Baby Boomer Walkabout
I have a client who just completed a baby boomer walkabout.
Bill (not his real name) was laid off from his job in the fall of 2014. It came as a complete surprise to him. Bill is in his late 50s and has always worried about money. He has been fanatical about saving his money for retirement.
One Month Walkabout
Bill decided to wait until the next year to start his job search. He also decided to buy a Rail Pass and travel the US for an entire month. What he did not realize was that this would turn out to be a baby boomer walkabout.
He spent the month sleeping on friends’ couches, park benches (illegally), in a rental car, and other odd places. He spent a lot of time by himself.
He met many people who were living a very minimalist lifestyle. What he noticed about them was that they were happy!
He spent a month in utter simplicity. He found that all he needed was healthy food, a place to sleep, a place to exercise, and good coffee.
His walkabout was a true moment of clarity!
My Walkabout 35 Years Ago
In 1980, I was working for IBM…and was very unhappy. I decided to take my own walkabout! I had two weeks vacation and asked for 12 more weeks off without pay.
The reaction from management was, “You want what?”
My request was turned down.
My boss did some research and discovered he could give me two weeks off without pay without needing to get approval from upper-level management.
He granted my request, and I spent four weeks hiking through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. The last excursion of the trip was to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camp.
It took two weeks into the trip to wind down and relax. By the third week, I did not know what day of the week it was and didn’t care. I spent most of the month by myself. I met a lot of fascinating people.
When I got back, I was a changed person: I now saw life through a different, relaxed lens. Like Bill, I realized I needed very little to make me happy.
One week after my return, I met my lovely wife. Hmm…I’m sure this was no coincidence!
I considered selling all of my worldly possessions and joining the Peace Corps.
Did I? NO!
I went back to work, got married, had a child…but I did know myself a whole lot better. I still believe I missed a valuable opportunity. I had my moment of clarity but I let it pass!
Bill and His Walkabout
Before Bill’s trip, I sent him a link to an article in the Huffington Post about Tim and Lynne Martin called, “How We Downsized 2,000 Sq. Ft. Into Two Rolling Duffles To See The World.” Tim and Lynne sold all of their possessions and traveled the world. They chronicled their adventures on their Home Free Adventures website.
Bill has since returned home and is interviewing for a new job, however, with a very different perspective on life. He is thinking of selling his big house, disposing of many material possessions, and following a similar path of Tim and Lynne Martin.
Bill has a level of contentment and peace that he has rarely experienced in his life. His walkabout experience was truly life changing—but now what?
Bill is giving himself two years to prepare AND two years to negotiate with his spouse on what is next.
Have you taken a walkabout? If you did, what did you learn? What did you change?Marc Miller
Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons above.
Do You Need Help With ...