Maverick Traveler

Location Independence, Geo Arbitrage, Individual Freedom

How I Broke Free Of Corporate Slavery And Discovered Freedom The Maverick Way

This is a guest post by Kyle from ThisIsTrouble.com.

Freedom.

The word thrown around so often to American men. The thing we’re supposed to have more than anything of, but in reality – we have almost none of it.

From a young age, we’re forced into a school system that shackles us to a desk and deprives us of our ability to run and use our energy. That continues all the way to adulthood, where we’re chained to a cubicle, given a package of human resource rules to follow, and told that this is the only path we have in life.

“It is what it is.”

The above is the favorite phrase that all companies and managers use to keep you around the office, reporting to work like a slave so that you can never break free. And while you’re at it, make sure you buy that expensive house, car, TV, boat, blender and the granite countertops – preferably on credit. Credit that will haunt you until you die.

I’ve decided I’ve had enough.

I’ve gone the way of the Maverick, and never plan to look back.

My Story

On paper, I’m Corporate America’s dream worker bee. And for the longest time, I was also every American woman’s dream guy.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted in several aspects of life, especially technology. I was ripping apart computers at ten years old, graduated college early, and took my first steps into the Corporate America world as a bright-eyed, barely able to drink 21 year old kid.

I was always the “nice guy” throughout high school and college. Girls always told me that I’d make the perfect husband – someday. Not surprisingly, I didn’t kiss a girl until I was 19, and was still a virgin at 21. This was despite the fact that I’d gone through a pretty big transformation:

The funny thing is that I started the corporate life at about the same time I lost my virginity. All of a sudden, two new realities were thrown in my face. All of a sudden, I became free.

Those two realizations were:

  1. Corporate America is a soul-sucking experience.
  2. Nearly everything I’d been told about women was wrong.

The above are the main two reasons I have now walked away from my job, my life in Los Angeles, and everything about the American lifestyle. They’re the reasons I have my bags packed and a one way ticket to Poland.

And to be clear – it’s not that I’m leaving a dead-end career or a bad situation. I’m clearing six figures and I’m not quite 25 years old, my game is sharp enough that my main girl in Los Angeles is a Disneyland princess, and I have a good group of male friends I can turn to for companionship and support. I’m not saying these things to brag, but I hope that it passes this message along: even though things seem great – something still feels amiss in my life.

To discover that something is my next goal.

When I’m on my deathbed, I don’t want to have the “what-ifs” that so many people take with them to the grave. I don’t want to ask myself what could have been, but rather have beautiful memories of what was. Would I rather have memories of grey walls, fluorescent lights, and American attitude, or the alternative: an office at the beach, mountains, or wherever I please, fresh air, and radiating feminine charm from beautiful women?

I’m not naive enough to think that it’s all going to be roses on my journey, but I’m also enough of a dreamer to see a vision and the possibilities.

It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to leave my family, friends, career, and the gorgeous Los Angeles weather behind. I hemmed and hawed about it for days, weeks, and months. It became a lot easier when I thought of the worst case scenario though, because:

  • I can always go back to my dreary career.
  • I have well over a year of living expenses stocked away, so I plan to build my business. But if it fails, it’s not hard to come up with $1,500 a month in freelance work (provided you put in the hours finding it).
  • Even if I fail…failure makes you stronger as a man.

I’ve come to the realization that the greatest risks in life also carry the greatest rewards.

This is why I’m becoming a Maverick Traveler.

Corporate America

Like James’ background, I come from the tech world. My career in tech began on February 18th, 2013 – and comes to it’s final conclusion on February 23, 2016. Just over three years of commutes, office junk food, office politics, and more. How James made it for nearly ten years is astounding, and he deserves a medal of honor for his service.

I suspect the likely reason he held out for so long is because resources like Maverick Traveler weren’t around for him in his early years. Men like me, who are in our early or mid twenties, are blessed beyond belief. Sites like this exist for a reason – they shed light on the problems that young men face.

There are so many things wrong with the Corporate America environment.

Many of you are probably of above-average intelligence, yet are still forced to work the typical 40 hour a week workweek. I’ve never understood this method. If someone can get the work done in half the time – they should only have to work half the time! Corporate America doesn’t pay you to get the job done, because if that was the case I’d only be working one day a week. Instead, they pay you for your time. Time is the only thing on the planet that you cannot simply buy more of. It is a finite resource, and Corporate America milks you for all you’re worth in this regard.

This is especially true in the IT world. I fully agree that young men shouldn’t become programmers, but I’ll add more to that.

No young men should aim for IT as a career.

You do not want to be an administrator – you will get calls at any time of day and night and be expected to save the day.

You do not want to be in any sort of support – even though it’s often hourly pay, the stress of dealing with shitty customers is not worth it.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t want a career that can’t scale.

You want to be paid fairly for your time. Careers in IT simply don’t do that. Corporate America as a whole doesn’t do that. Now, don’t run out and quit your job just because this blog post says so. But have a plan of escape, lay your own future down and figure out what you want. Maybe you want to be a Maverick Traveler and jump to exotic locale to exotic locale. Or maybe you want a brick and mortar bike shop.

Whatever it is, just know that as an above-average-intelligence man – eventually, you are going to get a desire to get more out of life than long commutes, cubicles, and office politics. You just have to summon the courage and take the plunge.

The Girls

On the radio the other day, I heard a special called “War of the Roses”. Essentially, it’s a game where people have the radio station call someone they are dating, or went on a date with – and the poor person on the receiving end of the call gets put on the spot and grilled about the relationship. Most often, it’s a man getting this phone call from the DJ.

The girl who asked the radio station to call in was wondering why the man didn’t call her for a second date. She told the story about how he ended the date after half an hour – he paid the bill, wished her well, and walked out. Obviously, he didn’t like something about her and chose to not waste his valuable time on her, but he was very classy about it.

This girl couldn’t handle the rejection.

She attempted to shame him by having the radio station call and interrogate him about their date. While he tried to dance around the questions and keep it peaceful, she attacked him so viciously he told the truth.

His response was as follows:

“The reason I left and never called you was because you had your phone out the entire date. You never put it away, and you sat there and read me your Instagram and Facebook comments. You’re cute, and I’m sure no one has told you this – but you have a major attitude problem, you’re vapid, and you have absolutely no social skills. I’m not interested.”

The girl nearly burst into tears on live radio. She gathered herself and began defending her conversational skills, saying that reading Instagram and Facebook comments was her way of talking about her day and making conversation.

Read that again: A girl truly thought that reading her social media comments from thirsty men, while on a date, was acceptable and stimulating conversation to the man she was on a date with.

Props to this man for having the balls to call her out.

While this example is on the extreme end of the spectrum, it does provide some insight into how most American women are these days. If you have traveled abroad and dated foreign women, you know exactly what I mean. Their feminine energy and charm is just so irresistible – the games fall to the wayside, and you find you actually genuinely enjoy spending time with these women both in and out of the bedroom. Game becomes less about manipulative asshole tactics, and more about simply being a strong and confident man with a dose of healthy masculinity.

American girls not only have the attitude, but insist on trying to run your life regardless of their relationship to you.

Do not let them shame you into marrying and committing to an American girl who wasted her prime years partying and turning men down for sport. There is no shame in walking away to another country, and dating beautiful and feminine women who make you immensely happy. Relationships should be about happiness, not competition. American women will shame you, saying that foreign girls are just submissive and want you for money – they’ll claim you need someone to “challenge you”.

It’s a lie.

A man faces enough challenge in his day to day life. While a pretty 18 year old girl has the world at her fingertips with millionaires wanting to wife her up, the 18 year old man has absolutely nothing. Life is a complete uphill fight for us from the time we are born.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. This struggle defines you as a man.

But that doesn’t mean I want my woman to challenge me. I’ve had plenty of challenges in my life already, and will continue to face them in regards to building a business, making money, and other aspects of life.

I want my woman to compliment me, not challenge. If I wanted competition, I’d go play sports with other men.

The reality of the situation is that American women phrase the “challenge” issue as a way of defending their abrasive and horrible attitude. Which is fine, they can continue to do so, and (unfortunately) plenty of men will continue to accept it.

They can continue having “conversations” about Instagram comments, I’ll take the beautiful foreign girls who support me in my life goals.

What Do You Want From Life?

Many of you reading this blog are probably quite successful yourselves – both in career, women, and life overall. At the same time, while you maybe aren’t unhappy with your current situation – something just feels a bit “off”. It’s nearly impossible to put into words; I’ve been writing my blog for three years and still struggle to describe it properly. The best advice I can give is this: listen to your gut. Your gut is almost always right. For example, when I ended up in the ghetto of Barranquilla, Colombia, and knew I needed to get out of there ASAP or I’d likely be robbed and/or killed. How I felt a gnawing feeling in my stomach everyday when I showed up at the office, disgusted at myself to put money in another man’s wallet. The disappointment when I would go on perfectly nice dates with American girls, but something just felt off.

Your gut instinct is a powerful tool. If something is telling you that something is “wrong” with your life, it’s because it’s the truth. And I’m here telling you that there is merit behind that truth. You may not be able to articulate it, but myself and countless other members of this online community can understand your pain.

You are not alone.

American society is no longer the land of opportunity it once was for young men. If you get out and see the world, you will see this. You’ll have your lightbulb moment, and from there – it’s up to you what to do with it.

That moment is a freeing feeling, and I’ve never felt more free than I do now.

This is a guest post from Kyle at ThisIsTrouble.com. Kyle is a former corporate wage slave who, through sheer struggle and determination, broke free of his corporate shackles and is about to embark on his first ever location-independent lifestyle.

42 Comments

  1. Great post, Kyle. You are wise to have this realization at such an early age, most don’t see it until they are too deep in debt to escape. Good luck! Sharing your story will help others break free.

  2. Great post Kyle. Also, I’m new to Mav Traveler, but I like what you’re posting on Twitter and I’m looking forward to digging into your blog.

  3. Excellent post Kyle! I have seen your blog once and will become a regular there. I am an old dog who has been plodding along for far too long and deep down inside know it….but haven’t been able to take the red pill (metaphorically) yet to break free from what I instinctively (that gut thing) know is wrong with my life.

    But that is changing. With encouragement and gentle prodding from Mr. Maverick and stories like yours, I am realizing that a whole new world awaits me……and many new tricks for this old dog to learn.

    Keep up the good work Kyle!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, that “thing” is just SO hard to pinpoint. I got lucky and found blogs like this at a young age, but if I hadn’t, there’s little doubt in my mind I’d still have that gut feeling but be unable to put a finger on it. With all of society’s pressures, it’s difficult to dig deep enough to see the light.

      The Internet is a great blessing, but you nailed it – it’s NEVER too late to turn things around.

  4. Great piece, Kyle. Really happy to see you here on Maverick Traveler.

    I checked out your blog and will be becoming a regular there in the future. Nice work, man.

  5. Awesome, dude.

    I’m about to do the same. Quitting my job next month.

  6. Kyle, you’re an inspiration dude. Where are you going? I’ve been living in Estonia for several years now after escaping America. Best years of my life, even though I’m a bit older than you.

    Here’s some advice: don’t settle for the first girl that digs you. Look around. Pick and choose. There will be many more to choose from!

    • Thank you, glad I can be one.

      I’m heading to Poland, Kiev, Budapest (already been and loved it), and Belgrade. Tentative plan is to head to South America come fall. Next year will pick 2-3 of my favorites and spend 4-6 months in places to potentially find a long-term location.

      I definitely won’t pick the first one! There are still a lot of oats to sow and flags to acquire…heh. Thanks for the comment my man.

  7. Nice article, Kyle.

    Good luck in your endeavor, my friend.

  8. Congrats Kyle!

    If you head down to Argentina, shoot me an email!

  9. Yo Kyle! You got a sick blog, bro.

    Real talk.

    Glad to see you being marketed here on my boy’s Mav’s blog.

    Ima gonna be coming thru to your blog, son.

  10. What are you foreseeing your day to day activities to be? I’m almost 24 and in a very similar circumstance to you. However, I’ve recently made a decision to give up things like excessive partying and drinking, and purely hedonistic pursuits. I can’t rationalize myself making a big jump like this if it will only be to party it up day and night in a new city, just to bang a few women or have short non-meaningful relationships.

    I’ve been to Krakow, Budapest, and Belgrade and I could definitely see myself getting an apartment there for 3 months on a tourist visa and enjoying the adventure of navigating and establishing myself in a new city, learning a language, and making friends. Yet I wonder how much of the “grass is greener” effect applies here.

    • My blog and a few other websites are making enough to get by, so I am planning to scale it out. Content everyday, write a couple more books, produce some killer daygame videos, etc.

      Long-term I’d like to have enough passive income streams that I could learn a lot more about forex trading and investing and leverage that into a source of income, too.

      While dating foreign girls will be a part of it, I’ve never been the extreme “go out and drink 5 nights a week” guy, unless I’m on a trip where I’ve only got a week to ten days in a place. With this journey, I’ll settle into an actual routine along the lines of:

      – Wake up early (~6-7am) write, handle administrative stuff
      – Hit the gym around late morning
      – Lunch for first meal of the day (I intermittent fast every day, only 2x meals)
      – Head to coffee shop/main square to continue writing/working
      – Dinner, more work, wind down by 11pm or so.

      I’ll probably have a date 2-3x a week after dinner, and go out once a week drinking at a club or something of the sort.

      If I need to I’ll pick up some web design work here and there. I have a friend who is coming too (recent development), so it’ll be great to have an accountability partner too. I keep telling people it’s a business goal, not an extended vacation or “gap year”.

      Hope this clears things up!

      • Sounds like a cool plan. Bring enough condoms with you. Sometimes it’s hard to get good quality condoms in Eastern Europe.

      • Interesting. You’ll be using the 90-day Schengen tourist visa, hop to Belgrade or Kiev for ~90 days to reset it, and then start a new one in Budapest?

        What kind of place are you staying at? Longer-term Airbnb? Or doing James’ trick of staying for a week or so and then negotiating a cheaper price for a longer term stay?

        How much do you account for opportunity costs? I’m currently struggling with the idea of working for another 2-3 years (only 7 months into my job) and living frugally and saving. I would then invest that money into real estate or something else so that I wouldn’t have all my eggs in one basket. I’d be 26-27 and then go about doing a big change like this. Or do you just say “f it” at some point when looking at the opportunity costs?

        Maybe I’m being a bit too cynical and negative when looking at plans to do this, because it takes a positive force to make stuff like this successful and memorable. I do also think a great plan goes a long way.

        • Krakow for a month, Kiev for a month, Budapest for ten days while en route to Belgrade. Then wherever we decide to go for an extended period.

          Well…that was the plan.

          I had never even heard of this Schengen visa. The US consulate site says 90 days for basically any country, so I didn’t realize that hopping between allied countries would count against me. The US passport info sites need to do a better job clarifying this.

          So am I shit out of luck with my plan? If I’m only spending 30 days in Poland can I return to a Schengen country (Hungary in this case) after another 30 days?

          Glad you pointed this out as I would have had no idea.

          As far as lodging I’m negotiating AirBNB’s and paying for a month up front. Once I pick a place for 4-6 months I’ll have one of my girls I’ll inevitably meet help me negotiate a long-term rate.

          The opportunity cost are the precious years I’m (and you) wasting in a cubicle jail cell. When will you ever be more free, with less debt, and more energy? Never. I can look back with no regrets because I gave two highly rated companies an honest chance and hated both. If I had stayed a year longer, I’d consider that year an opportunity cost.

          Every day and year you move a little closer to dying, not the opposite.

          • Truth on that.

            A little primer on Schengen. So Ukraine and Serbia are not in the Schengen area. Both probably have their own 90-day limits for American tourists. Schengen works like this: you look back 180 days. If you’ve spent over 90 days in the Schengen Area, you’re an illegal alien. So if you spend 45 in Poland, a week in Ukraine, and then 60 days in Hungary, you would be illegal. Certain countries (eg Greece) would be less likely to stop you, compared to maybe Switzerland. But it’s like a 1100 euro fine and a big red alien stamp in your passport. Thought I’d help you out.

            Have you decided to put a lot of effort into learning the languages, or just get by with a few phrases and English? Also, why did you pick the big cities of the country instead of maybe smaller cities where you would have more of the foreign factor, and less tourists to ruin your flow?

          • Good comment. Schengen is a tricky thing. Make sure you understand correctly first.

          • Thank you, very helpful info. I can’t believe how that isn’t made more prominent on the US websites.

            I’ll learn enough of the local language in areas that I need it, like Ukraine. I know I can get by with mostly English in Poland and Budapest. Not sure about Serbia. But it always ends up that I have a girl whose really into me after a week…so I can always use them in a pinch, ha!

            I like big cities. I’m coming from Los Angeles and before that, San Diego. I would have a hard time not being in the middle of things.

            I spent time in Wroclaw a couple years ago (loved it), and will be stopping in smaller cities while transiting countries – so if there’s one that catches my eye I will take the time to go back.

          • Kyle, how much you think it will cost you to live in Poland and have money to date?

          • Nice tips about Schengen rules. Sorta off topic but it’s ironic (?) that you guys are seeking to abide by these EU rules on immigration, meanwhile the EU seems to have loose border policies on those who are barraging through without a care (cough cough).
            Good luck and fun times on your journey!

  11. Many people like to talk about freedom, but not so many have the courage to take action.

    Showing your values through actions is 1000x more powerful than writing a motivational mindwank text with a cool picture – I’m sure reading this will inspire lots of people myself included!

  12. Great post, Kyle. And thanks to Sir. Maverick for publishing on this site. We need more such guys out there putting up these posts.

    I’m older than most of you (44), and I didn’t have such resource when I was growing up. But fantastic sites such as these really help other guys make the leap towards true independence and sovereignty.

    Looking forward to seeing how you’ll evolve over the coming months and years.

    Best of luck with everything.

  13. Kyle, I wrote on your blog with comments on a similar post there — I’m the guy who did this a couple years ago, and is now back in the US.

    I think you lump IT and cubicle-working jobs together unnecessarily. What it seems like you want to escape, and I fully agree with you, is the usual corporate world BS.

    IT itself doesn’t mean corporate world, and of all the typical white collar skills to have (law, accounting, IT, etc), I think the IT is most useful in just about any business or venture you may end up in. For pretty much any business, knowledge of IT and in particular how to leverage it, can be a big benefit.

    Of course I’m biased — I’m in IT. But I started my own company and I’ve been lucky enough to do very, very well by any measure. No cubicle world for me; flexible schedule; and I can afford to travel as much as I like (though now I prefer to spend more time with my kids).

    Maverick: The comment nesting display is kind of difficult to read on desktop, and really tough on a iPhone screen. Thought of just moving to Disqus or the like?

    • Ah yes, I remember you!

      I plan to keep the IT skills sharp.

      I think the main problem is that I don’t have enough experience to really *run* my own IT company. And trust me, I really thought about doing consulting for it.

      No one would take me seriously, but I suspect I’d need a few more years and a bit more age to make a real go at it. It’s definitely in the back of my mind.

      • Could be — I don’t know your experience. For me, I was 2-3 years older than you when I started mine, and it was just me for the first 2 years until we got enough customers and revenue that more people were necessary (and I had enough revenue to pay them). My past work experience was valuable in knowing what worked well and what didn’t in terms of both the software development side and the management side.

        Anyway, I think you can definitely make decent money freelancing by picking up gigs via your contacts or even one of the big freelancer sites. The key selling point for you is you’re American but have lower rates than Americans based in the US. A lot of customers prefer to work with American programmers due to communication skills, training, or creativity, and you won’t find many on those freelance sites. I guess you can call it location arbitrage 🙂

  14. This is the best article I’ve seen on this blog — kudos to James for running it at the risk of being upstaged.

    I don’t have much experience with young American girls these days (I’ve got almost 20 years on Kyle), but if popular entertainment is any indication, the situation is dire indeed. I just watched the first episode or two of a show called “Love” on Netflix, and the female lead seems to be emblematic of the utter repulsiveness of the contemporary American female type — vulgar, slutty, utterly self-absorbed. Revolting, yet I have a feeling she’s supposed to be an ideal to which young female viewers should aspire.

    Best luck to the author on his adventures — get as far from here as you can.

    • Ha, WOW! I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m very flattered. I’ve read James’ blog for a while and have always thought of him as one of the upper-tier writers in this part of the web, so to be mentioned with him is pretty cool.

      And of course, thank you for the well wishes.

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