nearly a year ago, I shared with you an article from the author and entrepreneur Gustavo Tanaka, in witch he talked about the changes we can currently watch in our world, the creation of new life styles and life choices that lead to higher life quality. He pointed out that one thing changing now, is: “The fall of exaggerated consumerism. For too long, we’ve been manipulated to consume as much as we possibly can. To buy every new product launched, the newest car, the latest iPhone, the top brands, lots of clothes, shoes, lots and lots and lots of pretty much anything we could get our hands on.
Low-consumerism, slow life and slow food are a few excerpts of actions being taken as we speak, pointing out by contradiction how absurdly we have come to organize ourselves. “Fewer people are using cars, fewer people are overspending, and more people are swapping clothes, buying used goods, sharing assets, cars, apartments, offices. We don’t need all of that they told us we needed. And this consciousness of new consumerism can take down any company living on the exaggerated end of it”.
Now, nearly one year later, I ran into this two articles that explain to us what it is that people are seeking these days, if they choose to leave their comfortable homes and carriers, to give a different life style and value system a chance for life!
This is an extract from the article “How Millennials Are Finding Purpose (and a Better Life) in Guatemala” by Jenn Miller:
Our adolescence didn’t play out across the backdrop of the Great Recession. Most of us could still, realistically, expect to get a job when we graduated from university. A perk not enjoyed by the Millennial crowd. So, what’s a young person to do? Stuck in the middle of an economic and social quagmire, with a job market that is less than booming for recent graduates, faced with the prospect of living in a childhood bedroom for an extra decade? This generation might be guilty of a lot of things, but settling for the status quo isn’t one of them. Digital natives, their lives flow fluidly between the analog and the digital in ways that those of us less than a decade beyond them often envy, if we’re being honest. They’re on the cutting edge of everything, or they could be, from politics to the religious revolution, to what it means to create community.
The Innocents Abroad:
Guatemala is a place near and dear to my heart. I spend rather a lot of time there. Winters, six months at a time. A month this spring, holding back rainy season with the force of my sunshiny attitude alone. I’m not above a two-week trip, but that would just be enough to make me homesick when I had to leave. Driving through is always an adventure; you should try it sometime. One of the things that has percolated into my consciousness over a years-long love affair with the country is the number of Millennials who are living there. The question is why?The Gap Year Crowd:
There’s the Gap Year crowd, blowing through with a checklist in hand, comparing notes over beers in my friend’s hostel of an evening. They’re fresh-faced. Their backpacks are clean. They’re wide-eyed and gushy about all of the wonderful places they’ve been and what they’ve seen. Many of them, for the first time, are realizing that there’s life beyond school, options beyond an office work environment, and ways of living other than the one they encountered growing up behind the white picket fences of middle America.
“For Millennials, growing up as the first generation of digital natives, jacked into the matrix since before they could walk, encountering the analog world, in places without ubiquitous connection, is an awakening.” It’s the discovery of another kind of community building and a tactile learning experience. These young people come to Guatemala to breathe in the color and exhale experience. They come seeking ceremonies, cacao, nahual, drum circles and kirtan; hell, sometimes just a rousing round of karaoke therapy among strangers who are friends. They come seeking truths that weren’t found in their textbooks and connection of a deeper sort.
The Longer-Term Travelers:
And then there are the longer-term travelers, the ones out “finding themselves” for a bit. Studying as they go, volunteering a bit, living on the cheap while they figure out where the road is leading. These tend to be the middle Millennials, late twenties to thirtyish. Maybe they worked a while in the real world and became disillusioned. Maybe their advanced degree landed them nothing more than a barista job and they began to wonder, “Is this all there is?” These are young people with ambition and energy who want lives that will truly matter. They’re the ones who took a look at the treadmill of the office world and couldn’t quite make themselves fall in line.
The ways they support themselves are fascinatingly diverse. They trade hours for lodging in hostels and hotels. They play music. They teach lessons. They work online. They save furiously to earn their freedom and then they turn up in the highlands of Guatemala, bringing all of the bright energy of youth and their creativity to bear on building something beautiful, serving in ways that matter to them, and making it last as long as they can.
These are young people who are living up to the Millennial reputation for insisting on work-life balance and on work that is satisfying to the soul as well as the pocketbook. Does this make them lazy? Is opting out of the traditional route, and living barefoot in a highland village on ten bucks a day instead a red flag for lack of ambition? No. I’d argue the choice has more to do with idealism, and a passion for making a difference, and using their talents (creative and otherwise) to their best end, and nothing at all to do with laziness.This is an extract from the article “I left corporate life behind, to live in a camper van” by Vanessa Runs:
That first year in the RV was like a vacation. Both of us overworked and under-stimulated, we drove from San Diego to Alaska, across Canada, then back down the East coast. And for the next two years, we did our favorite parts all over again. We own two bowls, two spoons and two forks. We wash our dishes with creek water. My husband goes fishing for our breakfast. I walk a lot. I seek solitude like a junkie seeks crack. I sleep extravagantly.
The miles have been kind to me. I’ve known hummingbirds as friends, holding their tiny pulsing bodies in the palm of my hand. I often waste an entire day reading. I can sneak up on a squirrel. I live and write offline. The sunsets slip by one after the other, and I am sentenced to watch them quietly, without reaching for a selfie. I tuck these moments away in my heart where they fester into a messy sort of love. I have learned that I don’t need to possess things in order to love them. I have learned that most people are not like me. I have learned that many people are exactly like me. I have learned that security is a myth.
I have faith not so much in the positive outcome of things, but more strongly in my own ability to endure everything. There will always be times of trouble and I will always survive them. I am good at making jokes in the dark places. I am good at suffering. I am good at loss. Today I went to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico. Seven hundred years ago, Mogollon natives inhabited these caves. I walked where they walked. I saw where they ate and drank and slept. I looked out of their windows and saw the same views they would have seen.
I’ll probably never have a 401K, but I have some trout from the stream and there’s enough to share with you, too, should you drop by. I have fresh water from the mountain and an extra mug of coffee. I have a little bit of bread, some wine in my mason jar, and a messy sort of love for you.
And everything is going to be okay.
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