It’s more about the experiences than things.

By Mike Aux-Tinee

I like the freedom to move around. If you tried to tie me down, I would gnaw through the restraints and make a mad dash for the fence like a delirious zoo animal. It’s pointless to send a recovery team to wrangle me back into my pen, I’ve paid them off with bananas from the critter in the pen next to me.

I see myself as an explorer and wandering spirit. I love to move from place to place and experience to experience. There have been some really cool things I have seen and done. There is no way I could not even begin to put a price tag on these experiences, nor would I want to. I live this way as a result of my views on life, liberty and my relationship with money.

To live this way, there are no magic pills to take, no self-help books to read or a seminar to attend. It is derived from an internal desire to get out and explore the world and learn new things. I get to do this by living my life well below my means. Which means I save more of my hard-earned money than I spend. (Yes, you can live without a video game system, I-phone and other gadgets and be just fine).

There are some general steps to take towards freeing yourself from what binds you down and then you can make your own mad dash for the fence line. There is a weak spot that you can slip through on your way out…

First, have faith in and trust yourself. I could not live this way if I did not have faith in and trust myself. I do not make the right decision every time and when I make a mistake, (I hope it is not too damaging) I make sure I learn from it. This is the way I want to live and whatever happens, good, bad or indifferent I am going to continue to live this way until the end. 

Second, having the desire to acquire new experiences and not material items. How about a little Q&A? Did you take a childhood vacation? Where did you go? What did you do there? Who was there with you? Now that you remember the vacation, what did you buy on the trip? I bet you can not remember buying souvenirs.

See, you remember the places, faces and things you did, but not the things you bought. You become a ‘richer’ person for the experiences you have, not buying something.

Third, is learning to let go. You need to let go of years of being told  this is how you need to live your life:

  • you need to go to college
  • get a 9-5  job
  • get married
  • buy a house
  • live in the suburbs
  • have kids
  • buy two cars
  • send the kids to college

We have been bombarded and brain washed our whole lives. This mind set can hold us back from some very cool and exciting adventures. It is time to break free of the rhetoric that smothers and forces us to live a miserable existence like every one else.

How about another Q&A. Can you name the two guys who explored the Louisiana Purchase? I hope you can. Now, who is the CFO of Coca-Cola?  Unless you are in the financial world or look it up, I bet you do not know the answer. Back to the first question, most people have heard of Lewis & Clark. Our society places a higher value on those who trek out like Lewis & Clark did. It is exciting to hear about their exploits of man vs. nature. While I have nothing against the CFO, he or she will not be remembered and have a place in history like Lewis & Clark.

One last thing to note, be prepared for ridicule from friends and family. They will not understand and maybe even feel resentment about your newly established freedom. Do not take what they say too seriously. They really wish they could be you. I know all about this because  I hear it every time there is a family gathering and someone asks when I am going to buy a house?  Then comes the lecture about how good of an investment it is, how respectable you will be once you own a home and so on and so on and so on…

I look at the person and think, “it is a bummer to be you dude!”

Time to run with the bulls of Pamplona! Well, not really… I will stand and watch someone else do that….!

Peace dudes!


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