Roads Less Traveled Launch Party

On Thursday night the crew from Roads Less Traveled threw a launch party for the series at the Gladstone Hotel reminiscent of a summer excursion into nature, complete with trees, a campfire, and beer. (Bears didn’t make the guest list.)

What is “Roads Less Traveled”? (The Canadian in me wants to insert another ‘L’ in ‘traveled’…)

Official site:

“Roads less Traveled” promises a fascinating look at whole different way of living.

In this 13 part series, Natalia Kantor travels in search of today’s most unconventional lifestyles around the globe and the people who choose to live them.

Those people are called Yurt Dwellers, Eco-Warriors, Digital Nomads, New Rich, The Futurists, Burners, Seekers, TEDsters, New Radicals, Mom- trepreneurs and Couchsurfers to name a few.

They’re everywhere. They’re sitting next to you on the bus hooked in to their iPhone and call it work. They’re traveling the world, experiencing the best planet has to offer, if not by boat, by bike then by using air miles. They’re living in yurts. They’re building earthships. They’re creating radical communities in the desert. They’re experiencing mystical transformations. They’re constructing temples in the caves. They’re planting organic farms, in-house gardens and developing eco-villages. They’re inventing flexible work schedules, retiring early, packing their bags, hitting the road and raising their children with alternative schooling.

Watch the trailer here:

I’ve had a special interest in alternative living for some time. I suppose in many ways, my own life has been relatively alternative when compared with, say, my high school classmates. I graduated in a class filled with overachievers, most of whom went directly to university, got careers, got married, and had children. Then there was me. I didn’t do any of that (except marriage and then university a decade later), and I wasn’t going to stick around my conservative community to feel the scorn or pity for being an underachiever. So I left. I needed to make my own life and, in the words of a Glaswegian ex-boyfriend, “find my tribe” (he was sharp, that one).

Thus began my quest. It’s been an invaluable 20 years of experiential living and learning. For examples of this, I have categories such as Raconteurism, not to mention the ever-growing Travel category (nearly 600 posts right now). Really, the majority of this blog is devoted to a reflection of the live-and-learn.

In 1998, not long after I started working in equity research, someone who’d been working with me a little while and listening to my stories at the office said:

You’re like a hippie chick except with a bra and a job.

That took me completely by surprise but it was hilarious, and quite true. The only other person at my office who’d ever hitch hiked as a primary form of transportation was my boss nearing retirement who was a REAL hippie back in the ’60s, sporting a long beard and a ponytail, living in India wearing Jesus sandals. He’d even turned to fructarianism for a time. That’s hardcore. Especially in contrast with how I knew him, as my suit-wearing boss driving a luxury car less than one mile to work from his condo with the ocean view. Talk about a 180!

I was never as alternative as he was (nor will I ever desire a high-end lifestyle) but I did live commune-style for a time in a variety of places in Australia, and would entertain the idea of that again. The concept of alternative living is a topic I enjoy discussing with people on a regular basis, if only to get them to express what they want out of life and what they consider important. Shouldn’t we all do that?

Because of my travel history and more than a decade of couchsurfing, I happen to know quite a few people who have chosen the alternative lifestyle already. The most recent “convert” from convention is my friend Eric who’s living as a Digital Nomad, currently in Southeast Asia. Maybe he’ll be a part of the Roads Less Traveled series, too, if they can catch up with him.

The launch party itself was very well-attended, which goes to show how much interest people have in exploring alternative ways to live. I’m interested to see what lifestyles they’ll unearth in upcoming episodes. Stay tuned to the website for updates:

I uploaded the pictures from the launch party here, to Flickr, and also in a postcard viewer (use your arrow keys to view the pics):