Updated: Feb 4
I'm An Idiot
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, the most devastating have almost all been financial. Every new job I took and every pay bump was another opportunity to buy something new. Another $500 a month meant I had $500 a month to spend on a new car or motorcycle. I lost tens of thousands to toys I didn’t need just to satisfy the desire to show off to people that didn’t matter. I saved very little, used the money I had on things I didn't need, and found I had very little to show for my work.
Figuring It Out
My first hint that I was living my life the wrong way came years ago, when I was out to dinner with my sister and her friends. Her friends are fascinating people. World travelers, food lovers, storytellers. Over drinks and tapas they shared all sorts of exciting tales of places they’d been, people they’d met, food they’d eaten. The only thing I had to share was the second motorcycle I’d purchased. It hit me then, and hit me hard, that things don’t matter. Stories matter. This set the foundation for my desire to minimize but I was still a long way off from making any meaningful changes.
Stephanie brought to my life a much needed can do attitude. I've had grand ideas since I was a teenager but never did anything about them. When I meant Stephanie, suddenly all those grand ideas started turning into reality. Our kickstart to this enter lifestyle was the Netflix documentary Minimalism. We watched it over and over and said to ourselves “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live like that?”. Eventually something just clicked and our “Wouldn’t it be” turned into “Why can’t we?”
The following months were some of the most exciting of my life. Every week for months we had 4-5 construction bags full of garbage. We donated easily half of our wardrobes to Goodwill, if we had more than 2 or 3 of something, it went. We downsized our book and beer collections, moved keepsakes into storage, and started shopping around for a new place to live. The more sparse our home became the more free I felt. I can understand how some people would be comforted by closets full of clothes, shelves lined with books and antiques, and basements full of decorations for every occasion. To me, all of that felt like a burden. A constant weight on my shoulders and an anchor dragging me down.
We spent months shopping for the right 5th wheel to become our new home and when our condo finally went up for sale I was ecstatic. We were really going to live a more exciting life on the road! We were going to travel and explore and see new places and spend more time outside and in general living more adventurously! This was going to be great! You’ll read in our other blog posts that our experiences have been far from perfect. Some of the most stressful experiences of my life have been because of this lifestyle. However, we have traveled more, learned a lot, and grown closer as a family.