The Avant-Garde Life

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to disregard everything society has tried to teach you? Could you really give up on your career in search of adventure and a life that you want to live, rather than the one that has been laid out before you?

This is a publication for dreamers. If you have ever thought about quitting your job and jumping into the world but never done it, this might just give you the push and confidence that you need. Using rational thinking, The Avant-Garde Life breaks down every possible barrier and encourages you to overcome them. This is about more than a single journey: this is a way of life. A happy, fulfilled life.

Download The Avant-Garde Life (2nd edition) by selecting your format below. It is free to download and share with others. Hopefully it will give you a kick up the bum.

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You can also download the ePub version (for non-kindle e-readers) by clicking here.

When you download this as a pdf (under 1MB), the file will open and you will then have to save the file (File > Save). If you want this in any other formats, have a problem accessing the files, or notice any errors, please send me a message. When you’ve read it, please leave your comments below and share this page with others by using the share buttons at the bottom of the page. It only takes a second.

Please also consider leaving a review on Amazon dot co dot UK or Amazon dot com to help promote it to a wider audience. It has been downloaded over 12,000 times (as of January 2015).

Foreign Language Versions

Slovakian Edition – Avantgardný Život

French Edition – Un Mode de Vie Avant-Gardiste

What is this worth to you?

This download is free. However, if you like it, you can support both this and future projects by making a donation via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to do this and it is offered on a “what it’s worth- what you’ve got” basis meaning that you can give as little or as much as you like. Any size of donation is greatly appreciated.



  • jaaamiieee my stupid goverment arrested me becasue i touched a female? now i have to show up to court every month……i mean, i have my passport and just…well, no money. but i could at least cross my own counrty but if i miss court ill be put in prison? ugh……!

  • Hi, Ive just recently quit my self employed business to travel across Europe. I leave on the 18th February heading to Portugal. I don’t really have a plan apart from a backpack and tent strapped to my back. I just decided one day last year that I didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore, crazy or what? Anyway, I’ve learnt a few things I hadn’t thought of reading your blog and the Avant Garde Life. I am pleasantly surprised at how it struck a chord with me and how similar my feelings are to your published ones. I thought I was in my own wee self contained cocoon with a mad idea. I’m not young, 52 this year, and have raised my kids on my own for 15 years. They are now grown up and flew the coop so I have the time to chase my dream. I have had the comfortable life, own business, nice car (getting rid of it just before I go) nice rented house. However, I haven’t felt fulfilled or happy since the kids grew up, in fact I felt like I was just marking time. This is the scariest and most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. I suppose I would encourage anyone to go for it no matter that I’d had the time and inclination to do it when I was younger. Anyway, I’m glad I stumbled across your site and can only say it has re-invigorated my desire to see my wee adventure through to wherever it takes me. Thanks for that Jamie

    • That is both crazy and a wonderful story, Mark. I am glad you have enjoyed what you found here – there are so many people in this world who think similarly to this, but it is hard to find them at times. I hope you have a great time on your adventures. As I finish up my time working in Australia, I too will be hitting the road (in NZ) around mid Feb with a tent and sleeping bag. Happy adventuring from one side of the world to the other.

    • Hi Mark i came across your email to Jamie from the AVANTE-GARDE LIFE … I AM DYING TO KNOW HOW IS YOUR TRAVELS.
      I felt i was looking in to a mirror when I read your post. I have been a single mother for 15 years my kids are bailing and I am ready for WONDERLUST and lots of journeys and adventures and and and. . please forgive me if I am intruding, otherwise i would love to hear your stories. ,, CRAZY HUH .

    • Mark, I am 51 (52 in November) years old and will be striking out on my own in the next year. My divorce (after 27 years) should be finalized in the next month or two and all our kids have also left home. I’ve got several reasons to “run away.” One is that it is something I’ve dreamed of for a long time. Secondly I want to be able to share the stories with my grandchildren. Third is to show my kids and grandchildren that life is more than following the path of everyone who went before you. Happy travels and if you are still roaming Europe perhaps I will see you somewhere along the way. Cheers!

    • Just wanted to say you’re not alone on this. I’m 45. My son just graduated high school (homeschooled). I’m a single parent myself. The empty nest thing hit !e pretty hard in his 11 grade year. I found this book and decided it’s time for me to just do it! I’m going back to school to finish degrees I had to set aside when my son was little. Now it’s my time. Good luck!

  • Tomorrow I put on my backpack and I start my adventure to the east, hitchhiking part of Europe to Turkey and hoping to get China… so that great inspirational book will be my perfect companion for the first steps!

    Thanks Jamie! 🙂

  • Jamie,

    I just wanted to say that I loved your booklet, though I had to keep the Grammar Nazi at bay at times. (I’d be happy to edit your next book if you’re interested.)

    I’m curious about a couple things that I haven’t been able to find amidst your writings: 1) How did you go about crossing the Atlantic when coming to North America, and 2) How do you handle “Prooving Onward Travel” which is steadily becoming more and more popular when traveling between countries?

    Thank you for what you have written. It has touched at the deepest parts of my soul, and stirred within me a desire to do something that I have so longed to do.


    • I hope you can go and do whatever it is that you desire.

      I crossed the Atlantic on a plane. It is possible to do it without money on a boat by joining crew seeking sites, but I work intermittently when I want cash and this is what allows me to afford air travel, probably my greatest expense. When you say ‘proving onward travel,’ I assume you mean for visa purposes. I just tell the border guards I am leaving on land and flying out of the next country. I’ve never had a problem with this thus far and the only country that ever really seemed concerned about this was the USA.

      Grammar… what’s that? 😉

  • Thank you so much for writing this. I am in the process of making the jump with no small amount of help from your website. Though I am a college student, and have no money, thanks to you and other full time “nomads” I have realized that I don’t need a whole lot of money to also become one. It’s always been a goal of mine to travel the world and immerse myself into many different cultures and histories. My plan has always been to get a career after college and make enough money to go for a while, never truly thinking I could do this for an actual living. Though if college isn’t a place of enlightenment, I don’t know what is. Once again thank you and I hope to maybe see you on the road in a few years.
    Hopefully future full time nomad,

    • That’s fantastic Jack, I’m glad to hear you’ve embraced this way of thinking. I wish you the best of luck on your adventures and maybe I’ll see you on the road someday. Jamie

  • Hi Jamie, I can’t download that but really need to read it. At the moment we are in the planning ( not too much!) / saving stage for our travels, starting in Europe and hoping never to come back (apart from to visit), just wondering if you have met anyone out there who are doing this with children? We ( my partner and I) are taking our 2 year old with us, she’ll prob be 3 by the time we go. Do you know of any sites/blogs covering this free travel concept with kids in tow??

    • I’ll email it over to you Tabitha. I hope it is useful. There are loads of sites that talk about world travel as a family and if you head to The Nomadic Family, you’ll find some great stories, tips, and links to other family travel sites. As for the free travel concept with kids, I don’t know much about it, but a lot of the concepts of free accommodation and cheap travel are the same. Gabi (on the website I mentioned) does manage to get stuff for free by writing about it too. Check out this page on free beds for ways you and your family can stay places for free. Best of luck and have a wonderful adventure.

    • Hi Tabitha – I stumbled upon your comment and thought you should check out the family that runs Our Open Road – it’s a blog and a fantastic Instagram page. They are inspiring to follow and have two kids in tow!

  • Omg man.. I just found your site and fucking like it !
    I thougth about flying from country to country in my own seach for myself.. but Hitchhiking sounds like the real thing to do if you want to get out of your safty zone!

    • Thanks Martin. If you go hitchhiking, I hope you have the best time. I am discovering new ways of exploring – walking, cycling, rafting – it’s a great adventure.

  • Get Get Go ! Rite O’ Jaimie…. Your lovely ways have inspired people to Free themselves ! Living with a free wild roaming adventure style for 37 years now. Still happy , thriving and loving this exciting journey every day. Thanks for keeping Humans Awake & inspired to question the existence of living blundered…. Cheers !

  • JAMIE! i am so thankful for sharing of your experience. i today first time traveled alone/ that was one day journey but i met so many people – different people, with whom i did amazing conversations. You were so right when writing in your book – when you travel alone, you are never alone.
    Thanks to your book I did this day unbelievable and gonna continue further. But of course before doing this i had so huge dilemma whether to go alone or no. But i remembered your words, your stories, your experience and said myself “nothing to loose.why not?”
    Keep writing and sharing your amazing life. You seriously inspire people!

    • Tetiana, thank-you so much. I am glad that you enjoyed it and that you had a great experience. I hope your adventures continue.

  • Hi there Jamie! 🙂 I recently read your manifesto and thanks to your inspirational words, my sister and I will be embarking on our own travel adventure this summer! It was just what I needed to own my dream of traveling around Europe. I also look forward to reading your new book. May you continue being a source of light and inspiration in other people’s lives! 🙂

    • Evelin, that’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed reading this, but even better to hear that you are embarking upon your own adventure. I hope that you have a wonderful experience (and find some useful words in my new creation).

  • Hey Jamie,

    Looks really awesome, I took the jump around October last year after a break-up and have been living in my car/tent/mum’s/friends ever since
    and currently staying in a Germany hospital after a climbing accident!

    Breaking free was so awesome and scary, I still worry sometimes when I stop to think I don’t know where money for the next meal will come from or when, Do you ever feel like that?

    Keep smiling and the world will smile back 😉
    Cheers, Poul

    • I feel like that often. But more than I worry, I feel liberated. Hitchhiking Europe was my first big experience, where I really let go of everything, and now I only want more. Those worries don’t stop, but they are outweighed by the positives. I’m glad you are on an adventure, but sorry to hear about your accident. That metalwork you have going on still looks pretty intimidating to me!

  • I have just come across your site and I am in the process of taking that jump!, bored with the suffocating day to day grind of work to pay the man, so I am hoping to be ready to leave by the beginning of summer this year, to be absolutely honest with you I am a little apprehensive and I will be giving up everything my home and personal possessions but saying that I cant wait to see where my road will lead.
    Nothing but a total inspiration for what is to come take it easy see you on the road maybe ha.

  • I’m not sure if I’m right but I think I saw the cover image of your book in one of the scenes of the Into The Wild, movie. If my memory is correct then you may not be able to use that picture.

  • Thank you for this well written, hugely resourceful and very inspiring manifesto. You answered all the questions that go on in my mind. Not ready to jump yet but getting into position. One thing that seemed consistent with avant-guard-ers is the pet issue. Haven’t figured out a sound solution with my two pets and it seems to be a regret for some. Regardless, the manifesto served a huge purpose for me and I will re-read it again and again. Thank you Jamie!

    • I’ve emailed them across. You should be able to click any of the icons though and the download will start automatically. If it is the pdf version that you’re after, you can save it once it has loaded.

  • I think this just fixed my indecision about my degree, career and general life. Thank you.

  • Wow. I love your concept and Branding. I am actually taking my wife on MY dream trip. An extended 3-6 month world adventure. I hope this is just the beginning.

    I will be following this Brand-Concept


  • Thank you for sharing this very inspiring and informational writing! I am preparing to teach English abroad next year and after that pursue further world traveling. Reading this gave me great hope that I can accomplish my goals and have a great experience traveling the world on a limited budget.

    Keep it up with the awesome writing and adventures Jamie!

    • I also thank you a lot, Jaime! This helped me re-believe what I once left behind. A dream. 🙂

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