Living Differently

Home » Travel » Living Differently

This post may contain affiliate links.

This post, and entire “Living Differently” series, was written when I finally woke up to what we’d achieved, and realised that we were living life differently and loving it. It was the moment everything changed for us and our website’s following and monthly views started going through the roof. It was when I first came up with the concept of “Living Differently” and was meant to inspire and help others do likewise. Back then, I wrote the following blog post on how and why we were living life so much differently to the norm.

Living Differently People Living Life Differently
People living life differently, in freedom. In 2024, yes, we’re still living life our way.

What follows is what I originally wrote, several years ago, over 10 years ago we changed our lives and our children’s lives for the better. We have no regrets, changing our lives, breaking away from the norm, was the best thing we ever did.

We ditched our jobs, schools, and all restrictions to start a life of travel and freedom, becoming digital nomads and entrepreneurs. We hope you find our insights helpful in your quest towards living life differently

Living Differently – Secrets

How many years have I been writing blog posts? Don’t know? Well I’ll tell you, it’s 4.

The conversation between Chef and I, the one that changed our lives, took place 4 years ago in our garden in Australia and I’ve been blogging about it from every corner of the globe since.

Only I haven’t.

I’ve been talking about the travel not the lifestyle shift. I’ve had a realisation, a flash of light that shook up my thoughts and made everything crystal clear on a grey London day.

This shouldn’t so much be a travel blog. This must be a blog about living differently.

I’ve been doing it all wrong, writing factual destination-based posts and handy tips and how-tos of family travel. These posts are the bread and butter, they pay the bills (see how we make a living blogging here) but for you, the readers, I don’t need to do that.

Anyone can do that, but not many can write about living a life so different from the norm that most would be scared to try.

We’re not just dreaming or planning, we’ve done it. For the last 3 years. It’s in the bag and it’s been a glorious success.

Please pin this to Pinterest, just hover for the button 

The Secrets of Living Differently. How we changed our lives and how you can too.

Here are the secrets of “Living Differently”

You do not have to grow up, get an education, get a job, climb the career ladder, get married, have kids, climb the property ladder, send the kids to school, retire and take cruises in that order.

Nothing is forcing you to live life to any schedule. Nobody is forcing you to do any of those things at all. There is no reason not to live life differently.

You do not have to get a good job with good prospects, stability and promotional opportunities. You don’t ever have to work for somebody else if you don’t want to.

You do not have to seek acceptance from society.

You don’t need pieces of paper to be educated, you can teach yourself anything.

Kids are not required to go to school in most countries.

You don’t have to buy the latest gadgets or buy anything at all to prove you’re a success or not poor or to improve your image. You just don’t.

Living your life joyfully doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many ways to live within your means other than earning more and more money and sacrificing more and more of your precious time for that paycheck.

You only need to work for the things you really need, be they personal satisfaction in your working life, to give something back to global humanity, or bed and board.

Do you see? Do you see that you can be the creator of your own lifestyle and that there is NOTHING to stop you living differently, only yourself.

And you know why they’re secrets? It’s because the world, as it stands, would stop turning if consumerism was no longer a part of the typical human make-up.  

Schools teach us to be good consumers and follow the above lifestyle schedule, earning more, paying more taxes, buying more. They provide half an education because they don’t want people to think too much.

But there is another way. We found that way by chance after 30+ years of living a “normal” life. Normal and of average ordinary happiness with a large measure of boredom and monotony on the side.

Changing our lives to live them differently was the best thing we ever did. I know we’ve had our ups and downs but these last 3 years have been mind-blowingly fantastic.

So thanks if you’ve been with us all along, a lot of you have become good friends, real and virtual and you mean a lot to us. If you’re new, sign up to follow. I’ve found my voice and I have a lot more to say!

If you’re here you will most certainly want to read this post on raising money, economising and making money to fund a lifestyle of “Living Differently”

You may also be interested in options for your kids’ education outside school. Just click the links.

Thanks for signing up , all future posts will arrive in your inbox roughly once a week along with our travel updates.

You Can Access Published “Living Differently” Posts Here

We have “Living Differently” as a category on this website, click through to see all of our content relating to alternative life choices.

Living Differently: Uncertainties, Stories and Bookings

Living Differently: Owning Less Living More

Living Differently: Make Your First $1000 from Amazon Affiliates

Living Differently: Owning Less Clothes and Dumpster Diving

Living Differently: Parenting

Living Differently: The 12 Month Countdown To A New Life of Travel

Living Differently: Homeschooling

Living Differently: We Bought a Farm! (This one opens in a new tab, on our new website, permaculture, homesteading, self sufficient lifestyle).


2024 Update: We were forced into being more “normal” in 2020 when closed borders stopped us from travelling. We were caught in Australia, there was no way to get out. Despite buying a farm and a whole load of animals, we still find ways to travel a lot, and we’re certainly not normal! In the last couple of years, we’ve been to Japan, Jordan, Thailand, Bali, the UK, and taken domestic trips, most recently Sydney. The kids are grown, I’m still a travel blogger, my husband has a part-time job that he loves. Life is still fun, but you can’t travel forever as a family. I wish we could, I miss full-time travel, with my family, still. In 2024 I’m taking off to travel solo and I’m running a marathon, I’m well over 50. Watch this space!

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

35 thoughts on “Living Differently”

  1. Wow I did this with my family in 2010, moved out of the USA, which I believe is not as common for Americans to do 😉 and we lived abroad for 3 years. I had a WordPress blog for family and friends, however, you made the most of it financially, that’s great!! Wish I had had that mind set, but who knows I can sense inspiration coming on from your adventure /entrepreneur spirit.! Well done! I’m sure I’ll stay tuned.Best of luck.

  2. Totally agree! Although, in our country, it’s illegal to not send your kids to school. They call it an ‘education’ obligation, but rather it is a ‘school’ duty. We therefore need to deregister. But I totally agree that you can be the creator of your own life.

    • What country is that Nanouk? There are quite a few with oppressive rules like that but there’s usually a way round it. You mean deregister as a citizen of that country? Sounds drastic.

  3. What a way to think outside the box! Too many think that if they follow the path set out like everyone else they’ll be happy. Happiness comes from within! Make the life YOU want!!!

    Travel can be the best way to learn about ….anything and everything! Explore, wonder, learn, seek… We travel with the kids and strive to make it educational. I write travel guides for my own kids and then publish them when we get back from our travels so others can use them! The world is a classroom!! Have fun with it.

  4. It takes people a long time to actually come to this realization. However, for most people, they like the security in checking off each box that highlights success. For us, I do like having a job, a decent paycheck and food on the table. However, we just decided to move to the place we most enjoyed traveling to. It’s been the best decision ever for us. Also, it’s curbed my desire to travel all over the world to find my place of rest and discovery. Yes, we still like to see new places, we just like staying in our new ‘home’ place more 😀

  5. Hi Alyson, I love the new direction you’ve taken on the blog, I’ve been reading all your latest posts with interest but have only just had time to comment now because we’ve been travelling so much over the past few weeks. I totally agree (of course!) that your life is what you make it and Andrew and I are really trying to carve a lifestyle we can truly be content and fulfilled with. It’s great to know that there are others like us trying to do the same – I hope to see you in Chiang Mai soon!!

  6. It almost makes me want to cry to read this. Because people usually live so bound, so unfree, caged, that they don’t even dare to think they have an option.

    Thanks for being you and for sharing your life. 🙂
    Sendt you an email btw, hope you got it 🙂

  7. Wow!! Best post I’ve read in awhile. What a fantastic way to look at it. I’m still trying to figure out this lifestyle shift, but I’m so glad that I’ve also realized this. Just wish I would have came to these realizations sooner.

  8. This is a beautiful post. I wish I had read this 15 years ago, but I’m SO THANKFUL I’m finding my way now. I’m so glad your family is apart of my world, even though we are strangers, so unlike, and will probably never meet. I still love that you are apart of my world, and that you choose to share some of your life with everyone.

  9. oohhhh… Fantastic new shift!
    Looking forward to the book Alyson. We live differently, but also normally for where we live (Near Nimbin/Byron Bay) Alternative to ‘mainstream Australia’, but quite normal for here…. Alternative Education, off-the-grid,etc… but Im also more minimalist and cant stand the waste of resources people consume, and ‘stuff’ they accumulate!
    Always looking for inspiring stories and advice. Thanks XX

  10. Yay!!!! Fantastic!

    Always wonderful blogs from you, now with an alternative twist.
    Yes, to living the way you want regardless of what is “expected” of you.

  11. This post came to me at just the right moment. My husband, myself and 2 children (9 &11) are finally allowing our dream to come true. We want to move to an international community with more simplicity and value on family not STUFF. A lot of fears have been coming up for me. Interestingly, these fears have nothing to do with doubts regarding our ability to “adapt” in a new culture but rather fears concerning family and friends and THEIR reaction. I needed to hear encouragement from someone who has lived a very different lifestyle. Thank you!!!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Thanks for sharing!! You’re definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to doing things differently and it’s fantastic and inspirational!
    Can’t wait for a book 🙂

  13. Alyson- thanks for the fresh, happy, enthusiastic, irreverent perspective! Your family’s journey continues to be so inspirational. Your insights regarding social connections made by you and your kids are keen ones. Cheers- feel free to reach out if you guy are ever in Bend, Oregon.

  14. Hi Alyson,

    Beautiful words! I believe more and more people are realising that they have been manipulated into this kind of system of living 🙂
    There is one question that I wanted to ask you in terms of your sons’ social life. Are they making friends while you traveling? It is quite important for me and since I have a boy and a girl and the age difference is quite big I don’t think they’ll be happy to just play together. Have your sons managed to make any long lasting friendships?
    What are your views about it?

    • Yes Justyna. At their age obviously the whole family has to be friends because we come as a package and will for many years yet. We have very good friends with kids in London that we visit regularly, met since we started travelling. Another family in the US that we’re in touch with from a cruise. No others that I can think of, they play with various kids all over the place but unless the whole family gels that connection will always be lost, it’s not like they want to email or Skype people, they’re not interested. As we travel there isn’t time to socialise much, for any of us. To be honest it’s not something important to me, I like my own company. The kids are happy too. They have, more and more, online friends that they hang out with in Minecraft Homeschool etc. That’s a new thing, the last 6 months. They also make friends with adults, several young adults that we cross paths with from time to time are really fond of them and vice versa. They are friends just as kids would be, they are social connections, people who like them, people to joke about with or learn from, people who care about them. The concept of “friends” as in a mob of kids thrown into a classroom together is one totally alien to us. To me the word friend is a deep lasting connection, not a playmate or an aquaintance, and I think they’re still too young. I didn’t make lasting friendships until I was maybe 15 or 16 and could stay in touch by phone, bus, then car. Up till then it was just the other kids in school, they weren’t real “friends”. A lot of travelling families get together and hang out, that’s not something we ever do because…well, why do we need to? We don’t feel the urge. We can go to any playground and the kids will find kids to play with, it’s not a issue.

    • M&M you’re partly to blame for this, you may not know it, but you’ve been leading me in the right direction with all your webinars and so on and yesterday all the stars aligned for the first time. Book is a-comin’ !

  15. Sounds like the blog will become even more interesting, look forward to reading. Vickie

  16. Thanks for this blog post ! I agree 100 percent , have not followed any society rules.. Have not worked proper job. been jazz musician, private guitar teacher , been blogger , been online entrepreneur , been traveler .. ( I am actually all of those things still ) . Following your blog and enjoying it ! Keep up the good stuff 🙂


Leave a comment