35-year-old American who thinks modern life is too stressful works 6 months a year, then lives on $10 a day adventuring around the world on a bicycle


Most of us lead a life that revolves around work. The average US worker, for example, clocks 47 hours a week, and when you add the time we spend commuting, another five to 10 hours, it pushes our total work-related hours over 55. Then there's work-related stress, which damages our health.

All of that can paint a vulgar picture of life in our modern world, one that two or three weeks' vacation can hardly remedy.

Then there are those who refuse to buy into all that and choose to live on the fringe, like Ultra Romance, a 35-year-old from the Connecticut River valley who works as little as possible - usually for six months a year - and then goes adventuring around the world with his bike and modest camping gear.

Since college, 15 years ago, Ultra Romance, aka Benedict, says he hasn't lived more than six months in any one place. He has never owned a car, and he got a bank account just so he could buy and sell bicycle parts on eBay (he keeps the cash he earns in little bags that he buries in the ground). He says he lives on $10 a day.

"We have this preconceived notion of what success is in the modern world," he recently told Business Insider. "I'm not ashamed that I don't like to work. It's just very unnatural."


This week we caught up with Ultra Romance to learn more about how this free spirit has bucked society's expectations and made his own path. He recently appeared on the cover of Bicycling magazine and has become popular on Instagram. Read on to see what he told us about how we work too much and, well, probably live and play too little: