A year ago we ‘owned’ two properties. Today, we own one. Soon we will own none.
Yes, things have changed big time for us recently!
Our apartment is on the market, and though I agonized over the decision to sell, now that it is up for sale, I am really looking forward to being mortgage free.
I have written before about why we’re changing our lives to travel, as well as all the fear and insecurity involved with leaving our jobs, selling all of our stuff, and embarking on an indefinite travel adventure.
But the hardest part of this whole journey has been making the decisions involved with following our dream, and now that the hard decisions have been made, I feel so unbelieveably excited about the unknown future that lies ahead.
But I also feel very different to most people I know! Thank God for the internet!
If it weren’t for reading blogs written by people who have done exactly what we’re doing, like www.almostfearless.com, www.neverendingvoyage.com, and www.wanderingearl.com, or those in the same boat as us, planning their ’round the world adventure like www.so-many-places.com , www.triciaannemitchell.com, and www.furtherbound.com , I don’t know whether I would have had the courage to leave my stable job and sell my home in pursuit of happiness.
I mean, aren’t those very things supposed to make me happy?
The thing is, at the risk of sounding ungrateful (which I am not), they don’t.
And as I stand at a point in my life where I am about to own less material things, and earn less money than I ever have, I am, well, unbelieveably happy.
I feel like the struggle is over.
It’s not easy to change every external thing that made my life what it looked like from the outside, in order to honour the inside.
But we are in the process of doing just that, and I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom.
The future looks so bright, it burns my eyes, is a quote that comes to mind, though I can’t for the life of me remember who said it.
And the fact is, if we have have stayed on the safe path, rented out our place, taken leave from our jobs, and just traveled for a year, I think I would be feeling pretty differently.
There wouldn’t be anything wrong with doing that, but we wouldn’t be honouring our dream to travel without a solid plan, or an end date. We wouldn’t be forced to learn new skills and challenge ourselves the way we will now.
Does less ‘stuff’ = more happiness?
For us, right now, yes! And I think that is because we are not living the creative, adventurous lives that we want.
If I was able to do what I love (write and travel) and have a house on the beach, then bring it on baby!
But I haven’t allowed myself to pursue my passions due to financial fear- of not being able to pay the mortgage, the insurance (house, car, health) the bills (power, water, land tax, water tax), and have stayed in a job I no longer enjoy to finance a life I thought would make me happy.
And then I bought more stuff to fill the house, and my wardrobe, because it brought me some short-term joy! Vicious circle, or what?!
Suddenly all the things I have been hearing for years, like the old money doesn’t bring happiness adage, is sinking in.
We haven’t even gone anywhere yet, and I’m already happier!
I have wrestled with the wooly mammoth of fear, and realised it was just a cuddly bunny in a scary costume.
I am okay.
I am better than okay.
And I have learnt so much from working through my fears and insecurities.
I catastrophised every possible negative outcome of this decision, and satiated the pessimist that lurks within me.
Now that I have purged most of my disastrous thoughts and imaginings, I feel flush with positivity.
I have no control over the outcome of our decision, and as I wrote about in my last post, there is evidence everywhere that life is both unpredictable and fragile.
Someone said to me a while ago, figure out the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ will follow.
For us, the ‘what’ is to travel indefinitely, immerse ourselves in other cultures, explore the world, challenge ourselves, be creative, write, learn languages, volunteer our time and (for Tyrhone) create art.
The ‘how’ has been me accepting a voluntary redundancy from my company (funny how the universe listens), putting the brakes on my spending, selling our posessions, saving as much money as we can, and (probably the biggest one) selling our home.
Oh, and I started this blog, to document the entire journey, and serve as a creative outlet. It has been an invaluable learning experience that someone as technologically challenged as me never thought they would be capable of.
So yes, we have decide that in owning less, we are able to have more of the life we truly want, and at the moment, it really is a small price to pay for the freedom of following our dream.
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