RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  Downshifters. Abandon Everything

Downshifters. Abandon Everything

Author: 27.08.2015 | oddities, nature
What do Ukrainian philosopher Gregory Skovoroda, Russian multimillionaire German Sterlingov and British journalist Judy Jones have in common? Each of them in a certain moment of their lives decided that career was far from being the most important thing in life and traded blessings of civilization for closeness to nature by becoming downshifters.

Trendy word “downshifting” with a very simple meaning of downward movement was introduced into daily use in mid 90s of last century in the USA. However, downshifters who abandoned careers and whole fortunes to seek truth, personal happiness and life close to nature emerged much earlier. Researchers of the phenomenon oftentimes refer to Buddha as a pioneer because as far back as in 6th century B.C. he abandoned his luxurious house, family and wealth and headed away to reflect about essence of things. According to texts it only took him 49 days to reach enlightenment. Still, by no means all believe in this story; therefore Outlook came up with our own TOP 5 downshifters whose existence and deeds aren’t subject to doubt because there is a truckload of witnesses.

From Tsar to Peasants

The “earliest” person of interest should come as number one in our selection. It was Ukrainian mind Gregory Skovoroda. Having got splendid education as for the times (18th century) both in Russian Empire and abroad and thank to his talents the philosopher came to serve as a teacher in circles close to royal family. Nevertheless, prospects of becoming a personal tutor of Romanov family weren’t tempting for him. First he “gradually” distanced himself from St. Petersburg by moving to a quieter Kharkov and in some time set on wandering around villages of south-eastern Ukraine to teach peasant children spelling and some sciences. With his “closeness to people” Skovoroda hadn’t earned a dime – he was getting modest food and a place to stay for a night as a gratitude from thankful countrymen, but he liked that simple life much more than pompousness of the capital. There is a reason that a person who had given basic education to thousands has “The world tried to catch me, but hadn't succeeded” written on his gravestone. Now that’s quite a motto for downshifters, isn’t it?

The Happiest Guy

Only this and no other way David Glasheen refers to himself – a former millionaire who settled on a tiny island to the East of Australia. After a stock market crash that took place in 1987 “modern Robinson” decided he had had enough of material values, sold out all his assets and moved to a small patch of land that he rented from the state. Now, instead of taxes, credits, stock prices rise and other intellectually intense but nerves-consuming activities he has his mind on far more down-to-earth issues as how to locate sun batteries properly or what’s the way to improve self-made beer. The only thing David misses is a female “Friday” – the one the man is actively looking for through dating websites. Yes, he does have a computer and Internet already because the man is on first-name basis with sun batteries now. As to medical care, from time to time the man, who is already not in his first youth, visits Australia for checkups. But all in all, when you work in fresh air your entire day and every day, there isn’t really time for being sick.

Journalist Yesterday, Free Writer Today

This expression is about our next character – Judy Jones from the United Kingdom. After having dedicated first 40 years of her life to serious journalism and having worked in such famous and respected publications as The Independent and The Observer, the woman quit all of them to start travelling. And since in the sphere of media it is hard to earn millions even in the United Kingdom, Judy had to start writing again but to her own content, not about politics and economy but about own wandering around far away lands (Africa, jungles of Latin America) and about people she had met. Maybe today, in times of developed Internet and possibility to publish own features literally from a cave, Jones’ deed doesn’t seem like something out of ordinary but back in 1990s it was a pretty daring move. Nevertheless, thank to her talent she published several bestselling books that allows her live the way she wants till now.

First Millionaire is First in Everything

When being one of the richest people in 1990s’ Russia, businessman German Sterlingov, who was tipped to at least become a mayor of the White-Stoned capital, abandoned all his ambitions concerning skyscrapers of Moscow City business centre that was an unfinished construction back then, and moved to suburbs to concentrate on agriculture. Sure enough, talks that “he had been forced” or that “he ran away because of fraud schemes” don’t settle for a decade already, but multimillionaire gets real relish on his 37 hectares where he does farming. More to that, his example inspired many wealthy Russians go for downshifting not in warm countries of south-eastern Asia but in their native land. Funds and grants he has founded help interested city dwellers transfer to peasant, and what Sterlingov believes to be “ancestral Russian”, way of life. Who knows, maybe in some time thousands of followers will be coming to him to Mozhaysky District, as was the case with Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana in his due time, because he doesn’t forget doing some philosophizing, too.

Businessmonk

However, despite all the efforts of the first Russian millionaire, India is still believed to be the most popular location to leave everything and start living to own content nearby pristine nature. It is there where a French businessman Christian Fabre became a monk. Amazingly, he derived financial benefits from his downshifting. Having had visited the East for many years as a tourist, he thoroughly studied economic aspects of life and created own factory to tailor clothes that are perfectly sold not only in that region but also in Europe. Thank to skillful management, yearly turnover of the company exceeds 10 million dollars, given that Fabre doesn’t spend much time on briefings and sales strategy compilation because his main occupation is saying prayers in his own cell and enlightenment. He is a graphic example of the idea that with work being properly orchestrated, one can be both rich and free at the same time…

It will be interesting:
ART OF TOPIARY
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Issyk-Kul: Main Treasure of Kyrgyzstan
Good tourist is not just someone who is always quick off the mark and ready to embark on a journey any minute. It is the one who is also known for an ability to carefully plan holidays six months in advance. If you are one of them and already think where to go in summer - our next story about gigantic Issyk-Kul Lake and kinds of recreation there is for you.
YOUR BREAKFAST, SIR! HOW PEOPLE START THEIR DAY AROUND THE WORLD
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
WATER GATES
Airports, railway and bus stations are almost always erected at a human whim, while ports and harbours are joint creation of homo sapiens and nature. In this article OUTLOOK presents you the most beautiful port destinations with their own unique character worth exploring.
GRAB YOUR SUN UMBRELLA AND COCKTAIL: THE MOST AMAZING BEACHES OF THE WORLD
With the onset of summer, many of us ever and again cast a glance at the calendar, waiting for annual leave. And since summer vacation to a greater extent is linked to the relaxation by the water, we usually associate it with beaches – desirable destinations that can be very different. Even if you already chosen your cherished gateway, and tickets burn your pocket, our collection of epic and unusual beaches is sure to amaze you.
MOST STUNNING FLOWER FIELDS IN THE WORLD
Flower fields and valleys are impressive and attract attention of the most discerning connoisseurs of beauty. Multi-coloured deposits of fragrant plants adorn vast valleys of almost every country! We offer several floral destinations to suit every taste.
Between Heaven And... Water: World’s 5 Smallest Inhabited Islands
Each of us wants to escape rush of a city from time to time and lie low somewhere far from everything and anything. And it better be a place where one can listen to whisper of waves, feel light breeze and forever make friends with inimitably loud silence that muffles every disturbing thought…
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
LIFE ON WATER: 7 LITTLE-KNOWN VENICE COMPETITORS
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
NATIONAL WINGED SYMBOLS
Each state has its own official symbols: flag, coat of arms and anthem. But in addition to the traditional "identification mark" there are symbols chosen by people, for instance, a favourite bird. It is about them OUTLOOK expands below. To register the people's love by document, in 1960 in Tokyo at the International Conference on the Protection of Birds was created the concept of "national bird".
TURKEY: THREE NATURAL WONDERS
A jewel-case of Turkey is full of pure wonders provoking an inspiration for fairy tale writer. When people first see blindingly white mountains in the midst of warm country, they experience various desires: someone wants to fall into white drifts and make a snow angel, as some people imagine that white cliffs taste sweet just like cotton candy...
Crazy Mail
In already distant year 1920 authorities of the United States adopted a surprising regulation: prohibition to.... send children by mail. Such a decision may seem weird in 21st century however almost a hundred years ago it was treated with understanding which means that there were caring parents who did send their kids in packages... We talk about amusing accidents that occur in work of post services.
Chinese infrastructure: unusual bridge that connects Macau and Hong Kong
When skeptics say that the greatest things have already been built by humanity, pointing at various and really outstanding works of engineering thought, they are most often poorly informed and hardly look beyond developed Western countries. In the meanwhile, for example, in China, the state raises simply unheard of infrastructure projects. We are going to tell today about one of them - the impressive Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
Interesting Facts about Amazon River
Amazon River – the river that not only South America but our entire planet cannot be imagined without – seems to have been explored length and breadth. But somehow every year scientists find out something about it they’ve never thought of before. We tried to gather most interesting and least-known facts about it in our feature.
TOP 5 OF THE WORLD MOST BEAUTIFUL LIGHTHOUSES
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire.Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
LAKES CHANGING IDEA OF THE POWER OF NATURE
At the bare mention of the word lake, our imagination pictures soothing, nostalgia-laden images of quite pond cosily embraced by the grassy hills. OUTLOOK prepared a selection of the most spectacular lakes, which will change your understanding of this work of nature. Each of them has something to surprise, whether it is unusual water shade, or frightening ability to petrify living creatures.
SNOW-COVERED PEAKS
The cold season brings not only such important things as wrapping into a reindeer sweater, drinking hot chocolate and once again reviewing Christmas comedies. Thus, sport has not been canceled yet, so OUTLLOK compiled top five ski resort bucket list for you to cheer up and get out of your winter sleep.
Critical temperature: don’t let yourself dry out
In the nooks of Earth we want to talk about people live according to very specific rules of nature. Here rains don’t start out of the blue and frosts don’t come unexpectedly. It’s much more serious. Should a good wind once bring you there, you’ll be prepared and may have a grateful memory of OUTLOOK.
They need warmith. Where birds stay for winter
As a child I could spend hours gazing at the sky and spying majestic flocks of birds winging their way south. For a kid this movement was a real magic. Today my bookshelf hosts almost no books about magic, though I am still excited about feathered tribes travelling in hope to land on their winter grounds.
Embraced by Autumn: Where to Go on Mellow Season?
Autumn promises that heat would gradually fade away and immediately presents with a choice: either to clutch at stewing days in warm countries or taste cool evenings and admire architecture without being distracted by sultriness.
Close
Outlook facebook page