Have You Ever Thought of Quitting the Rat Race?

Have You Ever Thought of Quitting the Rat Race?Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get off the “more” treadmill and live with less?  Mat and I thought about it all the time before we sold our house 3 years ago in an attempt to try something different.  The nomadic lifestyle we chose as a replacement for our settled life is obviously not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get excited when someone joins us in making some extreme lifestyle changes.

A year and a half ago our friend, Yves, quit his $80K/year government job and sold his downtown condo.  He now works 3 days a week in a grocery store and lives in a tiny bachelor apartment.  Since we don’t often hear extreme downshifting stories like this, we met up with him a few weeks ago to pick his brain about his simple lifestyle and to ask him whether he has any regrets about the changes he made.  Listen to what he had to say in our latest YouTube video.

Happy Exploring :)


14 thoughts on “Have You Ever Thought of Quitting the Rat Race?

  1. Lamar

    Danielle ,,,,Thanks for posting…Look at 365 TAO number 295….Keep exploring as long as you can….Continue doing so even as you age…365 TAO number 296…. Both you and Matt are making memories that will last a lifetime…Lamar

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Ohhh I love 295, Lamar! Thank you for sharing <3

      "Reduce your problems into smaller, more manageable packages, and you can make measurable progress toward achievement. If you wait for everything to be perfect according to your preconceived plans, then you may well wait forever. If you go out and work with the current of life, you may find that success comes from building upon small things." - Deng Ming-Dao

  2. Erin Hancock

    This is a wonderful video. Great message, great story and really well done. I’m with Yves. You realize that letting go of the need for a bunch of stuff also makes so much more available – experiences, travel, peace of mind. I quit my job in Ottawa last fall and still haven’t gone back to work. I’m 5 days into a new life in Peru right now and this wouldn’t be possible if I was focused on getting nice things. Who knows what the future holds, but the present works. Check out our blog on our travels and experiences since last fall at youngretirement.WordPress.com

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Erin – thanks for watching the video about Yves! I’m so happy to hear that your adventure is still going strong – I’ve enjoyed following you and Jackson via your blog :)

  3. Simon

    Hi Danielle,

    Love the video, very artistic and helps to tell the story. (Maybe your best video yet)

    I’ve been following you guys on youtube for some time now and love your ethos. We’re in the process of executing our great escape and have followed a similar route to yourselves.

    We’ve reduced our overheads to a very small amount each month, we have our campervan almost ready and we plan to set off around Europe in April/May next year.

    Your work is very inspirational and I always keep an eye out for your next video.

    Thank you both for sharing your journey with us.


    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Simon,

      Thank you for watching the video and for being so supportive of our project. Mat will be thrilled that you think it’s our best video yet – he and Yves put a lot of hours into making it.

      Have fun planning your great escape and maybe we’ll cross paths in Europe next summer. We’re heading to Germany for a wedding in July :)

      Take care and happy exploring!


  4. Jess

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    I have only just discovered your blog, and I wanted to tell you how grateful I am that you are sharing your experiences. My husband and I have downsized and just sold all of our furniture. We live the the essentials and are focused on simplicity. It is our dream to live tiny and be mobile. This is great inspiration… Thanks again.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Jess – thank you for checking out the blog! Congratulations on simplifying your life with your husband – I’m sure it was difficult at times but I hope you’ve both made space for what’s important to you. Take care and happy exploring :)

  5. Michael L

    Hi Guys!! Im a new fan of yours and I think I’ve watched all your youtube videos in one sitting! I think its so cool you both found each other and are so like-minded =)

    So just curious after thinking about doing something similar as you for awhile, what is your advice on finding somewhere to park for the night?? It seems like if I were to actually do this I’d spend a lot of time at camping spots, rv sites which are definitely not cheap over the long run. With a lot of people focusing so much on being “stealth” it seems risky and Id be more worried about doing something illegal that maybe its not worth it? What do you think?

    Seems like there are two types of people that do this too, ones who want to, and ones who just want a cheap place to live.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Michael,

      Wow – thanks for watching all of our videos, we really appreciate it and are glad you liked them :)

      Your parking question is a good one – one of the toughest parts about living in a van is deciding where you want to park, and whether you want to stealth camp. Sleeping in your van on the street is illegal in most places, and if you get caught, I’ve heard that you can get a fairly hefty fine ($100 in some places). That said, there are lots of other places to park where it’s not illegal. You can park in people’s driveways (friends, family, couch surfing hosts), Walmart parking lots, campgrounds, crown land (Canada), BLM land (USA), and we’ve also just heard about an site called iOverlander that helps you find free places to park worldwide (not sure if they’re all legal).

      If you’re planning to stay in one place and not travel around, it would probably be easier to negotiate a cheap arrangement with a friend or acquaintance who would let you permanently park your van in their driveway for a small fee.

      I hope that helps! Take care and happy exploring :)

      1. Cjhaab

        You will want to recommend doing local research as there are many towns and cities that have zoning or other ordinances against parking or living in vehicles or trailers on the street or on residential property.

        1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

          Thank you for the tip, Cathie! It is definitely against most by-laws to sleep in a vehicle which makes living in a vehicle very tough. We do our best to be extremely stealthy and respectful so that no one even knows we’re there :)

  6. Sara Long

    I am new to your blog and YouTube channel but have been downsizing for quite some time. I recently sold all my furniture and have 2 boxes and a backpack left. I will be moving in with my son to share expenses and save money. My question is, do you think a woman on her own can do what you guys have done? I love backpacking and traveling so it seems tailor made for me. Thanks for your help. Good luck in your travels.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Sara – thank you for reaching out and congratulations on downsizing :)

      To answer your question, I definitely think that solo backpacking and traveling are possible for women – I’ve done it (and loved it) and follow a couple of solo female travel blogs that might give you some inspiration:

      There’s also a website called Nomad List (https://nomadlist.com) that allows you to search travel destinations that suit your needs. You could try using the “female friendly” and “safe” filters to start with to get an idea of which countries are more user-friendly.

      I hope that helps! Take care and happy exploring :)


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