Man Says Work Is “Unnatural” Goes On 6 Month Vacation Every Year!

Saturday, May 13, 2017 |

Most of us lead a life that revolves around work. The average US worker clocks 47 hours a week, and when you add the time we spend commuting — another five to 10 hours — it pushes our work-related hours over 55. There’s also work-related stress, which damages our health.

That can paint a vulgar picture of life in our modern world, one that two weeks’ vacation can hardly remedy.

Then there are those who refuse to buy into all that and choose to live on the fringe, like “Ultra Romance“ aka “Benedict”, a 35-year-old from the Connecticut River valley who works as little as possible — usually for six months a year — and then goes adventuring around the world with his bike and modest camping gear.

Business Insider caught up with Ultra Romance to learn more about how this free spirit has bucked society’s expectations and made his own path. Here’s what he told them about how we work too much and, well, probably live and play too little:

“I work about six month of the year, as a commercial fisherman or charter fisherman or a guide. I also sell bicycle parts online. It’s been very much like, get your work done for part of the year and do whatever you want the rest of the year. For me, work is a segue to traveling.”


“I went to college and got the degree and was trying to be a PE teacher or a personal trainer and do the hustle right out of college. Then it was like, I gotta get a house, I’m 24, I got all these student loans … Before you know it, things work out and you meet the right girl and you settle down and buy the house and have the mortgage payment and the cars. But ultimately that was not going to be me.”


“We have this preconceived notion of what success is in the modern world. For me, it’s part philosophy, part circumstance … I study history and anthropology, and I’m not ashamed that I don’t like to work. It’s just very unnatural. I like to simplify things. I’m a handshake kind of guy, so paperwork and bills don’t work for me. They were a big stressor in my life, and I sort of eliminated all of them.”


“The more you learn about human history, it reveals that in a hunter-gatherer society, say in New England 400 years ago, it took nine hours a week to procure everything you needed to live for that week, and the rest was all leisure time. This is what’s natural to us. We’ve only been living the way we are now since the Industrial Revolution, and it’s not for me.”


“Bicycles have always been my thing. I’ve devoted my life to the bicycle, unintentionally, not expecting anything out of it. It’s been a tool for me to do what I want, on the cheap, going hand in hand with the lifestyle I was trying to lead.”


“My degree is in nutrition, and I’ve always taken care of my body and made sure I was eating well. But my fascination is in peasant foods, and generally those are pretty cheap. Yogurt is a staple of my diet, and the rest is foraging. I don’t buy produce or fruit, and I can usually find whatever greens or berries or anything else I’m looking for. If I’m near the coast I can get seaweed and crabs. I don’t necessarily eat for taste. It’s a lot for nutrition.

“But I do eat a lot of chocolate! That’s my biggest food expense. Maybe some day philanthropists will shower me with cacao — what more could I ask for!”



“My parents never told me I can’t do anything. I didn’t grow up like that. So no matter what I do they’re proud of me. To have that kind of support and that foundation, it’s really important and it makes you a confident person. It sounds cheesy, but it makes you believe you can do anything. I’m lucky in that regard. I know a lot of people have a different situation going with their parents, especially if they wanna be a bum!”


“I have a lot of bicycles and never owned a car. I’ve never really spent money on anything but camp gear and bicycles. I hold onto a lot of them…”


He has not lived anywhere for more than six months. He says it’s been very much “get your work done for part of the year and do whatever you want the rest of the year.” He sometimes travels alone, sometimes with friends.


“You learn more what you can and can’t do, and the limits of your body, and how long you can sleep in the dirt, which at this point is actually infinite,” he says. “I prefer to sleep outside, though it’s not for everybody.”


Full-time work isn’t all bad—it provides money to buy the things we want, after all. But for anyone who’s burnt out on the grind of modern life and willing to make a big change, Benedict shows us that it is indeed possible. You can follow him on Instagram here.

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