This report asks the question, will I find myself more easily overseas? At age 46, I left the United States and started traveling all over the world. Now, after 13 years of living in 65 countries, I will share my thoughts with you. But many of my subscribers have lived outside their home country longer so make sure to read their thoughts in the comments below this video.
If you are like me, during your working years, you probably did some international travel on your annual vacation. When I vacationed overseas, I rarely returned home without saying to myself, “Maybe I will come live here after I retire?” I dreamed about traveling the world in retirement.
My goal was to retire early at 55 and travel the world.
So at age 46, when I was offered the chance to work in Asia for 3 years with 7 weeks’ holiday per year, I jumped at the chance. I knew that living in Asia meant I could see that part of the world on my vacations without taking 20-hour flights. It was the best decision I ever made. I started traveling 10 years ahead of schedule.
After 3 years in Asia, I quit my job and started working remotely part-time in 2010 as I traveled the world full time.
Through all the international travel to 65 countries, there has been a peacefulness that arises in me more easily when I am away from my home country. My mind is quieter when I am away. I am able to more easily focus on the environment around me. More about that peacefulness in a moment. But first, why do other people say they want to live an overseas early retirement?
Why Do People Retire Early Overseas?
If you read online, you will hear all sorts of other theories. Why do so many older people come to live in these retire cheap in paradise places?
Some say it is an escape or denial of aging and eventual death. They are looking for one last adventure. They are taking one last breath before they fade into obscurity? They instinctively want to leave everything on the field before checking out of the game of life?
Others say they followed the social rules all their lives and end up somewhere they don’t want to be, short of their dreams, asking themselves, what was it all for? Did following society’s path lead us somewhere we rather not be? They want to begin to play by their own rules. Spend the rest of their lives outside the socialization that led them astray?
Others made their own rules along the way and won the game of life. Now they just want to play a new game called–what excites me today? Do we crave excitement, chaos, heart palpitations? Do we want to hang-glide, bungee jump, and jump out of airplanes? Do we want to break away from the past and find ourselves in an unpredictable, unexpected future?
Others imagine a new chapter in life where they play author and leading role. Sort of living a character in real-time, as author and actor. Are we deciding to play the lead roles in our life instead of being supporting actors reading predictable lines that sound like a continuation of lines from the previous chapter?
Why do we take the risk with everything so comfortable at home? Do we feel like we have potential in us that has never been realized? Can we get really excited about life again? Is it better to try and fail than to never try to live our dream at all?
Are we staring death in the face and refusing to blink? Instead, should we yell No!!? Should we say, I am coming for mine. It is my time now. I will not go quietly into the night.
What has stopped you before in your life? Is it fear? Was it responsibility? Was it family approval or other social acceptance?
One day you wake up and you realize it’s your life and you are running out of time.
You have to grab the gold ring on the next go around the sun. Start living your dreams. Maybe you’ll die in pain. Maybe you’ll fail in some spectacular way. But at least you won’t wither away wondering what might have been?
That is the action-adventure story that society tells us we will find when we board the plane for distant lands. And indeed many of us withstand the test of time and have great stories to tell when we return to our motherland every few years. My life is certainly full of stories that I never would have believed had I not seen them with my own eyes. But the best story of all I can tell is the peace I more easily find in simple silence when I am outside my home country. That peace answers the following question.
Will I find myself more easily overseas?
The answer is yes. But it sounds silly without explanation. You have a personality that was socialized based upon the beliefs, customs, and behaviors of your family and home country. The people that know you expect you to react to any given situation based upon that personality.
Unknowingly, people see you as a reactive predictable personality. They verify your personality each time you react predictively in almost any situation. If you ever do anything that seems unusual, they will say you weren’t yourself that day.
By the time you hit mid-life, the situations you encounter on a day-to-day basis and your reactions are almost completely defined and predictable to you and others. There are very few new experiences in your day-to-day life that require you to react in any new or nuanced ways.
So your mind gets bored of your daily experiences and goes on auto-pilot.
Have you heard the saying, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop? What that saying means is that if you are unable to employ your mind in constructive ways, the mind will become destructive of your peace of mind.
Almost all human suffering is created in the mind. We are often our own worst critics. But here is the good news.
When you are outside your home country, very little of what you see and do has been experienced before. So you have to pay very close attention to what is happening every single moment. You have to concentrate. No room for an idle mind. You will pay attention because you need to find a theoretical untested reaction that you hope will work in this new situation. Then you need to test your theoretical reaction and see if it works.
But designing potential reactions is just step 1. Then you have to test your reaction. Then you need to monitor the results closely and adjust as needed until you get the results you want. Reactions remain adjustable until you feel the results are predictable.
You are resocializing yourself in each new place you visit. New experiences and new reactions. But this time, you have no family giving you feedback. You will be your only judge. So long as your reactions are not illegal in the new world you will remain free to develop your own reactions to each circumstance socialized only by yourself.
Additionally, because your mind is completely busy with this complex self-socialization mechanism, experiencing the new world and adapting your reaction theories until they are predictable, your mind is never idle.
Because your mind is employed in this useful way, it is not idle. It will not as easily become the devils’ workplace.
When your mind is engaged constructively in this way, in a deep and concentrated way, you may come to hear a peaceful silence in the background. The peaceful silence can not be heard when you are living in the pain created by an idle mind.
Once you have this awareness of this peaceful silence in the background behind this constructively engaged mind, you may experience complete silence of mind one day. I believe that peaceful sound during the silence of mind is the sound of the unifying equation in motion (Physics). If you are religious, you would call it god consciousness. It is the sound of god’s mind.
If you are graced with a listening for these two sounds, you will be socializing yourself by the music of the divine.
You do not need to travel to do this. Concentrating deeply is enough. People also use yoga and meditation to embody this same listening.
Click the link in the notes below this Youtube video if you would like a free copy of either of my eBooks, “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 13 Years,” or “I am (Happy)-An Owners Manual for the Human Mind.”
This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for VagabondBuddha.com. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?