In his book “A 4-Hour Work Week”, Tim Ferris advocates taking several mini vacations or mini “retirements” (as he refers to them) in our life time. He extols the advantage these mini journeys in his bestseller.

By the way, he differentiates the big vacation (or sabbatical), vacation, and mini-retirement this way:

  • “A sabbatical is a one-time event. Mini-retirements are meant to recur throughout a lifetime”.
  • “A vacation is short, and often involves a tourist lifestyle with little immersion in a new way of life. A mini-retirement is long (one to six months), and allows one to fully participate in his new environment”.

What is very intriguing in Tim Ferris’ bestseller “A 4-Hour Work Week” is how he manages to take his mini-retirements in exotic places without costing him an arm and a leg each time—and he even earns by doing so!

At first glance, Tim’s advice to get these mini retirements seems absurd until you read further his book where he explains how he does these vacations.

The first thing step is to clearly define our goal and focus our actions towards its achievement. The hardest part is deciding or making up our mind. When deciding on things, we limit our choices to only 2 which are “either” and “or”, discounting the possibility that they can mix-match them and come up with a 3rd choice, and combine the good points of the first 2 choices.Once a firm decision is reached, then our plan goes from being just a wishful thinking and goes into tactical mode where ways and means fall into their right places for the fulfilment of our goal.

Let us not get tangled up with the specifics which may hinder our plan from becoming a reality. Rather, let us focus on the big idea, and follow Tim’s examples as among the possibilities of making this come true.

To most of us, financing a trip is the biggest factor to consider. As Tim Ferris narrates in his book, you can lease or sell your place to finance your trip (he earned $32,000 from doing this). We may also enter into a house-swap agreement. This is done by looking for a homeowner from the place we plan to go who is also planning to visit our town or country. Then, we arrange for him to use our house while we stay at his place during the duration of our vacations.

Let us consider renting a luxury apartment for 3 days at the same price we will pay by staying in an ordinary hotel for 4 days.

Among the benefits of mini retirements is that they very educational. They provide us with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture of the places we visit, thus expanding our understanding and view of the life around us.

These mini vacations revitalize our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. We return to work energized and refreshed with better perspective, greater endurance, and the ability to earn more money, thus offsetting our expenses on our mini vacations.

In “A 4-Hour Work Week”, Tim Ferris further emphasizes that a long life is not guaranteed so putting off the enjoyment of a vacation until the right time comes is not a wise option — the right time may never come.

So what are we waiting for?