What is downshifting and what countries go for it

The faster the standard of living grows, the more people think about the need for an endless struggle for money and high posts. Against the background of such reasoning, various ideological movements appear. One of them is downshifting..

This philosophy promotes the idea of ​​”living for oneself” and “abandonment of other people’s goals.” It is similar to the concept of “simple living” (simple life).

Downshifting became possible due to the development of small business, technology, remote work and communications at a distance.

What is downshifting??

downshifter in nature

The word downshifting in English means lowering the car transmission (shift down) or simply slowing down any process. As a philosophy, it arose in the 80-90s in the West, and in the zeros appeared in Russia. Hippie and New Age Culture Considered Prerequisites.

Downshifting has spread widely in the United States, Australia and Russia among residents of metropolitan areas who are protesting against the consumer society. Downshifters refuse imposed benefits and goals like career growth or material capital. Instead, they devote time to personal development, seek harmony and peace of mind..

For the first time, the term “downshifting” was used by the American correspondent Sarah Ben Breatna in The Washington Post in 1991. In 2000, the English journalist Carl Honore wrote a book, “No Fuss. How to Stop Hurrying and Start Living, ”which combined downshifting with the ideology of minimalism and a simple lifestyle.

The phenomenon of downshifting

tired office worker

Downshifter is a person who wants to live a measured life. An important part of philosophy is rest: organized tourism, travels “wild”, life in the village. Downshifter focuses on communication with relatives and like-minded people. He is engaged in hobbies, self-education and charity. All this is for the sake of knowing oneself..

Representatives of the movement against work in a market economy. They are changing their lifestyle, moving on to other patterns of behavior. Spend money on intangible goods, begin to consume consciously, reduce working time for the sake of freedom. Downshifter refuses career heights, moves to another position (less profitable, but quiet), works at home or is limited to part-time jobs.

To get rid of stress, downshifters do not live in noisy cities, but on the outskirts, dachas and villages. But moving does not mean giving up civilization. They keep up to date and use technology for work, communication and education. Some joke that the downshifter is a man with an iPhone who has left for the village.

Downshifters are usually apolitical, but different countries have their own specifics:

  • British downshifting is closely related to environmental issues.
  • In Australia, such people advocate frequent changes in housing and work..
  • Russian downshifters move to warmer countries to travel more or raise children, while handing over real estate in their homeland.

Downshifting in Russia

Krasnodar region

Over the past five years, 150 thousand Russians from other cities have been added to this region. Real estate prices are naturally lower than in Moscow, especially if you always live here and choose resort villages, rather than cities like Gelendzhik, Anapa or Sochi. You can easily rent or buy a room, or even an entire house.

The main interest of downshifters in the Krasnodar Territory is the Black Sea and the warm climate. There are a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, there is no problem with the Internet. Options for work: sublease of housing, travel services and vacancies on a remote site.

Voronezh region

Divnogorye Plateau

It may sound strange, but the region is popular with downshifters. The reason is the fertile Black Earth region. On it you can do agriculture even with minimal experience. Plus a tolerant climate: a cross between Central Russia and the South. There are unique natural places, for example, Divnogorye – a steppe plateau in the Liskinsky district.

Most live in the suburbs to be close to civilization and use the stable Internet (one of the cheapest in Russia). People come here if you want to rent or buy a house with a plot where you can set up a garden with a garden.

Moscow Region and Leningrad Region

german sterligov settlement settlement

Prices outside two capitals are lower, people are fewer, and air is cleaner. In cottage villages, small towns and villages in these parts, there remain those who rent out real estate in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but want to maintain friendly and family ties or are afraid to go far. Due to the developed transport infrastructure, you can be in the center of cultural activity, reaching the city in 1-2 hours.

If you are ready for physical and manual labor, then you will be welcomed in any clan settlement, and there are more than 300 such objects in Russia. The famous businessman German Sterligov lives in just such a place (in the Moscow region, Mozhaysky district).

The Moscow Region Government allocated him 37 hectares of land, where he was engaged in agriculture. Later he organized the Sloboda project there and offers people to come here to live. A similar village is in the Krasnodar Territory in the Abinsky district – it is called “Living Spring”.

Downshifters-programmers can go to the Kirov region, where former Yandex employee Alexei Konyshev founded the “Village of Programmers”. They live next to nature and communicate with like-minded people by profession..

Downshifters are often confused with eco-settlers and freelancers. Of course, one does not contradict the other, but it is important that we talk about lowering the status. When you worked on a remote site or did not work at all, and then moved to the village, you are not a downshifter. The latter has something to lose: experience, authority, inheritance, high salary.

Which countries for downshifting to go to



A popular destination for downshifters who love exoticism and travel. In Vietnam, the locals are hospitable, the authorities monitor the order, medicine at a decent level. There are good beaches and many opportunities for work in tourist resorts..

You can move around on a moped. A monthly rental apartment or house on the outskirts costs $ 200. For a long stay, you need a visa. If you want to have the entire infrastructure at hand, choose Danang, Nha Trang, Hanoi, Hoi An or Ho Chi Minh City for downshifting..


beach of thailand

This direction has long been associated with a carefree life for everyone who dreams of beautiful landscapes and quiet self-development. Here you can easily meet Russian like-minded people. Nightly entertainment, a warm ocean, lack of a visa – attract many.

You can rent a one-room apartment with air conditioning for $ 300 dollars (the longer the rental, the cheaper). The only thing that can scare away the beginner downshifter is the language barrier and the abundance of tourists in the peak season. Downshifting in Thailand is more common on Koh Phangan – an inexpensive and comfortable island.


tourist on a bike makes selfie in bali

This is a great haven for downshifters who love a warm welcome and are looking for beach resorts. Almost everyone chooses the island of Bali. It has excellent ecology, which affects the quality of products and many opportunities for sea sports.

Rent an apartment for a month – $ 300. You can live without a visa, but you need to prepare for strong stuffiness. In some areas, the Internet is slow. Downshifting in Bali is not the cheapest, but life is very measured.


a cow lies on the beach in goa

Here the main direction of the downshifter is Goa. On the coast there are houses, bungalows and condominiums. In the southern regions, renting a two-bedroom apartment costs $ 200-250, but North Goa is a little more expensive ($ 300), plus the costs of a realtor.

Scooter trips, the ocean, long beaches, vegetarian cuisine, yoga and surfing – there is everything for a healthy lifestyle. Downshifters, who consider Goa mainstream, remain in the suburban areas of megacities, for example, near Mumbai. Still have to get used to a paid visa, unsanitary conditions, only bottled drinking water and a rare wired Internet.


factory in tbilisi

Delicious food, wine and landscapes – this direction is suitable for all downshifters, including those who wanted their own plot for a vegetable garden, vineyard or garden. In Georgia, you can quickly reach mountain villages and cottages by the sea. Most often downshifters stop in Tbilisi, because here all the infrastructure and stable Internet. An apartment in the historic center costs $ 310, cheaper on the outskirts.

Georgia is a haven for backpackers and backpackers. No visa required and no special knowledge of English required. But get ready for the fact that you are likely to get fat and will be lost for the first time on the roads due to the local style of chaotic driving.


cyprus limassol

In these parts it is warm and tasty, but more expensive in comparison with Asian countries. Cyprus for those who want to open a business or plan to live on income from an already developing business.

Some downshifters remain in the capital, Nicosia, to be closer to infrastructure, but no less people come to Limassol, a city that can be considered a paradise for IT workers, thanks to branches of different companies.

Rent at the Moscow level – $ 700 per apartment per month ($ 550 in the case of a contract for a year). The rental price usually includes the Internet. The advantages of Cyprus in the weather and the sea, but you need to go to it if you live in Nicosia.

Books about downshifting

“Total downshifting or full upgrade”

This book is printed on hemp paper. It tells the real story of a couple who moved from the capital to the Siberian taiga. It is suitable for those who plan to establish their settlement and need knowledge in agriculture, livestock, construction. Authors – Konstantin and Natalie Makukha.

“Downshifting. How to work less and enjoy life more ”

A book from Ph.D. John Drake with tips for all urban workaholics. There are alternative life scenarios with varying degrees of risk, psychological tests and stories from people who gave up their careers for the sake of peace, harmony and happiness.

“Downshifting or how to work in pleasure, not to depend on traffic jams and do what you want”

Sophia Makeeva’s book is a revision of the author’s conversations with former office workers and artists who have abandoned life in megacities. Bonus at the end of mini-trainings and downshifter guide.

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