Free lifestyles

5 Stories Of People Getting Off The Corporate Treadmill

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Most of us are still living extremely busy lives, logging long 10 hour workdays, 5 days a week. We’re going through the motions of the capitalist machine without being in the present moment. Caught in the maze by debt and cultural coercion.

Some of those corporate rats were fed up with being possession rich but time-poor. They decided to unshackle and choose experiences over stuff. To pick freedom over illusionary prestige. Here are five inspiring stories of people who decided take a radical break from established insanity.


1. Guy quits job to build epic tree-house of his dreams

who said tree houses are just for kids?


This backyard playground staple has been turned into a full-fledged nature dwelling by former Ralph Lauren employee Foster Huntington. Dissatisfied with the monotonous day-to-day job at this New York City fashion mogul, Huntington decided he’d had enough and went off to build a fully-functioning tree house in the scenic Washington woodlands.

Pursuing his dream of becoming a freelance photographer, Huntington, with the help of his friends, has built one of the most fantastic tree houses you will ever see, which he has aptly named “The Cinder Cone.”

the builder hopes the result ignites the imagination of people’s inner kid and gets ideas going for their own projects



This dwelling has several rooms which are interconnected using wooden bridges. Amongst the splendid pine tree backdrop, Huntington has installed features including a hot tub and a skate bowl.

Huntington has also started a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to publish a book on how to build your own “Cinder Cone” tree house, and he hopes to encourage others to escape the corporate grind and live more at one with nature. Does the name ring a bell? Huntington is the initiator of Home Is Where You Park It and The Burning House.



2. Piano tuner chooses to be homeless to pay off student debt in one year

realizing he was trapped by debt in the rat race he ditched his stuff


Being homeless is not what you would call a glamorous lifestyle. It’s pretty friggin far from it. Moving from place to place with no permanent address can be depressing, and you’re subject to all the outside elements and weather that nature can throw at you.

But this doesn’t seem to bother Richard Roberts. He actually, deliberately went this path. Roberts made his decision to become homeless after realizing he wasn’t getting anywhere trying to pay his student loan off. He was living in a high-priced London flat and spending most of his money on rent, so he gave it all up and started a mobile piano-tuning business.

what use has an apartment if you don’t have the time to enjoy it?


This business venture proved very lucrative, and in little more than a year, he paid off his debt and is now living on the streets of London, sleeping in parks and bathing in the Thames. Roberts travels the city on his bicycle, armed with only a backpack and sleeping bag, along with his piano-tuning tools.

This free lifestyle allows him to find happiness without material possessions, and he now has the time to travel to his heart’s content.



3. Sous-chef goes with dog on a 10 year road trip

Ara and his dog making a pit stop


After the tragic loss of his 26-year-old son to liver cancer, professional chef Ara Gureghian spent two years trying to rebuild his life. Feeling no solace or satisfaction in his work, Gureghian set off on a spiritual journey across the country on his motorcycle, but not before finding the right companion.

Spirit is a pit bull rescue from one of the local shelters, and for Gureghian, it was love at first sight. Spirit and Gureghian instantly formed a bond, and after getting Spirit, who had been severely abused, back to health, the two set off on a nationwide journey of healing and enlightenment.


dog days and winter days


This plucky duo tour the countryside with a hunger for adventure, and Gureghian often expresses that he finds spending time with Spirit very therapeutic. Gureghian’s grief over the loss of his son has been softened by the constant companionship of his faithful pitbull, who is soon to receive the official status of “therapy dog,” and who also has his own sidecar and customized helmet.

Gureghian plans to share his experiences with the world by publishing a photo book of his adventures from the nine years of travel photography he has accumulated. More photos and backgrounds on Ara Gureghian and Spirit’s touching story.


4. Family leaves urban life to start a lifestyle of awareness in Sicilian hills

deep in a Sicilian valley sits a cobblestone home nestled among a grove of orange trees


Tucked into the picturesque hills of eastern Sicily’s outer edges, Angelo and Angela have abandoned the modern world and the hustle and bustle of the weekday job in order to build a more fulfilling life for themselves and their three daughters.

These two lovebirds escaped to the hillsides of Italy’s beautiful landscape to live a life that makes them more aware of the nature around them. They grow all of their own food, use solar energy and wind turbines to power their home, and enjoy time with their children, raising them in a way that they see fit.


enjoying the simple life in the pristine hills of Sicily (Italy)


This independence from the constrains of societal norms has made them immensely grateful for what they have, and the two have been able to spend much more time with daughters Hybia, Lua, and Sirla, something a corporate job would not allow. Watching the children assist in caring for the garden and play without the technological distractions of modern living, it’s easy to see the appeal and charm of a more environmentally-aware lifestyle, free from the overbearing responsibilities of urban society.

Photos by Simone Donati.


5. Man quits job to restore 50 year old boat and sail the world

no more hot showers, refrigerator and steady cash flow but an ocean of freedom


Imagine waking up to the calming lull of waves splashing, the amber glow of the sunset peeking over the horizon and lighting up the water with golden flecks. For David Welsford, this is a typical morning. Welsford lives on his own private boat, one that he got from the junkyard and restored to make it fit for a life on the high seas.

Welsford once called Nova Scotia his home, but he couldn’t seem to find the elusive happiness he was searching for in the typical job world. He needed something more, and that’s when he decided to give it all up to live the sailor’s life on the ocean.

living an unconventional life sailing around the world in pursuit of adventure, happiness, and simple beauty


Spanning only 28 feet, Welsford’s modest vessel has just enough room to hold everything he needs in life, which isn’t much. Happiness, for him, comes from having just enough. A trip to the grocery store to buy food or having a pint with a friend is what he considers living the high life.

Welsford’s gratitude and infectiously positive attitude make it difficult not to envy this seafaring young man, and his adventures, which have led him from his native Canada to the shores of the Caribbean, bring new experiences, thrills and memories each day.

More about Lizzy Belle and Sorca.

“I think I understand money in my way, which is once you figure out how to make enough, then go and do the things that make you happy.”



“It’s not natural; it’s not right. We weren’t made to be in the rat race. Not even rats were made to be in the rat race.” ~ Tal Ben-Shahar


Want to get off the corporate ladder too?

Here are more motivating stories of people who escaped the cubicle and portraits of folks who stepped out of the rat race.


Here’s how to start a location independent business.

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