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Being outdoors and personal finance are two of my biggest passions in life.
So when I published an article recently on the life lessons climbing has taught me about money and myself, I was thrilled to see so many responses from like-minded people who could really resonate with the message.
Check out that post here: 5 Lessons Climbing has Taught Me About Life, Money, and Myself
It became immediately clear that there is a huge connection between lovers of the outdoors and people seeking financial independence in one way or another.
The two subjects both inspire passion. They motivate people and can change your entire perspective – the way you live your life, even.
Just a few other blogs by people with a shared love of finance and adventure include:
Three Money Lessons You Can Learn from Mountaineering (Feminist Financier)
Half Marathons and Mortgages (Adventure Rich)
Time to Climb a Mountain (Our Next Life)
It made me wonder; why is there a link?
Why are two spheres that seem so apparently unrelated actually made up of a lot of the same people?
We all know that more time spent outdoors is good for our bodies, minds and souls. Besides, it goes without saying that finding financial independence is one of the highest achievements you could reach in life.
So, what connects a love of the outdoors and financial independence? Here’s my theories.
Money Matters Less Outdoors
When you’re in the great outdoors, money simply matters less.
I’m not talking about when you leave your house to walk to the shops here.
I’m talking getting outside – off-grid – into the mountains, valleys, forests or woods. Into nature.
Places where phone reception is rare and WiFi non-existent.
Anyone who loves hiking, climbing, mountaineering or other outdoors pursuits will know the feeling of being totally disconnected from the ‘real’ world, and yet somehow feeling like this is exactly how everything is supposed to be.
Without social media and the news, without shopping malls and high-streets, without office jobs and ringing phones, the idea of money feels so much less significant.
What do we need, really?
A shelter, food, water. A hobby that makes us feel alive. Loved ones.
“ Money doesn’t really come into it if we’re already happy.
An outdoorsy life is a frugal life
People who aspire to be financially independent enough to seek out climbing crags or retire to the best spots for hiking and adventures don’t need a lot of money to make that reality possible.
Suddenly, the idea of a life outdoors and financial independence is far more achievable and worth aiming for.
If you’re looking to buy a plot of land, grow vegetables, and support an already simple life enjoying what nature has to offer, becoming financially independent is still going to take some work – but it’s possible. Just check out the Frugal Woods for proof (and some serious life envy!)
If your passion is for designer clothes, thousand dollar watches and shiny new cars, the figure you need to accumulate to achieve financial independence is suddenly a lot higher and could seem almost impossible to achieve.
“ Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit. –Edward Abbey
Just a thought, but perhaps people whose values align with these ideals (and no judging if they do!) aim less for financial independence and for more achievable goals – promotions, a sturdy retirement fund etc?
What can we learn?
As someone mutually passionate about these two subjects, I may be biased, but I think we can take a lot away from this connection between the outdoors and financial independence.
If you’re trying and struggling to budget, save money or get a handle on your finances, think: where are your priorities?
Do you spend your weekends in shopping centres, or go hiking in the woods?
Consider getting outside and into nature, see how it feels.
You never know, it might change your whole perspective on life.