Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Man Doesn’t Like Working, Is Well, Has Swagger

There’s something fairly epic about the life of Benedict, aka Ultra Romance, a tattooed, muscle-bound, bushy-beard-wearing, bike-touring, not-so-fond-of-working, foraged-food-eating, $10-a-day-living nomad. A recent article in Business Insider called attention to his adventures and I think you’ll be glad they did. While his lifestyle might not be for everyone, it is testimony that life can be as much a choice as a prescription.

ultraromance-beach

Since leaving college 15 years ago, the 35 year-old hasn’t spent more than six months in any one locale. He splits his year working and relaxing. Six months are spent as a commercial or charter fisherman. The other six are spent going where he pleases aboard his touring bike (he seems to be a big fan of Grant Petersen’s Rivendell Bicycle Works). He definitely falls into the “work to live” category, seeing it as a means to support his ultralight, adventure-and-relaxation packed lifestyle. He told Business Insider, “We have this preconceived notion of what success is in the modern world…[but] I’m not ashamed that I don’t like to work. It’s just very unnatural.” He says that in hunter-gatherer days, people worked a fraction of the hours they do today (BI pegs it at around 47 hours a week), and that most of their time was devoted to leisure.

ultraromance-forage

He says that he has his expenses down to a mere $10 a day. This is supported by the fact that he spends most every night camping out, claiming that he spent only 15 nights indoors in the last year. In terms of food, he supplements his simple diet with a healthy dose of foraged greens and berries. When he’s near the coast he eats seaweed and crabs.

It’s easy to dismiss someone like Benedict as an outlying kook–someone whose extreme lifestyle can only work in the most particular circumstances (i.e. single, healthy, male). But this dismissal would miss an important point. The fact is there are people choosing their lives all around us–they are single women, families of five, older folks and many other situations. What they all have in common is that they have chosen to have less overhead, requiring less money and work in order to support a life of richer experiences, deeper relationships and more leisure.

Read more about Benedict in Business Insider and check out his amazing Instagram feed.

HT to Tim F

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    His life sounds adventurous, his notion of success is off the mark. Success has never been about the modern world’s preconceived notion, nor about tuning out, it’s about Darwin’s definition of success. The human race would go extinct if we chose his path. Life was never supposed to be about efficiency and $10 a day living. Most things that truly reward the soul and lead to a successful legacy are about service and they aren’t efficient at all. Children are the afterlife. Good luck to him as he leaves the gene pool.

  • Karen Schindel Johnson

    You’re right, it isn’t just young and singles. We’ve got a huge family by today’s standards and we do slow, long-term travel and work half the time. Serving more. Enjoying life more.

  • Cynthia J Hoffman

    I love the idea of doing this…for a bit. Then I think about him tossing head over heels on some bike path and ending up with a broken leg and collarbone, unable to work for any period of time. How does he plan for life as a responsible adult? Does he then leave the rest of us to work for his care?