Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
This week, I’m thrilled to present Warren and Betsy Talbot’s story. They’ve sold almost all of their stuff, and plan to embark on a multi-year, worldwide trip. Visit their blog, Married with Luggage, to follow their adventure!
Warren and Betsy write:
Our names are Warren and Betsy Talbot, and we just sold our house and most of our belongings to embark on a 4-year journey around the world. We started off a few years ago with a 3000-square-foot house in the suburbs of Boston and are now renting a furnished room from a friend in Seattle before we head out on October 1 for South America.
Want to know what happened in between?
Our minimalist story starts with wanting to have more of a life, which in our case meant less stuff. We decided to change jobs to limit our insane work hours (and the “stuff” we needed to soothe ourselves), leading to a move to Seattle. We bought a 1000-square-foot townhouse, unloading a lot of stuff both before and after our move. Life was good.
A year after we moved we had 2 people close to us suffer major medical problems (both in their 30s), which was a huge wake-up call for us.
LIFE IS SHORT.
We started evaluating what was important to us in life and realized we lived for our yearly big vacations. We could do without a lot of big living in our day-to-day if we could have more travel. So we started planning – what would it take to travel full-time? What we would do with our stuff? And so it began.
Almost 2 years later we have saved a lot of money, sold our house, 90% of our possessions, and have homes ready for our dog and cat as well as a few treasured art and personal pieces we want to keep. Everything else was just holding us back from living the way we really want.
I think minimalism gets a bad rap because people think it is all about giving things up. But until you get that stuff from your past out of your way, you don’t have room to let a big future come in. In my way of thinking, minimalism is the extravagant way to live because you get what you really want out of life.
You can read more about our downsizing and trip planning efforts at Married with Luggage and click on the Simplicity link to find out all the creative ways we got rid of our stuff (and made a few bucks).
Three cheers for going small to live really big!