You have two choices in life: live free and nomadic, or live as a slave, chained down to one locale and a suburbanite cell. It is literally that simple, and everyone has a choice.
Back when I was still living in Bulgaria, I had a very interesting series of conversation with one of the neighbors. This was in 2008, a year after they had joined the European Union, and credit had come full-force into Bulgaria. Up until that point the country had been existing in a state of post-Communist bliss where free enterprise and hard work had been allowing a previously-poor people to prosper in a cash-rich environment.
The interesting thing about Bulgaria is that roughly 98% of families own their own homes. Mortgages were, up until 2007, almost nonexistent. This is because the homes were given to the families during the Communist era, and those same homes and properties have been handed down since then. But the lure of credit is incredibly strong given the fact that the average monthly wage is roughly the same as Mexico: 400 to 500 USD per month, and when you turn on the T.V. or log into the Internet or go anywhere in the city you are bombarded by images of “the good life” of The West, with brand new cars and SUVs and big-screen televisions and XBoxes and Playstations and widescreen gaming computers and beyond.
But what many youth of today fail to realize is that this is nothing more than an illusion, a mirage feigned by marketing companies to lure people in and get them to sign over the next 40 years of their lives without realizing what they are doing. The daughter of said neighbor was one who had fallen prey to the lies of the credit system, and within a few short months had already signed up and been approved for several credit cards, which she then proceeded to use to buy a smartphone, new clothing, a computer for her home…but most importantly, she had gone out and gotten a car with credit.
Within just a few short weeks she had suddenly put herself in a position where she had literally just signed away the next 25-30 years of her life to paying off the debt for material possessions she had been pressured into believing were “necessities”. And much to the dismay of her father (who was in his late 40s at the time and completely debt free, like most Bulgarians, despite what most Americans sneer at as a poverty-level income due to the fact they lack basic comprehension of how livable wages and costs of living around the world work; they fail to understand The Myth of Net Worth and Net Income), his daughter had, as he put it, “signed her soul over to the devil.”
“My country is going to hell in a hand-basket,” was his lament, “and my daughter is now a slave.”
All I could do was nod my head in agreement and reply, “Why do you think I got the hell out?”
The Lie of Credit
Credit is an illusion. The material possessions that you think you own when you purchase them with credit are not yours, and many people who are looking from outside into the U.S. fail to grasp this concept. Instead, they see a country where people are living a “life of plenty”. What they don’t realize is that if the vast majority of people from the U.S. miss more than a couple of bank payments or are late too many times, all of those shiny things suddenly go back to the bank…and all of your years spent working to pay off your debt is for nothing.
Everyone has a choice as to whether or not they rely on credit to make their way through life. The tricky part is realizing this hidden truth, because from the time you hit grade school in the United States they are already hard at work with the campaigns and slogans. It starts off with standardized tests to fit you into a certain mold and determine exactly how they can lure you in. Then you get into high school and the recruiting companies start hitting you hard and fast, offering you credit cards and school loans and credit so you can “get that degree you’ve always dreamed about and have to have in order to succeed in life”.
The vast majority of sheep are led willingly to the slaughter, none of them even realizing what’s going on until the gates close behind them, nipping at their heels, locking them in with 150,000 dollars of school loans, a 200,000 dollar mortgage, a 30,000 dollar car loan and credit card debt to boot. Only to end up with a minimum wage job that guarantees they will spend the next 50 years of their life indebted to the system and working their fingers to the bone.
Don’t believe me about those numbers? Just ask the students who were interviewed for Yahoo News last year.
The Sad Truth
It is a tragic story, one that is born out of ignorance in regards to global options for expats, as well as reliance upon a system that force-feeds school-loans, higher education and the credit system as the “only way to succeed” down the throats of every high-school student in the United States. Each year, the culpable minds of the American youth are brainwashed into believing that the only way they will ever be able to achieve anything in life is to jump through the hoops of the system.
“Go to college,” they tell you. “Don’t worry about the costs. It’s required. If you don’t go to college you’ll never be able to get a job. Don’t worry about the money. We’ll loan it to you. It’s the only way you’ll ever amount to anything. Trust us. It’s the way the system works. You can’t survive in the system unless you do what we tell you. Watch your reality TV and go to sleep. Sign on the dotted line. Let us take care of you.”
Students are told that they have no other options; it’s this way or starve, they are told. Trust us. Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you. Sign here. Four years later, they wake up feeling the cold steel wrapped around their wrists, suddenly realizing they have become prisoners in a jail cell that was being built around them without them even realizing what was going on.
This is the result of reliance on the system. Of putting your faith in The Matrix. Of allowing someone else to dictate your future to you. And this is why record number of expats are choosing to simply unplug from The Matrix and explore global opportunities abroad, free and clear of the shackles and the chains that bind the vast majority of the ignorant masses who blindly put their faith in a system that is so flawed, so broken, so undeniably corrupt that the only way to ever achieve any resemblance of freedom is to completely sever all ties and make your own way in life.
The modern entrepreneur is living a life completely free of corruption, free of debt, free of the system and free of wage slavery. I’m only one of thousands of digital nomads who are making their way around the world, working from their laptops and pursuing their passions and dreams while living the swashbuckling lifestyle we all dreamed about as children. Take a look at Niall from Disrupting the Rabblement. Or Travis from over at Techno Yogi. Or Ryan and Angela from Jets Like Taxis. Or my friend Ismael from PSD2HTMLPros. Or Janelle from Virtual Assistant Info. Or my buddy Chimi from Snail Adventures. Or Justin from The Lotus and the Artichoke. Or anyone who is on my list of Other Resources, and the thousands of others who I haven’t listed but are nevertheless living the dream life.
It’s entirely doable. Anyone can accomplish it. All you have to do is make a conscious decision to unplug, to disconnect, to rise up and take what is yours by human right as a universal entity with unlimited potential and infinite possibilities at your fingertips. It doesn’t matter where you were born, what language you speak or whether or not you have what you think is an impossible amount of debt already weighing you down.
Just take a look at the people who are down here right now as part of our Spring 2013 Destination Freedom retreat where we are teaching blogging, brand building and social media management to establish passive income and absolute creative and financial freedom.
When you unplug from the so-called “American Dream”, there is an unlimited number of possibilities laid out in front of you. I cut my bills from $2,500 to $3,000 a month in Colorado down to $650 a month in Bulgaria, Colombia and Mexico…and yet I have exactly the same standards of living. Actually better, considering I only work a few hours per day instead of 60+ hours per week…and I’ve got disposable income to boot.
And yet we all have access to first-class medical care. In fact Dave, one of our Spring 2013 retreat members is working on a series of blog posts as previously mentioned in Living Off The Grid in Cancun, Mexico, talking about how he got 12-15k USD worth of dental work done for a mere 2k…and the work was superior to anything he’d ever seen or had done before in the U.S. Or check out his blog post on the cost of goods here in The Riveria Maya.
Others, such as Niall and Travis and Sophie, one of our retreat members, have chosen to kick it over in Thailand, where the costs are even cheaper than what I’m spending in Mexico. Did I mention we also have high speed Internet? And air conditioning. And 3G and 4G networks and IMAX movie theaters and same-day international premiers on movies and tablets and smart phones and everything the Western world has but at a fraction of the cost.
Cristina and I just got back from a trip deeper into the heartlands of Mexico. Her sister has a small little home in a pueblo called Chable on the border of Tabasco and Chiapas that she paid a mere 3,500 USD for. It’s a one bedroom, one bathroom abode with a small yard in front and in back. Here in Cancun you can pick up a one-bedroom place for as low as 10-15k; two bedrooms run up to 30k; three bedrooms from 25 to 40k on average, or up to 100k if you want higher-end.
We ourselves just looked at a small home in Emiliano Zapata, Mexico over the weekend where we are thinking about moving in 2014. Massive yard in back, two-bedroom, one-bath place with additional room for a garage in a quiet little town on the Usumacinta River for only $16,000. The same river that winds its way down past the Yaxchilan and Bonampak Maya Ruins, and the same which allowed the conquistadors access from the Gulf all those years ago.
Try finding a quiet little 2-bedroom place for 15k or so in the U.S. And I’m not talking about some hole-in-the-wall, run-down, bug-infested hovel. I live a middle class life: gotta have my Internet, AC, big-screen TV and a few other Western amenities that help me run my business and enjoy life.
The difference is, I own my possessions because I’ve paid for them with cash money…not with credit. I’ve been debt-free since I was 29 years old. I’m 33 now…and I did it all by going nomadic and taking advantage of the low cost of living that developing countries provide. As did just about everyone listed in the above section.
Impossible is a word the weak use to justify giving up. Are you one of the weak?