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"What is the answer?" The man who says it best - in under 1 minute

Story published on

 11 February 2019

The following 58 seconds of footage shot 7 decades before the invention of YouTube compress an entire life philosophy. They are the best answer one could get when asked why he decided to leave it all behind and travel the world.

Johnny Case: I’ve been working since I was 10, I want to find out why I’m working. It can’t just be to pay bills and pile up more money, even if you do the government’s going to take most of it.

Linda Seton: But what is the answer?

Johnny Case: I don’t know, that’s what I intend to find out. The world’s changing out there, there are a lot of new, exciting ideas running around. Some may be right and some may be cockeyed but they’re affecting all our lives. I want to know how I stand, where I fit in the picture, what it’s all gonna mean to me. I can’t find that out sitting behind some desk in an office, so as soon as I get enough money together, I’m going to knock off for a while.

Johnny Case: I want to save part of my life for myself. There’s a catch to it though, it’s gotta be part of the young part. You know, retire young, work old, come back and work when I know what I’m working for, does that make any sense?

“I want to find out why I’m working”


If you’re interested in the hip literature about how to travel the world, here are three books I’ve read that are considered a beginner’s Bible:

  • “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day”, by Matthew Kepnes (whom the Internet knows as Nomadic Matt)
  • “Vagabonding. An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel”, by Rolf Potts
  • “The 4-Hour Workweek”, by Tim Ferriss


There you are. As promissed, in one minute of old school rom-com, my all time favorite Hollywood duo sum up the secret dreams of generations. They also manage to explain a trend that would surface some 7 decades after they did this adaptation of the 1928 play ‘Holiday’.

To each and everyone of those who have asked me all the various WHY’s regarding my quitting to see the world, this 58 second YouTube video is the easiest answer. 

Since I decided to do this, I got to discover that there is a big, big number of people doing the exact same thing.

The hipster literature talks about mini-retirements or digital nomads. Most of them are basically young people who can’t find their place in just one place and are looking for inspiration and awe in the big world.

Slava Bowman/Unsplash

Watch out! Millennials are on the move

Let me give you a smaller case study. Over the past months, we’ve bought some second hand stuff off the Internet three times. Twice the sellers were people who quit their jobs some years ago to travel the world indefinitely. And that’s only in Bucharest!

There’s a global trend, though. By 2020, the number of trips made by young travellers each year is expected to have grown by almost 50% compared to 2013. 

By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travellers each year, a staggering 47% increase from 217 million in 2013.

– Millennial Traveller Report, via Forbes

With plenty of visa free regimes to go around, travel is so much easier than in the times of the early Cary Grant. It is much cheaper, simpler to plan due to the advent of all the online and mobile tools.  

Plus, there is a generational angst and an inclination to value experiences over things. And what greater experience can one get than looking for ‘THE ANSWER’ in foreign, peculiar, fascinating, shocking and picture perfect places?


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I quit my TV job in order to rediscover the world. A story I never imagined I would tell

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