The Radius Of Leisure


“Radius of Action” is a term used by sailors and aviators. It refers to the maximum distance a ship or aircraft can travel away from its base and return without refuelling. For those in the business of employing ships and aircraft, a large Radius of Action is desirable.

But what if we twist the concept somewhat and apply it to our lives? Is it beneficial to go far?

In the absence of life having any particular meaning (I’ve checked…it doesn’t) we live for leisure: general enjoyment of life without unnecessary toil. The question, really, is not how far we can roam, but rather how far we need to roam, in order to enjoy life.

Enter the “Radius of Leisure”: the distance a person must travel in order to achieve a satisfactory degree of leisure. In contrast to the Radius of Action, a large Radius of Leisure is a bad thing. It is directly related to how much we need to earn (and therefore work) in order to satisfy our leisure pursuits. And it is inversely related to our happiness: a very large Radius of Leisure likely means we’re living in the wrong place.

How big is your radius?


Lentus Ambulandus is New Escapologist's Chief Leisure Officer. He advocates doing the things worth doing (hiking, cycling, sipping coffee, reading books), and proudly accomplishes less in a month than most people do in a week. His creed is simple: Death Before Employment.

8 Responses to “The Radius Of Leisure”

  1. Michelle says:

    Interesting concept! I’ve recently started taking “field trips” to towns in my area which I’ve never visited before. I’ll research the town for about a month, finding the best coffee shops, art galleries, bookshops, etc. Then I’ll spend an entire day there, from breakfast through night life. It’s been really interesting…and always within 100 miles, usually even closer.

  2. That’s excellent. Loads of people never get around to exploring the local area. Why jet off to far-flung places when other people pay good money to come to OUR home towns?

  3. Perrier says:

    This is great – really like the concept.

    Incidentally I moved to Vancouver last year and am absolutely loving the opportunities contained within a far smaller radius than outlined in the map! Incredible part of the world, but definitely gives rise to questions about employment options when you have to sit in an office and look out at the north shore mountains 5 days a week…life shouldn’t just be lived at the weekends.

  4. Drew Gagne says:

    Yeah I know…I could have drawn the circle a lot smaller! Anyhow glad you like Vancouver (as we wait for the ferry enroute to our new life on the island). Re: looking out of your office at the north shore, at least you’ll be forgiven for calling in sick when it snows or is sunny, like legions of your fellow Vancouverites.

  5. Welcome to Escapology, Perrier. Gorgeous part of the world, Vancouver.

  6. Moonwaves says:

    I’ve gotten far too side-tracked in the last couple of years by being busy, busy, busy all the time. So, this year, knowing that I’d soon be looking for a job and (hopefully) moving further south in Germany, I decided to make a list of places near here that I still haven’t gotten around to visiting. And I’ve been spending more time just doing things in my town that I’d never done. So much to do here, it nearly makes it hard to take advantage of the weekend travel in my state that my train card also provides to visit neighbouring places.

  7. Joe says:

    Excellent idea and so succinctly put. I moved to Brighton 6 years ago and now have all sorts of fun on my doorstep – the sea, the hills, etc. I found a cheap room in a shared house, work part time to cover the basics and other than that I just wander around and play my guitar.

    I was a student for a few years and consequently couldn’t work full time, so got into the habit of living rather frugally. Once I graduated, I realised I’d rather take the extra time than the extra money, and have never looked back.

  8. Perrier says:

    Aha, Drew enjoy life on Van Island – what better place to escape from it all! I hope the move wasn’t as hellish as they can sometimes be – least it’s not raining.

    Thanks for the welcome Robert; I’ve spent the best part of today procrastinating on your author’s website which rather tickles my funny bone (quaint phrase, that one). Quite fond of Stuart Lee – saw a gig of his a couple of years ago – nice to see writing along similar lines (perhaps?). Have heard good things about Montreal but have never made it out there. By all accounts Vancouver is somewhat culturally stunted in comparison but you can’t have it all.

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers


Issues One to Seven

A bundle of our first seven issues. Featuring minimalism, Houdini, Leo Babauta, Bohemianism, Alain de Botton, Sartre, and Tom Hodgkinson. 567 pages. £35.


Issues Eight to Thirteen

A bundle of our last six issues. Featuring Luke Rhinehart, Flaubert, Mr Money Mustache, part-time work, Will Self, home life, Richard Herring, and E. F. Schumacher. 593 pages. £30.

Issue Thirteen

Our final issue. Featuring an interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; and Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra. 122 pages. £7.

Escape Everything!

A hardback guide to scarpering. Essential reading for wage slaves and slugabeds alike. Published by Unbound and Penguin. 230 pages. £12.