RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

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Lemur
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Lemur »

Right. Glycemic Load is probably more important though. Also, with diabetics they have to avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates in general due to pancreatic dysfunctions and overall body insulin resistance but if one is of healthy weight and active they would be insulin sensitive enough (able to uptake glucose) without problems so glycemic index is not all that important. Fruits are good for you 👌

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Yep. Type II diabetes (“adult-onset”) is caused by years of hammering the pancreas with high GI foods. Eventually the poor little fucker quits. [edit: that’s wrong. They don’t really know / seem not to completely agree what causes it.] At least that’s my basic understanding, picked up as a kid whose dad was diagnosed when I was 8 or so. And he now manages his diabetes almost entirely with diet, meaning, very very low carb diet (<30g/day). Type 1 diabetes is a different beast, but involves dysfunctional insulin production.

Nice update. I dig the book review, I’ll have to check that out as upping my cooking game is on my radar.

classical_Liberal
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

I really like how your brain is thinking of hustles that may keep you happy and make some money. As long as you don't ruin something you love to make money at it, this is great! I wish I had that talent. Just make sure you follow through to figure out the viability of your schemes.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Thanks. My dynamic with one of my close friends is that I come up with crazy ideas, and he either shoots them down or refines them based on viability. The translation gig seems like a realistic idea so far.

Any general semi-ERE tips?

ThriftyRob
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ThriftyRob »

Your language skills look a great option for you to build an income stream working independently. I've looked at using iTalki and it strikes me that its advantage is that you can take students from anywhere in the world provided your time availability matches. You can build up your client base while still doing the hardware store gig.

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

My BIL does online tech doc translation... German and Spanish mostly iirc. For what it’s worth, he’s indicated no perceptible change in volume/availability of work through this year, although there are normal season fluctuations of work volume.

Seems like a pretty ideal semiERE approach, assuming “breaking in” is reasonably doable. He accepts jobs whenever he wants, takes vacation whenever he wants, etc.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Language side hustles update:

I've started making a profile at ProZ.com. I need to find an area of expertise to focus on, which may be difficult as I've never had an actual career. My language skills are pretty damn good, and I have general skills outside of this, but none of my other skills are as sharply honed. I could probably do anthropology or social sciences, or maaaybe medical documents, though that sounds more challenging.

The website ranks you higher if you pay for a membership. I suspect this will be worth it but haven't done the math.

I'm almost done setting up iTalki; I just need a better video.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Does anyone on the forum have experience with WWOOF, Workaway, HelpX, etc? I am thinking this could be a good way to learn some Renaissance skills, but have only used Workaway once and the experience wasn't the greatest.

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Check out JenAR's journal (Renewed motivation to push for FI) if you haven't, helpx came up in the last couple pages.

--//--

Here's the rant I came up with yesterday while out for a rip. You've got plenty of folks in your life who are giving you reasonable advice; allow me to inject some unreasonable advice. Also: I know you're already thinking in this direction, which is why I was thinking of it, hope none of this comes off as patronizing/patriarchal/whatever. Here goes.

I think you should become a dirtbag.

Now is a crappy time to go to school, especially as an extrovert. It’s also a crappy time to start building a career or getting some bs FT job.

Now is a great time to spend almost no money, be outside, travel (c19 smart), try different random things, and explore side hustles and weird ideas that may or may not work out.

Dirtbaggery = semiERE with a purpose. It’s extreme frugality and lifestyle modification in the service of dedication to some higher aim, purpose, or activity.

Many people talk about not knowing what to do with themselves when they FI/RE. Dirtbaggery inverts that: dirtbags start with the why, and they figure out how to maximize time doing that by any means necessary.

A book I’m reading about dirtbags asserts that the responsibility of dirtbags is to explore - that’s the common thread. “This sucks - I’m going to do my own thing” is another way of phrasing it, to quote Yvon Chouinard.

Sounds like your jam is languages. And you also are stoked on permaculture and a few other things. Here’s one way this could go:

Start with what you got, and make it go as far as possible. Find some farm somewhere south of the equator that’s hiring/accepting volunteers, and get there. Fly, or ride your bike, if you’re going for epic. Pick up/polish the local language, and then wander in to the forest to do indigenous language work (I know it’s more complicated than that...). With your social skills, you’ll be able to turn up all kinds of opportunities.

If you need more motivation, read anything about dirtbags, permatravelers, etc. Dude you do not belong in a school right now. It feels like you were on to something with your hobo year, and then it got truncated due to, if we’re being honest here, you acquiescing to your family’s fears. Fine - you gave the normal path a shot, and it landed you back in your room, trying to meditate but the noise from upstairs echoes through the walls, you aren’t even *going* to school because Covid, your doing online shit you could do from anywhere, and you’re slowing dying inside white bougie America. GOOD. You learned something about yourself and the world. Now:

Run RF! Run! Get the fuck out of there!! Manifest your handle and roam anywhere but there! Better to live on your bike in the woods and dive all your food than perish your soul in that maelstrom of mediocrity!

Yeah there’s a path where you stick it out and figure out some efficient source of income and make it out in 3-5 years. But.... you’re smart, already have skills, and have the life energy of a healthy 20yo. You could get airdropped almost anywhere in the world in your boxers and you’d do just fine, in 3-5 years you’d have figured something out based on the local opportunities etc, just as well if not better than your stay at home self. You DON'T have to make it work in that location, so don’t. Most of us forumites discover ERE and then hustle our way to FI from where we're at because we've convinced ourselves we're trapped/stuck in place to some degree. Then when we RE, we find opportunities on some beach somewhere and make money anyway. You can skip the whole being stuck in one shitty place thing, go find your "beach", and hustle from there.

classical_Liberal
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:58 pm
Any general semi-ERE tips?
I'm not going to be of much help to you from my experience. I'm coming from the angle of trying to get a decade or more of salaryman BS out of my mind. I think you're coming from a totally different angle. The only thing I think is important in your shoes, don't underestimate the flexibility even a small sum of money gives you as an exit strategy or transitional costs. So make sure you've got that before you go off on an adventure.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Thanks to the both of you. I am definitely leaning towards the dirtbag path!

@C_L I think your point about exit strategies / transitional costs is an excellent one. I've got about $8,800 saved up at the moment. My fall plans are still up in the air, but hopefully will contain some moneymaking as well as dirtbagging. I'll keep the journal updated.

Side note - the hardware store job is no longer an option, mainly due to bureaucratic incompetencies. I can explain in more detail if anyone actually gives a shit.

Peace,
RF

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Wheaton Scale Self-Assessment

So, I have recently been asking myself where the hell I fall on the Wheaton scale. The advantage of finding ERE young is that I can take "the scenic route to ERE" with plenty of bizarre side projects on the way. The disadvantage is that I believe that my Wheaton progression will look very different from, say, someone who finds ERE at age 30 with an established career and consumer habits.

So it's possible that I will have to tweak the existing scale, in the event that my path no longer is directly comparable to established territory.

Regardless, I would like to self-assess my current Wheaton level and get a better idea of where to focus my energy. I run the risk of falling into a Dunning-Kruger trap, but based on the Wiki post I'd put myself somewhere between Wheaton 4-6. In my more enlightened moments, I can start to intuitively "grok" some of the stuff about yields, flows, and systems theory, but these are rare. I need a finer-toothed comb to distinguish these stages from each other.

Analysis

This leads to the question of where to focus now. Though I have more goals for my personal life, my three economic modules at the moment are establishing income sources (preferably flexible and scalable), cooking, and non-accumulation. As I am focused on modules and not flow between modules, this may put me closer to a W4.

I'm still pursuing iTalki tutoring and freelance translation as side hustles. Got some website profiles set up, now I need to figure out how to get jobs and optimize my pay. The nonprofit thing is still on the table, and I recently learned I can make $600 each month by donating blood plasma, which takes very little time.

My cooking skills are stagnating because I've gotten good enough to usually be able to eat well off of whatever ingredients are on hand. 90%+ of the dishes I make start by sauteeing an onion, then throwing other shit into the pan and usually getting something pretty good. I can improvise pretty well if I have a bunch of vegetables and spices. The problem is that I've gotten good at one specific culinary process, and so I'll lazily default to cooking that instead of learning something new. There are times when my body tells me I should be eating XYZ, but I don't know how to cook it so I'll make whatever version of stir fry that I usually make that day. I need to figure out ways to force myself out of my culinary comfort zone.

All the stuff I own fits on, in, or near my dresser. It's mainly books, clothes, and some camping gear and tools. I don't feel the need to downsize right now (I'll be doing that when I move out anyways), but I do need to make sure I don't acquire any hard-to-get-rid-of stuff.

What books from the Wiki chart would be most useful to me at this stage? Are my focuses optimal for this stage of my journey?

Fall Plans

Online college sucks ass and most available work is dead-end jobs. As such, I'm going to be a dirtbag this fall. Vaguely, the plan is to ride my bicycle across the country and do WWOOFing or Workaway stays. I will build some new skills (looking at permaculture and woodworking), serve and sit at Vipassana retreats, and have the eventual fantasy of wandering into the woods and living with hunter-gatherers.

@C_L has wisely pointed out the importance of an exit strategy and transitional costs. I've got about $8,800 in savings. I can stretch this sum out a long time if need be, but I'd ideally like to boost it up a bit. Maybe shoot for 10-20k? I'll be looking for hustles on the way. Additionally, I plan to establish a Designated Shit Hits the Fan Couch (DSHFC). Basically, have pre-arranged somewhere I can crash if I have to unexpectedly truncate my travels. The idea is to have a semi-home base prepared for emergency reintegration into "normal life." I've got a buddy in mind; I plan to talk to him soon.

Privacy

Some of my IRL friends now know my handle, and I've been considering how much of my life I want to share in a public forum. I want to keep my journal mainly focused on nuts-and-bolts ERE and economics, and keep my personal, emotional, and political stuff to myself. I don't want to use a forum as a therapist, if that makes sense. This isn't to judge anyone who does, or to pretend I'm an apolitical Spock, it's just that I don't feel that here is the place for it.

Just wanted to clear that up, mostly for my own reference.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Here are some brief updates. I'll go into more detail in the future.

I am planning to spend the fall volunteering at a permaculture project somewhere warm. I started a thread in the skills section about its transferability outside of a specific region and to ERE, and got a mixed response. Regardless, I'm going to go ahead with it because it seems fun and my alternative is to take online classes and sit in my room in my parents' house all fall.

I plan to turn this into an ultralearning project which will last 3 months. I'll go into specific tactics at a later point.

Considering starting a somewhere to record my writing that's not directly related to ERE

classical_Liberal
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

I look forward to reading about the adventure!

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Income Stream Updates

Unfortunately, my community teaching application at iTalki was denied. No reason was given other than that they receive an overwhelming number of applications and can't accept anyone. I will either reapply or find a different site.

I'm done with my profile on the freelance translation site. Now I have to figure out how to get some jobs.

The nonprofit work has pulled through! I'll be working 20 hrs/week until I leave mid-September.

Bike Trip Planning

I've never done a long-distance bike trip before, so this will take some preparation on my part. The plan is to have a shorter trip to visit some friends, then a longer one to arrive at my permaculture location.

I will have to get a rack or saddlebags to carry some of my stuff. I wonder if there's a DIY way to do this. I don't want to have to spend a lot of money on equipment.

I'll also have to bring some tools/parts with. I'm thinking some basic tools for adjustment and two replacement inner tubes. Unfortunately, I don't have a multitool, just individual tools.

My online class will be starting soon. I don't expect it to be super challenging, but I am anxious about having to keep up with schoolwork while biking across the country. If it proves too challenging during the first, shorter trip, I may look into taking a Greyhound for the longer stretch.

Permaculture and Miscellaneous

I renewed my Workaway membership from last year and have begun contacting hosts. Haven't found a place yet. I've heard stories of both really positive and negative experiences doing this sort of thing, so it's important to find a place that is genuinely a good fit.

I've been rather anxious recently, mainly because there is family pressure to just buckle down and finish up college. I have been putting more energy into my meditation practice, trying to cope in a healthy way. I think I will commit to at least finishing my associate's degree, then seeing if I really need more college to achieve my goals.

It seems I'm headed down the dirtbag/hobo/permaculture path to ERE. If I master the frugality skills first, my main challenge will be leveraging that into income/capital to achieve FI.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Sifting Through Shit on My Plate

Hey everyone, time for an update! Last time you heard from me I was signing up for a college course and planning to be a dirtbag this fall. Here's what's happened since then:

I got a job at a non-profit where I've volunteered for several years. This is the best job I've ever had - I work with friends, I get to be creative and help people, and I come and go whenever the fuck I want. If I don't want to do something, I just don't do it. Gigs like this will definitely stay on the table throughout my semi-ERE adventures.

As per the serendipity effect, my non-profit job led me to meet another person that offered me a second job with a much higher earning potential. I have to tread carefully here, as this is a startup and I haven't gotten a number for a guaranteed salary yet, just promises of "up to" $1,000/day and "the money will be good." I would be paid a fixed amount per contract secured and receive a commission of the sales. I am skeptical of the "up to" phrasing, as earning $0 is in the range of "up to" $1,000. When we met in person, the guy tried flattering me and telling me how smart I was. It seems to me that this is either a genuinely good opportunity, and this guy actually thinks this, or it's not a good business plan and he just wants a gullible young person that'll put in a lot of time and energy without getting decent money in return. I will continue asking questions and hope to make a better judgement soon.

I have been contacting hosts on Workaway. Whether I not I continue with the permaculture idea this fall depends on what happens with the aforementioned job opportunity.

Apparently all of my school emails for the past several months were sent directly to my deleted messages folder, which is pretty fucking bizarre. This has left me in an awkward situation. Back in May or June, I asked to do an independent study with a chemistry professor, for no other reason than because he's a great teacher and for the pure joy of learning new things. He had to jump through some hoops to get approval for it, as chemistry independent studies are unprecedented at my school. I found a bunch of emails from him answering my requests, but had never seen them. As such, I assumed the answer was no, and proceeded to plan my fall without an independent study on the table. Now it seems we can still do it, but we'd have to scramble to get everything set up. I am thinking I will ask to postpone this project until the spring, and then I can finish it up along with my associate's degree. In the meantime, I can try different stuff for work and see if I can achieve a robust semi-ERE without a college degree.

I do want to finish my associate's, just because I'm almost done. I don't want to leave it 99% done, and if I ever want to finish a bachelor's in the future I think it'd be easier for me to go back to school.

I'm doing any long bike trips; it'd be too much of a headache with the online course.

My cooking is getting better and better. I keep pushing my comfort zone and learning new things.

I still entertain fantasies of living in a cave in India, learning an indigenous language in Latin America, and doing some Rob Greenfield-esque shit. I hope to leverage semi-ERE to do this in my twenties, rather than wait until I have full FI.\

Peaceably,
RoamingFrancis

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Oh, and I got word from a Vipassana center that I can come and do service for a while, so that's an option too.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1987
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Sounds like a ton of options. Always be wary of sales gigs targeting the younger crowd, make sure you know how the compensation works.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Short update:

Non profit gig is super fun; I love it. Horticulture class is easy so far; I fear I won't actually learn much from it. I am still in the process of discerning whether the startup thing is a good idea; I might have to just be willing to jump in and potentially waste 15-20 hours of my life in figuring out whether it's legit. Planning to spend October at the Vipassana center.

Damn, I use a lot of semicolons.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Western Red Cedar »

RF

I've only had a chance to read through the last few pages of your journal, but I thought all of the advice you received from others is spot on. I'd just reaffirm the notion that you are clearly a bright young individual and any path you take will be fine. It's pretty easy to dirtbag in your twenties and transition back to a more conventional lifestyle later if that is the path you want to take. In fact, I've found that potential employers found those experiences as an asset and helped me stand out in interviews.

Keep in mind that it is pretty easy to fall into the "grass is greener" mindset whatever path you choose. When I was traveling long-term I'd often worry about my lack of career or financial stability. Now that I have a solid career and a good financial foundation, I often long for a life of adventure and spontaneity.

In terms of semi ERE tips, one strategy that I employed from 22-28 (before I knew about ERE) was to try to maximize my wages and get paid for things that I was naturally interested in. This often required signing contracts for a year or committing to staying put for a year. I was really interested in living or traveling overseas. Instead of doing Peace Corps, I opted to teach English abroad. I chose one of the higher paying countries (S. Korea) that also covered the cost of flight and apartment. I wasn't particularly interested in Korea at the time, but recognized that the situation would allow me to save a lot of money to travel after I finished my contract. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and exposed me to a fascinating culture.

Volunteering is a great option, but if you are somewhat flexible and patient you can often find paid opportunities that meet most of your goals.

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