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Would You Be a Perpetual Traveler or a World Citizen?

Would You Be a Perpetual Traveler or a World Citizen?

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    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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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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