Downshifting - what is it?

Not every person knows what downshifting is. In the article we will understand what this phenomenon is, get acquainted with the followers of this ideology, analyze why they are abandoning a successful career in favor of absolute freedom.

Imagine that you can choose a certain lifestyle. The first option is represented by good work, decent income, but a tough rhythm, clear rules, submission and regular stress. The second option is characterized by a lower rung in society, modest wealth, the lack of career prospects, but complete freedom and independence from generally accepted rules.

Downshifters - people who prefer the second option. They deliberately lower themselves in career and status for the sake of family, hobby and free choice of place of residence.

In general, downshifting is an automotive term, in English it means a transition to a low gear. In our case, people who are tired of quick life stop moving towards the goals imposed on society and follow their own values ​​and desires.

Society imposes various values.Everyone should become a successful person who achieves the goal, look flawless, have decent capital and attributes of prosperous life - stylish accessories, prestigious cars, yachts, first class apartments. If you adhere to such a worldview, ambition, overestimated self-esteem, a desire to strive towards your goal will appear.

A downshifter is a person who can change the chair of a manager for the position of an ordinary manager, or even abandon urban life, move to the countryside or abroad.

A good example of downshifting is the act of the Russian multimillionaire Herman Sterligov. As a public figure, politician and businessman who founded the Russian commodity exchange, he left the business and moved with his family in the suburbs. Now he has a rural house and a full-fledged farm. Of course, he partially returned to the business and founded a settlement and commodity center, however, he does not intend to return the title of oligarch.

Downshifter - a man who decided to completely change his life. At such a step pushes him tired of the race for material goods and the flared conflict between psychological comfort and a beautiful life.

Pros and cons of downshifting

The rapid increasing popularity of downshifting is caused by the general fatigue of the high-speed rhythm of life.

In the course of further conversation, I will consider the pros and cons of downshifting. I'll start with the shortcomings.


  • Pause in work experience. A long break will adversely affect if a person wants to re-employment.
  • Revenue reduction. After a change in lifestyle, financial flows are reduced.
  • Loss of connections. Business partners forget people with whom they had previously worked. A person who enjoyed the charms of downshifting and decided to return to civilization will have to start from scratch.


Plus much more.

  1. Stress reduction. Downshifter lives in an independent world without schedules, hard lines and requirements. It is not necessary to perform urgent work as soon as possible.
  2. Time saving. No need to go to work every day.
  3. Independent planning. Downshifter schedules at its discretion. For example, he may work at night or get up early in the morning to work in a quiet environment.
  4. Benefit for health. Many change not only the place of work, but also the place of residence.It is possible to breathe clean air, drink high-quality water and eat environmentally friendly products.
  5. Self-realization. After cardinal changes, free time appears, the lion’s share of which can be spent on yourself. It is about self-improvement and the disclosure of creative potential.
  6. Professional and personal growth. Usually, professional growth is required and does not bring pleasure. After the change, there is a personal desire to learn new things, learn and develop.

Without a doubt, downshifting has significant advantages. However, I do not advise immediately to be seduced. First of all, you need to carefully weigh and think.

The best countries for downshifting

Many downshifters are sent to warm countries. The main goal of the person who decided to completely change his life, carefree, comfortable and convenient pastime, without significant financial costs.


Thailand is in first place in terms of popularity among downshifters. Many foreigners live on the territory of the state, including our compatriots. A visa to Thailand is not required if the length of stay does not exceed one month.After enough to cross the border with Laos or Malaysia and you can go back again for a month.

Video interview with downshifterami


In India, Goa is a popular place for downshifting. To visit the country requires a visa, which is issued for six months. India is a wintering country. While in the homeland of the cold, here you can entertain, walk and live for pennies. Many downshifters do this.


The Turkish state is popular among Russian tourists who go on a short vacation. Turkey is also suitable for short-term downshifting. Russians can be here without a visa for two months. The total length of stay cannot exceed one quarter. After two months of residence you need to leave the country, and after returning for a month.


The country through which the Equator passes provides the markets with quality bananas. On the territory of Ecuador, you can stay 90 days with the right of renewal. Prices are reasonable, and people are good. Excellent conditions for living, there are mountains and rainforests everywhere.


South American state is friendly to the inhabitants of our country.Russians can stay here for three months, and then extend the right to stay by bilateral border crossing. Argentina is ideal for emigration. A child born here receives citizenship, and parents can issue a residence permit without any problems.

This is not a complete list of states for downshifting. It can include Nepal, the Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Bolivia, Kenya.

How much do downshifters earn?

I will give a few examples with figures on how incomes changed before and after downshifting.

  • After moving to the countryside, incomes of the former citizen fall significantly. According to one of the downshifters, while living in the city, he earned 100,000 rubles, working as a lawyer. After moving to the village, earnings fell 4 times.
  • Another downshifter before moving to the countryside monthly earned about 50,000 rubles, working in the field of street artists. After a fateful decision and the subsequent move, his earnings fell dramatically. There were cases when the budget for a day did not exceed 100 rubles.
  • Some in search of adventure go to warm places. According to the former bank officer who went to Asia, now his monthly income does not exceed $ 300.For a normal life is enough, but sometimes you want a little luxury.
  • One copywriter quit his job and went to live where he liked, stopping in one place for a short time. It is still working remotely, while revenues have increased by one and a half times. You cannot call it a full-value downshifting, because it continues to work in its specialty, but in a place convenient for it.

In most cases, revenues fall significantly, but this is not terrible, since freedom is much more important for downshifters.

Downshifting in Russia

In Western countries, downshifting means giving up the glory, benefits of civilization and career in favor of personal freedom.

In Russia, this concept has acquired a different shade. The overwhelming majority of downshifters are well-off people who can go to another state for permanent residence without any particular problems. They do not abandon the business, but leave it in the care of managers and keep it under control. Therefore, downshifting in Russia is characterized by negative reviews. In the people, the phenomenon is explained by laziness, betrayal of the Motherland, unwillingness to work.

Video plot

Motives and causes of downshifting

  1. The lack of desire and talent.
  2. Excessive fatigue from society.
  3. The desire to test their own strength.
  4. The desire to start life from scratch.
  5. Traction to a healthy lifestyle and nature.

This ideology is often followed by people who are disappointed in life. It is about the departure of the second half, the loss of loved ones, betrayal by colleagues or friends. For many, downshifting is a great opportunity to start another life, leaving the old mistakes in the past.

Russian people who have decided to plunge into the world of downshifting, are interested in where to go? Places that are suitable for this, it is impossible to estimate by point or asterisk system. This approach is wrong. Some find tranquility in the Siberian forests, others choose the Norilsk extreme or Karelian swamps, some go to the suburbs, restore grandma's mud hut and grow vegetables.

An ideal place for downshifting is considered to be where there is sun and sea, there are no megalopolises, industrial enterprises and civilization manifestations. Life should be inexpensive, the local people responsive and friendly, and enough coconuts and lobsters for food.

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I consider such a notion of downshifting distorted, since it provides for avoiding the harsh reality and provides an opportunity to figure it out. This can be done in absolute silence anywhere.