Am I Arrogant For Pursuing A Different Path?

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 03/28/10 •  7 min read

Well it has been a very busy March for me, but you wouldn’t know it based on the fact it has been nearly two weeks since you have seen anything from me on Location 180!  This past week I was back down south in Krabi to spend time with my sister Courtney and her boyfriend Poul, and internet there was a bit lacking to say the least.

I did however get a chance to shoot a quick video, that sadly was cut off half way through, but I figured I would post it anyway to give you a bit of an idea of what my week was like.  If you are reading this in a reader and can’t see the video, please click on the show original item link.

It isn’t very often that I receive a negative comment here at Location 180, but after one of my last posts, I got one.  In some ways I’m surprised I haven’t seen more like this during the time I’ve been writing, but I felt like the thoughts were worth mentioning.

A reader essentially suggested that I was a bit arrogant for saying some of the things I said in the post.

Naïve perhaps, but arrogant? I don’t see that.  However, frankly, I think neither are the case.

His argument was that it is a bit unrealistic to suggest that it is easy to quit your job without significant consequences and perhaps someone who is a little farther down the line in life has far more concerns and obligations.  Things such as health insurance, a college fund for the kids, and a retirement fund for themselves.

While I think those are all valid things, I don’t think it is arrogant of myself to conclude that there is a better way.  Those are all things that go a long with the traditional thought of how life should play out.  While I do believe there is validity in each of the points he mentioned, and frankly, even in my current state, I’m preparing for some of those later-on-in-life events, you can’t hold it against me that I figured out another way of doing things early on in my life; or at least decided to make an attempt to do things another way.

David Walsh, made an excellent point in the comments where he related the idea to smoking.

“If I smoke for 20 years and realize it’s given me lung cancer, it doesn’t mean the 14-year-old that knows better than to smoke isn’t right. We are who we are when we learn what we learn – and we adapt accordingly.”

I feel very lucky to have realized after 2 years of working a “desk job” that it wasn’t for me.  Sure there are people out there that love that.  Is this site aimed at them? No, not really.

The entire purpose of this site is to promote change for the better. Whether that be a job, a living situation or whatever, I’m using my personal story as evidence that it can be done.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy. I’ve sacrificed a hell of a lot to get where I am now.  Material possessions (including my beloved car) have been sold off, I left a job that many would kill for, I have put many friendships and relationships on hold because I believe in something better for me.  If you are happy, and I mean truly, honestly happy in your life, then most of the things I’m talking about won’t appeal to you much.  I want to help people who feel stuck or paralyzed by the fear of uncertainty, get unstuck.

Yes, Kevin, making dramatic changes in your life sound as though it would be far more difficult than the changes I had to make.  But you just have to decide how important it is, and as you have more obligations, you will have to sacrifice more to make those changes.

Sure health insurance is important, even now I have basic coverage.  There isn’t much getting around that one, although perhaps that will change with the new health care plan.

A kids college fund is important as well, but let me tell you something, as much as I appreciate wanting to fund your kids education, they will appreciate it a hell of a lot more if they have to work for it themselves.  Not to mention the fact that if you are smart, during their high school you will make them apply for every scholarship they can.  I know people who had their entire educations paid for just because they were willing to write a bunch of essays in 9th grade when no one else was thinking about it.

Retirement, I hate that word.  Again, maybe this is naïve, but I’d rather be working towards living my ideal lifestyle now than saving up for the age of 65 to go hit the links everyday and take my annual 3 week cruise.  I’d rather do those things now, and if you have the initiative, it’s entirely possible.  By continuing to build my current businesses now, I’ll have made more than enough money to support myself in my old age, while living a lifestyle that most people only dream about.

I'd say some sacrifices have been worth it...

I’d say some sacrifices have been worth it…

The point here is that it doesn’t have to be a dream.  Yes sacrifices have to be made, for some bigger ones than others, but it’s possible for everyone.  It’s all about priorities.

Most are so wrapped up in the idea of comfort,that they can’t break out of that zone.  They focus too much on the potential problems rather than taking life into their own hands and making it happen.

Forget comfort.

I’m writing this from a sleeper train on my way down to the paradise that is Railay Beach.  In a few years, I’ll fly, but sacrifices have to be made.  Sacrifice I have, and will continue to do, in order to achieve my end goal of living my life to the fullest, while building a successful business in the process.

I’m on my way.  Are you?  If you aren’t and want to be, let’s talk.

Kevin, I don’t need separate posts to tell you my 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 whatever year plan.  Because with the exception of the potential for kids and a family amongst a few other things, the goal is the same:

Build a business that support will myself, while enabling the freedom of time;  the time to do whatever I want-whenever I want.

Doesn’t matter whether I’m 27 or 67, if I’m successful at what I’ve set out to do, the adventure won’t stop until I want it to.  I want to settle down because it’s what I want to do, not because it’s what other people want or expect me to do.

The other night I was talking to someone about what my worst case scenario is.  What if the businesses don’t work, the blog dies, and I run out of money?  Well…then I spent a year having the time of my life in Southeast Asia, and then I’ve got to regroup and try something else.  Doesn’t sound like such a terrible thing to me.  Not to mention the fact, I don’t see that happening.  Between all I’ve learned and all the people I’ve met, there will always be opportunity.  And that goes for anyone who is looking for it.

Opportunity is everywhere, you just have to willing to act when it knocks.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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37 comments on "Am I Arrogant For Pursuing A Different Path?"

  1. Gary Arndt says:

    Who cares what other people think. Give up the opinions of others is more liberating than giving up your stuff.

  2. Lisa Baldwin says:

    Love. This. Post.

    I think there are two reasons to not live a life of adventure – either you don’t want to (which I believe is absolutely fine, by the way) or you don’t know that you can.

    A 20-year plan will not protect you from your own mortality.

    Rock on, Sean.

  3. I think it does take a bit of arrogance to achieve building a life revolving around your own desires. I also don’t think arrogance is necessarily a bad thing – it’s a great motivator to seeing creative options. 🙂

    So many of the the blocks that people put up for excuses as to why they can’t have their life their way – are that.. just blocks. And usually just logistical ones. If one has a touch of arrogance, it’s much easier to place your happiness as a priority, which allows you to see around the blocks.

    We get asked about our 5, 10, etc. plan too.. and our answer is pretty much in line with yours. To be living our lives on our terms, whatever those may be then. Not living our life to some plan set out long before we could even imagine what our lives might be like.

  4. teevee says:

    I have come to learn that everything I do is arrogant to on the outside looking in that just don’t know me. They can’t understand why and how anything I do is possible.

    Little by little many have changed their perception. Keep being “arrogant” 🙂

  5. Arrogance is when you think you have ‘the truth’ you clearly believe (rightly, I suspect!) that you have found YOUR truth, and that if you share it, may well find it’s pretty close to theirs, too! You ain’t arrogant at all ;o)

    I’ll be 63 in May, and I’m totally with you on the retirement thing – retirement is an admission that you’re dead, just haven’t fallen over yet – it’s not possible to retire from life, and why waste it just existing?!

    What made human beings so dominant was our adaptability, and the world keeps changing, so that is still our most important skill. I hope you continue to enjoy your eveolving life, and thank you for sharing.

  6. Dude, killer freaking video brother! I gotta get in some shape so we can go climbing on the next jaunt down to Railay! 🙂

  7. Methinee says:

    I like your blog Sean, me and my husband are in Seattle but we are moving to Bangkok Thailand this year. My husband discovered your blog researching about Thailand. I am a Thai originally from Bangkok but I live in the states for 6 years,me too I quit my job that I love to come to Seattle to be with my husband because that’s my pursuit of the dream.

    We agree with you that you need to try to enjoy your life now because no one knows what the future will bring. We belive you can have a life you love now and still plan for the future and for everyone no matter what they are doing the future aren’t certain, we don’t want to be just a pair of sheeple. Most of our friends and neighbors here in Seattle are very content collecting stuffs such as new cars, and flat screen tv but we are not satisfie with that. And because that we are young that’s why we need to live a full life.

    Also, since I am a Bangkok native, if you have any questions about your new home please don’t hesitate to ask me.

    PS. we are interested to know what neighborhood in Bkk you live in as we are going to be near the victory monument.


  8. Matt says:

    Sean, love this post and the video (despite getting cut off) was spectacular. I’d have to say that I am your target audience. Dislike my cubicle job, realize that there is so much more out there to inspire me to live my passions, but paralyzed by the fear of uncertainty to take a leap into the unknown. I love what Lisa said above: “A 20 year plan will not protect you from your own mortality”. I’ve really been questioning myself lately as I become more disenchanted and restless in my job. Do I want to sit in this cubicle for the rest of my life thinking about the what-if’s in life? What if I had taken the leap? What if I had quit my job and made a go to build a business around my passions? Or do I want to retire from a fabric lined cube and always wonder what life would be like had I taken some chances and calculated risks? I have no idea how much time I have left in this world. Why am I wasting it doing things that don’t inspire me and allow me to live my dreams?

    My dilemma is in finding a way to break through the blocks that are holding me back from living my dreams. And that is why I follow blogs such as your own, not only for inspiration but to glean the tools to make a bold move of my own. Keep up the great writing.

  9. Morgan says:


    Great post, and timely since I have just decided this past week to quit my corporate finance cubicle bound job that most people (like myself in the past) would die for. Q-day is only 30 days away. I DON’T have my own online business waiting for me on the other side either. What happens next is 100% uncertain. I am fine with that.

    The only thing I have planned is a 60 day trip across the Indonesian archipelago. Everything else will fall into place, if it doesn’t the worst case scenario is I end up back where I am now.

    There is no secret to finding the gumption to doing it. It is just a matter of finally deciding you are fed up and through, then realigning your desires – suddenly whatever was holding you back seems so inconsequential.

    What about my career? My house? Car? I don’t want them! So why wallow in agony trying to keep them?

  10. Sophia says: defines arrogance as “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.”

    I’ve found nothing you’ve ever written offensive. The only display of superiority is the knowledge you are sharing from what you’ve learned by following your dream lifestyle. Overbearing pride? Absolutely! You’ve done an excellent job showing us how one person goes about creating lifestyle indepedence. I’d be proud too. Now could you please invent a virtual reality tool to help me do the same?

  11. Awesome post, Sean!

    You just made an epiphany happen for me. I have been working on creating residual income and all along what I’ve really wanted was to build a business that is self-sustaining and profitable to the extent that it enables me to live my life the way I want, which will include all of the traditional things such as taking care of the family and giving to others. That is an awesome “aha!” moment for me. Thank you.

    As for retirement, what someone is really saying is I want to get to the point where I can finally quit working and live the rest of my life doing what I want. And if that’s what retirement is, why wait till you’re 65? or any other pre-determined age? I think what your commenter found arrogant was your declaration that you have retired at the young age of 20 something.

    @Matt “My dilemma is in finding a way to break through the blocks that are holding me back from living my dreams.”

    Just realize that “breaking through” is NOT the only option. You can also find ways to walk around, over or under them. And usually those are easier than breaking through.


  12. Pingback: Present Day Nomads
  13. Jenna says:

    While I am in pursue towards my dream career of becoming a special education teacher right now, grad school has definitely had a wear and tear on my life. I was starting to feel really restless and so tired of just constantly doing school stuff. Recently I have started to engage in two new things; having an “Today I am grateful for…” wall where I post something new that i grateful for everyday and I have made a commitment to do at least one fun thing a school week and not do any homework for one day on the weekends and its really helped me! I am so much happier. Today I went climbing in the canyon all day and it was awesome, challenging, fun and rewarding! Thanks for constantly reminding me what life is all about! You are truly one amazing person. I want to go back to Thailand to see you and go climbing again especially after seeing your photo!

  14. Karen says:

    Best. post. ever. Despite the shakey- Blair Witch effect that your video had.. 😉 It was gorgeous when it panned over the water and made up for it.

    His comment sounded fueled by jaded, bitter negativity. Your post sounds fearless, bold, optimistic, and driven. That’s the attitude I want to have about life, not his.

  15. Ash says:

    A) I am foaming at the mouth with jealousy from that video. Thanks for making me look like a rabid dog.

    B) Dream Zappers. Ahhhh.

    C) I get plenty of fun little negative comments popping up from time to time at TMF. I’ve noticed that sometimes people will react to one tiny little thing you’ve said, and completely take it out of context, never even having read the rest of your blog or thoughts or ideas that would counter their idea off the bat. Don’t take it personal. You’re a rockstar. And my hero. But only because you can climb way better than me. Maybe. 😉

  16. Legal Nomads says:

    It all comes back to perception, and to how you define your reality. Yes, of course it is irresponsible to suggest that you can walk out on any set obligations (family or monetary or otherwise) that you might have and travel the world – but that wasn’t what you were advocating. There is no conceit in the suggestion that anyone can make it work from abroad, just encouragement to those who are thinking of taking a similar step in their lives. Which, given by the overwhelmingly positive feedback that you received, is very much appreciated by your readers.

    But back to perception: if the people who are too deeply entrenched in their status quo were able to admit that what you’ve done is preferable, then it would necessarily devalue their choices in life. And most people do not want to do that. It takes a much stronger person to look at the paths that others have taken and say “I should have done that. Maybe I will” because it is always easier to justify whatever present you have built for yourself instead.

    More importantly, you’re the one going to sleep with a smile on your face. Nothing arrogant about that.

  17. Lilian says:

    Never tried climbing but will soon! Looks interesting and a little scary especially you point the camera to the ground below.

    You’re not arrogant just because you want to do things you want. If it’s something new, some might see that you are doing it wrong. Just as long as you are not hurting or robbing him, leave it.

  18. Wilson Usman says:

    Dude really I just can’t wait to be out there with you breaking all the rules of how some people (not to name anyone) think life should be. Get a job, insurance, nice car, nice house…blah blah blah. Not everyone wants that life.

    I just heard something super inspiring not to long ago. It was said to somebody my girlfriend love (jasmine star photographer). Her mentor said…”I would rather see you fail at something you want to do, than succeed at something you don’t” POWERFUL HA?

    I say to whoever is saying you are arrogant…you really need to find WHO YOU REALLY ARE. I mean it’s so cool that in this day in age we are able to make our dreams come true, back then it was achievable but not as it is today. Ask yourself really is that the life you dreamed of dude when you where a kid? Have a 9-5 job, sit a desk all day long, take calls from mad people, sell somebody something you don’t even like, etc.

    I will say it again QUIT YOUR JOB, LIVE YOUR LIFE. PERIOD. Thanks Sean you really inspiring man keep doing what you are doing, don’t worry about those blood sucking online vampires I just read a blog post on these type of people, not everyone will love you. But the ones that care will.

  19. Kevin says:

    I’m the author of the “negative comment” to which Sean is referring.

    Sean, this post was a well-written, thoughtful response to my comment. I didn’t mean for my comment to come across as critical of your values. I simply meant to offer a balanced, much-needed counterpoint that is usually starkly absent in the inevitable cheerleading and back-patting that accompanies your posts in the comments. I admire your positivity and unwavering youthful optimism, but there is likewise an undeniable wisdom that comes with age and a richer life experience. My “arrogance” comment reflected my perception that you broadly dismiss advice from more experienced elders, preferring instead to adhere to your own wide-eyed outlook on life. In that context, there’s a fine line between “optimism” and “arrogance.”

    I was a little disappointed that you didn’t attempt to delve into the possible reasons why someone like me might react negatively to your advice. Lots of people agree with everything you write, and eagerly type up positive responses in your comments section, from the comfort of their own cubicles. Why might that be? If they agree with you, then why haven’t they made the leap, too? There are many reasons why this might be.

    In my own case, the answer can be summed up in one word: “Fear.” Specifically, fear of not having enough money to provide shelter for myself and my wife. Fear of not being able to afford food. Fear of finding myself 65 years old, crippled by disability (and thus unable to work), and utterly dependent on meager handouts from the government for my survival. By sacrificing now, I am insuring my own independence in the future. Moreover, the belief that the fruits of my own labor and sacrifices will be taken by the government and used to support carefree, short-sighted playboys who “lived for the day” in their 20’s (not naming any names) can easily foster feelings of anger and resentment.

    In general, younger people tend to think in shorter time frames than older people. Young people often believe they are invincible or immortal, that their lives will never change unless they decide to effect specific changes. Thus, it is easier for young people to say, “I could be dead in 10 years, screw the future, I’m going to have fun now while I can enjoy it.” However, most 20-somethings are still alive 10 (or 20, or 50) years later, and there’s a financial reckoning to be answered. You may sincerely believe that you’re never going to want to retire, but isn’t it a little arrogant (there’s that word again) to think that you can know with absolute certainty how you’ll feel 40 years from now? What if you find yourself 60 years old, stricken with arthritis, but unable to afford to retire? Isn’t it possible you might regret the choices you made in life?

    You clearly don’t have that same fear that I do. You face the same obstacles and threats in your future, yet somehow you are able to ignore them and put them out of your mind. I cannot. The only way I can obtain peace mentally is to feel that I am doing everything I can to ensure a stable, happy future for myself.

    Finally, I wanted to touch on one more thing that struck me as counterproductive regarding your blog. A common criticism of Generation X and Y is that they are impatient, that they want everything now now now and are unwilling to work or sacrifice for it. Our parents didn’t start out in a 4-bedroom McMansion driving BMW’s. They sacrificed, made do, and lived within their means. Our generation, on the other hand, fueled by wreckless lending and a relentless onslaught of marketing, bought outsized homes, then borrowed to the hilt to fund the lifestyle we felt entitled to. Credit cards were maxxed out on iPods, cell phones, exotic vacations, designer clothing, and a thousand other things that would make our grandparents recoil in horror if they knew how much we were spending. That’s what got this country into the mess it’s currently in, and your blog is tacitly encouraging this type of irresponsible behaviour by proliferating the idea that it’s all about ME ME ME. If you’re not giggling with joy every morning on your way to work, then quit! Don’t worry about who will support you or where you’ll live, life is too short to fret over such trivialities.

    It’s one thing to feel entitled to certain luxurious trappings (travel, homes, whatever), but when one implies that those who don’t live their lives in such short windows are somehow stupid for saving up and living sensibly instead, well that crosses the line to being offensive, in my opinion.

    I know you didn’t mean to come across that way, but I wanted to try and explain why someone like me could have that sort of negative reaction to your comments. In advocating your own choices, you’re implicitly condemning the choices of those who have been told their whole lives that they’re doing the “smart” thing.

  20. Josh Sager says:

    Never mind the dream-stealers, Sean. Just keep moving forward and don’t look back.

    In January I gave myself six months to find my muse and start working on my untemplated life (Cody, do I owe you a royalty now? heh). I’m happy to say that as of 3/26 I have found that muse and am running full steam ahead towards it.

    It guys like you and your journeys that keep me inspired to do the same. Keep Going!

  21. Lis says:

    Hear, hear! Well said and that poor man has to decide to stop making excuses. He believes in another way of doing things or he wouldn’t be reading your blog.

  22. croz says:

    Hi Sean.

    Good on’ya Love your attitude. Pop over to Worry Free Island sometime. That is our philosophy on the island RELAX AND PROSPER.

    Looking forward to your updates

    Abundance to All


  23. Nailah says:

    We all have to live the life that makes us happy and that life is going to look completely different for everyone. I don’t think you’re arrogant for pursuing the life you want to live. And it would be equally ok if someone’s dream life was to work their way up the corporate ladder. We all have to find our own way. Blogs like this offer inspiration and a different outlook for those of us who would rather take the unbeaten path.

    Keep up the good work and don’t worry about the nay-sayers – that comes with the territory.

  24. Ross says:

    Dude’s right, in a sense, but that’s an attitude cemented in another reality. You do an excellent job of pointing this out.

    I love this quote. It’s also a bit arrogant:

    “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t” -quote from somewhere

    Get em’ bro. Can’t climb rocks @ your desk.

    1. Sean says:

      @Ross When I did an internship in college for a stock broker, he told me essentially the same thing about that job. The difference is, no matter what he will still be sitting at a desk, and I will be wherever I wish.

      @Kevin You win the prize for longest comment in Location 180 history! I just wanted to mention I sincerely appreciate it and your thoughts, and as soon as I have a bit more free time, I will write you a proper response, and see if I can touch on some of the things that I missed in the post. I really do enjoy getting different perspectives from various readers, because not only does it give everyone else another frame of reference, but it helps me to become more well rounded in my approach to writing. Thanks again, and talk soon!

  25. Sean, not a terrible situation at all if nothing works out in the end.

    The experiences are what I live for, so go on, have a ton of fun!

    Best, Sam

  26. Ryan says:


    Good stuff man. Glad to see you doing what you love.

    I think Kevin explained himself well when he mentioned his own fears as being the motivator for why he has accepted his lot in life and chosen not to make the changes necessary to improve it. The truth is we all have fears. Courage is not an absence of fear but a willingness to try in spite of that fear.

    I just want to say to Kevin…

    I’m married with three kids. I’ve had the mortgages, student loans, worried about retirement and all the rest. Sure, I’m afraid of living my life for today and not having enough for tomorrow. Sure, I’m afraid of my kids not getting every social or financial benefit I could give them if I had a better paying job or could afford to put them in a private school.

    I’ve started multiple businesses and watched most of them fail. I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad business decisions. I’ve embarrassed family and friends with things I’ve done or said.

    Of course, I’m afraid of those things, but I’m also afraid of snakes, airplane hijackings, malaria, and Republicans, but I still have to live my life and confront those things from time to time! I still fly on airplanes, touch snakes, travel and meet politicians. Life is full of things we fear but we can’t let them keep us hiding in our houses afraid to go outside.

    In spite of all the mistakes, business failures, concerns about family and friends etc., I wouldn’t change my life for one moment. I tried to play by rules society lays out and it didn’t work for me. 4 Years ago I made the decision to drop everything and be my own boss and live life on my terms. It cost me dearly. No security. No income. My family and friends thought I was nuts and told me. It was hard to endure, but worth the fight to survive. I’m now able to say that while things aren’t perfect I wouldn’t change it for a minute.

    I know to some people Sean’s advice to quit your job and do what you love sounds like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It doesn’t make any sense to people who play by the rules.. To me though, in reality, it’s just simply advice to face your fears. Too many people lack the courage to face their fears and push through them. Sean is simply showing the rest of us that’s it’s possible to do it.

    I’d encourage you Kevin to spend less time asking “what if” and ask yourself, “why not”?

    There’s an old biblical proverb that says, “perfect love casts out all fear”.

    If you are doing what you love to do, then fear can’t be a motivator in your decision making. It might be present when you step out but trust me… the first step takes the most courage. Every step after that is simply momentum.


    1. Sean says:

      @Kevin Ok let me see if I can write a proper response to your points. First off, I want to say that I do appreciate all of the thoughts from everyone that comments here. Especially those with more life experience than me. Don’t think that I ignore or devalue the thoughts of those whose opinions differ than mine, because I absolutely don’t.

      I understand how certain people could react negatively to the things that I am saying. However, I think those are the people that are very entrenched in a traditional life and aren’t looking, or willing to pursue a way out.

      The fear of uncertainty is paralyzing at any age. It took me a year and a half to go through with my jump, but at some point you have to just go for it. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone 20 years from now, so all I can do is pursue the things in life that excite me and not live life without regrets. You mentioned that I won’t know how I will feel in 40 years, and that maybe I will want to retire or will be sick and forced to stop working or whatever. Well the bottom line is, I am not out here slacking off. I am no different from any other entrepreneur in the world. I took a risk. I left my paycheck, because I believe in the long run I will be better off building businesses that coincide and fit with the lifestyle that I want to live. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. It is scary, but exciting and you work much harder when you HAVE to to survive. You also know that you are the direct beneficiary of all of your hard work.

      I also mentioned that when I “settle down” or “retire” or whatever words you want to use, I want it to be on MY terms. I want to do it because that is what I want to do, and inevitably at some point I will want to do this, or at least a variation of it. One thing that needs to be pointed out is that I’m not out here to blow all my money and then figure out whats next. I am out here to do the same thing that most are doing from their cubicles…I’m just willing to bet I’m having a lot more fun than they are.

      As to your point about our the older generation sacrificing saving and earning their BMWs, where as people in our generation are all about me me me and now now now. I think you are way off by saying I am encouraging this type of behavior. I have zero consumer debt, and in past posts, I talk about the how vital it is to reduce debt in order to pursue this lifestyle. I also am probably sacrificing more and working harder than most in order to obtain my BMW. I live in the most basic of accomodations, have very few material possessions and work at all hours of the day to ensure that one day I will get to live a more jet set lifestyle.

      I will agree with you about the point of it all being about me me me. I will be 25 next week. I am young. Right now it is all about me, and no one else. Not my family, friends or relationships. I told everyone in my life that I am close to that this is the time in my life where I need to be selfish. I have to pursue the things in life that are going to make me happy, because if I don’t do it now, I never will. I think that is an attitude everyone should have regardless of their age. There are way too many unhappy people out there due to the fact they never asked themselves what they really wanted out of life. They did what they were supposed to do. All I am advocating is that there is a different way. And it doesn’t take mounds of debt to do it. All it takes is a desire for a better life, an adventurous spirit and a strong work ethic. If you have those things, I will tell you right now. Be selfish. Make yourself happy, because no one else will do it for you.

      As a final thing to add, I am not condemning anyone or anyones choices. There are millions of people out there who made “smart” choices and are doing things in a more traditional way. If that is what makes you happy, then that is awesome! This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and this site isn’t aimed at the people who are happy doing it. However it sounds to me like you regret not doing something different. You look back and wish you had taken a different path when it was easier to do. If you really want to live a different kind of lifestyle, you still can. It will just take more sacrifice and uncertainty. Just don’t criticize me for advocating a different way, just because you were too afraid to take the leap yourself.

      Kevin, if you, or anyone who is reading this, is really serious about doing something different and taking a risk. Lets talk. There are ways to do it, you just have to have an open mind. I also have a manifesto in the works that details exactly how to overcome the fear of uncertainty. More on that in the near future…

      Also @Ryan Thanks man for you post. You made some excellent points in there that I completely agree with. “Instead of what if, ask why not?” Totally true. I would like to say that taking a risk doesnt have to be like jumping out of a plane without a chute. You just have to have a plan, sure there are a lot of things that will be uncertain, but thats where the hard work comes in, and frankly its the uncertainty that makes life worth living.

      Anyways, I would like to elaborate more, but I think Ive just surpassed the original word count of the post, and I need dinner.

      Thanks to everyone for this discussion, it is one of the best we have had here, and talks about something I think a lot of people are thinking about.

  27. Methinee says:

    OK, Living in Thailand is not a bad thing, we have one of the best hospital that you could imagine, tons of people go to Bangkok to get treatments that they can’t afford in thier own home country, and you might not hear this from the news as your government doesn’t want you to know there is a better life outside THE U.S.

    The cost of living in Thailand is inexpensive so that you could just enjoy your life from the simple basic things such as eating and drinking. Unlike in America, everytime anybody wants to eat good foods you have to go to WHOLEFOODS which we call it WHOLEPAYCHECK.

    Also, the Social security system that Americans dream about broken, we all know so well it won’t last any longer. I think you both need to consider the possibilities that living and working in THAILAND is not as risky and adventurous as you might think and living and working in America may not be as secure as you think, consider how many people in America have lost their jobs and pensions and medical insurance in the past few years. But whearas in Thailand the economic has been the same for so many years the cost of medical in Thailand is affordable but in Amrica is so expensive you are basiccally the slave of your job just for the medical insurance. And the medical insurance could be cut anytime by your boss so how secure is that?

    This is not just the debate whether or not Sean is doing something right, nor the war between the old VS the young people—it’s the world economic problem, I hope America will get it right soon so that most people in their 30’s now would still get their social security. Of course the baby boomers would like to talk about how great they are, and how much their parents have sacrified for this country but it’s just so irrelevant, the world has changed, time changes everything no matter you likt it or not and most importantly America is no longer in post WWII era anymore, so wake up.

  28. Dan says:

    Dudes and dudettes, in response to this controversy, I did what any blog-obsessed person would do. I called Sean and made a Podcast. We talk a little bit about our perspectives on future security and retirement issues. If this tag gets banged up, give me some HTML love Sean:

    Episode #23 of the LBP with Sean Ogle

  29. I posted a comment near the beginning, and perhaps Kevin didn’t read it, or chose to ignore that I agree with Sean @ the age of 63, with severe arthritis and mobility problems and no job! I am exactly what he fears, and far from it being awful, life brings me more joy each day, thanks to great people like Sean, who share their experiences online, and discuss the things that REALLy matter. Kevein, when you’re my age, it won’t be the wild things you did in your youth that you regret, or the lack of material things – it’ll be the things you were to afraid to go for.

  30. Nice post man, inspiring and well written.

    It seems to be a comment all of us get from time to time, especially those that are living lives that are not as traditional as others. Thats ok, from an outside point of few I can understand other peoples issues with it and excuses for why they can’t follow the same path.

    No one will be able to convince anyone that a certain path is better than another as we all create our own realities. Your reality is bold, mine is the same, but you are living it, it might go wrong but in the long run who cares.

  31. It doesn’t take loads of debt to live this lifestyle, it takes extreme thrifty living and hard work. I’ve been saving like a madman to make my travels happen, and it’s the absolute opposite of McMansions and BMWs.

    Sleeping in $4 a night hostels and traveling on overloaded buses with livestock is not a playboy lifestyle. Far from it.

    Not everyone is going to want to do this sort of thing, but the point is they can if they want to. When you have a wife and kids, you have more people to convince than when you’re young and single. But that doesn’t mean it’s some kind of pipe dream.

    What’s the worst that can happen? You fail? Is that REALLY so bad?

    “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: Is this the condition that I feared?” ~ SENECA

  32. Sarah says:

    Seriously great dialogue going on here. In response, I’ve written my own follow-up to the controversy on Location180 over at She’s in Love with the World. Check it out!

  33. Hi Sean, I thought you were let go from your job instead of you leaving your job? Just want to clarify as this may be a point of contention for your commenter?

    1. Sean says:

      @FS It was a bit of a grey area. If I had fought hard enough I could have found a way to stay…but it was so contrary to where my head was at that I never would have been able to do it.

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