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Would You Be a Perpetual Traveler or a World Citizen?

Would You Be a Perpetual Traveler or a World Citizen?

world

    On Monday I wrote about developing the freedom to travel anywhere, anytime without getting fired. For many people, putting yourself in a position where you are free to go at any time and stay in the places you’ve always wanted to stay is a completely new experience and mindset. While it’s certainly not for everybody, a good number of people who start remote working realize that they have no desire to remain indentured to one place and nation anymore; they want to become a citizen of themselves and the world, and nobody else. There’s something about this sense of newfound freedom that has people re-evaluating their loyalties and priorities.

    From here, there are two ways you can go. You can become a perpetual traveler or you can become a world citizen.

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    The Perpetual Traveler

    What’s a perpetual traveler anyway? In a nutshell, a person who designs their life so that they’re not the legal resident of any of the countries in which they actually spend most of their time. Usually the perpetual traveler will gain a citizenship in a country where you’re only taxed for money made in the country while they make their legal residence in a tax haven. They can then move about in various countries with their assets spread out and protected and without paying income tax so long as they don’t stay in any one country long enough to be a resident for taxation purposes.

    There are many reasons for doing this. The most obvious: to avoid income tax. Since the hardcore patriots left the room as of the first paragraph, we can safely say that there’s no compelling moral argument for you to pay income tax to a government you don’t believe is spending your money wisely, or is simply taking too much from your efforts.

    But it could be so that you can safely avoid catastrophes and crises; if you don’t want to be stuck in a country where war or economic disaster hits, if you’ve got things set up properly you can be out of there in a matter of hours. You might want to reduce your net worth to zero and spread your assets out amongst holding companies you create offshore so that no one government can touch it. It might just be a matter of wanting some privacy from the greedy and stickybeaking bureaucratic organizations of the world.

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    Whatever the reason, it means disowning your allegiance to your home country without giving it up to another. It means becoming a citizen of your own empire.

    The World Citizen

    The world citizen is someone who decides to stop seeing the world as something segmented by nation, and look at it as the home of humanity where we’re all entitled to enjoy, and mandated to be be responsible for, the territory of each nation. The world citizen doesn’t see any sense in national citizenship and decides to stop seeing things through the lens of patriotism or from the perspective of the country they grew up in.

    A world citizen can also be someone who uses their knowledge of the world and each distinguishable culture as their trade. I have met a cultural consultant who, in their role as an academic and after many years abroad, gave advice to businesses who were hiring someone from a culture they knew little about, or trying to market a product to a particular culture they weren’t familiar with.

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    The Difference Between Them

    Quite evidently, at the most basic, one of these concepts is about philosophy and one is about practice. They’re two of the roads people sometimes take after seeing the world — the third being to resume their life as a member of the nation they returned to, to work there, and eventually die there.

    The third notion is certainly the most common. Once we’re back at home and we’re comfortable most people find little reason to think about the rest of the world anymore. It can be a limiting viewpoint. It is more common, of course, that people choose to become world citizens than perpetual travelers, and that’s a great attitude to have; it promotes tolerance, cooperation, and as the attitude spreads on a wider scale, it promotes trends in international trade and openness to trying new experiences offered by people from cultures other than your own.

    The most interesting in my mind is the perpetual traveler. It’s not done very often. People don’t want to leave their home behind, and it can take a lot of effort to set up. But for the greater initial investment, there are more benefits.

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    In a nutshell, becoming a perpetual traveler is about minimizing your loyalty to any one nation-state or entity, while becoming a world citizen is about becoming loyal to the world as a whole before any one nation. The concept of the perpetual traveler is about reducing your dependency and responsibilities and the world citizen is about increasing your loyalty and your responsibilities. The commonality lies in how they can be conceived: through experiencing the world and deciding that allegiance to one nation is a silly idea.

    Which One Would You Be?

    After writing my last article I became curious about what Lifehack’s readers would choose to become if they could, so I wrote this piece describing each idea and the differences between them. On one hand, I figured that people interested in “hacking” their lives to better serve their purposes would be interested in the perpetual traveler idea. On the other hand, perhaps the world citizen concept is more in line with the philosophy of a group of people who are looking for every possible way to cut down on their time investments so they can enjoy life more — why bother going to all that effort and then having to move around all the time? You tell me which way you’d go in the comments.

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    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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