Only Rich People Can Go on Adventures
...and you are rich
Is adventure only for rich people?
Sure it is.
Are you rich?
Sure you are.
If you take home $30,000 as a single person,
You are in the top 5% of global earners.
If you take home $50,000 as a family of four,
You are in the top 10% of global earners.
In so many ways, the world is getting better.
Everyone is getting richer.
It can feel like the ultra-rich are “leaving us behind”—and they are!
But look beyond our borders, and you'll see the more important story.
We middle-class westerners are just getting rich more slowly than we once did.
We left the world behind for 150 years, now they’re catching up.
Many now enjoy their middle-class luxuries, for the first time in their lives:
Meat on the table, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, a holiday vacation.
A hike, a bike, a road trip,
A visit to a national park, to a neighboring country.
In short, many now enjoy their first adventures—
Welcoming novelty and uncertainty into their lives, instead of battling these forces.
Still, these are rare experiences.
Still, most of the world must scrimp and save and labor for even the briefest of adventures.
But if, like me, you were born into the western middle class,
Born into a culture of hobbies, recreation, extracurriculars,
If, like me, you enjoy paved roads, credit cards, fast internet, a powerful passport,
Public lands, deregulated airlines, good-enough healthcare, a strong currency,
Historically, relatively, absolutely
You can take an adventure if you want.
You can scrimp and save and labor—with so much less effort than others.
You can live in reduced luxury, refuse certain norms.
You can endure minor discomfort, the label “eccentric.”
You can find low-cost gear and transport and food and accommodation.
You can find creative ways to pay less than retail.
You can work for a while and take a long break.
You can not go to work at all.
It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves,
To tell ourselves how hard we’ve got it.
Well, we’ve got it pretty well.
Historically, relatively, absolutely.
Life is never easy,
But it’s getting easier.
You are rich.
You can go on adventures.
These are complicated topics, but I’m confident I’ve got the big picture correct.