far better method that has emerged in recent years is to quietly operate your own online business. You don’t need a local business license. You don’t need an employment permit. You don’t need to hire anyone. You don’t need a local bank account. You are basically invisible to the local government and you just live like any other tourist.
In short, you can live your life like it is one, long, enjoyable vacation. And uncounted people are doing exactly that right now all over the world.
I could write volumes about the value of living an authentic life. Personally, I think it’s a critical key to enduring happiness and a sense of self worth. The real power of living authentically is unleashed when we deliberately do the things we are good at doing and enjoy doing.
I’m not alone in that observation. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher, reports:
“When 577 volunteers were encouraged to pick one of their signature strengths and use it in a new way each day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed than control groups. And these benefits lasted: Even after the experiment was over, their levels of happiness remained heightened a full month later. Studies have shown that the more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become.”
So what happens when you deliberately engineer your own online business so that you use your “signature strengths” almost every day? And what happens if you do that under circumstances that permit you to live where you want and how you want?
I can personally tell you what happens. You have a life from which you never need a vacation.
Here's a great way to get started.