We all know what the American dream is. I remember learning about it in school when we studied ‘The death of a salesman’ and even though I lived in Australia I could really identify with the idea of a white picket fence, manicured lawns and friendly neighbours I said howdy to as I collected the newspaper each morning. I look around at all my friends who are working so hard to make this dream a reality, who are all working crazy hours in high stress jobs to achieve the American dream or what I think should really be called the western civilisation dream. So what’s the millennial dream you ask? Well it seems like a bunch of Millennial’s and a few gen Y’s, such as my husband and I, are looking for something different. A way to spend their days doing something they love whilst having an amazing work life balance. YouTube is littered with people following the Millennial dream in so many wonderful ways like travelling the world, living off grid, building tiny houses or living in refurbished vans and buses, and most are living debt free (or close to it) and leaving a much smaller footprint on our fragile world.
This new trend in my opinion has been sparked by a few things, most obviously the internet. Throughout past generations there have been individuals seeking a different lifestyle from the norm that have had the odd book or magazine article written about them. Usually very little is known about their day to day life or how they make living in their alternative lifestyle, however with the launch of sites like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram the whole world has a detailed insight into how and why these lifestyles are being lived. Having such an insight into how people are achieving these alternate lifestyles makes them so much more accessible for the rest of us and they form a blue print for us to start our own dreams from. As time goes on and the internet reaches more and more corners of the globe, remote work spaces have helped more people be able to fund these lifestyle changes, meaning as long as they can get access to internet they can log on remotely to work normal jobs you would have had to attend an office for ten years ago!
Are Millennial’s lazy? I know a lot of gen X is under the impression that these alternative lifestyles have popped up out of laziness and simply not wanting to work. Our grandparent’s works so hard to make ends meet and give our parents the things that were needed in life followed by our parents who worked so hard to give us anything and everything we could ever want or need. I think watching these generations give so much every day to achieve the perfect house, car and newest gadgets has really made a lot of younger generations step back and say well I don’t actually need all of this stuff so I don’t need to work as hard. In saying that I think you will find a lot of these people are actually working extremely hard however with the flexibility of online work they have a much nicer work life balance and are better able to juggle their work life and their dreams.
So what will it be the American dream or the Millennial dream? After trying the American dream for a few years I think it’s time we give the millennial dream a shot and see where it takes us. It is going to be a huge adjustment for us; more specifically I mean changing the way of thinking that has been seared into our brains from birth. In the end if you don’t change and try new things you will never know if the grass is greener on the other side or if it was all just an illusion caused by light reflecting off the sun.