I had hit on the topic of peerlessness and some of the drawbacks of success while doing two two week adventures in the Black Hills and a motorcycle ride to Alaska. Admittedly it is a philosophy in progress, but decided to interview somebody who is down the rabbit hole of success and individualism more than most and that is Roosh V. You may not agree with his lifestyle, and many will criticize it, but you cannot deny this is a man who set out to do his own thing, is doing it, and is successful at it. Consequently, he is one of the few men who is "living his dream" and somebody whose opinions about success should be heeded.
My questions are in regular font, his answers are in italics.
"You are arguably "peerless" in that there is no other man on the planet whose job it is to fly around the planet and try to seduce different women in different countries. And in being this individual, it is only you who has experienced this particular path in life. Now, to the outside observer, most men would say you are living the dream and can only see benefits to such a lifestyle/profession. However, we all know that just because one is "living the dream" or "achieving their dreams," there are always drawbacks. What are the major drawbacks or disadvantages of your lifestyle or "achieving your dream" most people don't see?"
Loneliness is the biggest drawback. I meet a ton of new people, but very few of those develop into something deeper. I am a novelty to the locals and they are the same to me, so it's no surprise that friendships I've met among non-Westerners have been superficial and fleeting. I find it exceedingly difficult, almost impossible, to make male friends abroad that don't already know me through my blog. This may be a product of age: men develop such specific personalities in their 30s that there are few others who can reasonably match it.
Travel is also exhausting in that you have to constantly learn new environments and adapt to them. Just when I begin to relax in a new city after identifying my favorite cafes, supermarkets, and bars, or after I finally adapt to a city's vibe and character, it's time to go somewhere else and start the process all over again. It becomes a grind of having to continually re-adapt to new environments and hopefully find comfort in yet another strange place. I'm usually quite tense during the first couple of days in a new city or apartment, of having to mentally accept a complete change to my living space.
Another result is that since I know I can't really get attached to any person or place, my emotions have to lean towards the cold side. I approach every city or encounter with detachment.
"Most other people have contemporaries or colleagues in their profession. Even rivals (a la Joker and the Batman) can be considered colleagues. I would surmise you have none. Does that result in any kind of loneliness or a hopelessness that you just cannot just crack open a beer and talk to somebody "about your day at the office?"
The higher up you climb the mountain, the fewer people you see around you. I do meet a lot of men who are internationally mobile with internet marketing businesses, but this mobility means lasting friendships are rare. I hang out with them for a week or two and one of us has to leave for the next city. Even one night out with such man has a lot of value to me, because I can go months without it. I know perhaps the most interesting men in the world, but they are not where I am.
Sometimes I do long to be a member of a fixed community and the sense of belonging that goes with it, where someone at my usual gathering place would ask "Where's Roosh?" if I wasn't there. Once I leave a city, maybe one or two girls may care, and that's it.
I realized that being alone is a skill like any other, and I'm starting to believe my blog is a sort of "friend" where I can write thoughts that would have otherwise been spoken to a group of friends. The fact that I developed a working strategy for "going out alone" signifies how scarce friendship can be while on the road.
"Your profession requires extensive travel in countries where you not only don't know the language, but have inadequate time to become proficient in the language. It doesn't seem to affect your game, but there must be some social drawbacks I'd imagine. You can't sit down with your local chums at the bar. The closest friend you have may be in Stuttgart. Yes, the internet is always there for you to converse, but does language proficiency pose a problem and have an effect on your social life?"
English is becoming very common around the world, because it's a gateway to the middle class for many foreigners who want what Americans already take for granted. While studying Russian in Ukraine, I've had to expend some effort to exclude people from my social life who speak English---it was just that common.
It only takes six months of study in any language to become proficient enough to have sex with the local women, but the conversations will be extremely general. Silences are long. You can only make corny jokes. There is little depth, and complicated opinions can't be shared. You definitely won't be talking about philosophy. It takes years of language study before you can express yourself similarly to your own language, but life is long, and so I believe you should start somewhere.
One thing men have to realize is that the connections they have with foreigners will rarely be stronger than what they can experience with their own countrymen. Sure you can fall in love with a Ukrainian woman because of her beauty, sweetness, and ability to cook you hearty meals, but you won't be able to have as many interesting conversations with your style of humor. Then again, I don't know any man who travels because he wants more friends. They do it mainly for adventure, experience, sexual abundance, and dissatisfaction with either their homeland or lifestyle.
"You have gone on great adventures. South America, Scandinavia, your Central European expedition. And even before you left for your first one (South America) a friend of yours told you about how you would go through a "time machine." You would change, but everybody back home wouldn't. they'd stay the same. You would have experiences, adventures, wisdom and observations, while everybody back home would stagnate doing the run of the mill 9-5 thing. One, are people even able to comprehend your experiences when you come back home and want to share them, and two, does it alienate (not in a bad way, but just a differential way) from your home social network? And three, is this something any adventure seeker should heed in terms of a consequence/cost?"
Even if you don't live abroad, but merely travel short-term, the distance between your friends can only increase. They get new office jobs, move to neighboring towns, get girlfriends, and so on while you're seeing the world. Living abroad only accelerates the problem because you are doing things that they've never done, and so when you return, you're no longer interested in the same habits or routines as when you left.
My friends remain in DC, and they can only pursue DC women, so they go to bars that now I simply cannot tolerate because of my experience in Europe and South America. Since chasing DC women was the main activity that we did together, my inability to dive into that bar scene (or even live in DC), puts a strain on our friendship. Eventually you have to come to the realization that it will get only harder to meet someone who has similar experience as you do, and it's best just to seek basic companionship instead. Humans need someone to talk to, and soon you forget the notion that a man must share in all your interests to be a friend. If your friendship standards don't decline, you will soon find yourself without any friends.
Men must also realize that every lifestyle has a cost. Anything you gain with a lifestyle change must cause something else to be lost. The problem is that travel is like a medicine with a side effect that never goes away. You cure the disease only to create another condition. Even if you want to go back to your stable lifestyle, your mind has now had a taste of adventure and better women, so it will sabotage future efforts at stability, making travel both a blessing and curse. You can never revert back to your old self once you spend a long time abroad. An animal that escaped the zoo doesn't want to go back, even if his daily food is guaranteed.
"The quote, 'When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.' highlights a problem a lot of independent minded people might face in their lives - nothing left to do. Do you suffer from "adventure burn out?" i.e. - you have lived such a unique life, done pretty much everything your 20 something self would have ever desired. Upon completing or satiating these "adventures/desires" do you ever say "what's next?" but sadly have no answer? Again, to the outside observer, what does a man do after flying around the planet, laying every girl he can? Is there any intellectual, physical, or economic challenges that seem appetizing to you? or is it a challenge to find "that next project?"
I think it's likely for a man to become an adventure junkie, of seeking higher highs, and then finally burn out from it all. He wants to experience a new adventure which exceeds his previous one. Of course this isn't sustainable in the long run.
I do agree that you do reach a point of diminishing return of what travel can give you and start to see new countries as being similar to ones you've already visited. Even new girls, in no matter what exotic locale you find yourself in, will start reminding you of previous ones you already slept with.
I don't know the solution to this besides living the life you want. I like reading and writing, so no matter where I am, I can at least do that, which offers a buffer from burn out. For guys who don't have their own hobbies that they can take wherever they go, I do believe they will find it harder to continue abroad for more than a year or two. This is why almost all the guys I meet who have been doing it for years have an internet business---they can take it anywhere. You stay grounded when you have a consistent daily routine.
You ask what a man has left to do after flying around the planet, but I would ask what the man in a corporation---who has achieved middle management---would do after his big promotion. You hit walls without whatever lifestyle you pursue. The smart man will appreciate what he has, take one day at a time, and be open to any new opportunities to either learn new skills or enjoy his leisure. Once a man reaches his potential, or at least close to it, I guess there is not a whole lot more he can do but refine his craft.
For me, intellectual challenges offer high rewards. My recent mission was sleeping with women using Russian. I get a nice high when I have a conversation in a foreign language that I only started learning after turning 30, but like any other goal, you experience a little success and then get bored. I have met a lot of men who have monetary goals (i.e. saving $1,000,000), but I already make enough to meet my needs, so such a goal would not serve me any benefit. One thing that I wonder is if my best work is behind me or not. Have I already created my best book? This will be interesting to find out when I'm on my death bed looking back.
"Since you have been down this path and very few others have, is there any warnings you'd give younger men (or women) who dare to live such an individualist lifestyle. Not so much in terms of "risks" or "failure," but success?"
The individualist lifestyle is great if you are an individualist. If you can't handle loneliness, constant adaption, unpredictability, and intense struggle, you may not be fit for this type of life. Then again, the only way to find out is to embark on a trip of a month or longer. You will never know if you don't make an attempt. As hard as my first trip abroad was, I wanted to get back out there and do it again, so I knew that my days in America were numbered. The main idea is to try something you've never done before, take a rest, and then listen to what your gut is telling you to do next. While my life isn't perfect, this strategy has worked for me, because I prefer my life of today than the one I had in the States.
You can find Roosh's books, travel guides and essays here.