Although the article is from 2009 — I totally agree with the premise of Pico Iyer’s “The Joy of Less” in the NYT, and here is a quote that sums up the main point:
I had been lucky enough at that point to stumble into the life I might have dreamed of as a boy: a great job writing on world affairs for Time magazine, an apartment (officially at least) on Park Avenue, enough time and money to take vacations in Burma, Morocco, El Salvador. But every time I went to one of those places, I noticed that the people I met there, mired in difficulty and often warfare, seemed to have more energy and even optimism than the friends I’d grown up with in privileged, peaceful Santa Barbara, Calif., many of whom were on their fourth marriages and seeing a therapist every day. Though I knew that poverty certainly didn’t buy happiness, I wasn’t convinced that money did either.
I actually found this article via an article on AlmostFearless as a result of a Tweet by Steph at 20sTravel. Not sure how she found the article given it’s about a year old — but glad she did because I found both to be good reads.
As some of you know, I’m living quite a nomadic lifestyle right now and happier than I’ve been in a long time. I have many people who ask me “how can I do what you do and work from anywhere?” For starters, it didn’t just happen. I put a lot of time and effort into my role at Zillow.com over the past 4 1/2 years — and I can certainly tell you working virtually for companies back in the states would be a LOT more difficult without the reputation and network I built while working at Zillow. I’m working for 3 people (Jim at Virtual Results & YouReach Media, Justin at Diverse Solutions, and Steve at RealBiz360) who I’ve known for years and built a certain level of trust with. That said — traveling for a living can be done even if you don’t work wirelessly from a laptop like I do. This summer in Santorini, there were at least 15 or 20 expats (probably more) living in Perissa Beach working at restaurants, bars, or hotels in order to fund their stay there.
The real trick is just deciding what makes you truly happy. Once you know what you want to do and where you want to end up, you’ll find a way to make the rest of the pieces fall into place. So, if you think traveling the globe will make you happy, just quit your job and do it — and figure out the details on the way.