As we approach 3.5 years into our freedom lifestyle, it seems surreal. It has been a truly remarkable adventure. How did we get here? Why were we so damn nervous as we took our first step into this lifestyle? Why did we have so much junk in our lives? What took us so long to start?
Trading our personal belongings for a more passion driven, intentional life has been indescribably amazing. A life where we put experiences, joyful adventures, and our passions before material belongings will reshape how you see life itself.
If this is the part where you say, "it must be nice", or "well I could never", don't allow yourself to say that. Seriously, it is your life and it is just too damn important. You don't have to jump off the deep end like Missy and I, however, a few changes will snowball into an amazing lifestyle built around your passions.
We were nervous to make the change. However, the process was so simple, and leading a slower life of passions and adventures was much easier than we ever thought it would be. Meeting like-minded others like us on the road, on the trail, and in towns all across the U.S., it always comes back to one comment: "Why did we wait so long?"
Even as I type this out, I get it. I understand how we human beings get caught up in our comfort zone. How so many of us accept trading our time for money and even more for material belongings. After all, it has been so ingrained in us for so many years. Everyone comes from different circumstances, we all face different obstacles in life. Trust me I understand; I grew up below the poverty line, with many obstacles along the way.
From my upbringing I did not think I would get sucked in. But it happened. So many of us trade our time and a big part of our life away for money. Yes we need it to live, but let's all be 100% honest with ourselves, really break down the barriers and don't lie to yourself. In so many instances we work hard and long hours to buy stuff that really does not make us happy. Only to put it aside for the new, shinier version next year, to no end, and repeat the cycle. No matter what income class we are in, we all seem to buy shit we don't need, that doesn't make us happy, even worse, sometimes to impress people we may not even like. Again, to what end? Making us work more hours to pay off our material belongings. Material belongings that will never replace free time for travels, for our passions, and for sanity.
Don't get me wrong, not all personal belongings are created equal. If an item directly brings you joy, or it is something you are passionate about, keep it. After all we love our kindles, computers, Missy's guitar, and we have enough backpacking gear to be our own outfitter. But these items, just to name a few are huge passions of ours and put smiles on our faces.
Back to that personal honesty. You don't even have to say it out loud if you prefer so no one else can hear you. Just allow yourself to do this... Would you give back the junk stacked in your closets, attics, garages, and even worse, storage garages, for more time with family and friends, another week of travel? More days for things you love, that put that childlike smile on your face? How about spending more time on hobbies and things in life you truly enjoy? Are you one of the small group of Americans that loves their job? Or, are you working a job that you are not passionate about, that does not make you happy, to feed your addictions to stuff you don't need?
Would you make coffee at home, and eat out less to build a vacation fund? Would you keep your cell phone until it no longer meets your needs? Would you trade in unneeded material belongings to lower your cost of living so you can work at a job you enjoy going to? Only you can answer this, we are all different. However, what I have found when I get to have quality, sincere conversations with people, is an overwhelming number of us would.
So why not take some time and start taking steps to do it? Trust me you don't have to get crazy like Missy and I did with selling our house and belongings to travel and backpack full-time. Just take that first step towards living a happier, intentional, passion driven life. That would include reviewing your finances and removing anything that does not add pleasure or happiness to your life. Only you can decide.
That might consist of cord cutting and dropping TV. It could be eating out less, making coffee at home, not buying a new phone until you need actually need it. There are so many small things that add up much more that you think. Keep your vehicle longer until it does not meet your needs; all the way up to selling your house if you don't need the space for a smaller one, or an apartment if it meets your needs and finances. Again, only you can decide.
Do yourself a favor, and as I call it, remove the blinders and be 100% honest with yourself. Start with small changes and build from there. Work towards getting debt free first. Only buy things you need and will bring direct joy to your life. The fewer belongings to worry about and weigh you down, equal more time for your passions in life. Start building the life you want and truly deserve. Every single person deserves real happiness, that includes you!
You have the tools to control your life, get started.