What is your desired life standard?
“Why do you want that ?” is mine follow up question.
It is common that we desire pleasure and joy and we derive our blessings when we do. You like to feel good as well any other human being. Natural or not that is how we feel.
Is “natural” a way to say something that is widely spread among us?
I have an idea that might shake your current reality and standpoint.
We live in an incredible time of abundance due to high tech innovations and exploitation of enough natural resources to make our life easier. That boosts our comfort and raise our “standards”. But what do they mean?
What are the living standards for you?
Define Your Standard
We certainly have different ones. But some might be overlapping because of how natural they seem to appear to us. Or just their power is indispensable? All of us need to satisfy our basic human needs, and much more, after all, we no longer live in times where to be alive was a success by its own.
Brief research led me to explore the cost of living indexes in Numbeo.
[Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. Numbeo provides current and timely information on world living conditions including the cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime, and pollution.]
Putting together the least expensive city by cost of living in Rawalpindi in Pakistan and Basel in Switzerland. Here are the numbers. You would need around 1,677.88 Euro in Rawalpindi to maintain the same standard of life like in Basel. Or even to move there by your own, assuming you rent a place as well. Local purchasing power in Rawalpindi is 70,29% lower than Basel.
So what does that even mean?
Okay, fine you can buy more things because you have more extra money left after you pay your bills in Basel than in Rawalpindi.
But is buying more stuff and leaving with that much money so fine as it looks?
Geographical Arbitrage a.k.a. Geoarbitrage is a new term. Fundamentally it means to profit from the west and spend it in the East. In general, that is how the cost of living could be summarized, the west is more expensive than the east. Due to many online jobs, people tend to rethink their permanent address. And it is a topic that has already been hot. However, it is still realistic, no matter the lack of fuzz around it.
Finding a job online is possible, qualifications are not needed, skills are. If you can do something where is your portfolio? That is how the world of freelancers operate from my sole observations. It is work on projects not on hours. However, they pay you hourly you need more projects or longer ones to pay you.
At first glance, it seems a lot of chill and pleasure. But frankly, lots of people do burn out from that kind of life. Well, traveling is still better, at this point in my life, than simply freelancing from home. Whatever floats your boat. Balance is needed though.
What Does it Really Matters?
Standard of living much related with ego. The higher your standards are the higher your ego, not always the reverse is true though.
But who defines what standards you should adopt?
The usual suspect – social programming.
As soon as you decide to break out of the 9-5 system people would start questioning your decision. What better than a beautiful story from your friends how dangerous you should get and what should be done from you? As if they are worried you are going to go homeless. That is empathically to its extension, but also implies lack of confidence. And culture emphasizes the effect on those stories. As long as you keep on hearing them from your family, friends, institutions, etc. you are going to believe them. Until you face reality.
The more real you get the more unreal the world gets.
What is commonly spread to be understood is that your living standards and standards of living mean your purchasing power. Here I need to disagree with those who believe in that. It is not obligatory to have cash or landed money to buy stuff just to feel alright and even to live.
My favorite counter-argument is “But you can’t live like that forever”. Yes, I can. Sit and watch, have a minute, relax.
Security is very overrated for me. The insurance business is making money off people’s fear of death, even micro accidents. Yes, it is true I make insurance for snowboarding as well. But if you think about it, there is not much for riding off-piste(freeriding). So only beginners would need one to feel safe on the slopes.
Another example is while driving. Imagine you had a few glasses of champagne because it is NYE after all. But nobody would pay you a dime if something happens, unfortunately. The airbag won’t blow up without wearing a belt.
Security is just obsolete for things outside your locus of control.
In a Nutshell
Create your reality. Create your lifestyle. Life is flexible, there is no schedule. But if you don’t have one it might be helpful to count your days. Create some urgency.
So what does bring you the most joy in life? What your survival depends from? What is the minimum stuff you need to feel alright? Can you lower them? Can you replace stuff with more ecological/natural/resourceful tools, etc.?
How would that influence your life? Do you commute in a car or a bicycle?
It is a matter of preferences of course, but don’t choose a car just because everybody gets one when getting a fat paycheck.
Be aware of status symbols. Most of the times they are just luxury goods.
I love to go around and see how things work for me as I experience them directly. Traveling now is giving me so much perspective. I changed most of my inventory and belongings that I travel with and that I possess at all. Now I need more portable stuff than big objects that take too much space.
What would that be for you?