Downshifting: meaning, types and countries for living

It is believed that it is impossible to escape from oneself. But to hide from excessive fuss is quite real. Someone does this from time to time, going fishing or picking mushrooms. Others turn this process into a lifestyle called downshifting.

What it is?

The term «downshifting» came into our lives from the automotive market. The English word downshifting translated into Russian means «switching the car’s gearbox to a lower speed.» But at the end of the last century, it received a different definition and meaning. This is a total speed reset in life. In simple words — transition to a lower level with less stress.

People who call themselves downshifters quit prestigious jobs and go to another reality. But do not confuse them with idlers. They never stop getting their bread. But they do this as much as necessary to earn food and other necessary needs. They are no longer interested in careers, houses, cars. All they want to find is themselves in this world. Therefore, they go towards themselves and the sun with a pure heart and a cold mind.


Downshifter is not a hermit. He continues to work. But it doesn’t do it the way it used to. Takes on small projects. This is, in essence, self-employed person. Remote work, part-time work, a small position with a minimum set of responsibilities and modest profits — all this suits the downshifter quite well. At the same time, it continues to develop. He devotes time to self-education, hobbies. Traveling most of the time. But he no longer goes to a luxury hotel, but is content with an inexpensive hostel, a tent on the shore of a reservoir or in the forest, a house in the village.

Downshifter flees from civilization and at the same time remains part of it. He takes what he needs from her. For example, a laptop or tablet, so that you can earn your daily bread. Others grow this bread on their own plots. There are many successful businessmen or top managers of large companies among downshifters. These people are educated, purposeful, able to think outside the box. Therefore, they usually have several options for how they build their new lifestyle.


In addition to the fact that representatives of various industries and services become downshifters, they are also people of different nationalities. Each country has its own idea of ​​this way of life. For example, for strict English people downshifting comes down to solving environmental problems. They grow environmentally friendly products, arrange actions to protect the environment. The main idea of ​​the Australians is not to stay too long in one place. This applies to both home and work. Most of our compatriots go to warm countries. Whole families go there.

And in order to support themselves, they have enough money received from renting an apartment in their homeland.

How to become?

First of all, you need to understand that a downshifter has a strong character and many skills. Another distinguishing feature should be purposefulness. Have you dreamed of becoming a lifeguard on the beach since childhood, and want to change your expensive suit for shorts? Are you not afraid to depend on the vagaries of the weather and the favor of fate? Is your internal state important for happiness, and not the state of affairs on the stock exchange or the stock market? Then you can try.

But before that, still better weigh the pros and cons, determine your own predisposition to downshifting. The psychological prerequisites for this phenomenon are similar for all his followers. They get tired of spinning like a squirrel in a wheel. They worry about the fact that they do not have time for themselves, their relatives and friends. The main philosophy of such people lies not in avoiding reality, but in its transformation.

They are just trying to make her different, albeit less comfortable, but more calm.

Such decisions are not made spontaneously. They need a mental approach. Here is a small plan of actions that need to be done, before parting with a brilliant past for a good future.

  • Need to understand what exactly do you want to do: just travel, work in another country, live in a village, create an eco-farm, and so on.
  • Calculate all income generating options – remote work, part-time work in local cafes, hotels, handyman, renting out real estate, interest on deposits.
  • Combine debit and credit. Calculate all real incomes and expenses, so as not to stay on the shore of a foreign sea with nothing.
  • It’s good to create a small financial backlog just in case something goes wrong at first.
  • Choose region for further residence.
  • Carefully study all the features of the selected country or villages from climatic conditions to religion, customs and laws of the people you want to join.
  • Be sure to discuss your ideas with family and friends. If you want to take them with you, you must agree on everything “ashore” in order to subsequently minimize the likelihood of conflict situations, however, as if you leave them at home for a while or forever.

This is followed by dismissal from a boring job. Just don’t slam the door loudly. Leave it open. There is always a chance that you will need to return or ask for help from former colleagues.

After that, take tickets or get into the car — and go on adventures and dreams.

Possible consequences

So, you have arrived in your paradise. Warm sea, fresh air, organic products. All these delights of life can be accompanied by unpleasant consequences. Primarily consider the climate. Not every person is able to easily endure the change of time zones and climatic conditions, and after all, downshifters are no longer 17 years old, they know the taste of life, the smell of money and the possibilities of expensive clinics, salons, and so on.

The conditions that yesterday’s millionaire falls into can quickly bore him. In addition, you have to adapt to the traditions and laws of the new country. Another complication may be the problem of education of children. Are you generally sure that they want to live away from the lights of the big city and all its opportunities? Often it is children who are the reason that people return to their usual circle.

But there are other scenarios as well.

  • Everything suits you. Your wardrobe, consisting of a pair of shorts and three T-shirts, is the ultimate in your dreams. You enjoy life and the world around you. However, after a while, the refrigerator is completely empty. There is nothing to buy a shirt with, and, as luck would have it, it got cold outside, and there is no way to earn the necessary amount. Paradise turns into hell, and you are forced to return to the stone jungle.
  • You enjoy everything that happens to you in a new place. But after a while, you realize that this way of spending time cannot become your full life. Downshifting for you is nothing more than a new type of vacation. Rested, tanned, full of strength and energy, you return to your favorite job.
  • Another option: you will never cross the threshold of a hateful office, but you will find another way to make money. It is easier for most people to do this in their own country and in familiar surroundings than in a foreign land.
  • And here is a more attractive option. You don’t need to look for a job. You have enough of what you managed to earn over the past few years or decades. Therefore, you are engaged in a hobby or charity, but still in familiar and understandable conditions from childhood.
  • Ideally, you do not have the thought of turning the river back and entering your native water twice. You stay in a new place forever or change your place of residence as you wish to see this or that corner of the vast globe.

Best countries for downshifters

One of the most common goals for downshifters is travel. Many of them do not leave their father’s house in order to sit in one place. Moreover, it is not necessary to cross the ocean every month. And in one single country, you can find new tourist routes for a long time, which means you can get fresh impressions, new knowledge and skills. This makes the inner world richer. But before choosing a country, determine the degree to which it suits you according to several criteria.

  • Climatic conditions. We have already spoken about their significance and consequences of influence.
  • Cost of living and earning opportunities. In some states you will not be able to work as a guide, for example. Others are simply predatory taxes.
  • Ticket price to a new life. After all, you can’t get to Australia by hitchhiking.
  • Visa regime. In some countries, the time of stay of foreigners is strictly limited. Make sure in advance that you do not have to urgently pack your bags or, even worse, be deported.

The list of countries to which downshifters go is very wide and varied. Here are the Dominican Republic with its heavenly beaches, and Chile, attracting with affordable prices, and Ecuador with its mountain peaks, and Georgia famous for its hospitality, and almost European and at the same time very calm and provincial Cyprus. But we will conduct a comparative analysis of the most popular destinations.


This state of Southeast Asia, as well as others, such as Vietnam or Indonesia, has long been chosen by downshifters. A rather low standard of living dictates very attractive prices for food and accommodation. The ocean, numerous entertainments, including exotic ones, attract people from all over the world there. Especially Russians, who enjoy there what they don’t have in their homeland — the sun all year round. Plus — visa-free border crossing.

You can live there without paperwork for up to one month.. After this period, you only need to cross back and forth the border with any nearest state, thus again receiving a «voucher» for 30 carefree days.

For the most part, those whose business brings a stable income and does not need constant presence go there, and those who know how to earn real money in the virtual world.


This country is closer to us geographically. So, the flight there will cost much less. In winter, you can buy a plane ticket from Moscow to Antalya for 3-4 thousand rubles. By the way, it is this time of year that is recommended to choose for moving. In the absence of a large number of tourists, life there becomes more measured and cheaper. However, it is still more expensive than in Asia.

But the standard of living, as well as the level of education among the natives is higher. Do not forget that despite the fact that this is a secular state, the majority of its inhabitants are Muslims. And this will have to be taken into account.

In addition to problems due to the difference in mentality, there is another one that is quite significant for a Russian person — the prices for cigarettes and alcohol in Turkey, where Islam dominates, are exorbitant.


They go there for spiritual enlightenment. This country attracts and simply lovers of a healthy lifestyle. Yoga, vegetarian cuisine — all this, like a magnet, attracts thousands of people from all over the planet. In addition, endless beaches, warm climate, bright sun. However, one should not forget about the significant disadvantages of this state. The first one is paid visa. The second is bad internet. And finally complete unsanitary conditions.

Even the water there can only be drunk from bottles.

European countries

This direction is more likely for those who have enough money not to think about how to earn money in a foreign country, but just spend it for their own pleasure. The cheapest destinations include Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary, Romania. The absence of a Schengen visa can be considered a plus, the registration of which is a troublesome business. And its validity period, especially if you get it for the first time, is very short. You can find a suitable job there, and the language barrier will not be a big problem, since many locals learned Russian at school.

But the French Riviera, the Greek Islands, Spain, Italy, Germany, and even more so the UK are more suitable for people with a high level of income.

But the quality of life there is much higher than in other countries mentioned above.


Perhaps, as in this country, downshifting is developed only in the USA. These states, in principle, are considered the founders of this trend. Therefore, you will find many like-minded people there. But the main disadvantage is the price of the flight. Moving to the other end of the earth will cost a pretty penny. Would you still like to return?

Downshifting in Russia

The expanses of our vast homeland are for those whose dream is to move to the countryside and live in subsistence farming. Such people often choose the Voronezh region with its rich black soil. The Krasnodar Territory is very popular. There are also fertile lands, but also warm and close to the sea. You can meet downshifters in the immediate vicinity of the two capitals. Oddly enough, both the Moscow and Leningrad regions attract with their proximity to megacities, developed infrastructure, the opportunity to visit a familiar environment at any time, meet relatives, friends, and, in principle, have good rears for retreat. At the same time, housing there is cheaper than in St. Petersburg or Belokamennaya, and it is quite possible to organize a successful economy.

There is another «elite» type of downshifting, which is perhaps common only among our compatriots. Some go to restore family estates, and not necessarily their own. Businessmen are turning into modern landlords. But for this you need to have solid savings. Creating and maintaining an eco-farm is also a popular activity among our downshifters. According to some reports, now in Russia only about 400 different similar settlements are officially registered. They are scattered all over the territory of our largest country in the world — from Altai to Kaliningrad. These are the new Russian landlords, and less financially rich, but by no means poor in ideas, connoisseurs of clean air, water and natural food.

In this way, downshifter — a person who works only so that he has enough money for the pleasures he seeks. Such an individual does not overwork for the sake of fame and career growth. It does not matter where a person does it and how. The main thing is that he is free from prejudices, ideas and lifestyles imposed by society. But at the same time he knows the price of everything. He is ready to invest his strength and knowledge, but exactly to the extent that is necessary for a comfortable living for him personally. He is not a beggar and does not sit on the neck of rich parents or other relatives. He has no prejudice. He doesn’t care what others say. If you are like that, then join this unusual army of talented and in a good way extravagant people who are not afraid to slow down just to go down the career ladder and get closer to their true dream.

Оставьте комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.