Working only six months out of the year seems like a dream for most people, but it’s one that a man with the nickname Ultra Romance has managed to achieve. The nomadic individual treks throughout the world with only a bike and a modest amount of camping equipment in tow. This lightweight lifestyle allows him to take in beautiful natural sights and enjoy biking adventures off the grid. Prioritizing leisure over work—the opposite for many of us—Ultra happily exists on the fringe of society.
Transient living has been part of Ultra’s life since he graduated college almost 17 years ago. Since then, he hasn’t stayed for more than six months in any one place. He’s also avoided the trappings of modern society; according to Business Insider, he has never owned a car and only got a bank account so that he can sell things online. Living frugally, he subsists on $10 a day (and often forages for food). “It's been very much like, get your work done for part of the year and do whatever you want the rest of the year,” Ultra said. “For me, work is a segue to traveling.”
While many might scoff at Ultra’s life philosophy, he sees it as a return to tradition. “The more you learn about human history,” he explained, “it reveals that in a hunter-gatherer society, say in New England 400 years ago, it took nine hours a week to procure everything you needed to live for that week, and the rest was all leisure time. This is what's natural to us. We've only been living the way we are now since the Industrial Revolution, and it's not for me.” Still, that doesn’t keep him from enjoying modern conveniences. “I like my internet and I love Instagram and all that stuff—I love Whole Foods.”
For Ultra, the jobs he takes on—such as commercial fishing—is just a means to an end that allows him go on these adventures, which have taken him as far as New Zealand (from the U.S.). On each trip, as with most things in his life, it’s about living in the moment. “I have no real goal. I just ride. It's riding, setting up a hammock, taking a siesta, and chilling out.”
You can live vicariously through Ultra’s travels via his Instagram.