I Am Not a Blogger

Monday, October 28, 2013

So I’d heard a few people mention Afford Anything as a blog they like. I’d looked at it briefly a few months ago, but decided to take another look over the weekend.

It seems like a well organized site, with focused, well-written articles. Though it seems to me that it is not really a personal finance blog, it’s more of a “lifestyle design” blog. And, like most lifestyle design blogs, it is all Rah! Rah! Quit Your Job! Travel the World! Move to Thailand! Buy Rental Property! PASSIVE INCOME PASSIVE INCOME PASSIVE INCOME!


Which makes me cower in a corner and cover my head.

Please do not make me travel around the world and own rental property. Please.

I can’t even manage to fix my own house, much less take care of a house I don’t even live in. Every time I take time off to do things around the house I am SO GLAD when I’m done and I get to go back to sitting at my desk figuring things out on my computer. All these people who see rental property as the way to a fabulous future kill me. Man. Total torture.

Also the whole “outsource everything and do your job for four hours a week while travelling the world” is completely not appealing to me. For one, I am a control freak, and therefore find the concept of outsourcing problematic. Also I do not like to travel. With the possible exception of places that I have a prior relationship with (i.e., places I used to live, places I’ve visited often, or places I visited once and enjoyed) or where I have someone I really like a lot who lives there that I can stay with.

I know, weird. But whatever. That is me.

Here are some things in life that I like

1. sleeping in my own bed
2. walking around town and running into people I know
3. going to a restaurant that I’ve eaten at before and had a really good meal, and getting the same thing again. Because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
4. riding my bike for ten, twenty, thirty mile rides and knowing exactly where I am
5. sleeping in my own bed

Did I mention sleeping in my own bed?

Can I just have my nice peaceful life here in North Carolina? Is that okay? I will even pay extra to get my wisdom teeth removed by my friendly local oral surgeon up the street, instead of going to Thailand or Costa Rica for it. (This is especially useful if a week later you get dry socket, you can just go up the street and get that taken care of, and again six weeks later when you get an infection, you can also get that taken care of right in your own neighborhood.)

A lot of these blogs, when I read them, I wonder if these are real people. People who move to Thailand and write ebooks about location-independent lives and make a living off their blogs. Do people really do this?

Do they like it?

I read blogs like that and it makes me think that I’m just not cut out to be a blogger. Because all I have to write about is things like hanging my laundry and mowing the lawn.

And sleeping in my own bed.

Because that is my life.

There you have it.

11 Responses to “I Am Not a Blogger”

  1. damen van vliet Says:

    You are the best blogger ever. Don’t stop. Don’t change. Don’t be affected by web noise. You are one of my models of what humanity should look like, and you should write more.

  2. Liz Adams Says:

    I definitely love this post! because I often feel as if I’m doing something wrong with my (excellent, even if I say so myself) blogs since I don’t even try to earn $$ with them. They’re an ongoing artwork, says I.

    And I often feel as if I’m doing something wrong when I don’t like to travel at.all.at.all. Occasionally I like to go on a little trip to someplace I’ve been before, I know how to get there, where to stay, and where to eat, and that’s very nice.

    But all around me are people who lerv to travel (to me it’s tourism, but leave us not split hairs over this) and whose travel budget is probably several times the size of my annual income. But I really am okay NOT going places all the time. And people will even accuse a person of being AFRAID to travel. As if. Considering I crossed the planet alone as a young kid, more than once, and have crisscrossed the US, but all pretty much with some other object than simply moving about. No, not afraid, just don’t like it. You will get this, I know you will.

    Okay, now that I’ve written more than your entire post, I’ll go away, but thank you anyway!

  3. Marcia Says:

    Me too.

    I have a husband and two kids (7 and 1). I like my job. Well, I used to like my job. I don’t have the slightest desire to travel the world.

    I wouldn’t mind passive income, but I don’t want to own real estate to get it. I failed miserably on my first (and only) house purchase. Hey, it’s almost worth what we paid for it in 2004!!

  4. lessisenough Says:


    Yes, yes! I’ve been thinking about the “fear” thing lately. I feel like on the internet there’s a lot of talk about “fear” being the thing that holds you back. That there are all these things that someone might want to do, and would do, if he or she just wasn’t afraid.

    The thing is that I feel like there are all kinds of perfectly valid reasons that someone might not want to do something. But are you ever allowed to simply not like something, and not want to do it for that reason alone? Or are you always covering up your fear?

    Also I feel like there are plenty of things that people should be afraid of. For instance biking home at night through the neighborhood where there’s a gang war going on. Definitely I am afraid of being caught in the crossfire and hit by a bullet meant for someone else. But is that a bad thing? It doesn’t seem like it.

    So yeah. Fear.

    I am not afraid to travel. I just don’t see the appeal. (Though at one point, I decided that I should try to travel with someone I actually like who likes to travel, it’s possible I’m just not doing it right. So I don’t know, maybe I’ll work on that.)

  5. Where to begin on this…You are indeed a blogger. The concept of blogging for money is a late arrival to the idea of sharing your thoughts and musings on the web in a format that outs the most recent offerings at the top of the page.

    Most people should not move out of their country. All they do is create a little expatriate America in the new place filled with people who probably wouldn’t be their friends back home.

    People who spend less than a month out of the country are tourists; that is, they move within a bubble that protects them from the disorientation of the encounter with another culture. Nothing wrong with that. Just not my definition of travel.

    I also believe that if you are not uncomfortable traveling– not all the time, but a good part of it– then you are doing it wrong. It is a head/heart/soul encounter with the totally unfamiliar. Of course! Out of one’s comfort zone! That is the point.

    I do understand why this is not for everybody. Not because they are afraid, but because we are, as humans, hard-wired for staying where we feel safe and where we understand the “rules” of behavior.

    What matters is knowing yourself. If you love sleeping in your own bed, then you are where you should be–where your Real Life really is. What bothers me about this “how to afford everything” idea is that it is still about imagining that somehow Stuff is what makes us happy.

  6. So I went over to Afford Anything. “Pay me to tell you how to live like I claim to be living.” Whatever.

  7. Jennifer Szescula Flanagan Says:

    You are a blogger – Thank God! Otherwise I’d only be reading about rental property and flying to Thailand. (kidding! maybe…)

    I checked out that site myself and I didn’t find anything too inspirational about it “Just do it…This could have been a catastrophe but I took the risk and now it’s a great thing…get over your fear already…etc etc.” I’ve read and followed people who talk about the 4 hour work week – one part makes sense – work smarter not longer. But while they are out not working, they are eating lunch or taking planes to faraway places…well, someones gotta fly those planes and serve them their coffee. And if we are all working a 4 hour week – well, hmmm…how are we all getting to Bali?

    I really loved traveling when I was younger and I’d like to do more so now but similarly to you – I do love my bed. And my space and my time. I’m focused more on making my every day something I love to do right where I am at within my current reality without taking on more than I can handle (rental property anyone?) Investments are relative. (Hello housing bubble! And yet people still say housing is an investment, it’s not. It’s a way to spend money and maybe make money if you do it right. Like a job. Or the lottery.) I invest my money in the little things that make my life more rich and fruitful – my favorite chocolate, a dance class, spending time with the people I love (which I couldn’t do if I was calling around to get the roof of my rental property fixed.)

    It’s about what is important to you and I think most people (myself included) have a difficult time figuring that out – it is easy to get caught up in the “stuff” train. I think the travel and passive income is just another form of that for some people and no one has realized it yet. For those who love it and it works for – all the best and hope it continues to support you and give you the life you want.

  8. Liz Adams Says:

    yes, yes!! and what I wonder about people wanting to work only four hours a week — gosh, they must hate their jobs. I’d rather work any number of hours at something I think is worth doing. In fact I have, which is why I am poor in my old age! in dollars, that is. Rich in friends and experience.

    But you can enjoy experience without throwing your body all over the planet and seeing the world through your camera…

    Passive income (and I do have a little rental property, in the family, with a family member as tenant, nice setup) is only useful if it enables you to do the work you think is worth your while. I’m an artist, exhibiting, selling about as often as a fine artist sells (not often) but I support myself in order to make art. Works for me!

  9. lessisenough Says:

    Yes, that’s the thing about “work” and the whole four-hour work week plan. It assumes that all jobs are pointless, people sitting in cubicles shuffling paper or selling widgets that nobody needs. I have the same problem with the whole deathbed “no one ever regretted not spending more time at the office” line. Yes, it’s true, people can spend too much time at work and miss out on all kinds of important things in life. But I also feel like people use that as an excuse to do a crappy job. And it makes me wonder exactly who you want working less or caring less about their job — The person who teaches your children? Who takes your blood donation at the blood bank? Who fixes your car? Who cleans your hotel room?

    Every job that someone is willing to pay someone else to do is important. If you think your job is so pointless that no one should be doing it, then find a different job. There are all kinds of them out there, it seems like there’s bound to be one you might like. (Like for instance buying, fixing up, and managing rental property. Some people seem to like doing that for a living.)

    And yes, I do feel like the “generate passive income and travel to exotic lands” thing has become its own status object. With a key part of it being to make sure that everyone knows how many countries you’ve been to and how successful you are. Which is totally fine, but seems like you shouldn’t pretend you’re above gathering “stuff” and therefore not status oriented with this lifestyle you’re living.

  10. Jennifer Szescula Flanagan Says:

    Oo… I don’t know how I missed this response (still getting used to this whole blogging/commenting thing I guess). You’ve nailed it exactly with your last two lines: “With a key part of it being to make sure that everyone knows how many countries you’ve been to and how successful you are. Which is totally fine, but seems like you shouldn’t pretend you’re above gathering “stuff” and therefore not status oriented with this lifestyle you’re living.” The whole judgement thing is what is so grating about it – that’s what makes it feel so fake most times (it’s just swapping one “bunch of stuff” for another “bunch of stuff.”)

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