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The kick off is by Robert Wringham of New Escapologist. Enjoy!
Houdini was the original escapologist. He would break out of barrels, slide out of handcuffs, and tickle his way out of bank vaults. No trap or manacle could hold him. He did all of this with showmanship, sincerity and good humour.
That’s what today’s best freedom-seekers do. Wherever there’s a depressing workplace with malfunctioning photocopiers, there’s probably an latter-day Escapologist lurking in a cubicle, already plotting her escape.
Of course, most of her colleagues probably have escape on the brain too. They fantasise about winning the lottery, being whisked away by a wealthy stranger, or becoming famous through a TV talent show. But fantasies are fantasties. The Escapologist, unlike the others, will work systematically and enthusiastically on a proper escape plan.
Some escape plans are entrepreneurial: to develop an automated business using AdWords and VPAs in the style of Mr Ferris.
Some escape plans are sideways career moves into more location-independent professions. These are the travel writers, the pro-bloggers, and the career coaches.
Some are quite radical and will involve going back to the land and living autonomously like Thoreau.
Some escape plans are very modest and simply involve minimising one’s expenses so that working hours can be reduced to a part-time commitment.
Some involve working hard and investing wisely for an extreme early retirement.
And these are just the escape plans that focus upon work. Others plans may involve an escape from debt, from school, from tedious monogamy, from undignified commitments, from bad health, from a lousy city, from a disagreeable country, from depression, from general urban lethargy.
It is possible to systematically identify the ties that bind us to a place or a person or a situation, and to gently detach ourselves from them. Just like Houdini would have done. A lot of people just haven’t realised it yet. To believe in escape lets the madness in. And that’s where the fun begins.
This madness is what we discuss in New Escapologist: a magazine for regular people who want to take an escape fantasy and mold it into a real, actionable escape plan. What’s yours?
Ways to engage with Rob and New Escapologist: