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Do you want to delay the real world? Here's a story from Joseph and what he has done.

There’s a book by the same name – I’ve not read the book and probably will not get a chance to either, since I currently live in the Philippines and there’s no bookshops in this area. What’s more, ordering from the likes of Amazon becomes very expensive when you live in South East Asia. And Kindle? Doesn’t work in this part of the world for some reason. Let’s move on.

What does this mean to you… “Delaying the real world”?

Let’s presume that it means you want to be an eternal student, right? You don’t want to get a job for whatever reason or reasons. Perhaps you feel you’re not ready to take on the responsibilities of the “real world”. Job, career, relationship, marriage, kids, expensive cars, big houses, two holidays abroad each year, big credit card debt, mortgage for 25 years.

Hmmm… don’t know about you but I think the eternal student option seems much more enjoyable and much more realistic! Not only more enjoyable but more healthy too – from a lack of stress point of view. I mean, come on – who wants all that material wealth stuff, right? Sure, it sounds good. Its what everyone thinks they want, right?

The material wealth is what we are educated in society to want more than anything else in the world. And why? Because, we are told – by those who claim to know better than we do – that money brings happiness and stability. Money is the route to fulfillment (as opposed to evil).

I’d beg to differ on both counts actually. I most certainly don’t believe money is the route of (or to) all evil. That’s ridiculous. But on the other hand, money can bring with it so many problems that it will happily provide for you an early death. Stress, stress and more stress! Chained to the work desk for 60 hours a week. Then chained to the cell phone for a further 30 hours, week in and week out! The joys!

Now, let’s get back to the theme of the plot. The plot has thickened nicely, but we need to step back and take a further look from the exterior to get a clearer picture.

Delaying the real world…

Okay, so we’ve established that for many of us, although not all, that the “real” world is, or can be, a bit of a horror of a place. Having your own kids can be a wonderful thing, so sure – that’s fine. Marriage can be super, but at the same time, it can be a total nightmare. Erm, ask me!!

Hey, I’ll tell you what, I’m now 45 years of age. I went to college in the United Kingdom, then attended University. I spent 6 years at this level of academia. If I could do it over and over and over and over again, I would do it, without a moment’s hesitation! There’s only one other thing that I would swap my years of academia with…

Travel! I would travel. I would find a country that I love to live in and I would settle in that country. I would not concern myself with a high flying career. I would not concern myself with the big house. I would not worry about the lack of a fancy car in the drive. I would not worry about what the neighbors thought of me. No, it’s not for me. Not now anyway. I thought it was, but I was totally and utterly wrong!

I now live in the Philippines. I’ve spent the last 3 years of my life living in Kuching, in South East Asia. In that time I’ve visited a number of places in this part of the world. I have no car. I don’t own my own house. I don’t worry about planning holidays each year – why would I? My whole life feels like it’s a holiday.

Now it’s your turn.

Think it through.

Are you sure, very very sure, that you want the high flying career? Do you want to be shouldered with debt for the next 25 to 30 years? Do you want to be stressed out for 5 (perhaps even 7) days a week because of your job?

Or, perhaps you’d prefer to delay the “real” world?

Perhaps delaying the “real” world is in fact reality in itself. Perhaps the “real” world for you is all about ditching the stresses and strains of the “real” world in favor of a life of quality, a life of fulfillment and happiness.

It’s your call and its never too late to undo the damage that’s been done by the “real” world!

Article comments


Chris, I surely am not implying that money is a bad thing, it’s just that the pursuit of money can become a bad thing – all-encompassing, stop at nothing, don’t care about anything but money…

I think perhaps the key here is to find a way to live life with less reliance on more money. For me, I couldn’t do that when living in the west because I was constantly surrounded by people that pursued money to the utmost degree. So in a sense, I was part and parcel of their world, and I couldn’t figure out a way to extract myself – other than jumping on a plane and getting the heck out.

Fact is, it’s much easier to be like the people you surround yourself with, or so I feel anyhow. I’m now happy to live without a fancy car sitting in the driveway because the majority of people around me don’t have a car either. Some have small motorbikes, where other’s rely entirely on tricycles and public buses, which is what I do now too.

However, if the pursuit of more money makes you feel happy then that’s cool. The problem that I found was that more was never enough, which is why I’m now trying to figure out ways whereby less is more than enough.

Chris Naish says:

I’ve come back to this post more than once now to say some more but I guess there really isn’t a great deal more to be said without it becoming lists of ideals that nobody would be interested in.

What does interest me is the idea of changing your mindset to move away from ‘money means everything’ way of thinking. I’ll admit, on a list of important things, money would be pretty high up for me.

The idea that money should be less important is an attractive one but not one I can associate myself with to be honest, not that I think this makes me a bad person or anything! lol

Chris Naish says:

“Haha Chris

Chris, your reply is even lengthier than mine to you, so it’s going to take some time to formulate a meaningful retort.

That’s a tad difficult to do at the moment since I’m writing about checkweighers (the joys of the internet marketing game never cease to amaze me) whilst at the same time, contending with my neighbours’ music which is shaking the house because it’s so loud (Bon Jovie – Shot Through the Heart).

I’ll get back to you later, thank you kindly for your patience and understanding 🙂

Haha Chris – you say it’s cool that I don’t presume to know another man’s needs. I don’t even know my own needs if I’m honest about it 🙂 They keep changing. But rather than fight against it like I often do, perhaps I should try to embrace the need for relatively constant change.

With regards to having kids and burying the head in the proverbial sand pit. Well, I guess this line of thinking comes from when I was slave laboring in various warehouses in the Midlands of England (Asda/ Walmart in particular!). Doing that sort of work tends to make you think long and deep and it makes you analyze a lot of what’s going on in your life. No doubt you’ve been there too.

I remember thinking that if I had kids to love and to cherish then I would do pretty much what it takes for them to be “happy” in life. Hey but Chris, that’s insular thinking in that back then I believed (more than I do now) that money was much more important to live a happy life. Fact is, if you want money to be so important for your happiness, it will be important. Part of the reason I “ran” from the shores of Britain those few years ago was to try to get away from this concept that money means everything.

Thus, if I had kids now, and they were with me here in South East Asia, I’d try to seek different values that were not dependent on money and I’d try to teach the kids why money is not so important to achieve a happy and enjoyable life. I’m still learning about this myself but it would be great to share the journey with one’s own kids, I would think.

You asked (or rather you stated) why would you wish to set an example to your kids that consists of you bowing down to other people’s wants, needs and whims every day (a job). That’s what western (and eastern) society expects though. To do something else would be outrageous, wouldn’t it? Haha… of course I’m joking Chris. British humour, huh? Who am I to say what’s right and what’s wrong here. I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly. Your kids should be very proud of what their father wants for them!

Hi Chris, thanks for your comments! (And TM, thanks for your’s also 🙂 ). You tout a very common story line there sir! Fresh out of school (school in the UK being secondary school rather than college) and onto the “conveyor belt” until you’re 70+ (soon pension age for men will be 80+ but let’s leave it at 70+ for now, shall we).

The thing that kinda grabs me though Chris is this – I don’t have kids. If I had kids and they were adorable kids, then would I be more inclined to bury my head in the proverbial sand and just get on with my misery – all in an effort to afford my kids a better life?? After all, for many/most people in the world, their only true point to life is their kids. That realization often only dawns as you get older, I think you might agree?

How much income do you need to live a comfortable life here in the Philippines if you have a wife and two kids? Hmmm… very tricky to answer that since for you it will be different to someone else. Many Filipinos live on around 6,000 pesos a month (that’s around 150 US dollars or just less than 100 UK pounds) and yet they have 10 to 15 kids to feed. Could I manage to live on that with 10 to 15 kids to feed every day? Not on your nelly! But on the other hand, my mindset has reached the level now (after years of honing it, I may add 🙂 ) whereby I sense I would be comfortable living in a simple little nipa (bamboo) hut on the beach front. As long as the basics were there – flowing water (even just a nearby fresh water stream), electricity, internet connection (that’s a basic prerequisite for me) and a little bit of garden to culture my veggies, then I think I may be able to get by fairly happily.

So you have to ask yourself (and your kids, and your wife) what sort of lifestyle would you “need” in order to feel happy and fulfilled?

When I was living in Malaysia, I thought I would be happy to live a simple life. But no. The more money I made, the more crud I bought and the more complex life was to become because my bills were constantly on the rise. It slowly but surely became a realization that this nonsensical way to live was not bringing me a sense of joy or inner peace. Short term pleasure – yes. Longer term happiness? Nope.

But yet again, in Malaysia you can, if you wish, live on a thoroughly teeny little income, and still live a pleasing life. It’s entirely your call as to what happiness is for you (and for your family). So for me to answer you how much you would need to “survive” in this part of the world is not exactly possible. I could try, but I’d get it wrong.

As for curating the post Chris, it’s 1 peso per word 😉 Please feel free to help yourself. If Teacher Man is cool with it, then I’m surely cool with it too!

Chris Naish says:

Thanks for that well rounded reply Joseph,

Even as I was asking the question I pretty much guessed the answer would be a little ‘open’ so to speak. Who after all is going to tell another man exactly what he needs to live?

Pretty cool that you don’t presume to know another guys needs and instead throw out rough figures and an outline of the basics for yourself as guidance.

What did cause my eyebrows to raise was this:

“If I had kids and they were adorable kids, then would I be more inclined to bury my head in the proverbial sand and just get on with my misery

Chris Naish says:

Hey Joseph,

I didn’t really get much of an opportunity to delay the real world, I was more or less straight onto the work conveyor belt, trundling away toward my 65th year where I get to stuggle on a crappy pension until I finally die. lol

I’ve often thought of just upping and leaving it all, (again, did it once and just transferred to a conveyor belt in Germany) with a wife and 2 kids in tow now however it would be much more difficult. What sort of monthly income would you estimate a family of 4 could comfortably live on in that neck of the woods?

Obviously a years money in the bank and money to bail (back) out onto the nice, comfortable :-s conveyor belt has to be in the picture right?

Teacher Man says:

That’s a tough gig Chris. I’m hoping I can get Joseph to do a complete article in response to your question.

Chris Naish says:

Ah, it’s not so bad Teacher Man, the kids are a real joy as it goes and so is the wife most days. lol

It would be interesting to know just what it would take to be able to make such a move however! I’d likely do a curation of the post (and hit you up with credit of course) over at my place if that is acceptable for you guys?

Teacher Man says:

As long as Joeseph is cool with it, we’d be game!

Chris Naish says:

Appreciate it Teacher Man, let me know if it goes ahead! 🙂

P.S. No real identity my friend? Trying to keep us guessing huh? :-p

Teacher Man says:

I am often sorry I have to hide behind a pen name Chris, but in my profession there is SO MUCH politics it is crazy. The candor I have on here can only be achieved though anonymity I’m afraid.