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Giving it all up for a simpler life
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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Nov 5, 2012
Lamb's Slide
I have a friend who decided to live that simple and good life: by that I mean he quit his job and now spends almost all of his time traveling around North America in a tricked out van, with his climbing partner wife, visiting all the various wonderful climbing areas that our continent has to offer.

How does he finance this lifestyle? With some good planning and a lot of hard work and discipline, he first built up a nest egg by putting his time in with corporate America. He managed to save enough to retire early with just enough of an investment income to support a modest lifestyle (gas, food, insurance, and a small home in the Front Range). Thanks to a successful career, my friend has the option of taking a (temporary) consulting gig if he needs a bit of additional income, e.g. to finance an occasional climbing expedition abroad.

What I find interesting is how many of his climbing friends express their envy and wish they could live like that -- but few (none?) are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed to make it happen...

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By clay meier
Nov 5, 2012
Thats Me
Do what makes you happy. If making money, being secure, heat, and a pension make you happy do that. If campfires, dirt, dogs, sacrifice, beauty, and adventure make you happy do that. If a combo makes you happy do that.
I live in a small mountain town, climb a few times a week, make $12 an hour and ski almost every day. That makes me happy and thats what Im doing.

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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Nov 5, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Ka...
Its called Retirement.... save your $$$$$$$$$$$$

I know a old famous climber who retired when he was 46.... saved his $$

Another friend, 52 ... retired last year, from FIREDEPT.

Another... 56 retired last year, sold his business.

Me.... I climbed for 10 years when I was young.

Now paying dues, but I have a PHD in crack climbing to show for it.

You can have nothing and still have complications in your life.

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By Eric Coffman
Nov 5, 2012
mountainlion
Rocky Mtn Ted the world is just as real over here as it is back in the U.S. or didn't you understand my post--with the work that is done here for simple things back in the U.S.

As for not being able to hack it back home---I may not have been as financially successful as I would have liked but who is--you?

I chose to move because I wanted to meet my wife's family and I was always jealous of the climbers/campers I met who had been someplace remote and cool. I killed two birds with one stone and now live in a tropical paradise (that does have it's drawbacks). I'm growing some of my own food and starting a small business here in between my climbing.

Climbing has been the #1 priority for my life for quite awhile now--that has pros and cons believe me.

As for you continue to slave away your youthful years in exchange for that golden retirement paradise that may never come. I have had more adventures if I stopped now than you'll ever have cubicle boy.

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By alix morris
From Berkeley, CA
Nov 5, 2012
The Red Dihedral, Incredible Hulk
I like the different perspectives from some of these posts, gained some insight. I'm going to graduate college next fall, and I have been debating this question all semester. Follow my heart and pursue a simple life in climbing or get a job and join the "real" world...

Definitely going to do the first for a while, at least, but then I asked myself if I was going to be happy and fulfilled not contributing to society or something above myself, and I'm not so sure that a climbing life allows me to do that.

For those of you who chose a simpler life, what are you doing to make a positive impact on the world/society (serious question)? Or if you chose to completely withdraw, are you happy with that and why did you choose this path?

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By Eric Krantz
From Black Hills
Nov 6, 2012
smoke break, pitch 5 or 6 (or 7??) of Dark Shadows
alixandra lee wrote:
For those of you who chose a simpler life, what are you doing to make a positive impact on the world/society (serious question)?


For those who didn't choose a simpler life, what are you doing to make a positive impact on the world?

The Jan Conn writeup in the recent Black Hills Faces magazine (Fall 2012) examines exactly these questions. blackhillsfaces.com/

Great write up. Seems that Jan and Herb were the epitome of dropping out of society, having endless fun, exploring throughout their long lives, and becoming legends while doing it.

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By Tradoholic
Nov 6, 2012
It's pretty easy to make a positive impact on the world, just be nice to people who deserve it.

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By alix morris
From Berkeley, CA
Nov 6, 2012
The Red Dihedral, Incredible Hulk
Red Tagger wrote:
It's pretty easy to make a positive impact on the world, just be nice to people who deserve it.


Yeah, I mean, that's what I was using to justify switching over, but for me, that's something a person should be doing all the time no matter what lifestyle you choose to live so I personally don't think that treating people with respect and kindness is something that can be seen as making a positive impact on the world because it's already one of my core values in life.

To me, making a positive impact, is finding engineering solutions that can benefit developing countries abroad (i.e. clean water filtration systems) or creating a non-profit with a focus of your choice, or being a professor and inspiring people to pursue a higher education, nurse, etc.

I guess your "impact" is subjective.

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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Nov 6, 2012
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, h...
Alixandra - That is a great question.

I spent 3 years after college living "simply" and without much responsibility. During that time I had a ton of adventures and got to see a lot of the world. I also taught English in Cambodia and worked with adjudicated youth in a "hoods in the woods" program. Both of those things made me feel like I was giving back, but they also allowed me the freedom to go on huge adventures.

You will have plenty of time to become a productive member of society. There is nothing wrong with taking a couple of years to go big. I believe that I am now a better member of society, might be a better father one day, and am a better friend and husband because I took those couple of years to do my own thing. I will never, ever regret those three years of my life. They mean a lot to me.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Nov 6, 2012
...
Life itself is not simple.

But one can in FACT simplify their life, allowing them more time to CLIMB and play and it's really NOT that hard.



EDIDED:

"For those who didn't choose a simpler life, what are you doing to make a positive impact on the world?"


As if that means squat...

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By SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Nov 6, 2012
TOTALLY possible.

Did it for 10 years.

It's all about priorities and YOUR view of "quality of life".

If all you really care about is climbing and travelling...than you will do absolutely fine.

If you want anything else out of life (family, security, comfort, success....MONEY!), then this "simple life" you speak of is an Illusion.

I had an awesome decade. BUT, I am paying for it hardcore right now.
Most things in life are NOT simple. And the most important ones take a HELL OF ALOT of work.

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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Nov 6, 2012
rockerwaves
IMO: By following some of these simple guide lines...
IMO: By following some of these simple guide lines your life will become exponentially simpler.

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By Superclimber
Nov 6, 2012
The Hawaiians may be on to something.

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By Yep
Nov 6, 2012
How to live simply: don't buy shit.

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By caribouman1052
Nov 6, 2012
Don't want all the stuff they sell on TV. Buy good tools, once. Maintain them. I still climb with hexes I bought in the 80's, axes I bought in the 90's... Don't get into the trap of having to constantly upgrade everything. You need to establish some sort of cut off point, beyond which you buy nothing new, just replace what wears out.

I pay $30 a month for my cell phone plan. I have net service without TV ($50). I pay a lot less than many of my pals right there. I bake my own bread (50 cents a loaf), more because I like to than for savings, but I save roughly $8 a week right there. I bought my gym membership one year at a time, that was around $280. I never buy anything on a credit card. Ever.

But then, I grew up kind of like Bode Miller - wood heat, no TV, reading aloud from Lord of the Rings at night. Maybe I don't miss what I never had because my folks were (are) so involved in life, both artists, self-employed, and living their bohemian/artsy version of the back to the lander hippy movement of the early 70's.

I've never wanted to climb a corporate ladder, I made my own. I've always worked for small companies or myself, and I've been lucky in liking 98% of the crews I've worked with. My goal is to retire from building to owning an orchard.

The two girls who cut my hair into a mohawk and dyed it before sending my off on my big road trip said "The secret to happiness is in wanting what you have, not in getting what you want".

Perhaps this is sort of what you are thinking?

This all goes back to "the examined life".

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By EMT
Nov 7, 2012
me bouldering in MT
I started out with nothing... So living the dirtbag life was an upgrade for me.

I lived out of cars and climbed year round for 6 years. I made about 6-7k doing seasonal/construction work and did whatever the fuck i wanted. Had a few women who hoped on for the ride from time to time and it was a world of fun. Some things helped.. I had made great friends who expanded my views and understanding of what was possible, I'm really fucking smart and I am really good at suffering.

I made a transition to domesticated life and now am a working stiff who loves it. I've gone from nothing to upper middle class and climbing/the climbing lifestyle was a huge part of that! Without climbing I'd be dead.

Yes indeed, giving it all up for a simpler life is worth every penny you give up. Retire early and work/slave away your elder years. You need less than you think and you're tougher than you'll ever know.

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By Tradoholic
Nov 7, 2012
not climbin' much anymore wrote:
How to live simply: don't buy shit.


This sums it up nicely. I can't count how many people I've met who are always bitching about not having enough money but are constantly buying crap they don't need. I don't buy anything unless I'm sure it will enhance my life.

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By Dana Marie
From Cold Spring
Nov 7, 2012
Top of P2 Brass Balls - Spectrum Area Red Rocks NV...
I discovered climbing in my forties, and, like most people, it changed my life. I quit running a company in nyc, sold my apartment and moved upstate to be closer to the gunks. I was able to climb almost exclusively for four years.

It was incredibly liberating to have such freedom to explore my new found passion. Now, I live in a rental and commute into the city occasionally as a freelancer. I live on a lot less and in my free time I not only climb, but paint and do yoga. It is a much less secure but far happier environment. It is simpler.

Everyone's journey is different. I would suggest you look at what you really NEED. And I would look at the rest of the world...and see what 75 percent of the world survives on and compare that to your circumstances.

Like an earlier poster said...this is not a dress rehearsal. We are all going to die no matter what. The real question is how do you want to live!

Peace,
Dana



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By RockyMtnTed
Nov 7, 2012
caribouman1052 wrote:
I never buy anything on a credit card. Ever.


Oh sweet! I also love not having a good credit rating! Credit cards are fine if you arent a moron and dont charge more money than you have.

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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Nov 7, 2012
rockerwaves
THERE
IS
NO
SUCH
THING
AS
SECURITY
!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By handon broward
From Westminster, CO
Nov 7, 2012
Elk Range, CO
You guys have provided a ton of great insight and advice. I graduate in a week (finally) and have been trying to make a decision along these lines.

...on another note

Ben Dover...where you at now man?

sure we wont hear from you for another four years...again

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By Jason N.
From Grand Junction
Nov 7, 2012
Indy pass
RockyMtnTed wrote:
Oh sweet! I also love not having a good credit rating! Credit cards are fine if you arent a moron and dont charge more money than you have.


But they inevitably must drive up prices - you're adding a middle-man into what was once a two-party exchange. How else do you think they can offer all those rewards for using them? They are cutting into the bottom line for seller.

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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Nov 7, 2012
rockerwaves
Time is not on your side.
Time is not on your side.

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By Yep
Nov 7, 2012
Locker wrote:
"For those who didn't choose a simpler life, what are you doing to make a positive impact on the world?" As if that means squat...

Locker wrote:
As if that means squat...


Here, here...does anything really matter? A bit nihilistic, with some existential overtones, and maybe true (it is possible to argue that this world view is at least as valid as other views of our existence. I happen to believe it is truth, but this is somewhat tangential to the conversation).

When I was in my twenties, I spent the majority of my waking hours outside. I got burned out on the 'outdoors lifestyle'; there wasn't enough in that way of life for me.

I really like my job now. I work and I make a decent wage and I manage to get outside a lot.

After the fact, none of what we do really matters in my mind (we all die, the Universe will end, blah, blah, blah). The job is fun, I am still a halfway decent athlete, and I have a savings account for the first time in 30 years.

Works for me, and I wouldn't change a thing.

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By von dykes
Nov 7, 2012
Yep totally worth it! Life is between there mountains and the oceans.

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