I’ll be Happier When…

I’ll be Happier When…

I remember when She used to say “I’ll be a lot happier when X”

X equaled several things

X equaled a new car

X equaled a better apartment closer to work

X equaled a new job

X equaled He would shower more often

In the back of my mind I knew that a new car or new job wouldn’t miraculously solve the empty void that she was feeling about life in general. Of course just like any great lesson in life, one must learn the hard way.

She got the new car. A BMW.

She got a better apartment closer to work in midtown.

She got a new job.

He compromised and agreed to wear deoderant more often.

However after the fuzzy feelings went away from a new and exciting material item or object she went right back to “I’ll be a lot happier when X”. Humph, well that’s odd.

Actually not really. She was attempting to fill a void inside herself with stuff outside herself. We started having deeper conversations about her childhood, family dynamics, meaning of life and questions about purpose in life etc. We started meditating & practicing Yoga more often.

Soon enough she gradually started to become aware that she doesn’t have to be held hostage by every thought that popped up in her head. She is not her thoughts, she is the awareness behind her thoughts. She isn’t just a finite human in an infinite Universe, She is the infinite Universe experienced in a temporary human form.

We are very grateful that we have simplified our lives together & allowed ourselves to experience life in a new way.

Less Complicated More Simple

Less Stress More Breath

Less Material More Spiritual

Minimalism: Downsizing For A Giant Van Life Adventure

Minimalism: Downsizing For A Giant Van Life Adventure

When deciding “Is doing vanlife right for me?” there are a lot of hesitations or questions. It’s going to be so expensive, I don’t have enough money saved to do this, I have bills to pay, and the BIG question “Can I even do this?”

We went through this very same period of questioning ourselves and making excuses why we couldn’t do van life. We finally decided that living in fear and the “what if” wasn’t going to stop us. We are going to face the challenges and struggles that come our way and take a chance on this opportunity.

I would encourage anyone willing to take this journey to start making a budget: price of the van, maintenance, bills, food, gasoline, safety net, etc. There will be some sacrifices you might have to make, but the end result is worth it! We started by decluttering everything in our life.

My interest in #vanlife started when I realized that having stuff was just silly.  Why are we so obsessed with using our limited resources on things? Travel really helped open me up to how valuable experiences are. We have a limited time to experience this world so we might as well do it, even if we have to give up some beloved things.

I started in our master bedroom closet, which is funny to think about because, I always thought  it was too small. I started making piles of clothing I was willing to part with. After a few days I had several piles (6 garbage bags to be exact)  that I donated to charity and local thrift stores. We kept pieces in our wardrobe that were versatile and could be wore many different ways. I think that is key to making the most of tiny living storage.

Donating bags of clothing, shoes, and handbags

When we finally found a tenant to rent our house during our travels it was time to declutter and move out. We went through the house disposing of things that we didn’t need or rarely used. We even sold some of our furniture, we figured why not make some money and lighten our load for moving?

As we winded down our camper van conversion I started focusing more on the trip. Planning places to go, costs of attractions, and our travel budget. I knew there had to be some parts of the budget I could slim down. I took a closer look over our expenses and found some ways to save some money.

Goodbye to my largest material possession before #vanlife

My car and car insurance were two things that had to go! I used SwapaLease to list my car and within weeks found someone to take over my vehicle. Now I was down a car payment and car insurance payment. I also wanted to shed some student loan costs, so I reached out to them to let them know about my “unemployment” status.  They dramatically lowered my payments for the time being! I then re-evaluated my cellphone contract. I gave them a call asking about termination fees because I was tired of the price I was paying and wanted to switch to carriers that offered lower prices.I had been with my carrier for about over 10 years and they offered to reduce my bill, I ended up saving 25% on my cellphone bill.

If you are determined enough to make #vanlife the life for you these small sacrifices and giving up things isn’t hard at all.

-Did we skip out on going out to eat or heading to the bar for overpriced drinks? Yes!

-Did we plan out and cautiously spend our money to save for this experience? Yes!

But to have this opportunity to minimize our needs and open ourselves up to a whole new way of experiencing life was worth it in the end.

No matter what story you are telling yourself as to why you can’t do it there are always ways to overcome them and have the life you want!

Temporary Retirement

Temporary Retirement

Retiring is just quitting your job because you are running out of time to be alive. There is a sense of urgency to start actually doing things you enjoy if you’re even physically capable anymore.

I suppose we cant completely escape the vice grip that our capitalist economy has on the American way of life but perhaps we can escape at least temporarily or partially.

That’s what we plan to do. I realize this idea would be much more difficult to accomplish with kids or other persons you are responsible for. We have 2 cats and are lucky enough to have our parents take care of them during our temporary retirement.

We had the courage to quit our jobs (or fired) once we shared the same philosophical understanding that everything in our physical world is temporary. When you come to the realization that the entire human race & the earth is a finite temporary form then staying in an unfulfilling job seems rather silly.

The Van Life makes sense to us. Combine transportation & accommodation to experience new places, people and ideas in an affordable way albeit temporarily of course.