“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams”
One simple conversation can change the entire trajectory of your life. Have you experienced this? I definitely have a few times in my life. Our Minimalism In Motion discussion that happened in the spring of 2014 led to a radical transformation of our lives, our lifestyle and our “home.”
Let me step back for a second. Prior to this, we were plugging along. I was employed at a hospital in Edmonton, Alberta working as a radiation therapist. Clinton was managing and growing our business. Our kids went to a dayhome. We lived in a 1500 sq foot home, with a big backyard in suburbia. Close to amenities, a short walk to a number of parks and lots of space for, well, stuff. We had two cars, three bikes, a big screen TV, a mountain of toys, plethora of furniture and belongings and shelves and shelves of books.
Fast forward to the conversation circa May 2014. Clint and I were talking about attending the yearly convention in Las Vegas (October) for our business SNAP Fitness. We discussed the possibility of road tripping from Alberta to Vegas, via the West Coast. Then we toyed with the idea of carrying on to Florida to see my parents. And what the heck, since we’ll be so close, let’s fly to Costa Rica and spend some time exploring the possibility of living there! Every winter we would say “this is our last winter here!” so we decided, at that moment, that we would finally put our lengthy discussions into action. As if we couldn’t get any crazier we figured, since we would be away for months on end, possibly even longer, we should just minimize our life in general.
Inherently, I am a minimalist. In my early 20’s, I discovered yoga and Buddhism. I adopted a “Buddhish” lifestyle quickly thereafter, and lived very simply with few possessions. In general, I don’t buy something unless it is needed. I remained this way, for the most part, through most of that decade. This was definitely made easier by my vagabond ways, living in different cities on different continents. Things changed in my early 30’s, when our first son Taio was born. Clinton and I had good intentions of minimizing the amount of baby stuff. But as the years have passed and a second child added to the mix, we quickly became overwhelmed with toys, books, clothes, and “stuff.” I’m sure most parents can relate.
When our idea began to take real form, I was all on board to sell everything we own and travel! It took about two months, but we managed to sell our cars and most of our furniture. We gifted the kids toys and clothes to friends and family and donated everything else to two families in need.
We went from A LOT…to very little in a short amount of time. We got a fantastic deal on a minivan and filled it our essentials for the epic adventure!
As we departed, our possessions included 3 backpacks of clothes and one swim bag, a tent and gear, minimal cooking accessories and kitchenware. The kids toys were reduced to a bin of their most prized toys (train set, building blocks, dinky cars & tracks, a few books and art supplies). What an amazingly freeing process. Everything we needed in life, we had; which incidentally is really just each other.
I hope you will enjoy reading about our journey and seeing the photos. And perhaps you will be inspired to apply some Minimalism in Motion in your own life. Happy trails!