RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Enjoy  >  Downshifters. Abandon Everything

Downshifters. Abandon Everything

Автор: 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…

Вам это будет интересно:
Water gates. Impressive world harbors
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.
Lakes that are changing the idea of the power of the 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.
Coffee: A drink from mountain peaks
Ordering coffee, we usually refer to it just as Americano, Espresso or Latte... However, good coffee shops that offer really high-quality coffee, would ask you to specify a type of coffee beans and the country of origin. And at this point many visitors usually feel at deadlock.
African beauty. Botswana
Facet of Botswana diamonds shine brightly. But aside from gemstones every woman in the world dreams about, there are many other treasures in this African nook. Today let us have a look at this country for ourselves...
Hold your breath: the most dangerous places for diving
After the legendary Frenchman Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his colleagues invented and perfected self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, scuba diving firmly entered the list of the most popular, but unfortunately, unsafe hobbies. OUTLOOK warns and talks about the most extreme places to do scuba diving.
The Land of blooming lakes and developed feminism. Welcome to New Zealand
Another world that is always sunny and green. The world, where it never snows; and it seems like there are no problems. And it is so distant – even mapwise. This is how I picture New Zealand. My long-distance acquaintance with the country began some five years ago. Back then a prominent ENT expert tried and failed to cure me from an allergy that was bugging me every spring.
Cabo Verde: Surfing on volcanoes
Today we offer you to come with us to the amazing and picturesque African country of Cabo Verde, where the ocean is everywhere, and every tourist willy-nilly becomes a seafood addict.
VIDEO: Conquer nature. The most impressive viaducts
Very often nature tests people. From time to time we have to conquer and subjugate the elements. When men mastered construction of bridges, water obstacles have ceased to be a problem for humanity. However, what to do if a town is behind a pit, flatland or gorge? All-too-common "bridge" on pillars cannot be constructed everywhere.
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.
Philippines: Climbing A Truffle
First thing that comes to mind on hearing a phrase ‘Chocolate Hills’ are cacao bean plantations, candy villages or some kind of sweets festival. However, we’ll have to disappoint sweet teeth and make happy those who appreciate unusual views – chocolate is nowhere near here, instead there’s a unique work of nature.
Ålesund: Where Norwegian fairy tale begins
The Times newspaper edition recognized Ålesund as the most beautiful town in Norway. It is not without reason: wayward sea, mesmerizing northern nature, famous fjords, fabulous multi-coloured houses in the Art Nouveau style and the legendary Trolls' Path, beckon those wishing to see the stunning wild landscapes.
The sun under the glass. Best greenhouses in the world
For 1 month spring has been reining our planet, now just watch warm coats to change for thin jackets, cold and mediocrity for the bright sun. And, of course, what sort of spring it could be without green trees and beautiful flowers? Well, in order to make your expectation of long-awaited colours and flavours less agonizing...
Ukrainian gardens of Babylon
Have you ever noticed how parks attrack us when it gets warmer outside? And what happens when you suddenly get there? Time stands still, something starts pulsating inside you, and your body seems to plant out fresh sprouts. OUTLOOK encourages you to visit the most beautiful arboreta of Ukraine, which you will exit feeling double alive.
Bolivia: spilt salt spells tourists
It turns out possible to walk in heaven living on Earth. It is enough to go to the south of a small country of Bolivia, to one of the most extraordinary deserts of the world – Uyuni. When looking at pictures of tourists who had been there you can’t help asking: “Are you sure it isn’t Photoshop-made?”
Montserrat: Visiting Angels
Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
Alternative day in Copenhagen: Christiania, the bulwark of freedom
All of us, one way or another, strive for freedom, personal or national, material or spiritual, which is illusory and unachievable, and at the same time very real in terms of our ideas about it. An alternative village of Christiania in the centre of the Danish capital is another attempt to achieve complete freedom from the laws of the material world.
VIDEO: Antique and industrial Kyiv
When sending stuff to trash can or throwing it away to a dumpster we don’t suspect that it doesn’t always mean death for it, now and then even in the contrary – it is a beginning of a new life…
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.
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. There is a great amount of them in the world, they are striking by their beauty and inimitable. Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
Cities in Rrocks: Spanish Edition
To build a settlement on flatland - is this such a hard trick to pull off? A completely different story is when land is self-willed and rock-ribbed both directly and metaphorically speaking. People have been trying to master land and have own say in in-rock urban development for centuries. But only those who succeded in finding common ground with Earth managed to create true novels in stone.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page