Most of us spend our entire lives trying to find simplicity through complicated means. We dream of freedom while being unable or perhaps too comfortable to escape a system that, in the long run, fails to serve our best interests. But what’s the alternative? For a particular 35 year old man, the answer was simple: he relinquished the security of a stable job and a solid roof in exchange for unnegotiated freedom and adventure. Meet Benedict, also known as Ultra Romance, who only works for six months a year so he can cycle the world for the other half, living on as little as $10 a day.
Ever since college, 15 years ago, Benedict knew that life, as we most know it – finding a job, buying a house, settling down – wasn’t going to work for him. With a degree in nutrition and a passion for history and anthropology, he forged his own path, an alternative lifestyle that allowed him to redefine notions such as success and meaning using his own terms. For Ultra Romance, a 40-hour work week is unnatural so he makes a living by working six months a year as a fisherman or a guide and by selling bike parts online. The other half he spends travelling around the world, either alone or with friends, and “riding, setting up a hammock, taking a siesta, and chilling out.”
Although he renounced most modern conveniences in his quest for ultimate freedom, there are still plenty of facilities that Benedict enjoys, such as Whole Foods, Internet access, Instagram. He also got a bank account, just so he could buy and sell bicycle parts on eBay, but other than that, he has never owned a car and never spent more than six months in one place. Everything he owns is comprised of 15 to 20 bikes, stored in his parents’ basement, and his camping gear, which he keeps improving every year.
His background in nutrition allows him to eat well on a budget, with chocolate being his biggest food expense, while his passion for bikes enables him to be fit, happy, and always on the move: “bicycles have always been my thing. I’ve devoted my life to the bicycle, unintentionally, not expecting anything out of it. It’s been a tool for me to do what I want, on the cheap, going hand in hand with the lifestyle I was trying to lead.”
Living on $10 a day, he keeps the money he makes in a bag which he buries underground and rarely spends it on anything but bicycles and camp gear.
For Ultra Romance, life should be devoted to meaning and adventure: “I don’t like to work. I like to ride my bike and I like to camp. I do love doing certain kinds of work that feel meaningful to me, but for the most part I’m not going to spend the best years of my life doing something completely meaningless.”
Why We Like It:
While Ultra Romance’s lifestyle might not appeal to everybody, we can all learn a much needed lesson in simplicity and Green Living from his way of doing things. And in a world where material possessions are valued more than experiences and work fatigue has become a badge of honour, maybe it’s time for a new motto: “Own little, work less and live more”.
You can read Benedict’s full story and interview here. And for a taste of freedom, follow his Instagram account here.
Story via Business Insider.
Pictures courtesy of Ultra Romance Instagram account.
The post Green Living At Its Finest: Meet The Man Who Works 6 Months A Year And Spends The Other Half Travelling Around The World appeared first on The Green Curator.