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.
Today, I’m excited to share Amber’s story with you. She’s embracing a minimalist lifestyle to realize her dream: living out of a backpack and traveling around the world. Surf on over to her blog to follow her adventures.
In 2007, fresh out of college I moved to Tokyo with a suitcase and carry-on. I didn’t have much accumulated and what I did have I sent back to Seattle for Storage. While in Tokyo I taught English as a second language and spent some time traveling South East Asia. It was an incredible experience which unfortunately ended abruptly when the company I worked for went bankrupt, leaving me homeless and broke in Japan. With, what felt like, no other choice at the time, back to Seattle I went.
Feeling defeated by my life’s dream of international travel and living in foreign lands I sucked it up and pursued the American Dream. I got a corporate job. Having moved my things from one place to another roughly 18 times in the span of 2 years I had had enough. Settled was what I yearned for.
So settled is what I got. My corporate job moved me from Seattle to Austin and then Austin to Orange County where I finally made myself a nest in a lovely two bedroom condo near the beach and began collecting my things. Let me be clear: I LOVE my home and my things. I’ve spent the past two years creating a beautifully decorated space that I genuinely enjoy. But it was not enough.
That burning desire for distant lands, exotic scenery and new adventures started calling once again. The mundane corporate job and politics became overbearingly mind numbing and suddenly settled wasn’t as glamorous and comforting as it once appeared.
That’s when I decided “I have to get out of here!” For the past year I have been planning a round the world adventure. It is not a trip, it is an ADVENTURE for I have no set itinerary or for that matter no set plan to return! I began selling my things last month and at times it has been hard. I found myself almost in tears over letting go of my favorite gold Saks bag. I realized that was just the cold feet talking and I shouldn’t be listening to my feet when my soul is telling me to let go and GO!
It’s definitely not easy though when everyone around you thinks you’re crazy for getting rid of all your possessions. Constantly questioning your reasoning for purging of things, as if it were your first born rather than your fancy toothbrush holder that you were selling to a stranger. Planting seeds of doubt in your mind. You start to wonder, maybe I should hold on to these things, place them in storage in case I need them if and when I come back, but really how logical is that?
Sure my things are lovely and have brought me joy over the years, but things are just that, things. Experiences are priceless. Priceless moments are what life should be made of. So as I sell my things and prepare to embark on the adventure of a lifetime I look forward to the priceless.
Things have a hold on you and often times that hold can keep you from chasing your dreams. I am certain there will be times that I feel homesick, but I am more confident that what I am going to gain from this journey will be worth more than what I left behind. So here I am selling my things, preparing to quit my career and move into a backpack.
I am preparing to quit the American Dream for a Life Untethered! I would be so pleased if you joined me along the way at www.nowpanicandfreakout.com. My greatest achievement would be if this blog and my story brings inspiration to just one person to truly change their way of thinking, change their life and chase their dream. It doesn’t have to be travel, it just has to be yours.