“Go West, young man.”
Generations ago the world was rugged. Men had the opportunity to explore and go on adventures. To face hardship, triumph and experience the world. Whether it was through war or sailing, there was an opportunity for profound growth.
It is in our nature to explore and get lost in the wilderness. But today men never do that. Not only does this make men soft, but it means that they won’t discover their purpose in life and find out where they belong. One way to do this is to become a Reconnaissance Man.
The premise of the book is that young men are being led like cattle from school to college to a job and so on. They end up living in Nowheresville, Iowa because that’s where they were born even though living in Florida or Idaho may fit them better.
I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. Spending time exploring this vast land will give them the worldview they need.
Traveling the country from East to West and North to South is no easy task. Reading through the first part of the book I was curious about how someone would go about this. Fortunately, Clarey goes into a lot of depth about how to travel, what to bring, spending and saving money, what to see, where to go etc.
Maybe the USA Isn’t So Bad?
I’m a big proponent of going international: Traveling the world, investing abroad, learning languages, avoiding American women and so on. Yet, with this book I am reconsidering what America has to offer. This is not to say I want to anchor myself here, but rather I’m open to traveling more in the U.S. as opposed to just Europe, Latin America and Asia.
I’m, as Clarey writes, one of the sheltered East Coast types who doesn’t want to leave my nest in the DC area. I’ve never been out West, save Alaska. This book made me want to spend more time in this country, not to necessarily find a spot to settle down, but to see that the entire country isn’t gone for good [Plus, Trump just won].
At the same time, I would have liked more of an emphasis to be on international travel. Clarey’s Enjoy the Decline is not exactly a raving endorsement to stay put in America. Rather, it makes you want to travel abroad. Reconciling this notion with being an American-based Reconnaissance Man can be hard, though the best choice for someone who wants to live here.
A Must Read For Young Men
Aaron has truly walked the walk. He has been to all the places he writes about and knows what states you should visit, taking into account weather, culture, taxes and other factors. He’s also written Worthless and Bachelor Pad Economics, both indispensable guides to personal finance.
This guide should be given to all teenage boys. The blind march from high school to college must end and this book would help plenty of men break free. They’d be able to find where they want to live in this country, and more importantly take the time to really reflect about what they want out of life.
Click here to get your copy of Reconnaissance Man by Aaron Clarey.