This Is Why Our Generation Doesn’t Believe In Settling Down

We are a crazy generation. We self-acknowledge that fact, the older generations call us crazy, and the younger generations might be trying to be an inch crazier. And maybe each new up and coming generation will think the same thing about themselves or even be called crazy by us one day but I don’t want to focus on that right now. What I want to talk about is the fact that we are one of the first generations to realize that “settling down” like you are supposed to, isn’t the only thing you can do with your life or even the best thing to do with your life.

You see, we were told to never settle. We were told to reach for the stars and then build a rocket to get there. We were told that the weak settle for content lives instead of striving for happy ones. We were told to look for the best and only accept the answer once we know it is the best. We were taught these things by the older generations who now call us crazy for believing those things.

We explore. We travel. We grow. We meet new people. We are creating families out of connections that have nothing to do with blood. We look at the white picket fence homes that we are supposed to settle down into and only see limitations.

For us, settling down is the same thing as settling for a mediocre life.

There is a whole world to explore still. There are empires to create. There are dreams to achieve. There are places to go, people to see, and memories to be made. And buying a two-story house in the suburbs of the small town, USA would only get in the way of all of that. We’ve discovered that you don’t need a house to be at home. We value experiences and connect rather than material investments such as huge houses.

This doesn’t mean we aren’t out there getting married or starting families, it just means they don’t look the way our parent’s families did. We are having kids and traveling with them. We are marrying who we want, when we want, and then seeing the world with them. We are doing the jobs we want to do, where we want to do them. We are still creating life it just doesn’t look the way they are used to.

We understand that life isn’t meant to be lived in one place anymore. We live in such a globalized world now. We travel as far as we can for as long as we can and then just maybe we consider staying put.

Maybe that makes us a crazy generation. Maybe this makes us unstable. Or maybe it just means we are squeezing every drop out of this life we were given and doing it in the way we want to. Maybe we understand that change isn’t a bad thing and that life is going to shift with or without us. Things are going to constantly change no matter what we do so why not change things ourselves?

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure you’ve shown your parents who’s the boss of you with this article, but I don’t think the rest of the World cares what you do. I don’t mean to speak for “older” generations, but as a Gen Xer let me say if anyone is going to be slacking off, it’s going to be us. We’re the slackers, so don’t try to sidle up.

    I’d like to tell you us Gen Xers are all “crazy” for not doing what we’re told too … but frankly none of us even know what we were told to do because we weren’t listening. Or maybe nobody told us? I just don’t know.

    These cookies are delicious! I guess that’s my point.

  2. I agree Gruss Gott. As a Baby Boomer, I really don’t care how the young choose to live or where. I doubt any Boomers do, unless it happens to be their parents. And I don’t think the young are “crazy”. I don’t know of anyone in my generation that thinks young folks are “supposed to settle down.” Again – maybe their parents or grandparents? Where is Allie getting this? Who is she interacting with? The youth of today don’t sound any different than the youth of each generation past. All young want to explore and strive. The only thing that has changed is technology.
    I do think the young might be a bit self absorbed to think that they are the only generation that has traveled and explored and did things differently than previous generations. I myself lived on the road throughout Europe and the USSR in my youth. The youth of the 60’s and 70’s were hella-explorers who traveled and reached for the stars and searched for different experiences. As did the youth of the Roaring 20’s. And the people who immigrated to a new country and became frontierspeople in the 16-19th centuries. And so on and so on, back in time. It’s insulting that you assume older generations did not “go places, meet people, and make memories”. Or that we didn’t reach for the stars or value travel and experiences.
    The young generation stands on the shoulders of previous generations – the ones that developed the technological age in the 20th century that allows people to communicate and connect remotely from around the globe and allows folks to live a traveling life while still working. Older generations didn’t have that luxury. Work was tied to a location unless you were a traveling salesman. Or trust me, they would have traveled around and not always lived in one place.
    The world is evolving because of all the advancements and progress generations prior to yours made. You can take the baton from them.
    Really. We don’t care if you live in the suburbs or in a portable yurt in Mongolia.

  3. that’s funny. Every generation since the days of Babylon has had a philosopher such as yourself. I hope you won’t be too embarrassed by this in 30 years. BTW you should read Passages. It’ll help you get over yourself. No shade. We all go through it.

    • Right around age 25 our brains go through the 2nd largest change of our lifetimes as the pre-frontal cortex – which is responsible for judgement and risk perception – fully develops. If we all seem to make stupid decisions before that, well, that’s why.

      My point is, according to science, humans under 25 are literally crazy.

  4. I’m pretty much certain I said the same exact thing around that age. I joined the army, traveled the world, did crazy things and lived life like there was no tomorrow. Now I’m 45, go to bed at 8, run my own company raising 2 kids, watch my cholesterol and double check the fat and sodium levels on every thing I eat. Be young, be crazy, no one is mad, we might just be a little jealous though. Because one day, just like everyone else, you too will get old, and the responsibilities of life will take away the freedom and adventure, and you’ll be sitting in your lazy chair listening to the young wipersnappers of your day talk of freedom and rebellion too. Time does the same to us all.

    • I am 41 and live the exact life mentioned in this article. I surround myself with all types of “settlers” and “non-settlers” – A year ago I quit my desk, high-stressed, high-level job and began working for myself so I could travel. I have now found an entire global community – young and old – living by not settling down in one place.

      There is no right or wrong – As long as people are happy and living the way they want, the way they feel is most important – goal being full, surrounded by love and purposeful. It doesnt matter the generation or the age.

      Happiness wins!

  5. “Older people think we’re crazy — just like every other generation that has followed the one before — but I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about how we’re unique! We basically invented non-traditionalism in our values and goals! (Please ignore the beat generation, hippies, yippies, 70’s whole earthers, even the 80s stock broker yuppies that were a reaction to the previous generations….and the grunge rock gen-xers that followed them.) We ARE unique. I swear. I really, really mean it. And If I link to enough ReadUnwritten.com blogs that agree with me then it is a FACT.”

    There… I saved everyone the need to read this garbage by summarizing it above.

  6. I resonate with this post so much.

    “For us, settling down is the same thing as settling for a mediocre life.”

    I couldn’t have expressed my opinions on this any better than you have depicted it in this article. Thank you for writing this! Please let me know if you would like be in our Meet Millennial series. You can find more information here: http://www.millennialmoneyguide.com/submissions/

    Thanks,

    Brian @ http://www.millennialmoneyguide.com

  7. “For us, settling down is the same thing as settling for a mediocre life.”

    You are offending so many people, you have no idea.
    What you call “mediocre life” for some is an achievement.

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