I'm James Wallman — author, entrepreneur, futurist. Welcome to The Future Is Here. We provide sensible, robust, useful strategic advice to people like you.

Here are 3 simple ways to escape your life

In the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the story's hero, Ferris, said something important: 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

It seems that there are lots of people who listened. There are certainly lots of people who are finding modern life moving a bit too fast, and who are determined to stop and look around.

  • There's Escape the City, especially now that they are running the Escape School, which offers "The career, life and startup education you never got at school". Its motto is: "Life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you."
  • There's also Tribewanted, which sells itself on escapism, on inviting people to share. It sounds like a cross between group therapy and a holiday. Staying with them is about thinking about, designing, and then creating the life you want. Their current offer is an Escape to Umbria, where you are invited to "Join serial escapee, Ben Keene, and others for 3 days of dreaming & planning at Tribewanted Monestevole". It's worth reading what previous attendees have said about their time there, such as: 
  • "Over a few days we went on a journey towards making our escape plans. I ended up drawing mine out as a picture – it’s cryptic enough to have on the inside door of my locker at work and I check in with it every few days. I’ve already met up with some of my fellow escapees following the trip. We plan to support each other as we put our plans into action and help ourselves maintain some of the focus we found in Umbria."
  • There's also Alptitu.de the escape week in Chamonix from the people behind the Happy Start-Up camps.

Are these really just holidays, dressed up to appeal to the middle classes? Are these people just looking for new jobs? Perhaps, but there's something in the choice of language, something similar in what they say, and what seems to be resonating with people. We think: 

  • it's the language of escape
  • of wanting something more
  • of asking "is this really it?"
  • of looking for something with meaning, purpose

We think: 

  • this reflects our belief that now that we have enough, we want something more meaningful. We call is "experientialism". 
  • Purpose will become a word to watch in the 2010s.
  • People will treat their lives as they once treated the interiors of their homes. Life-style designers, of all stripes—therapists, retreat hosts, career creators—will be the 2010s and 2020s equivalent to the interior designers of the past. 

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