We used to own a four bedroom detached home with pool and double garage set in tropical gardens producing fruit year-round. In the garage there was an almost new 4 wheel drive and a collection of lavish camping gear. The house had air conditioning and a bed for everyone plus spares. We had lots of books, DVDs, CDs, a flat screen TV and a gaming console. I had a walk-in wardrobe and an en suite bathroom, the second bathroom had a bath big enough for a family and a double shower. We lived within moments of a tropical beach on the Coral Sea. We had everything we could possibly need and if we wanted something we generally bought it. My husband had a prestigious job at one of the best 5 star hotels in town. We had family-of-head-chef hotel perks in spades.
Now everything we own fits into a few backpacks, there are no steady jobs and we mostly spend our lives in small hotel rooms and apartments.
ARE WE INSANE???
I think we were crazy to buy all that stuff in the first place and I wish we’d had the inspiration to live differently, with fewer needs and possessions years earlier than we did.
OK, I lied. We still own the above home but just about everything in it has gone, we sold it. We have never missed the house or any of those possessions since the day we walked out the door. Particularly not the camping gear!
It’s really liberating.
Crazy, maybe, but it’s a good crazy. We’re having a lot of fun with this new lifestyle and we’ve got no plans to go back to living the dream in that great big house.
All that we carry is clothes and a few indispensable items.
The big house was lovely, nothing wrong with it at all, but possessions, property and gardens can be a chain around your neck.
More space means more cleaning and buying more furniture and possessions to equip or fill that space. More space also needs heating or cooling.
More garden brings more work and more tools and equipment, you’re never happy, always wanting and buying more plants, changing that layout, adding a new feature.
More possessions bring more stress as they break, get damaged and get dirty, you then buy more furniture to store those possessions.
All of the above give you less free time and less free money as we become physical and financial slaves to our homes.
Now, with just our packs our lives are all-round lighter. We need to earn less which gives us freedom to earn in more creative, less conventional ways.
Because we work less to maintain both home and income we have more free time to travel and be a family.
Because we own only what we can carry we are never tempted to buy things we don’t need.
Back in 2012 when we sold all our possessions and walked out of that home, some people thought we were “throwing it all away.” We weren’t, we were gaining freedom.
Do we wish we still had all that space? No, not really, occasionally, if we need a bit more space we can rent a bigger apartment or stay in a more expensive hotel, but on the whole all we do in hotel rooms is sleep, we’re out all day and have no need of a larger home base. We certainly don’t miss the bills that come with running a large home nor the headaches. When you mostly live in hotels so much is taken care of for you, from laundering bed linen to internet connections, it’s wonderful and gives us all more time to do the things we enjoy.
We still buy things for the kids, of course we do, they have mountains of Lego, books, toys and their favourite bows and arrows. Their possessions stay at home base these days, Romania or London, whereas in the first 2 years we carried everything with us, right down to Harry Potter wands, 14 cuddly toys and Sonic Screwdrivers. The kids go without nothing and can in no way feel deprived. Chef and I rarely want to buy objects, as grown ups trinkets don’t tempt us as they do the kids. If I want to treat myself it has to be something practical like a new camera or phone and, something we actually need and use. I don’t care about clothes, neither does he and fancy or expensive clothes don’t impress me, sorry. We have what we need and when items wear out we replace them. Can you imagine how much money that saves?
We’ve done it, we’ve lived it, for 3 years now and we’re absolutely certain that owning less is more. A lot more, as we explore the world trying everything and everywhere on offer, a new experience every week. We are most certainly living more, on less. Are you tempted? How can we help you on your journey?
It doesn’t have to be a physical journey as ours is, if you think differently, live differently and consume less, we can all buy ourselves more freedom.
Freedom, that’s what Living Differently is all about.