What is a soft life and why more and more young people are embracing it

Still others work just to live the life Instagram made. They take their paychecks and take them to Lisbon, Paris or Madrid, where they flood social media with pictures of all the experiences their hard-earned cash has bought.

But Dar LaBeach is a new breed, and they’re here just to live.

Life has changed a lot in the past two years, and many are embracing what is called a “soft life” — rejecting the struggles, stress, and anxiety that come with the traditional 9-to-5 career and spin you’re living in Days on the hamster wheel. Instead, living a soft life is about immersing yourself in joy and prioritizing rich experiences.

In the early days of the pandemic, LaBeach was at a crossroads and decided it was time for a drastic change. After being fired from a marketing job in New York City in the spring of 2020, he went to Mexico. He earns between $100,000 and $150,000 a year, but he’s stressed, disenchanted, and tired of living for things other than himself.

“It was very, ‘F-all of that,'” Rabic told wealth.

In any case, he had been planning a trip to Mexico for his birthday, but his sudden job loss made the trip quicker. He lost his job on Tuesday, booked a flight on Wednesday, and by the end of the week he was sitting on the beach in Tulum, Mexico. He needs to rest; breathe.

“When I was there, I realized I could really do this in a sustainable way,” Rabic said. doing what? On the beach, frolic, just live. “I realized, ‘Wow, I don’t know need Go to New York. I really tend to think that if I need it, I’ll figure it out. “

A month of travel turned into two months, turned into three months.

Rabic, 31, now travels between New York and Mexico. He was able to do it without renting more than $1,000 a month in either city. While in Mexico, he mainly rented through AirBnb and shared an apartment with a roommate in Brooklyn.

When he chose to divert his attention from his job, he set aside some savings, and when he lost his job, he received a severance package, though he said it was insignificant. Rabic, who says he’s not worried about money, admits he’s lucky to live that way now because he says he’s opted for capitalism for so long.

“The money comes and the money goes, and when I need it, I can book projects, jobs, etc., so I don’t let it stress me out,” LaBeach said. Since losing his job in 2020, he has started a freelance career in marketing and strategy consulting. “There are so many ways to make money, and I think I’ve developed enough diverse skills in business, strategy, entertainment, service, travel, etc. over the years to make that happen.”

far from traditional success

Deirdre Royster, a sociology professor at New York University, said that before you get to the point of pursuing a soft life, you need to have an “existential conversation” with yourself. The pandemic has quickly tracked many of these conversations, but lives and people’s values ​​have changed even before everything shut down.

Royster said the script for the “good American life” in “American Dream” has been turned upside down. No longer is it a simple family of four settling down in the suburbs with a neat home and white picket fences. Royster, herself a tenured professor at NYU, found herself following her passion for interior design on a whim during the pandemic. She applied to Pratt Institute and was awarded a partial scholarship.

“In the ’80s, people were asking ‘how do we maximize?’ but now people are asking, ‘What’s the minimum I need to live a sustainable life? “I like the idea,” Royster said.

LeBeach’s first few months in Mexico, as he recovered from burnout and served his career, made a few things clear: “I’ll never stop traveling, book flights, eat food. , because money … needing money doesn’t interrupt my need for life,” he said.

Like many Americans, he has used the pandemic to disrupt their lives. The collective trauma of this global tragedy has allowed some people to rest, turn around and skid, and realize that there may be more important things in their lives than whether they are stressed enough to work hard enough.

Quietly quitting — the internet’s favorite labor term of the moment — and its distant cousins, lay flats, and soft living all emerged as symptoms of a shift that suggested a departure from traditional expectations of success in America. Living a soft life doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a job, it just means your job isn’t your whole world.

For LaBeach, embracing the soft life means being staunchly anti-capitalist, he said. When he moved to Mexico City, he was involved in mutual aid. In reaching out to the community there, he said, he began to learn that “a lot of black people are moving to Mexico City without realizing that we are gentrifiers.”

As the world kicks off the soft shutdown of the pandemic and people are looking for new ways to recover, Mexico City has become a haven for some Americans looking for change in an era of making the most of on-the-go work. CNN recently reported that the Mexican government recorded more than 5.3 million Americans flying into Mexican airports from January 2022 to May 2022. This is an increase of nearly one million over the same period in 2019.

LaBeach looked around at all the people who came to Mexico from the US, Canada, UK, Brazil and more and set out to form a new community of like-minded people. He hosted dinners for black and brown expats and immigrants. He helped amplify protests and local activists advocating for women’s rights. Even if it’s just his small community, he wants to make sure they’re involved.

The rise of soft living

The term “soft life” did gain some traction among black women earlier this year. The YouTube vlogosphere is filled with advice, lifestyle hacks, and cottage industries of femininity such as “How to Live Your Best Soft Life”, “How I Create a Softer Life for Myself” and “The Truth About ‘Softness'” video. Life. “All for black women.

“I feel like I’ve entered an age where I’m living a soft life,” creator Courtney Daniela Boateng said in a video about the hard work it takes to live a soft life. “I’m really invested in slowing down and separating my self-worth or my productivity from these high-stress and struggling thoughts.”

But many of these creators are painting a rich picture of #softlife; more like Sofia Coppola, a version of the “Marie Antoinette” era.

“The way it is described online, a soft life often seems like luxury and a real treat,” Boateng said in the video. “But there is a reality to living a soft life, and everyone in the real world is There needs to be contact, like, you need a job, you need to make money. Life isn’t always roses.”

Friends and family often ask Rabic how he can afford such a life. It’s not like he has a reserve fund to fund his life. He took the “$10; $20” approach, which, he said, worked for him. He booked the ad while living in Mexico — last year he appeared on the commercial FanDuel that aired during NFL games, and he even had one Line – This provides some extra income for a job he loves. He relaxes on the beach and even sits in the stands at the US Open as his freelancer.

“I have zero regrets,” he said. “Maybe I’ll go back [to a full-time job] The only thing I can do at this point is because I know what it means to me in that space. I know I’m not there because I have to…now there are rules and boundaries that allow me to live the life I want to live. “

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