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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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