I’m sure many people have had similar thoughts to my world changing idea. There are so many people on the planet; I can’t be the only one thinking it! This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and now is a good time to look into it. If not now, when?
First, some background:
I saw a quote on Pinterest a while ago, “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – Robin S. Sharma. I didn’t know that the quote was from someone ranked as one of the Top 5 Leadership Experts in the World until writing this post. I did know that the words and idea behind the cute pin stuck with me. As someone who grew up living in a very traditional/don’t ask questions/don’t think outside the box (bible) household, I really like the idea of letting all that go, and living a life that is full of variety, passion, and generally being awakened and open to living every day to the fullest.
I have mixed feelings about traditions. They can help pass down knowledge and stories and ways of life to next generations. The past is often looked at through rose-colored glasses. This can be good, but it can also be restrictive. That way of life might not be for everyone – in fact it 100% won’t be. And following anything blindly because you were told to leaves no room for inspiration, experiments, and creative advancements.
I’ve always been an empathetic, non-judgemental person. I’m no angel, but for sure a people person. I like to help when I can and sometimes even when I can’t; especially, for animals or those that can’t necessary defend or stand-up for themselves. The famous proverb “before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes” seems like basic sense to me. Unfortunately this is really lacking these days.
I’m not just talking about the guy with the weird hair, but all over the world things just aren’t adding up! People still can’t get married to those they love, people are stabbing and bombing each other, animals are being hunted until they don’t exist, insane environmental laws are being passed which will affect everyone, robots are taking over jobs, the rich are still getting richer and the middle class even poorer, the list goes on and on.
At the same time, we’re starting to see more pragmatic utopian architecture, gardens and farms on top of city rooftops, transportation of goods and people travelling at over 1000km/h, and driverless cars. Elon Musk and Richard Branson want to fly you anywhere in the world in under an hour, and at a reasonable rate! All of these changes should improve and support existing communities and ways of life, while enhancing our connection with each other and nature.
One of my favorite holiday movies is The Holiday, 2006. I like that two people are sick of their life status quo, switch places, and learn a lot about themselves along the way. Of course, it’s a movie so everyone finds their soul mate, and childhood traumas are healed. And they only traded places for two weeks! Obviously this is an idealist storyline, but I like the thought behind it.
So – my idea!
What if basic income was provided WORLD wide – to every single person? And what if a company like Airbnb introduced a new service for people wanting to travel, but more in depth – staying somewhere longer, more like for one year. What if people from all over the world lived in other people’s footsteps for a year, and then went on to another place, or back home?
Already, it’s common for people to travel for two weeks’ vacation or so at a time. I think living in a new environment for a full year would be an entirely different experience. We can all picture a person slinging wares on a tropical beach, but how much more could we know if we lived next door for a year? Our memories and thoughts of that location, wouldn’t be just the vacation glow (or miseries), but of countless experiences, interactions, and potentially profound changes within ourselves. There would be more time to discover the daily life of that place instead of cramming in all the tourist attractions and top list things to do, buy, and eat.
I believe that if I was to spend a full year living in a village in Iceland, and then on a ranch in Colorado, next a small hub along the seaside in France, I would grow as a person. But not only would I grow, I think that being in a place for a year would allow for a better insight on what it takes to live there. I think friendships would develop, new understandings of thing that before might have been unknown or scary, and people would share knowledge. Essentially, I think it would change the world.
One of my favorite humans has a foundation where he rescues animals and protects the planet from our stupid ways by engaging others and changing policies and laws. His philosophy is that you protect what you love. And I think that if we travelled and actually fell in love with all the different communities and ways of living out there, that we would change a lot of our status quo ways to protect the world and each other.
People move abroad for a year or so before “settling down” or going to University. People move to different countries for a few years on behalf of their corporate companies. I’m sure the benefits of doing this are countless, and this is along the same idea. What I’d like to see is that opportunity provided to everyone, not just the wealthy. And to encourage seeking out how others live.
This doesn’t have to be a mandatory thing either. If you want to be born and live and die all in the same spot, or continue with two-week vacations, that’s great. I know certain governments and countries are looking at basic income, they know that people will continue to want to be doctors or inventors or teachers. I think that if a lot of what is being done either doesn’t have to be, or can be done by AI, why not enjoy our time here on earth? Why just be pushed out of work and onto the streets?
The world is only so big. We should be able to travel freely, experience all the different terrains, be able to live and work in any country, and share knowledge and skills. We should be willing to learn from each other. We should be able to respect each other’s differences. We should see first hand how actions in one place affect another. We’re all in this together.
How cool would it be to live in the desert, then have a jungle for a backyard, move again to the rugged terrain of the north, and see each of these landscapes through all the seasons?!
Where would you go in the world, to slip into a different lifestyle? An old ass castle in the UK? A villa in Australia? A mid-century in Palm Springs? How about a small fishing port in PEI? There are so many ways to live life, and I would love to try them all!