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No assets and living on the road

Old 05-07-09, 08:38 PM
  #1  
soulfullspirit
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No assets and living on the road

Hi fellow riders, as i sat by the side of the road i wondered is there any one else out there who is living on the road, with there whole worldly assets beside them. A sobering thought as I see my 47th year coming up. (yea i know i am still young compared to some of you old fellas).
Would be nice to know i am not alone in this life style, i feel my biggest asset is my health the bike sure keeps you fit, we come into this life with nothing and leave the same way, so if your in the same boat and dont mind sharing please let me know it would help knowing there are other travellers out there cheers
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Old 05-07-09, 09:06 PM
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Have you been to the Living Car Free forum? There are several threads in there about simple living and home-free living.

https://www.bikeforums.net/living-car-free/

I am currently in the process of a mega-downsize (see my Getting Rid of Your Stuff thread in the Living Car Free forum) and will be living extremely simply in Australia in about a month's time (see the How Simply Do You Live thread/sticky).
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Old 05-11-09, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by soulfullspirit View Post
Hi fellow riders, as i sat by the side of the road i wondered is there any one else out there who is living on the road, with there whole worldly assets beside them. A sobering thought as I see my 47th year coming up. (yea i know i am still young compared to some of you old fellas).
Would be nice to know i am not alone in this life style, i feel my biggest asset is my health the bike sure keeps you fit, we come into this life with nothing and leave the same way, so if your in the same boat and dont mind sharing please let me know it would help knowing there are other travellers out there cheers
I am very interested in this lifestyle and how you go about it.
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Old 05-11-09, 10:22 PM
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the things you own own you. you are more free than all the people who are fearful and find security in belonging to their possessions and wanting and acquiring more material junk.
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Old 05-12-09, 06:57 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by jabantik00 View Post
the things you own own you....
Sad but true; I am a slave to my possessions.

I recently spoke with a guy, also in his 40's, who is riding around the country on his bicycle, camping most of the time, apparently carrying everything he owns. He camped in my back yard for two nights recently; I didn't meet him, being away at the time. I don't know his whole story, but I suspect he is very much like you, Soulfullspirit.

How do you support yourself? It would be hard to hold down a conventional "job" with this lifestyle, but there are respectable ways of earning money on an as-needed basis. Writing? Singing? Painting?
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Old 05-12-09, 09:29 AM
  #6  
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Minimalism is such an appealing concept. There is great truth to the idea that control of one's life can be lost to possessions. Paying for them, insuring them, protecting them, maintaining them. Precious time and energy is spent on our stuff

Somehow we have come to believe that we are what we own. Who we are as people has gotten so mixed up with homes, cars, clothing, CDs... and yes, camping gear, bikes, cycling clothing, that we find it difficult to measure our own value without thinking about what we own.

Upon returning from our last bike tour the totality of our possessions were stored within our VW van. A month after renting an apartment we were still (happily) sleeping on our Thermarest mattresses on the floor. Friends and family members though we were kooky so we bought a bed.... and a couch, and a dining table, and a nice chair, and paintings, desks, and..... you get it. My shed began to fill with bikes. The CD collection grew. The book shelf got full and spilled over into piles on an end table. Suddenly, within a year, we are once again drowning in stuff.

It is time to begin decluttering. Why must we go through this binge and purge every few years?

" i feel my biggest asset is my health" I love that quote! So many work so hard to sacrifice and save for the security of retirement only to find that they failed in the most important measure... physical and mental wellbeing.

At times living on the road may seem lonely. Remember, there many of us who are with you in spirit.
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Old 05-12-09, 10:08 AM
  #7  
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Sounds like you have a lifestyle that suits you well, good luck to you (original poster).

However, can I just put in a good word about possessions.

Originally Posted by jabantik00 View Post
the things you own own you. you are more free than all the people who are fearful and find security in belonging to their possessions and wanting and acquiring more material junk.
The thing about this is that I don't see the OP being more free than me. Sure, he's living out on the road, which is evidently something that goes well for him (and is admirable and cool). However, I like my life how it is- I enjoy my studies, I enjoy where I live, I enjoy my stuff. If I wanted to, I guess I could live on the road but I don't really- I like to cycle as a hobby, nothing more. Similarly, if the OP wanted to have my life I'm sure he could. He's made his choice and I've made mine. The advantage of where I live is that I'm free to make that choice for myself, as is he, but the important thing is that we're as free as each other to make our decisions.

Also, there's nothing wrong with stuff. Take my TV as an example: I own it because I like watching it. If it breaks I'll put time and effort into fixing it because I like watching it. I have home insurance so that if someone steals it, I can get a new one, because I like watching it. I'm not a slave to my TV, I just enjoy it enough that I'm willing to put effort into keeping and maintaining it. (Similarly to how I, and probably everyone else on this forum especially the OP, is willing to put effort into maintaining our bicycles).

I not trying to have an argument, I'm just saying that possessions don't have to be bad, and I feel perfectly free in my choices
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Old 05-12-09, 10:58 AM
  #8  
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I met more than a few folks living as the OP does. Intelligent people. People who enjoyed their lifestyle—living under the radar. I got quite a few tips from them as well, from eating and caching to staying undetected and the better places to be at particular times of the year. Very, very interesting stuff. It is something that, I'm sure I could do. I just don't want to live that way full-time.

Stuff. Possessions. Do they really own us? I don't think so. Perhaps it is a desire to live in or outside of conventional society that does the owning or not. "Stuff" is inanimate, without consciousness. We make decisions—stuff doesn't.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:22 AM
  #9  
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It's not so much freedom from things as it is freedom from obligations to people. By the time we reach 25 or 30, we have either a job that requires constant attendance or a family or both.

When I was 20, I took my bike to Europe and wandered as long as my money lasted. I was a bit surprised that both of my parents endorsed the idea, and they supplemented my savings to lengthen my trip. My father said something I'll never forget:

"Go until your money runs out. I'll put you up when you get back. Never again in your life will you have both the time and the money to do this."

I didn't believe his last sentence, because I couldn't picture what a life with responsibilities is like. I might prove him wrong when I'm in my 70's, but only if I'm still healthy and strong. And of course by then, he'll be dead.

While wandering, I met people who were wandering for longer periods. Some would travel and work and travel and work. The two common job types were car mechanic and nurse, both portable trades.

Steven Roberts made a career out of it for many years. Not sure what he's up to nowadays.

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Old 05-12-09, 12:16 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by LucasA View Post
I am very interested in this lifestyle and how you go about it.
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
How do you support yourself? It would be hard to hold down a conventional "job" with this lifestyle, but there are respectable ways of earning money on an as-needed basis. Writing? Singing? Painting?
Who wants a conventional "job"?? I did that for a while, and then realized that spending my life working a traditional 8:00 - 5:00, 5 days a week etc. etc. for extended periods of time is just not for me.


As for making it work ...

In early 2004 a friend of mine suggested that we go on a 5-year tour of the world. I laughed and said something along the lines of "Yeah, right!" ... and then I started thinking about it, and wondering what it would take to do that ... and I came up with a 5-year plan.


First, I thought I would need to have skills so that I could get a job in various countries and the first thing that leapt to mind was teaching. I've always wanted to teach, so I started checking out those 1-week, Teach English Overseas courses ... and discovered that they were expensive, and not all that good. I discovered that if I were to go with one of those types of courses I should choose something that is at least a month long and preferably associated with a University. So then I started considering just going back to school and getting my teaching degree so that I could teach in just about any country including my own. And that's what I ended up doing.

As a part of that plan, I had to move and so I got rid of about half my things, packed up the rest and put most of it in storage. I've been living in a very small place while I've been getting my degree, with very few possessions. And I've discovered that I really don't need much to be happy.

I also had to give up my nice, stable job where I could have likely worked for the rest of my life (but that was going nowhere), and take my chances on whatever jobs came along. That's where temp work came in, and it has been great. I can work with a company for the length of my contract, and when I'm done I can go with no hard feelings. I've even been invited back to the same place several times. It benefits the company because they can get someone in to help them through a situation where they need temporary help, and it benefits me because I don't have to commit to long-term employment. I've got no regrets at all about going the temp work route over the past 5 years, and I can see me picking up temp work in the years to come. There are lots of temp agencies all over the world.

One of the things that made leaving the nice stable job easier was observing one of my coworkers. He had started working for the company when he was about 25 years old, and had stayed with the company all those years ... doing exactly the same thing for 35 years. He was saving up for his retirement when he was going to go out and do all sorts of exciting things ... but as he approached the age of 60, he started showing very distinct signs of Alzheimers, and ended up taking early retirement because he could no longer do his job. I realized that you never know what's going to happen as you get older, so if there were things I wanted to do, there was no time like the present.

And I decided to take my friend up on a part of his offer and head off on a 3-month tour to see if I even liked life on the road. There were a lot of problems and difficulties ... but I like life on the road.


My 5-year plan is now finished, and I'm off to Australia.

Right now I'm in the process of getting rid of most of my remaining things, which is proving to be a very freeing (although long) process. Rowan and I will be living very simply once I get there in an almost pioneer-like setting. I'm really looking forward to it ... it'll be an adventure! Now I don't imagine it will be easy all the time or anything like that, but I'm game for it.

The last 14 photos in this set are of the cabin we'll be moving into:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/

As for work, now that I am a qualified teacher, subbing is a possibility. Subbing is like temp work ... I can pick the days I want to work, and the age groups I want to work with.


We're also putting together ideas of living a transient or semi-transient lifestyle where we travel and work in various places around Australia, around Canada, and around other parts of the world. I've now got skills I can use in other countries, and so does Rowan. We'll figure it out when I get there.

If you really want to make it work ... you can.
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Old 05-12-09, 12:31 PM
  #11  
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I am in the process of selling everything but what I'm taking with me on my bike. Although truthfully I don't plan on staying like that forever, it's just a way for me to sever all connections with my current living situation and move on. I'm traveling to LA then going to NZ and I'll see what happens from there, wish me luck.
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Old 05-12-09, 01:03 PM
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I've done my dreaming about being "homeless and unemployed". However, unlike the thread heading of "no assets", I'd like to do it with $ in the bank and ability to cover things like health issues (either via insurance or payment).

I also resonate with the minimalist approach of fewer possessions. So far I've taken two long cycle touring vacations of a year in 2001 and ten months in 2007. I'm already dreaming of another long trip (~6 months to ~2.5 years) in 2013. For each of my previous long trips, I decluttered both prior to the trip and also afterwards. Spending a year on the road gave me a new perspective on all those possessions I owned but hadn't used in the preceding 12 months.
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Old 07-26-16, 01:00 PM
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I'm to the point I would be a nomad I have my SS and I could easily give up the conventional life I wonder if anyone is still around the bike-forums who thinks of doing the same thing.

I would eventually get a place again, but like the idea of truly hitting the road for a time
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Old 07-26-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by abbynormal View Post
I'm to the point I would be a nomad I have my SS and I could easily give up the conventional life I wonder if anyone is still around the bike-forums who thinks of doing the same thing.

I would eventually get a place again, but like the idea of truly hitting the road for a time
Just to let you know you've resurrected a seven year old thread.

BUT: The the guy @mev who posted right before you (post-12 in May 2009) is now realizing his dream. He started his tour a few weeks ago, at the top of Alaska and will be on the road for 18 months ending at the bottom of South America!

SO: It can be done! Well sorta, he took seven years, made a plan, and kept to it.

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Old 07-26-16, 03:26 PM
  #15  
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Here's another anecdote:

I just got back from a two-week tour. While out on the road I met a guy who's been touring around the US since 2011. He told me that he has no income nor a home. He rides around the country delivering hand-written letters. He does this for people at NO CHARGE. It does sound like he picks up odd-jobs here and there when it's necessary, but most of the time he's on the road. He's a totally awesome young guy that's full of life and exuberance.
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Old 07-26-16, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Just to let you know you've resurrected a seven year old thread.

BUT: The the guy @mev who posted right before you (post-12 in May 2009) is now realizing his dream. He started his tour a few weeks ago, at the top of Alaska and will be on the road for 18 months ending at the bottom of South America!

SO: It can be done! Well sorta, he took seven years, made a plan, and kept to it.
Yeah, I wanted to bump it though rather than start a new thread.
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Old 07-26-16, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Here's another anecdote:

I just got back from a two-week tour. While out on the road I met a guy who's been touring around the US since 2011. He told me that he has no income nor a home. He rides around the country delivering hand-written letters. He does this for people at NO CHARGE. It does sound like he picks up odd-jobs here and there when it's necessary, but most of the time he's on the road. He's a totally awesome young guy that's full of life and exuberance.
People like that are rare! I so admire them, and even envy them sometimes. He must have a real passion for the life to do it so long already The way the world is now makes me want to live/do the things I love, as best I can. Being outdoors is wonderful, I would not want to be without an income, not that the one I have is so great, but just the basic "creature comforts" I would want to be able to supply myself with.

I live simple now, have a nice apartment, but don't buy many things unless I either truly need them, or want them, like a bike with equipment to travel eventually on it
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Old 07-26-16, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by abbynormal View Post
I live simple now, have a nice apartment, but don't buy many things unless I either truly need them, or want them, like a bike with equipment to travel eventually on it
It sounds like you're on mev's plan. It worked for him. My guess is if you follow through it'll work for you too
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Old 07-26-16, 05:52 PM
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I know I couldn't be "out there" alone, but if I am fortunate enough to meet other like-minded cyclists it could work out. I suspect I'll bet to the rides up and down our coast, at the least Who knows I'm starting to hang out here a lot, in the forum, because all the folks I actually know are not interested in even a day ride. I don't know a lot of people here, lived here since January.

I get a lot of "nay" sayers, and not that they mean to be discouraging, but because some don't have any inclination to start out really living, by doing something in retirement that you love. It's hard to find active people, well, doing active things I enjoy. I've been doing walks/hikes since 2009, on a regular basis, and never ran into any trouble. But I stayed where there were homes/ranches (rural or residential I mean). With cycling, I'm going to want to go much further, and I feel I would be stupid to go it alone in out away from only an occasional car etc.

I'm not going to worry though because I have a lot of miles to get in before I could even go as far as I'd like to

Whenever I join a forum, for any reason, most people I meet live midwest to East, and some I've got to meet are in other countries. I'm a small-town kinda gal so I don't want to move closer to any city, but that limits me in meeting folks right in my area to ride with
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Old 07-26-16, 06:38 PM
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Ok, it sounds like you need time to build. Start with short trips and build from there.

BTW: On one of my tours I met a woman who started in England and was 3 years into her solo trip around the world. With only 9 months left her biggest fear was what was she going to do when she finished. It's all relative. Best of luck to ya.
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Old 07-26-16, 06:42 PM
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That's fabulous, about her going solo for so long as well!! I would do it if I thought it could be safe. I live alone, I go everywhere alone in my truck. I eat at restaurants alone, the whole bit, but thinking about being on the "road" alone on a bike seems kind of stupid. I mean at least for a woman. I hope some other gals are around here (the forum) so I can run it by them. If I had waited for people to go with me, I wouldn't have seen America by car, or done a lot of things I still do every day around here.

Last Summer, I camped for 2 weeks by myself 24 miles up river. Most of the time there were one or two other campers up there, but I still was alone other than hello when I'd see them down at the river etc. I was there only a few nights by myself. That was way off the beaten path too!

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Old 07-26-16, 08:25 PM
  #22  
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Taking joy in responsibility

Glad that Abbynormal restarted this thread, because obviously the whole idea of living on the road is intriguing to many people. Whether that lifestyle would satisfy a person, though, is a matter of how they see the meaning of life & their goals & proclivities.
Before I became a Christian, I might have seen that manner of existing as a way to be happy(ier); however, I don’t now think it would satisfy me. That’s because I now want to give as much as I can to God & to humanity, out of gratitude for what Christ has done for me. Plus, the particular gifts God has given me lend themselves more to working with others than to a solitary life.
Many people reading here have probably seen Disney’s “Lion King” movie; it’s just about my favorite movie, because it illustrates so vividly the Christian Bible’s view of humans’ history in the world. Part of Lion King is Simba growing up outside the Savannah, with a “No Worries” philosophy. Deep down, though, he seems haunted by an awareness of “who he is,” i.e., his identity as ruler & caretaker of the Prideland, & a sense that life should be more than what he’s making of it. He can’t escape the emptiness. After much soul searching & encouragement (prodding, even) from others, he returns home, to vanquish those who have made a mess of the Prideland, assumes the leadership post he was created to fill, & brings back prosperity & peace.
To me, the first ½ or so of that story describes pretty well much of the history of humanity. God created us to tend & keep the garden (Genesis 2:15), meaning He wants us to bring out all the good that’s latent in the earth & to preserve the earth for ourselves & those who will come after us. We have shirked our responsibilities, though, sometimes out of selfishness & other times out of laziness. Because of our materialism (that many posting here seem to want to eschew) & neglect, creation is now groaning (Romans 8:22), waiting for us (all of us) to take up the tasks we were created for. The parallels with Lion King seem obvious.
I’m not judging anybody on this thread; we are all at different places on our own personal journeys. Plus, the “on the road” lifestyle may be how some folks posting messages here can bless others best.
That said, the earth is now very sick ecologically: 50% of all wild animals have gone extinct in the last 40 years, we have set in motion a changing climate that will probably wipe out most of the remaining animals & plants (& perhaps humans too). At the time when we need to severely cut back on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4,…), we are increasing the emissions instead. Human survival is at stake.

So, personally, my choice is to enter the fight, & do what I can to preserve the earth & those who depend on the earth.
Sorry for such a long post, but the situation is getting quite serious & urgent.
Andrew
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Old 07-26-16, 10:46 PM
  #23  
fietsbob
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Just Retired from 50 years of touring is Heinz Stuke .. he kept going
often by doing lectures on his travel experiences ..
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Old 07-27-16, 04:42 AM
  #24  
mev
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On the Cassiar Highway now. One thing I find interesting is the number of fellow cyclists on extended travels. In absolute numbers not large but given limited routes you come across them. For example on the Cassiar met:
- NZ couple also started in PB headed to South America and planning to be on the road for ~2 years
- Dutch guy on the road for year from PB to Panama City
- Canadian out for month+ from Whitehorse to Calgary
- Group of 19 from texas4000.org

Previously have come across Korean couple coming north from South America on three year tour, Swedes and Germans on extended travels, Belgian running from PB to Ushuaia.

Not a huge number of travelers but with limited roads and timing the seasons there are others out there as well that I've come across. Also surprisingly international.
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Old 07-27-16, 05:54 AM
  #25  
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The allure of a carefree lifestyle of all of us doing whatever we want whenever we want is great, but I have a few concerns as to how that fits into overall society. The world we know is a collaboration of efforts. The bike you ride is affordable and efficient because some guy in some country goes to work 8 or 10 hours a day along with 1000’s of others to design and produce that bike. They buy the material from an even larger supply chain of many 1000’s of people processing that material and if you go a step more someone is mining the earth for the oar to make those materials from. Some guy working a job making mining equipment is buying food and clothes with the money he makes building for the common good and a farmer is working long hours growing that food. The chain of labor goes in a million directions even from a lifestyle as simple as living a free and carefree biking life. The roadway system you ride on was built by labor and materials and the time taken from someone’s life in exchange for money that goes around and around causing more change. If you crash on your bike you will end up in the ER and someone that spent their entire life training to fix your body will help you and they will do it with equipment that many others spent their lives designing and building.

Freedom is never free.

I don’t think people should work and do nothing but work and the guy that worked and wants to enjoy his retirement on the road is entitled to every second of it doing whatever makes him happy. The same for the person that fits their pleasure of a biking lifestyle in every free moment they can. My point is if we all said let’s enjoy life in whatever way makes us the happiest and start when we are young and go as long as we can, and do nothing but that, the things that would make us happy wouldn’t be there to make us happy without someone else providing them.

Doing the minimum to exist and then existing at a minimal level is enough for any given individual but it is not enough to make society go around at the level we are accustomed to.

That’s just my opinion. I don’t work to amass a lot of stuff. Most of us work because we have families and responsibilities and know there is a common good involved in doing so. We then find the time for our pleasures fitting them in here and there. The beauty of capitalism “a dirty word to some” is it doesn’t require you to participate in the process you are free to go in any direction you want and if you don’t want to work you don’t have to. True capitalism allows for doing nothing just like it does success. But in it you don’t get the benefits of the system without the effort. You don’t have to work but then again you are not entitled to what you need for free. In socialism you are required to contribute and your needs will be taken care of. We now live in a world where we want people to be taken care of but not have a system of contribution.

In those situation one person right to live free is because someone else is covering their expense.
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