• Stephanie Olson

My Why

Updated: Feb 4

Adventure, learn, teach, experience, find more time. These are all things that motivated me to make a shift to the lifestyle we are currently living. We wanted to give everyone some insight into why and how we are doing what we are, so here is my story. I’ve not traveled to a lot of the places that many kids go to when they are growing up. In fact, the first time I visited Disney World, I was the mother of a 6 year old, and was 27 myself. This isn’t meant to make you think I had a terrible childhood in which I missed out on things, that isn’t the case at all. I am an only child, and was very shy in my younger years, so it was perfect that most of the vacations we took were in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It would almost always be myself, my parents, and my grandma and grandpa. I’ll never know what my life would have been like if we went to Disney World, Mexico, or other beaches each year on vacation, but I can tell you that the memories I made laying low on our vacations with my parents and grandparents gave me a great appreciation for and closeness with my family. This is a big part of loving the life we are living now. Fast forward to the present. I’m now mom to three kids, spaced out greatly in age. Allison had a lot of time as an only child, and when she was 12, Ian came along. He spent a lot of time with me carting Allison to all of her activities, but it was time together nonetheless. Then in 2018, Piper was born. Parenting each of them has been very different. I rushed Allison to grow up. I was young, and couldn’t wait until she was old enough to be more my friend than my job. I’ve been able to enjoy and experience more with Ian, and more yet with Piper. When Zach and I looked around our nearly 3000 square foot condo, after having watched both “The Minimalists” and “Expedition Happiness” on Netflix, we knew that staying in a place so large and spending so much money on it was not how we wanted to live, or to raise the children.  We collect rare beer, often buying a case or two at a time and held on to everything simply because we had the space. We still like a great beer, but we don’t need quite so much stockpiled now. I still enjoy crafts, but don't need 12 large boxes of supplies, I keep only what I know I'll be using. It's really wonderful to know that the things we have are the things we really like and will use. There was just never a need for 3 bathrooms, a basement movie theater and bar, and a formal dining room. We realized very quickly that downsizing just made sense for us.

Zach’s job requires some travel, so why not make it possible for the entire family to travel together? We began getting rid of all of the things that didn’t mean anything to us, and started shopping for a fifth wheel. I was overjoyed at the thought. With this lifestyle, I could spend less time cleaning and more time with the kids, and that time would be better spent exploring National Parks and Historical Sites than simply trying to keep them busy in the house while I kept it up. Also, downsizing meant I’d also get to see a lot of places I’d never seen before. The fact that I could spend so much time traveling and making memories with my family made me simply giddy inside. Making these memories is far better than having a bunch of material things I rarely use.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like my home to be nice and clean, but now I can make that happen in an hour instead of a day. Gaining back a day a week isn’t something most people have the opportunity to do. Living this life gives me a lot of opportunities. When we originally made this plan, we never intended to blog or vlog about it, it just made sense for us. Now that we’ve decided to make a “job” out of it by documenting it means I also have something to work for. Being a mom is my favorite job ever, but having something outside of it that I can feel is mine to make successful gives me a different sense of accomplishment. I am hoping that I will be looked at as a resource to others who want to move to a more minimalist lifestyle, or to people who have questions about how to travel with children. I want to have this to look back on myself, but more than that I want to help others, whether my stories can make them smile, or they can learn something from our trials and tribulations without having to experience them themselves. The last thing I’d like to say isn’t so much a why, but it needs to be said… that is “THANK YOU”. Thank you to Zach for both making this life possible, and for pushing us to make it happen. Thank you to you for reading about our choices, and thank you to my family, most of whom thought I was crazy when I told them what we wanted to do, but still continue to support and love me nonetheless. It is all of you that give me my why. Toggle panel: Post OptionsPost Options Tagline

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